Uttarakhand CM creates storm with his ‘wisdom’, hard sells himself as a hardline ‘Hindutva’ proponent
The new Uttarakhand CM has created a storm by his statements equating PM Modi with Lord Ram and about women wearing ‘ripped jeans’
The new Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, is in news for his ‘views’ in the very first week after taking over the reins of the hill state. The Chief Minister who is a former RSS ‘Parcharak’ has been trying to hard sell himself as a hardline ‘Hindutva’ proponent to please the ‘Sangh Parivar’ with a larger aim to placate the upper caste Hindus, who form a majority in the hill state in the election year.
Trying to compete with the neighbouring Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, in giving hardline statements soothing to the ears of bigwigs of “Sangh Parivar”, Tirath Singh Rawat, a former RSS ‘Parcharak’ has drawn criticism from opposition parties as well as common people on social media. Interestingly, like his predecessor Trivendra Singh Rawat and Uttara Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Tirath Singh Rawat also hails from Pauri district of Garhwal region. All three belong to dominant Rajput community of the hills.
Recently, speaking at a function organised by the state Child Rights panel, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat talked about the importance of imbibing values in children and how to refrain them from indulging in substance abuse and other social ills. During his speech, he wondered what values women wearing ripped jeans would impart to their children. He further said that youngsters are aping western culture and dresses whereas westerners are coming to India to adopt Indian culture. Recalling one his flight from Jaipur, Chief Minister said that a woman wearing a ripped jeans with two children was sitting next to him. He wondered what values she would impart to her children.
This created a storm with opposition parties as well as on the social media platforms which were flooded with severe criticism over the latest ‘sermon’ of the Chief Minister. Uttarakhand Congress Chief Pritam Singh and Aam Aadmi Party were quick to condemn the statement and sought an apology from the Chief Minister while workers of Youth congress burnt an effigy in protest.
Manish Khanduri, a senior Congress leader and son of former Chief Minister Maj. Gen. B.C. Khanduri (retd), the political guru of Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, also advised him to refrain from such utterances.
Tirath Singh Rawat is not the first one to have such views, his predecessor Trivendra Singh Rawat claimed in July 2019 that cow is the only animal which inhales and exhales oxygen and by massaging cows, the breathing problems could be cured. Days before this wisdom from Trivendra Singh Rawat another BJP stalwart, Ajay Bhatt, Nainital Lok Sabha member and former Uttarakhand BJP chief had claimed that pregnant women can avoid a caesarean delivery if they drink water of Garud Ganga, a river flowing in Bageshwar district of Kumaon region.
A few days ago, speaking at a function at Haridwar on March 14, amidst slogan shouting of “Modi Zindabad” Tirath Singh Rawt went a step ahead in praising PM Modi and equated Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Lord Rama. He predicted that for his good deeds done for the people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would also be worshipped like Lord Rama in future. He went further and claimed that the prestige of India has enhanced many times due to Prime Minister Modi as heads of states of various countries are queuing up to get themselves photographed and meet Indian Prime Minister which was not the case earlier.
Interestingly, Tirath Singh Rawat, owes his elevation as Chief Minister to the duo of Modi- Shah and being a lifelong dedicated member of the ‘Sangh Parivar’. He was given the post of Chief Minister of Uttarakhand by removing Trivendra Singh Rawat another former ‘RSS Pracharak’ with an eye on the coming assembly polls in the state scheduled in February 2022. It was felt by the BJP high command that Trivendra Singh Rawat could be a liability in the polls for his non-performance and luck smiled on Tirath Singh Rawat, MP from Pauri Garhwal who was chosen by the party to lead the state.
The statement by Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat to equate Prime Minister Modi with Lord Rama evoked reaction from former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and Congress general secretary in charge of Punjab Harish Rawat. In a social media post, Harish Rawat sarcastically advised the Chief Minister to refrain from such statement in Uttarakhand which is known as ‘Devbhoomi’ despite the fact that he owes his new job to Prime Minister Modi.
Harish Rawat said that it was natural for Tirath Singh Rawat who is a “Modi bakht” to eulogise the Prime Minister Modi since he recently got a new job but it was not worth for Chief Minister to equate a human being with Lord Rama or Lord Krishna.
It is believed that such statements are given by BJP leaders to please their mentors in the ‘Sangh Parivar’ who prescribe to these philosophies. Moreover, these utterances cater to the core ‘Hindutva’ constituency particularly in an election year. “No doubt that RSS members believe in these things but coming from the mouth of a Chief Minister in an election year clearly indicates that BJP has been trying to please the Hindu community, in Uttarakhand which is a Hindu majority state,” said Jai Singh Rawat, one of the senior most journalist of the state.
Views expressed are personal