So you thought that the newly minted monk chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, was only given to making blood-thirsty Muslim-baiting speeches. Well, his views documented in his writings (in Hindi), on women and Christians should also make you wonder at the BJP's wisdom and commitment to hugely publicised schemes such as "beti bachao, beti padhao".
Consider the top five Yogi bites which are more medieval monk than modern leader:
1) On several documented occasions, Yogi Adityanath had accused Mother Teresa of being part of a conspiracy to "Christianise" India. The news agency PTI had reported on June 21, 2016, that he said "Teresa was part of a conspiracy to Christianise India. Christianisation has led to separatist movements in parts of North-East, including Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland."
This is the distilled wisdom of the Sangh because in 2015, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had in a similar comment said Mother Teresa's services to the poor were aimed at converting them to Christianity.
2) Adityanath's worldview on women makes for interesting reading. He has written in Hindi that he believes women need male protection from birth to death and their energy/power (urja) should be regulated or controlled lest it become worthless and destructive.
Only controlling women power will foster the birth and rearing of great men, he has said in his writings available on his website (www.yogiadityanath.in), mostly dating to 2014. He has repeatedly mentioned the Vedas as being the fount of wisdom in dealing with women and his views don't seem to have moved an inch from that era as he vehemently opposed the women's reservation Bill.
3) Adityanath went against the official party line and said "women do already have reservations in many areas. First analyse and assess the impact of this in gram sabhas, panchayats and local bodies. Assess and then decide whether women who are in active politics and public life like men... whether in this process they may not lose their importance and role as mothers, daughters and sisters".
|Adityanath abhors feminism and makes no bones about it. Photo: Reuters|
Balm-like thoughts on working women from the CM of the country's largest state. Alarmed? Wait. Brace yourself. Lots more.
4) Adityanath warns in his essay on "the inherent dangers in making women like men". He quotes texts to say "if men acquire women-like qualities they become God but, when women acquire men-like qualities they become "rakshas" (demons)". Serious thought must be given to these issues, writes Adityanath.
Wonder what will happen to the women who have crossed the line and work in UP's administration? Or the nominal women Adityanath has appointed to his cabinet? Adityanath perhaps is echoing Modi who came up with "despite being a woman" to describe Bangladesh's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, on June 9, 2015.
5) Adityanath abhors feminism and makes no bones about it. He writes "else the thoughtless storm of women freedom of the western world will drive them to an even more disastrous condition and it will hamper the creation and stability of the home and family and prevent the glorious rebuilding of the nation and motherland".
So now you know ladies.
If you leave aside the open feral Muslim-baiting speeches, Adityanath is hardly a reassuring figure for UP's women and Christians either.
The larger question is that does such medieval monk-like thinking belong in the 21st century? Specially the mindset of an uber powerful leader of India's biggest political state?