Uttar Pradesh state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath salutes during Independence Day celebrations in Lucknow, India. Image Credit: AP


  • Adityanath has never hidden his regressive views, which are shared by the entire Sangh Parivar.
  • This is the distilled wisdom of the saffron family. 

“Women need male protection from birth to death and their energy/power (urja) should be controlled lest it becomes worthless and destructive.”

“Only controlling women power will foster the birth and rearing of great men.”

“There are inherent dangers in making women like men. If men acquire women like qualities they become God, but when women acquire men like qualities they become “rakshas” (demons). Serious thought must be given to these issues.”

On feminism: “The thoughtless storm of women’s freedom of the West will drive them to an even more disastrous condition and it will hamper the creation and stability of the family home and prevent the glorious rebuilding of the nation and motherland.”

“It is shameful that men are sitting in the comfort of their razais (quilts) and have sent their women and children to agitate on the choraha (on the street) to agitate.”

The last quote I cited would have given the surprise away, but these are the considered views of Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of India’s politically most important state - Uttar Pradesh.

The earlier quotes are from Yogi Adityanath’s own website (in Hindi) and showcase the medieval mindset of the monk turned chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Yogi Adityanath presides over an administration that has witnessed more than 25 deaths at the hands of the police in the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) and its bigoted twin, the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The medieval monk

Clearly women’s “urja” terrifies Yogi Adityanath who seems to believe that women have no agency of their own.

Surprised at this patriarchal politics? Don’t be.

Yogi Adityanath has never hidden his regressive views, which are shared by the entire Sangh Parivar. This is the distilled wisdom of the saffron family. The RSS, the mothership of the Sangh, till date does not admit women as members.

This despite the Modi government paying lip service to “Beti Bacchao, Beti Padhao” (Save Our Girls and Educate Them). To provide perspective, I remind you, the reader, of Modi’s comment on “despite being a woman” to describe Bangladesh Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina on June 9, 2015.

So now you know ladies.

Of course, Yogi Adityanath’s problematic views are not confined to women. His views on minorities are toe-curling. Let me share a sample of what Yogi Adityanath said about the late Nobel laureate Mother Teresa. On several documented occasions, Yogi Adityanath has accused Mother Teresa of being part of a conspiracy to “Christianise” India.

The news agency PTI had reported on June 21, 2016 that Yogi Adityanath had said: “Teresa was part of a conspiracy to Christianise” India. Christianisation has led to separatist movements in parts of the North-East, including Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.”

That this is the de rigueur Sangh view is buttressed by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat saying on record in 2015 that Mother Teresa’s service to the poor was aimed at converting them to Christianity.

So for the Sangh, to make it eminently simple, women, Muslims and Christians are not quite at the same level as upper caste Hindu men.

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And this is deeply problematic in a democracy which is committed to absolute common rights of all citizens in the 21st century.

That these antediluvian views are shared with much pride tells you all you need to know about the administration that Yogi Adityanath is running. From first threatening “revenge” against the CAA protestors to now seizing property as reparation, Adityanath is more a medieval monk than a modern leader.

Should men who have such views as held by Modi and Yogi Adityanath be the government in India? They are ruling the roost and it is, perhaps, the reason why we are seeing the pushback from women and Muslims.

After all how long can medieval views run modern India?

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