The BJP has no good intentions in choosing Adityanath to be Chief Minister

– by Gunvant Shah (From Divya Bhaskar, 19 March 2017)

Fanaticism is never innocent. Fanaticism even for Gandhian thought would end up being a mockery of Gandhian philosophy. Hindu fanaticism takes away from the glory of Hindutva.

In an earlier article in my column, I called Adityanath ‘non-yogi Adityanath’. Even today I am not willing to use the word ‘yogi’ for him. I firmly believe that he is not a yogi, but a non-yogi. The Gita says in Chapter 2, Verse 66:

“One who is bereft of self-control cannot attain wisdom. Without wisdom one can never meditate. One who cannot meditate, cannot achieve peace, and without peace how can one attain happiness?”

This verse of the Gita fits Adityanath to a T.

The word ‘yogi’ has been made cheap and laden with negative connotations. Adityanath says:

-‘A woman’s place is in the kitchen, not in parliament’.

– Comparing Shahrukh Khan to the terrorist Hafiz Saeed Aditynath had said, ‘Shahrukh Khan should go to Islamabad.’

– ‘Those who oppose yoga and the Surya Namaskar should be drowned in the ocean.’

– ‘Graveyards should be wiped out not only in U.P., but throughout the country.’(I quote from memory.)

– ‘If the BJP wins by a clear majority in U.P, we will shut down cow slaughterhouses and the Ram Mandir will be built.’ (I quote from memory.)

Such statements reflect complete lack of self-control. Can a yogi speak like that? Do the Vedas, Upanishads or the Gita sanction this uncontrolled language? Does Adityanath’s face show the serenity of a yogi’s face? I don’t have the guts to call such an ordinary politician a yogi or a sadhu. I believe that this step will take BJP towards the destruction of political ethics.

Years ago, after talking to the respected Morarjibhai Desai at his residence Osiana on Marine Drive, I touched his feet when I was about to leave. Morarjibhai reprimanded me in his gruff voice, “You give me too much respect.” I said, “Morarjibhai, I consider you a true sadhu. Otherwise I avoid bowing down before many who wear the sadhu’s robes.”

My IQ is not that low that I will accept anyone in saffron uniform as a sadhu. (By the way, I did my Ph.D. on IQ tests.) Come on, even Ravan had taken on the guise of a sadhu. The saffron robes don’t suit Adityanath. They used to really suit Swami Vivekanand. But the Hindus don’t seem to give up on the bad habit of blind faith.

When I had a heart attack, my friend Arif Mohammed Khan came specially to see me from Delhi. I had invited my friend Lord Bhikhu Parekh to come home too on that occasion. We spoke for a full two hours. The true downfall of the Congress party began after the ruling on the Shahbano case. That unfortunate incident extracted a heavy political price from a true secular Muslim like Arif Mohammed. Both Bhikhubhai and I listened to Arifbhai attentively.

The wipeout of the Congress in U.P. today stemmed from the pleasing of the Mullahs after the Shahbano case, at the cost of the rights of women. Arifbhai told us something interesting. Whenever the mullahs met Rajiv Gandhi to discuss the Shahbano case, Najma Heptullah was there, to represent the case. She is with the BJP today and the Governor of Manipur. That is called poetic justice!

The BJP will see a similar downfall; the choice of Adityanath is the first step towards it. I am not an astrologer, but I am daring to make a forecast. Listen:

1. The Congress party will scrape through in 2024 with a small majority and the BJP will be defeated.

2. The BJP will win in 2019 because of the political momentum it has already gained at present and because of Narendra Modi’s dedication to work. After 8-10 years, Narendra Modi may not be as energetic as he is now, then his party will falter. But by then, he will have achieved much that will give him recognition as the ‘Development Man’(VikaasPurush).

3. There will be rebellion within the Congress party and dynasty politics will end. In 2019 you will see the funeral of corrupt secularism as practiced by the Congress.

Will you file this article? I may not be around at that time.

After all, fanaticism that is Hindu or Muslim is still fanaticism, fanaticism, fanaticism. There can be no compromise on this score. What else can I say?

Even if Adityanath as Chief Minister gives good governance, I cannot accept him. A senior Congress party man said to me over the phone: “What is the harm if someone wears saffron robes? He runs a free canteen and a hospital in his monastery that benefits a lot of Muslims as well. I said – I cannot condone Adityanath’s hatred of Muslims.”

One of the signs of good governance is that the minority does not even feel a shadow of threat in their minds. Who is going to send this message to Prime Minister Modi? What does it matter if Muslims who benefit from Adityanath’s governance praise him?

The huge victory of the BJP in U.P. may have an unfortunate outcome. The Muslim vote bank has lost its edge, and the Hindu vote bank has emerged in a solid form. As a result, the BJP won’t need the Muslim votes any more. And the political leverage that a vote gives them will end. It is not very valid to say that the Congress misrule is the only cause of this.

The Congress until now has used the Muslim minority and pampered its backwardness. Now the BJP will use the Hindu majority. Congress secularism was polluted. In the same way, the BJP’s Hindutva is equally polluted.

The Prime Minister is not the Prime Minister of one community. No one doubts his competence. Let that competence give peace of mind to the minority as well!

Only a secular democracy can make real the mantra of ‘Together with all, development for all’ (Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikaas). Will Narendrabhai pass this test? This is not only a mantra for elections. It is a Gandhian mantra; it has the essence of the Sarvodaya movement. Does Adityanath have that essence?

Footnote:

“Justice and force must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful and whatever is powerful may be just.” – Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Christian philosopher.

I dedicate this meaningful quotation to the Prime Minister.

(Translated from Gujarati by Batul Mukhtiar)

facts of life

Fact 1: There is no established religion in the world, which has not given rise to sects, sub-sects and secondary sub-sects. It is difficult to find any religion that does not encourage sectarianism.

Fact 2: There is no religion whose followers have not done the opposite of what their prophets have preached.

Fact 3: It is difficult to find a religion without foolish disciples who believe that their religion is the best, and priests who live off this foolishness and encourage ignorance.

Fact 4: There is no religion in the world without its band of shopkeepers catering to the naïve men and women willing and eager to jump into the whirlpool of miracles and superstitions.

Fact 5: As ritualism and fanaticism increases in every established religion in the world, its true beauty is lost.

Fact 6: The person who believes that his religion is the best can never be secular. The first requirement of secularism is the belief that all religions are the same. There is a natural acceptance of the best in every religion. All mankind has a right to the best in every religion.

Fact 7: It is permissible to convert one’s religion. But it is not permissible to make others convert. The value of any religion cannot be judged by the number of people practicing it. Just as the value of a river cannot be judged by the number of fish that live in it.

Fact 8: It is the duty of every person to understand and avoid the limitations of the religion he was born into. The religion of humanity is superior to any other established religion. The religion of humanity favours democracy.

Fact 9: Mankind cannot do without the support of religion. Religion has been a painkiller and a tranquillizer for innumerable ages for human beings faced with suffering and death. Even if religion is only a consolation, it is widespread and almost harmless.

Fact 10: It’s not a small thing to be an atheist. An atheist’s quest for truth cannot be considered lesser in any way. But it is not necessary to believe that an atheist is also automatically a rationalist. The real measure is the measure of devotion to truth. A difference of opinion or belief that leads to conflict is a sign of immaturity. It is dangerous to democracy.

From Dr. Gunvant Shah’s book ‘Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein

Translated by Farida Noorani, Batul Mukhtiar, June 2008