'Nothing wrong with Hindu Rashtra': Yogi Adityanath in first interview as CM
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sparked a debate on India being declared a Hindu Rashtra when he defended the idea in an interview to Doordarshan on Thursday.
The mahant CM believes that there was nothing wrong with the concept of Hindu Rashtra. “Mujhe Hindu Rashtra kee avdhaarnaa mujhe kuchh galat nahee lagtaa hai,” he said in his first televised interview.
“If that rashtra (nation) or raastaa (path) helps improve people’s way of life then we should not hesitate in adopting it,” he added.
In support of his argument Adityanath quoted the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Hinduism. “The Supreme Court has called Hinduism as a way of life. What’s the harm in adopting a good way of life,” the Chief Minister wondered.
In 2005, the firebrand Hindu leader reportedly said in Etah, “I will not stop till I turn Uttar Pradesh and India into a Hindu Rashtra.”
While the UP chief minister would like to see India as a Hindu Rashtra, the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh’s chief Mohan Bhagwat had said at a rally in 2015 that India was already a Hindu Rashtra as all those living in Hindustan were Hindus. He, however, went on to add, “Ek bhasha, ek devta, ek sampradaay bananaa hoga (we have to ensure one language, one God and one religion).”
With suspicion always surrounding RSS’s intentions, there was concern among all the minority communities about what lay ahead. Questions were being asked if the word “secular”, which was inserted in the preamble of the Indian Constitution after the 42nd Amendment in 1976, be replaced with Hindu Rashtra and if Muslims, Christians and maybe even other religious minorities would reduced to the status of second class citizens.
A Congress spokesman called it a dangerous development while the Samajwadi Party said that Muslims need not fear.
The BJP offered a stout defence with its spokesperson quoting the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Hinduism to say that Hindu Rashtra should not be looked at from the theocratic standpoint.