Communal politics

In 8 years of Parliament, Yogi Adityanath’s favourite debate topic was Hindu affairs

Adityanath participated in 82 debates against the average of 38 for other MPs.

In a Facebook post on March 19, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath:

“It is unfortunate that some opponents, communalists are trying to portray him as a rabble-rouser and fringe personality. They should go through his parliamentary debates. Those reveal his seasoned thinking on various issues of governance,”

Factchecker did just that: it analysed Adityanath’s performance over the last eight years as a member of Parliament in the 15th and 16th Lok Sabha, using data from PRS Legislative Research, an advocacy focused on parliamentary affairs, and the Lok Sabha archives.

The four key findings were:

  1. While the 44-year-old politician raised a variety of concerns – including river pollution and rising cases of encephalitis – his most recurring choice of debates were on Hindu affairs and cow slaughter, particularly over the last three years.
  2. In the 16th and current Lok Sabha, 18% of Adityanath’s debates have focussed on Hindu issues, seven-percentage points more than during his previous term as MP. The topics include cow slaughter, enforcing a uniform civil code, and protection of Hindu pilgrims. Even his debates on the Enemy Property Bill (now an Act) and his concerns about Indian youth in Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, counted under internal security debates, held religious underpinnings.
  3. A science graduate, Adityanath had the most queries (57) for the ministry of health during the 16th Lok Sabha: 11 were on corruption in medical bodies, and six on population control measures to address India’s “reported demographic imbalance”, a reference to his belief that Muslims, who make up 14.2% of India’s population, were growing faster than Hindus.
  4. Adityanath asked almost as many questions (52) of the ministry of home affairs over the last eight years of the 15th and 16th Lok Sabha. Of these, 34% were related to fears about the effect of IS, Indian Mujahideen extremists and Christian separatists on internal security.

Here is a more detailed analysis:

15th Lok Sabha (June 2009 to February 2014)

Although Adityanath’s parliamentary attendance (72%) was slightly below the average for MPs from his state (79%) and the rest of the country (76%), he participated in more debates and asked more questions than the average MP, according to PRS Legislative Research data.

Adityanath participated in 82 debates against the average of 38 for other MPs.

While seven, or 8.5%, of the debates in which he participated were related to the railway budget, 11% of Adityanath’s debates were related to Hinduism. The topics included “reorganisation of the Amarnath Shrine Board and facilities for Amarnath pilgrims”; “lifting the ban on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra to Nepal”; and the need to “develop the area related to Ramayan era in Mithilanchal” (a proposed state in India that comprises part of the historic Mithila region, which extends into modern-day Nepal).

During this term, Adityanath, who has been charged for intimidation, rioting, promoting enmity between different groups and defiling a place of worship, also raised concerns over violence in Muslim-dominated Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district, where Muslims constitute nearly half the population.

Adityanath, a science graduate as we said, also discussed the pollution of Indian rivers six times. He participated in five debates on the spread and eradication of encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis, and five on according “central university status” to Gorakhpur University. On four occasions, he spoke about carving a separate Poorvanchal state from eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Source: PRS Legislative Research, Lok Sabha archives
Source: PRS Legislative Research, Lok Sabha archives

16th Lok Sabha (June 1, 2014 to March 15, 2017)

Adityanath participated in 56 debates – fewer than the average of 72 clocked by MPs from his state, PRS data shows.

In nearly a fifth of these – a seven-percentage-point jump over the previous term – the five-time MP (he was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998 at age 26) participated in debates that focussed on Hindu affairs. These included a national ban on cow slaughter, enforcing a uniform civil code, and ensuring the safety of Hindu pilgrims. Even his debates on internal security that voiced concerns about a conspiracy to bring Pakistanis to India through the Enemy Property Bill, and the alleged involvement of Indian youth in the Islamic State, carried religious undertones.

During this term, in four of five “Demand for Grants” debates on the railway budget that Adityanath participated in (data for the most recent debate in 2017 are yet to be put out) – which Naidu described as “level-headed and inspiring” – the Gorakhpur MP primarily praised the budget and congratulated the railway ministry while criticising the previous Congress-led government and states where the party still holds power. In one debate, he presented demands for grants to set up rail lines and to upgrade rail infrastructure in his constituency, Gorakhpur.

He also wanted “central university status” for Gorakhpur University, and asked – in four debates – for the Bhojpuri dialect of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to be regarded as a national language.

His concern for polluted rivers and the spread of encephalitis continued in his debates but took up a considerably smaller share (5%).

Source: PRS Legislative Research, Lok Sabha archives
Source: PRS Legislative Research, Lok Sabha archives

“Rapid reduction in the number of Sikhs and Buddhists along with sanatan (classical) Hinduism and the rapid increase in the Muslim population attract attention to the dangerous situation of demographic imbalance, it is shocking… the need for an effective equal civil law and population control is being felt within the country,” Adityanath said in a 2016 debate on uniform civil code.

While the country’s overall population grew at 17% in the decade to 2011, Census data showed Muslim population growth hit a 20-year low of 24.6% in 2011, as IndiaSpend reported in August, 2015.

