When Yogi Adityanath, a popular leader of militant Hindutva outfit, Hidu Yuva Vahini, was chosen to become the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, it had left even some of fierce BJP supporters stunned.
However, it was argued then that the new responsibility of being the chief minister of India’s largest state, will prompt the controversial MP from Gorakhpur to mend his ways and make attempts to shed his past, filled with hatred for Muslims and Islam.
Three months into the job, taking cue from his mentor, Narendra Modi, Adityanath appears to have made his intention abundantly clear on where he stands as far as his approach to Muslims and Islam is concerned.
On Thursday, the controversial UP chief minister was in Bihar’s Darbhanga district, where he once again chose to raise the issue of triple talaq. The BJP has been accused of using the issue of triple talaq to defame the Muslim community on the pretext of caring about the women in the community.
Many analysts pointed out the glaring hypocrisy of the BJP by highlighting why the party had been silent on the issue of plight of widows in India and dowry deaths, which are far more in numbers than women being affected by triple talaq.
In his speech, Adityanath said that Taj Mahal and some ‘minaret’ weren’t the symbols of Indian culture.
Adityanath said, “”Foreign dignitaries visiting the country used to be gifted replicas of the Taj Mahal and other minarets which did not reflect Indian culture.”
He recalled with fondness how Modi had started a new trend of distributing Gita and Ramayan to foreign dignitaries despite India being a secular state as per the constitution.
As expected, his assertion was rejected by historians.
Patna University history teacher Daisy Narayan told The Telegraph, “The period from the year 1206 to 1760 is known as medieval and pre-modern history. But some people, especially of a particular political stripe, consider this period as the ‘Islamic era’ of Indian history. These people, in doing so, are trying to rewrite history and distort facts. It is very shocking that the Taj Mahal, which is our national heritage monument, is being claimed as not as part of our culture.”
Some of the key initiatives taken by Adityanath government so far have been shutting down of slaughterhouses, mostly owned by Muslims, forming Anti- Romeo Squad to conduct moral policing and also stop love jihad and dissolution of Muslim waqf boards in the state.
The action against slaughterhouses was allegedly aimed at adversely affecting Muslims’ dietary habits since the fresh curb severely affected the supply of beef in the state. Critics felt that dissolving both Sunni and Shia waqf boards allowed Adityanath government to take control of Muslim properties, worth thousands of crores.