Call for Communal Unity: How Urdu Media Reported CM Yogi’s Coming

In Uttar Pradesh's electoral house of cards, BJP had an ace up its sleeve. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath arrived like a trump card, and took everyone by surprise. Opposition parties are calling BJP’s 'Vikas’ promise a bluff, and there are varied takes on the appointment. How did the Urdu media take this editorially? Here’s a sample.

Siasat, 20 March / Hyderabad

In an editorial, titled ‘Adityanath ka intekhaab, lamha-e-fikr’ (Adityanath’s election is a moment to think and introspect), published in Siasat on 20 March, the commentary goes like this – “BJP seems to have decided to show its true agenda, and that’s why they’ve appointed a CM, who is synonymous with communal politics. The whole nation knows that Yogi is linked to the party’s hardline Hindutva brigade”

The article goes on to say that, “Adityanath has spit venom, and often expressed hatred against Muslims...Narendra Modi promised to do ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas’ in Uttar Pradesh, but neither the Central government has done anything for this, nor can something be expected in Uttar Pradesh now.”

Siasat believes the move to be more than what meets the eye, “With Adityanath, BJP has proven that it had something else in mind, but not development. This can interfere in the nation’s progress”

The editorial stresses on the point that it is “BJP’s responsibility that Muslims should not live in fear in Uttar Pradesh (under the new government)

The Hindustan Express, 20 March / Delhi

The Hindustan Express on 20 March, carried an article titled ‘Desh mein Modi, UP mein Yogi’ (Modi for country, Yogi for Uttar Pradesh).

The article claims that “Amit Shah and Modi have appointed Yogi...to keep the communal polarisation going…and to help them in 2019 elections

But the newspaper also believes“there’s hope that a feeling of incumbency might set in against BJP by 2019, and it’ll help the opposition.” It further goes on to say that, “BSP, SP, and Congress should combine, then only their revival possible.”

Sahafat, 20 March / Lucknow

In Sahafat, published on 20 March, there were two op-eds published on 20 March. One of them titled, ‘Uttar Pradesh mein Bihar ki tareekh dohraai ja sakti thi’ (Bihar’s history could have been repeated in Uttar Pradesh), talked about the numbers, and how a pre-poll alliance would have defeated BJP. “Out of 312 constituencies, it was only in 95 constituencies that BJP got more votes than Samajwadi Party and BSP combined.”

“In 217 constituencies, SP and BSP combined had more votes than BJP.”

The other article is titled ‘Hum Maharaja, hamare farmaan dastoor’ (I’m the king, and my orders are rules). It says, without mincing any word,“for a small state like Goa, rules were butchered. All this because Modi couldn’t tolerate that a dead Congress party could snatch away his pie. This establishes that there are no set customs, Modi’s orders are the rules.”

Munsif, 19 March / Hyderabad

Munsif, published on 19 March, had nothing major on Yogi Adityanath, and instead, carried an opinion on EVM machines, titled ‘Machine ki mukhaalifat karna apne se dushmani’ (Opposing EVM machines is enmity for self).

Sahil, 19 March / Karnataka

In Sahil, an article published on 19 March, focuses specifically on the sole Muslim member in Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet, Mohsin Raza.

The article says, “The new Cabinet is trying to create racial equality, and attempts to create a balance between backward and marginalised castes. For this, Mohsin Raza has been included as a Muslim minister”

The newspaper also comments on the pre-results election drive by the BJP. “During ticket distribution, the party which stayed completely away from the Muslims, seems to have changed a bit after the results.” And then there are some thoughts on why there are two deputy Chief Ministers. “Adityanath, who is a controversial figure, has no administrative experience, and the two vice-ministers are probably nominated to balance the responsibilities.”

The Inquilab, 20 March / Mumbai

The 20 March edition of The Inquilab, has an op-ed titled “Hamein ye tay karna hoga ki zaati kaamyabi azeez hai ya millat ka mufaad” (We need to decide if we care for personal success or social development). The section is titled ‘UP ki haar baad kya?’ (What after UP’s defeat?)

The post says that “BJP may have won by creating a propaganda through the media against Muslims and secular forces. But we believe our nation’s future can be successful only through secular politics.”

It comments on the vote-division aspect of many Muslims fighting for the same seat by saying, “We have to accept that many Muslims fighting on a single seat erodes the value of our votes.”

It also talks about going beyond communal issues and talking about real issues that plagues the community, for all-round development. “We need to go beyond ‘kabristan’ talks and ask for education and employment, because political parties use this to mislead the majority of the community.”

All of the above commentaries have been curated at random from various online sources of the respective publications, to showcase a variety of narratives. Liked the story? Then do share it with your friends. Comment with your feedback below.

(With creative inputs by Shadab Ahmad Moizee)