Wednesday, May 23, 2018
 News Details
Yogi the CM – Courtesy secular fundamentalists

By B L Saraf

So , we have ‘ sectarian ‘ firebrand Yogi Adityanath firmly ensconced in the UP Chief Minister’s saddle . His disciples, the sectarian fundamentalists , feel delighted . For them it is a logical culmination of 2017 election process . The secular fundamentalists , his opponents , are in gloom, however . Coming close on BJP’s massive election victory , Yogi’s coronation , latter feel , is ‘ insult added to their injury .’ Both have reason to feel elated and disappointed , respectively . There , though, is a limit to the elation of one as also to the disappointment of other . Here , therefore , is case for both of them to pause and introspect . Onus , surely , is on the ‘ secular fundamentalist ‘ to discharge , first .

Well , there is no denying that BJP’s remarkable showing at the hustings is a result of hard political ground work done . Nonetheless , Party’s ascendance in UP is as much victory of its strategy as for the erosion of BSP and SP’s base . The ‘ secularists ‘ must reflect as to how their actions have been responsible for the Yogi’s ascendency to the UP throne , rather than bemoan on the ‘ narrative ‘ built by the other side . In the political environment perception travels faster than the truth . After having created the problem , when ‘ secular tribe ‘ makes a beeline to the JNU In Delhi , CU Hyderabad and Jadhavpur University to show solidarity with the students, perceived to have raised anti India pitch and joined cause with the separatists , the wavering fence sitters in the middle are literally thrown in the ‘ sectarian camp ‘ , to the great delight of Yogi and men of his ilk . When secularism is practiced selectively and legitimized one way , even , the not- so- lovers of Yogi find comfort in his company . Likewise , when Mayawatis and Akhileshs are advised to go brazenly for one community and award tickets , quite disproportionate to the population numbers - having done nothing for them in real economic and social terms - game stands won by the ‘ sectarian fundamentalists’ without a contest .
Discomfort caused by this development in Kashmir is understandable . J&K and some other sensitive areas of the country could be the testing ground for this political experiment . BJP’s risks are too high for the experiment to go hay where . They, too , have a lesson to learn . Should the zealous sectarian brigade try to run rough shod on the core values dear to the Indian nation , the phenomenon may go in reverse direction, where in the non – committed floating voters may jump to the opposite bandwagon , besides having a deleterious effect on the social fabric .

One thing common between the two is their capacity to mould the complex realities of life to their preconceived notions. ‘ Secular fundamentalists ‘ have a message to parrot the Nehruvian thought of Ganga Jamni Tehzeb . When put to the test the message has proved hallow , only to yield some election results in past , with no real benefit to the targeted tribe . Same is true of the Sectarian fundamentalists . Their love for religion , after having milked the cow , has turned into love for lucre .

Messages go on alternating . Some time one carries the day ; at times other has a say . These hallow messages have no solution to the all pervading national ailment .Nothing makes a difference . Each believes in his a stereotyped narrative , and both refuse any contemplative engagement with each others’ ideas and views . For one the idea of other is a taboo . Country cannot be run on extreme positions . We hope UP election result will help break ill conceived narratives and politics will be played in a level field .

Does Yogi as a CM signal end of the secular value ? Certainly not . After all he is a democratically elected Chief Executive of a state , bound by the Constitutional parameters to govern according to the rule book . Then , burden of office may have a moderating effect on him . The imperatives of high office should allow sobriety to define the Yogi , hereinafter . His coming to the helm , though , brings out hollowness of the ‘ liberals ‘ and shows how they have delegitimized the true concept of secularism . If the ‘ secular fundamentalists , feel aggrieved they have only themselves to blame . For them , it will be appropriate to recall what Jurist Nanni Palkhivalla once said on miseries of the subjects , “ We get the government we deserve .”

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )

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