This Article is From Apr 07, 2017

'Nothing Wrong In The Idea of Hindu Rashtra,' Says Yogi Adityanath

'Nothing Wrong In The Idea of Hindu Rashtra,' Says Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said PM Narendra Modi's governemht is his inspiration.

LUCKNOW: There is nothing wrong in the idea of a Hindu Rashtra, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said, stressing that the country's top court too had ruled that Hindutva was a way of life and not just a religion.

A five-time lawmaker, the saffron-robed priest of the Gorakhnath temple in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur district was elevated as Chief Minister last month by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the BJP's spectacular victory in the assembly elections. It is a choice that surprised many.

Eminent jurist Fali Nariman had asked if the appointment "is the beginning of a Hindu state". In an interview to public broadcaster Doordarshan, Yogi Adityanath - who had recently attributed "misconceptions" about him to his saffron robe - was asked about concerns expressed by some such as Mr Nariman.

The Chief Minister started out, by pointing that he could not silence anyone and would continue to work for state's interest. He called PM Modi's government at the Centre his inspiration, pointing that he had to implement in the state, the measures that were being rolled out at a national level by PM Modi.

"Secondly... I want to say something clearly. That is, the idea of Hindu Rashtra is not wrong. A full bench of the Supreme Court has clearly ruled that Hindutva is not a... religion, or a ritual but a way of life. If this rashtra (nation) and raasta (road) helps to improve the lifestyle of people, to bring them happiness, then there should be no reason why anyone should hesitate to adopt it," he said.

The Supreme Court verdict come in 1995 on a petition by Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi against the high court verdict setting aside his election where he had promised to turn Maharashtra into India's first Hindu state.

A three-judge bench of the court had ruled that Mr Joshi's appeal for votes did not amount to campaigning on grounds of religion, and Hindutva was a way of life. He became Chief Minister in 1995. Last year, a larger bench of the court has started hearings to revisit the two-decade old judgment.