A YOGI IS BELIEVED TO BE ONE WHO HAS renounced all worldly possessions and desires.
The decision of Bharatiya Janata Party to name Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of India’s biggest state came as a surprise and has been called a big gamble by the party as a part of its strategy to win the 2019 Parliamentary elections.By selecting the controversial Yogi, a priest of the Gorakhnath temple of Gorakhpur and a known hardliner on the Hindutva policy of the party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the risk of losing the admiration of Hindus committed to adopting a moderate, middle-of-the road, tolerant, stance against polarisation of the country between the two major religions.
A Yogi is usually believed to be a sanyasi, who has no caste, no relatives and no desires. It is very rare for a Sanyasi to come back to the normal mundane world. One exception was the Adi Shankaracharya who took Sanyas at a very young age,, but promised to come back to normal family relations to perform the funeral rites of his mother.
When he did so, he was criticised and boycotted by other orthodox Hindus. It will be interesting to watch how the country will react to the chief minister in saffron robes. The new CM is not uneducated like many ‘godmen’ and is a graduate majoring in mathematics.
He is, however, known for controversial statements and “speaking nonsense” as BJP supporter and actor Anupam Kher says, but the first statement he made was to restrain his supporters, especially in Gorakhpur, from going overboard in celebrating his appointment. He has some criminal cases pending against him, but that is common, especially in the Hindi belt.
Will the appointment of a Yogi be a realisation of Plato’s ideal of a Republic or a buckling under the pressure of fringe elements in BJP by the leadership remains to be seen.