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Subhash Mishra | TNN | Lucknow | Aug 1, 2020:: Has saffron clad chief minister Yogi Adityanath filled up the vacuum caused by ageing Kalyan Singh to emerge as a Hindu Hriday Samrat (Emperor of Hindu Hearts)?
He will be visiting Ayodhya for the third time in the past 10 days on Saturday, mingling with sadhus and overseeing preparations for the historic foundation laying ceremony of the Ram temple.
In a clear departure from the past, Yogi on Friday penned a piece in newspapers, appealing to people to join the historic eventon August 5 by lighting lakhs of lamps and candles in their homes, urging them to make it a memorable day as 500-year-old dream of Ram temple in Ayodhya is turning a realty.
Unlike Kalyan, who had toured the state extensively in the run up to the demolition of the disputed structure in 1991-92, Yogi had limitations of not moving out due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Thus, he sought support in a different way – through a written appeal. After taking credit for the demolition of the Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992, when he was chief minister of the state, Kalyan has been slowly, but surely slipping into the margins of the political landscape and also from the public mind. The towering image and stature Kalyan had gained in 1992 was shattered when his name was linked with a woman corporator of his party in his second term as chief minister in 1997.
Yogi has been the CM for over three years now and has an impeccable reputation, leaving former Hindu Hriday Samrat Kalyan far behind.
To remain rooted in the Hindutva ideology despite being the CM of a vast and complex state, Yogi has not renounced the priestship of the historic Gorakhnath Peeth and on every religious occasion he can be seen performing rituals at the Gorakhnath temple, enhancing his Hindutva image further. Gradually, Kalyan’s name started fading from the public memory and it coincided with emergence of Yogi Adityanath, who has stronger Hindutva credentials.
Now for millennials, who are not acquainted with Kalyan, Yogi has become the face of Hindutva ideology. With urns in his hands and performing ‘aarti’ in Ayodhya, Yogi in saffron robes has left his contemporaries far behind. Unlike Kalyan, who at one time had joined the Mulayam camp to take revenge with the BJP and had also formed his own political outfit with a pledge to ensure defeat of the saffron party at the hustings and never seeing the Ram temple again in his life, the Hindutva credentials of Yogi Adityanath are much more sound than the Lodh leader. At one stage Kalyan had even termed BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘tired and retired’. Later, he had apologised for his remark and returned to the BJP fold, but he had definitely lost the stature and credibility.
Yogi since the beginning of his political career has been an ardent follower of the Hindutva ideology. He floated Hindu Yuva Vahini and never compromised with his convictions.
If Yogi has been in demand in other states during elections, it is only for his rising popularity as a strong Hindu leader. His beliefs in Hindutva has also earned him the sobriquet of Yuva Hindu Hriday Samrat.
Republishing the above does not mean any endorsement of each and every points of writer’s view.