It was PM Modi’s unbeatable charm that propelled BJP to a massive mandate, the biggest in 2 decades. BJP didn’t just match the expectations that it had set with the 2014 General Elections, it in fact bettered its score. Scoring 325 out of 403 seats in the most populous state of India which speaks as many as 9 different dialects of Hindi, has an average population density of 828 persons per km², has more caste groups than one can count and is a mini country in itself, is no mean feat. And one must commend the unbeatable duo of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi for the Historic Victory but they knew that another big game waited for them. BJP took 1 week to zero down on a name who would represent them in the state of Uttar Pradesh and at the end of it all, it was the Hindu Hriday Samrat from Gorakhpur who claimed the throne.
On 19 March 2017, Yogi Adityanath took oath as the 21st Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. And like that the Saffron Clad Yogi became the CM of Uttar Pradesh. But Yogi was no newbie, he won the Gorakhpur seat 5 times. He was literally invincible on his own ground. Yogi Adityanath had a massive clout in the 60 Vidhan Sabha seats in Poorvanchal.
Yogi Adityanath is an enigma, beneath the veneers of a strict disciplinarian, lies an unexplored Ajay Singh Bisht, who left his family at the age of 21 and became a disciple of Mahant Avaidyanath, the then Mahanth of Gorakhnath Mutt. Bisht, then went on to become the Mahanth of the Shrine following the death of Mahant Aavaidyanath in September 2014.
Shantanu Gupta, Author and Political Analyst has tried to peek into the unexplored life of Yogi Adityanath. Aptly titled “The Monk Who Became Chief Minister”, The Book sketches the journey of a shy and introverted boy from the serene valleys of Uttarakhand, who had a modern education in the faculties of science from Kotdwar, later took sanyas and went through rigorous training in vedic education.
“The Monk Who Became Chief Minister” excels in bringing out the truly unknown aspect of Yogi Adityanath. This book is a work of genius, it is based on an extensive research that writer Shantanu Gupta has meticulously put in.
Replete with unseen pictures, unheard instances, first-time interviews, with people close to Yogi, this biography is a treat for every politics enthusiast and for people who love reading biographies.
While the book is overall quite entertaining, Two of my favourite excerpts are as follows:
Ajay chose Right wing ABVP over Left Wing SFI
Ajay was always interested in politics and even in college chose to join student politics. His sister, Kaushalya, was married in Kotdwar and his sister’s brother-in-law was in the Student’s Federation of India (SFI), a left leaning student organization, connected with the Communist Party of India (Marxist). His brother-in-Law tried convincing Ajay to join student politics under SFI’s banner. But Pramod Rawat (aka Tunna), convinced Ajay otherwise and made him join Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS. After joining the ABVP, Ajay became very active on the field.
Yogi came in Front of Moving Bus, for the safety of female classmates
While talking about Ajay, another classmate Babita Rana told us that Ajay was quite reserved by nature, but always eager to help his classmates. Babita narrated that in their first year in college, one of their classmates, Saraswati Rawat, stood for the position of Joint Secretary in the college student elections and their group, including Ajay, went to an area called Duggada for her election canvassing. By the time they had finished their campaign it was almost 6 P.M. and none of the buses stopped for them as college students were notorious for taking the bus without paying for the ticket. Unfortunately, bus was the only mode of transportation to get back to Kotdwar city and it was getting dark. As there were no mobile phones in those days there was no way for the students to inform their concerned families at home. Babita got too worried thinking that her parents would be upset and may not allow her to enter the house. Babita was almost in tears and noticed that all of a sudden, Ajay stood in front of the next bus forcing it to stop. The bus stopped, just inches away from Ajay. Everyone was concerned for Ajay’s safety, but he did not pay heed to the conductor’s resistance and first asked all girls to quickly board the bus. The girls had to assure the conductor that they would pay for the bus ticket and Ajay managed to get the whole group safely back to Kotdwar. This was not a normal incident. This shows his huge respect for the safety and security of women. Today the same is being reflected in the step that the Yogi administration has taken for the safety and security of all the women in Uttar Pradesh by deploying the Anti-Romeo squad.
(Excerpt Reproduced after receiving authorization from the writer)
“The Monk Who Became Chief Minister” never has a dull moment, because the central figure of the book is a Maverick Monk, and because of the sincere efforts that Shantanu Gupta has put in. It is a must read for all Politics Enthusiasts.
“The Monk Who Became Chief Minister” is already in “Hot New Releases” category on Amazon.
My Rating for “The Monk Who Became Chief Minister” – 4.5/5
Here’s where you can order the book from – http://amzn.to/2xa5jSt
About the Author: Shantanu Gupta is the founder of a leading youth based organization Yuva Foundation, working with youth, on spreading awareness among youth, on policy, politics and social issues. In the past, he has worked for a renowned think tank, Center for Civil Society (CCS). Shantanu has worked long in the hinterlands of Bundelkhand with UNICEF in Uttar Pradesh. He has also lead large-scale remedial education interventions with Naandi Foundation in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra & New Delhi. Shantanu has worked for a decade as a process and management consultant in many cities in India, Switzerland, Cyprus, Hungry and Israel. He has represented India in many international conferences on economy and policy, in Germany, Malaysia & Srilanka.
You can get in touch with the author at:
Bonus: Here is an Epic “Yogi Rap”