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

Yogi Adityanath Campaigning For BJP Shows How Hindutva Is More Important Than ‘Vikas’

More from Sourodipto Sanyal

On March 18, 2017, when the Bharatiya Janata Party announced that Yogi Adityanath would be made the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, it came as a surprise to most. This was seven days after BJP convincingly won the 2017 UP state assembly elections when the parent party and its allies won 325 out of the 403 assembly seats.

Even though Yogi Adityanath had been an elected member of the Lok Sabha for a record five times from the Gorakhpur constituency, he had always been a controversial leader due to his hardcore Hindutva image, criminal cases registered against him and controversial statements which were blatantly communal and discriminatory towards the Muslim community.

Given how Narendra Modi had become the Prime Minister of India in May 2014 with the slogan of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ and promising ‘development’, this move came as as a shock. Even the ones who refused to see Narendra Modi as a secular leader were rattled. No one expected had expected this.

However, what is happening now further emboldens the belief that for the BJP, the ideology of Hindutva will always remain priority.

Yogi was scheduled to take part in rallies in Karnataka until Saturday, however, he had to cut short his visit since over 70 people died due to a dust-storm in Uttar Pradesh over the past few days.

And in the rallies he took part in, the emphasis was on the Hindutva rhetoric.

In one of his rallies in Shimoga, Karnataka, he said, “The Congress is not concerned about protecting cows or the nation… They will continue to protect jihadi and terrorists… Till the Congress is in power, people like Yasin Bhatkal will continue to raise their heads.”

Hindutva is just not utilised to win votes. Yogi Adityanath and his government’s actions reaffirm that even after becoming the chief minister in March last year, he has not become ‘moderate’ by any means. He has had no qualms in announcing that he does not celebrate Eid, initiating the process of withdrawal of cases against people accused of violent crimes like murdering Muslims in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, introducing the usage of the middle name of BR Ambedkar ‘Ramji’ in official records of the Uttar Pradesh government, etc.

However, one thing which needs to be noted is that the BJP is trying to ensure that Yogi Adityanath’s reach goes beyond the territory of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has made him the third most important campaigner after Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, even when elections take place outside Uttar Pradesh.

Since the Uttar Pradesh elections which took place last year, there have been state elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland. And currently, campaigning for the Karnataka elections are going on, which are to be held later this month on May 12.

Yogi Adityanath had also taken part in an election rally in Tripura and a roadshow in the state, before the elections in February. He had also addressed rallies in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat late last year before the state elections in the respective states. In all three states, BJP came to power with a majority.

It must be noted that Yogi Adityanath is one of the most recent chief ministers from the Bharatiya Janata Party and he has not even completed 14 months in office.

On the other hand, chief ministers from the BJP such as Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh have been governing the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively since much longer. It must also be remembered that they are not considered to be as extreme in their approach regarding Hindutva in comparison to Yogi Adityanath. However, they campaign on a much smaller scale when elections take place in other states, if at all.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the most active out of the three. He campaigned last year for the Gujarat elections. However, he did not go to Tripura or Himachal Pradesh. He is expected to campaign in Karnataka next week but at a much smaller scale than Adityanath.

What this seems to suggest is that the Bharatiya Janata Party is actively promoting a leader with firebrand Hindutva credentials instead of leaders who may have proven themselves electorally and are not as hardcore in their pursuit of the Hindutva ideology. ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ may have been put on hold for the moment.


Image source: MYogiAdityanath/ Facebook
You must be to comment.

More from Sourodipto Sanyal

Similar Posts

By Amiya Bhaskara

By Tulika Dixit

By Diwakar Jha

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