By Santosh Bhartiya
The unprecedented victory of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh Assembly election has attracted the attention of all and sundry. The victory brought the state on popular imagination across the world and also posed the question as to how that imagination conjured itself up. Yogi Adityanath’s ascension to the Chief Ministership in the state is attributed largely to his ability to strategize his moves. Be that as it may, Yogi Adityanath is indeed the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and this alone has raised the people’s expectations. The optimism associated with Yogi stems from his attitude, his demeanor his keenness to work for the people, and these things stand him in the league of his own.
Doubts have been cast as to whether, in the coming months, he would live up to those expectations. As of now, law and order has not yet received as much attention as it require in his regime. Volunteers allegedly associated with his organization Hindu Yuva Vahini – whether or not they are associated with the Vahini or are local hoodlums is yet to be ascertained – are, in the name of law and order, perpetrating cultural terrorism in Uttar Pradesh. But before dwelling on cultural terrorism, let us talk about law and order. If a daring robbery takes place in broad day light in the bustling Chowk area of the Prime Minister’s own constituency Varanasi (known also as the cultural capital of the country), then it tells volume about the state of affairs. It is unbelief that the robbers managed to sneak away firing in the air, while police kotwali was just a stone’s throw away from the spot of incident and the place was bustling with people who just voted BJP to an unprecedented victory. This was the second such incident in six days in Varanasi. At any rate, these robbers are a fearless lot; they do not care about law and order, even Yogi’s face did not deter them. They got away unchallenged.
On the other hand, like in previous government, police have been attacked in many districts. Leaders of ruling party were attacking the police previously, and leaders ruling party are attacking the police now as well. Therefore, all the trumpeting and lofty promises of better law and order by the BJP are being lampooned in the first one month of Yogi Adityanath government. Yogi Adityanath should give priority to law and order, because if in coming 30 days he failed to control the situation, I have no hesitation in saying that he will be considered an ordinary chief minister.
I do not know whose brain child the word ‘Romeo’ is? But Yogi Adityanath referred to it while saying that his administration will constitute ‘Anti-Romeo Squads’. Going by Yogi’s intent, the police, instead of reining in goons, robbers, criminals and hoodlums, constituted the anti-Romeo squads, and for the next 6-7 days anyone hanging around with opposite sex get apprehended by the police and branded as Romeo. It does not matter whether they were fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters, uncles and nieces, and husbands and wife, everyone got apprehended by police. Some were released without money, while some has to bribe the police to earn their freedom. We do not know whether Yogi Adityanath is aware of these facts or not, but he is a person coming out of the public. He knows how the police mint money by taking advantage of such situations. Perhaps Yogiji has forgotten or wish to forget it, because the Chief Minister’s chair is such that less and less keep tab on his administration, and more and more become a toy in hands of the administration.
Moreover, in the name of Romeo Squad many hoodlums took upon themselves to barge into people’s houses, especially in the houses of other community to see how they dress themselves inside their homes. They also want to convey that you cannot wear your favorite dresses, you cannot eat your favorite food, and you cannot do what you wish to in your own house. Interestingly, the supporters of the ruling party are not subjected to all these things. Does the Chief Minister aware of this fact? He should deal strictly with such people who in the name of Hindu Yuva Vahini are insulting women by violating their privacy. The probable answer from the government would be identify the houses and provide evidence that they entered into those houses. If that is the case I would excuse myself from doing so, because it is government’s job to apprehend wrong-doers. What is the need of a government that asks people to provide evidence that something wrong has been done to them? If that is the case, then we will assume that a Jungle Raj with a new face has assumed power in Uttar Pradesh.
There are hopes associated with Chief Minister Yogi. Those hopes include the basic problems of the people, including medical facilities and schools. There are schools in villages where the teachers hardly come to teach; this is happening for 15-20 years. There are no doctors in Primary Health Centre in rural areas. People have to spend a hefty amount on treatment. Will these problems stir Yogi Adityanath to come into action? If he prioritizes education, health and rural roads, then he will get people’s best wishes.
Finally, electricity, which was much touted by chief minister of the previous government, is still a far cry for many villages. You talk of 24X7 electricity supply in the town. Why do you not reverse your assertion, saying you would ensure 24 hour electricity in villages and 12 hours in towns? If the farmer gets electricity and gets road, he will probably give you his blessings and gradually he will improve his condition. If the farmer becomes prosperous, the market will approach him.
Yogi has just completed 30 days in office. Many readers would say that in just 30 days you started criticizing him. We would like to inform such readers that the path of government is paved at the beginning. If the start is lopsided, then the end will never be bright. We would like to urge Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to fix his priorities. Fix the responsibility of implementing those priorities. Make a time-bound plan and fix punitive action for responsible officials who err in meeting their targets. The law and order are in bad shape, and the minds of those who take law in their own hands, getting influenced by Yogi’s moral code, are in bad shape as well. Lastly, I would like to tell Yogi Adityanath not to make cow a cause of communal strife. Appoint a gopalak officer (cow officer) in every district, who will keep record of every cow in the district. He should maintain the record of sick cows as well stolen cows. In case of stolen cow, long as stolen the cow is not recovered police thana should keep in hunt. If someone sells his cow, the official should aware of seller and buyer. I am proposing this to save future from becoming communal maladies and the cow being in the centre of all that. That is why it is necessary that the government maintains record of cows. In the end, I would like to wish Yogi Adityanatha luck with these words that the cows are not produced in the field. Ninety to ninety-nine percent cows are reared by Hindus. They call cow their mother, but just seek the report of goshala (cow pen) run by these Hindu brethren, and see how much money granted by government they spend on mother cow. In what condition cows are kept there? If you ask local journalists to cover these goshalas, then they will give clear picture. Do fix your priorities and fix responsibilities of your officials, you will become esteemed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. But if you do not do that, then any chief minister can stand in the category of ordinary chief ministers.
By Santosh Bhartiya