Yogi Adityanath

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महंत योगी आदित्यनाथ
Yogi Adityanath.jpg
Member of Lok Sabha
In office
1998 – Present
Preceded by Mahant Avaidyanath
Constituency Gorakhpur
Personal details
Born (1972-06-05) 5 June 1972 (age 42)
Garhwal, Uttarakhand
Nationality Indian
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Unmarried
Residence Gorakhnath Mandir, Gorakhpur
Alma mater H.N.B. Garhwal University
Religion Hinduism (Nath Sampradayey)
Website Yogi Adityanath Official Web
As of 26 May, 2014
Source: [1]

Mahanth Yogi Adityanath (born Ajay Singh; 5 June 1972) is an politician and a priest. He is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament who has represented Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian Parliament) since 1998. Adityanath is the Mahant or head priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur, following the death of his spiritual "father," Mahant Avaidyanath in September 2014. He is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a social, cultural and nationalist group of youth who seek to provide rightist Hindu platform.[1]

Early life[edit]

Yogi Aidityanath hails from a Rajput family.[2][3]

Political career[edit]

Adityanath was the youngest member of the 12th Lok Sabha at 26. He has been elected as an MP from Gorakhpur to the Lok Sabha in the 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections.[4] He is the successor to former Hindu Mahasabha president Mahant Avaidyanath at the Gorakhpur temple.[5] He holds a B. Sc. from the H.N.B. Garhwal University in Srinagar, Uttarakhand.[5][6]

Mahanth of Gorakhnath Temple[edit]

Currently he is Mahant of Guru Gorakhnath Temple, following the death of Mahanth Aavaidyanath on 12th Sept 2014. Yogi Adityanath was made Peethadheshwar of Gorakhnath Temple amid traditional rituals of the Nath cult on 14th Sept 2014.

Political controversies[edit]

In 2005, Adityanath allegedly led a "purification drive" which involved the conversion of Christians to Hinduism. In one such instance, 1,800 Christians were reportedly converted to Hinduism in the town of Etah in Uttar Pradesh.[7]

In January 2007, an altercation occurred amidst a Hindu group and Muslims in a Muharram procession in Gorakhpur which led to the hospitalisation of a young Hindu, Raj Kumar Agrahari. The District Magistrate made it clear that Adityanath should not visit the site as it may inflame tensions. He initially agreed but after Agrahari died, he disobeyed the magistrate and travelled to the site with a group of his followers. Adityanath started a dharna on the site. However inflammatory speeches were made and some of his followers set fire to a nearby mazar (Muslim mausoleum).[8][9] A curfew was implemented by the local police but Adityanath broke it and was subsequently jailed under Section 151A, Sections 146, 147, 279, 506 of the Indian Penal Code. He was arrested and remanded for a fortnight, on charges of destroying a Muslim tomb.[10][11] His arrest led to further unrest and several coaches of the Mumbai bound Mumbai-Gorakhpur Godan Express was burnt, allegedly by protesting Hindu Yuva Vahini activists.[12] The day after the arrest, District Magistrate along with local police chief were transferred and replaced. This was widely perceived as a result of Adityanath's clout with the Uttar Pradesh government of Mulayam Singh Yadav.[8][11][13] The tensions soon escalated to riots across Gorakhpur leading to the burning of mosques, homes, buses and trains.[7] [8] After his release, Adityanath protested his jailing in the Parliament.[14]

Relations with the BJP[edit]

Adityanath has had a strained relation with the BJP for more than a decade.[15] With the emergence of a separate powerbase in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, he has been seeking greater power, causing further conflicts.[16]

On 22–24 December 2006, Adityanath organised a three-day Virat Hindu Mahasammelan at Gorakhpur, during the same period when the BJP was holding its National Executive Meet in Lucknow in the same state. The Uttar Pradesh Elections, 2007 saw a conflict between Adityanath and the BJP leadership - he wanted more than hundred seats in this region to go to candidates selected by him, but the party leadership would not agree. Subsequently a compromise agreement was reached, possibly with inputs from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,[17] and eight of his candidates were fielded.[18]

In March 2010, Adityanath was one of several BJP MPs who stated defiance to the party whip on the Women's reservation bill.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (6 October 2014). "The other saffron". Indian Express. Retrieved 2014-10-06. 
  2. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/saffron-power-in-gorakhpur/article342682.ece
  3. ^ http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090414/jsp/nation/story_10819205.jsp
  4. ^ http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/Members/Biography.aspx?mpsno=7
  5. ^ a b "How a Pauri youth turned into Yogi". The Times of India. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Detailed Profile: Shri Yogi Adityanath". india.gov.in. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "‘When I Ask Them To Rise And Protect Our Hindu Culture, They Obey Me’". Tehelka. 14 February 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Subhashini Ali (27 February 2007). "Hindutva's Uncivil Society in Eastern UP: Its time stop the hate spewing yogi of Gorakhpur". SACW.net Communalism Repository. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2007. 
  9. ^ "Violence hits parts of eastern UP, curfew in Gorakhpur area". 29 January 2008. 
  10. ^ "Jailhouse rock for Yogi & Co. Host Amarmani". Hindustan Times. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Apoorvanand (17 February 2007). "Riot, manufactured in Gorakhpur". Tehelka. Retrieved 26 April 2007. 
  12. ^ Shahira Naim (2 February 2007). "Vahini activists set train ablaze". Tribune News Service. Archived from the original on 28 April 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2007. 
  13. ^ Shahira Naim (30 January 2007). "Gorakhpur: DM, SSP removed". Tribune News Service. Retrieved 26 April 2007. 
  14. ^ "Monk MP breaks down in tears in parliament". Reuters. 12 March 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2007. 
  15. ^ Sharad Gupta (28 September 1999). "Group war peaks in Uttar Pradesh". Indian Express. 
  16. ^ Atiq Khan (28 March 2007). "Yogi's revolt may hit BJP: Ex-BJP leader to go it alone in U.P". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 26 April 2007. 
  17. ^ Subhash Gatade (15 June 2007). "Political Hindutva : The Countdown Has Begun?". Countercurrents.org. Retrieved 19 June 2007. 
  18. ^ Mohua Chatterjee (30 March 2007). "Adityanath back in BJP, 8 nominees get tickets". Times of India. Retrieved 26 April 2007. 
  19. ^ http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=3698770

External links[edit]

Lok Sabha
Preceded by
Mahant Avaidyanath
Member for Gorakhpur
1998 – Present
Incumbent