Yogi Adityanath And The Rise Of India’s Alt-Right

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Of all the places westerner’s would expect, India is now producing some extremely controversial right-winged politicians. One of the most famous and prominent of these new leaders is Yogi Adityanath, an Indian priest, Hindu nationalist politician and the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh who has been in office since March 26, 2017.

His rise to power is not entirely surprising, considering the hostility of Moslems toward the Hindu philosophy that has for years resulted in violence toward Hindus. Attacks will only increase in frequency as the Moslem population continues to grow in India, as the two vastly different philosophies collide in the confines of a country much too small for its enormous population.

The cultural shift that Islam causes in societies is not isolated to western nations. The East also deals with the incursion of Moslem demands on their societies as has been witnessed in conflicts found in China and Russia, where Moslem minority populations including the Chechens and Uyghurs have presented problems for ruling governments. Now the growth of Islam and demands for sharia governance have created a backlash in India. Similar to the rise of the alt-right in Europe and the United States, national fervor is quickly moving mainstream in the majority Hindu nation. And it is because of Islam.

India’s alt-right leader does not hide his disdain for Islam:

“As leader of a temple known for its militant Hindu supremacist tradition, he (Yogi) built an army of youths intent on avenging historic wrongs by Muslims, whom he has called “a crop of two-legged animals that has to be stopped.” At one rally he cried out, “We are all preparing for religious war!” Source

One can draw many parallels between the rise of Donald Trump and Yogi Adityanath, including that he has a lot of populist appeal from the poor and working classes:

“His office has issued an order to this effect to all administrative and police chiefs of districts and other top officials in the state. “The CM has given clear orders that no special arrangements be made during his visits and any show-off or inconvenience to common people should be avoided,” an official said.” Source

Some media outlets in the West have been condemnatory of his firebrand rhetoric. The New York Times documented that Yogi’s rise is from nationalist fervor growing among the majority Hindu nation who view Islam as a threat to their ancient culture and customs.

“But a populist drive to transform India into a “Hindu nation” has drowned out Mr. Modi’s development agenda, shrinking the economic and social space for the country’s 170 million Muslims.”

Is the alt-right becoming a force in India? To date, the goals and ambitions of the alt-right are not well defined, yet there appears to be a common nationalist theme, an opposition to globalism, and a push back against the spread of Islam.