This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Bhavya Kumar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

From Spending Time In Jail To Becoming The President Of BJP: The Rise And Rise Of Amit Shah

More from Bhavya Kumar

By Bhavya Kumar:

Someone into Indian politics will most probably click on this article, their anticipations varying according to their own political inclinations. Amit Shah, the very name, might draw a range of reactions that can actually be presented on a spectrum. It’s very hard to write something on a person at the centre of many controversies and still surrounded by a thick overgrowth of debates and speculations and other much-extended diversions that an engaged human mind allows itself at a time. At the same time, my aim is not to trivialize the significance of these debates, discussions, controversies and speculations that are related to this particular person. It’s just hard to dig into the layers and layers of opinions and interpretation.

amit shah.

Mr. Shah’s career has been full of active pursuits of political ambitions and interests and have a clear orientation, a particular color to them, and it appears to be saffron. He joined the Rashtriya Syawamsevak Sangh at a young age, and has been an political practitioner ever since. Throughout his youth, he has been in the service of right-wing parties, and has risen through the ranks of Bhartiya Janata Party in his later years as he moved to BJP from ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) and BJYM (Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha) as his previous affiliations. His rise is due to his effectiveness as a political strategist, as many have described him. He has definitely come a long way, and his career is adorned with the fruits of his contribution as a dedicated worker for the party, and many alliances that were quite beneficial to him, and we can see that now that BJP is in power for this term.

He is, according to the observation of routine political commentators, the “right hand” of the Prime Minister, and the combination has been rather deadly for their opponents within the party. Under the tenure of Narendra Modi as the chief minister of Gujarat, Mr. Shah managed to take lead of multiple portfolios and emerged as a prominent leader, rendering him with a good political strength and the priceless experience. His profile at the BJP’s official website has a lot to say about his many achievements within Gujarat, in the areas of state administration and co-operatives and so on, and the list of his achievement is long.

“That was the year when the Bank had registered a loss of Rs 20.28 crore. Only a year after he [Amit Shah] took over, the Bank cleared its debts and fell in line of other profit-making banks, with declaration of 10% dividend. Today, Ahmedabad District Co-Operative Bank Limited is a leading bank among the 367 co-operative banks in the country”, so is mentioned in this profile drawn up by the party on their website.

A brilliant political career doesn’t come without any costs. It has been alleged that he was engaged in divisive politics and has been practising what can be called discrimination founded in his ideological inclination – Hindutva. While the list of controversies is fairly long, I would like to mention only a couple of them here. He has been one of the many names attached to two fake encounters, and has been in fixes concerning his opinions threatening our secular ideals and the ornaments that our constitutions boasts of, but secularism as a functioning ideal in our society is still not an all-pervasive reality. The need to avenge for what happened in Muzaffarnagar and the subjects of this vengeance definitely caused certain tensions. Mr. Shah happened to spend some time in jail after being found guilty in the murder of a small-time gangster, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, in a staged encounter. The much-sensationalized Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case too dragged him in, and it had a lot to do with the suspicion that those murdered were terrorists and Ishrat Jahan herself was hosting them. He, along with other politicians of his kind, aren’t often subjects of criticism for behaving in a way which discourages the minorities in terms of political activities, liberties and representation.

Mr. Shah has had a brilliant performance in electoral politics, and it cannot be denied that he still has a lot of support. He has been trying to resurrect his political career after his term in jail and now is the president of the BJP. Despite the stains that now firmly hold on to the fabric of his career, he still is a close aide to the Prime Minister, and one cannot help but wonder or speculate if they will, or will not substantiate the fear that many of us have, right from the issue of minorities, to the aggressive application of Hindutva agenda. Despite his many contributions to the state he had been serving, he still manages to pass a remark that has upset a lot many.

It is a little bitter to take in the fact that there are politicians who are as promising as they could be, but are driven by motivations that do not exactly seem appropriate. Aggression and intolerance practised on behalf of a person from a certain ideology, and his acts being in accordance with these ideologies, is something that our country has been suffering from for quite some time, and if you manage to look beyond this one layer, you will realize that ideology is just a mask to cover the solid composition which actually manipulate the power play. In that view, if, after all, what is sought is not ideological victory, but only an assortment of convenient compromises, then, political strategists from any party should be careful enough to realize that states are not like the country itself and many, many compromises have to be made if ambitions have to be achieved. In that view, respecting Mr Shah’s capabilities, we should look forward to not only brokered peace but rigorous struggles to keep this peace intact; struggles with, along, and against many who strongly oppose the party itself and whatever it stands for.

However, it is advisable for a political strategist, looked upon as a master-planner/organizer, which he absolutely is, to be extremely cautious with the ground he is and shall be treading upon, not to mention the fragility of this very ground that has been rendered so by nothing other than his own past.

You must be to comment.
  1. kishor

    Hello, I have not read anything on this blog about the Imprisonment of jayalalithaa. is this blog only writes against BJP or it’s leaders? are you paid for this or this is a free service?

More from Bhavya Kumar

Similar Posts

By Imran Khan

By Siddhant Nagrath

By Nandini Sharma

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below