Naidu, in his Facebook post, quoting a Hindustan Times report, said Muslims in the state welcomed Adityanath’s appointment. “A large number of Muslims seem to be celebrating,” the post reads.

30% of Adityanath’s questions to four ministries

In both the 15th and 16th Lok Sabha, Adityanath raised more questions than the average MP, with 347 queries (against the average of 300) upto February 2014 and 284 upto March 2017 (against the average of 180).

In the 16th Lok Sabha, queries to four ministries – external affairs, health and family welfare, home affairs and human resource development – formed 30% of his questions to 43 ministries.

In the 15th Lok Sabha, he directed nearly 50% of his questions to six of 39 ministries which include the four we mentioned earlier, and the ministries of railways and road transport and highways.

The external affairs ministry received 51 questions from Adityanath since 2009. Two-thirds of these pertained to his suspicions of anti-Indian activities and sentiments across India’s border, particularly in Nepal. Others include questions about imposing a ban on Pakistani movies and artists coming to India, security of the Indo-Nepalese border, and the “misbehaviour” of a Nepalese airliner towards Hindu pilgrims.

Bills on cow slaughter ban, ‘Hindustan’

Since 2009, Adityanath has had five private member’s bills pending in the Lok Sabha, more than the average of one per MP. They are:

  1. The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Amendment of article 1, etc.): This proposes a change in the country’s name, from “India, that is Bharat,” to “Bharat, that is Hindustan,” according to this 2014 report on private members’ bills and resolutions.
  2. The Ban on Cow Slaughter Bill, 2014: This bill, reintroduced in the 16th Lok Sabha, is a replica of Adityanath’s 2009 bill for the 15th Lok Sabha. In both versions, the three-page bill, which says slaughter of cow, bullocks, bulls and oxen should be banned on scientific lines, offers no details justifying the need for such a restriction.
  3. The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Omission of article 44, etc.): This would turn the directive principle of creating a uniform civil code for India into a law. The implications of this bill would have far-reaching effects on the personal laws and practices of people of various religions in India.
  4. The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Insertion of new article 25A): This seeks to insert a new article in the Indian Constitution that will ban forcible religious conversions.
  5. The High Court at Allahabad (Establishment of a Permanent Bench at Gorakhpur) Bill, 2015: This seeks a permanent bench of the Allahabad High Court in his constituency.

None of these bills has been passed yet. Adityanath’s High Court bill and the ban on forced religious conversions are yet to be introduced in the House, as the Indian Express reported in March, 2017.

This article first appeared on FactChecker.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The pioneering technologies that will govern the future of television

Home entertainment systems are set to get even more immersive.

Immersive experience is the core idea that ties together the next generation of cinematic technologies. Cutting edge technologies are now getting integrated into today’s home entertainment systems and challenging the limits of cinematic immersion previously achievable in a home setting. Here’s what you should know about the next generation of TVs that will grace your home.

OLED Technology – the new visual innovation in TVs

From the humble, grainy pictures of cathode ray tube TVs to the relatively clarity of LED and LCD displays, TVs have come a long way in improving picture quality over the years. The logical next step in this evolution is OLED displays, a technology that some of the best smartphones have adopted. While LED and LCD TVs make use of a backlight to illuminate their pixels, in OLED displays the pixels themselves emit light. To showcase darkest shades in a scene, the relevant OLED pixels simply don’t light up, creating a shade darker than has ever been possible on backlighted display. This pixel-by-pixel control of brightness across the screen produces an incomparable contrast, making each colour and shade stand out clearly. OLED displays show a contrast ratio considerably higher than that of LED and LCD displays. An OLED display would realise its full potential when supplemented with HDR, which is crucial for highlighting rich gradient and more visual details. The OLED-HDR combo is particularly advantageous as video content is increasingly being produced in the HDR format.

Dolby Atmos – the sound system for an immersive experience

A home entertainment system equipped with a great acoustic system can really augment your viewing experience far beyond what you’re used to. An exciting new development in acoustics is the Dolby Atmos technology, which can direct sound in 3D space. With dialogue, music and background score moving all around and even above you, you’ll feel like you’re inside the action! The clarity and depth of Dolby Atmos lends a sense of richness to even the quieter scenes.

The complete package

OLED technology provides an additional aesthetic benefit. As the backlight is done away with completely, the TV gets even more sleek, so you can immerse yourself even more completely in an intense scene.

LG OLED TV 4K is the perfect example of how the marriage of these technologies can catapult your cinematic experience to another level. It brings the latest visual innovations together to the screen – OLED, 4K and Active HDR with Dolby Vision. Be assured of intense highlights, vivid colours and deeper blacks. It also comes with Dolby Atmos and object-based sound for a smoother 360° surround sound experience.

The LG OLED TV’s smart webOS lets you fully personalise your TV by letting you save your most watched channels and content apps. Missed a detail? Use the Magic Zoom feature to zoom in on the tiniest details of your favourite programs. You can now watch TV shows and movies shot in 4K resolution (Narcos, Mad Max: Fury Road, House of cards and more!) as they were meant to be watched, in all their detailed, heart-thumping glory. And as 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos increasingly become the preferred standard in filmmaking, TVs like LG OLED TV that support these technologies are becoming the future cinephiles can look forward to. Watch the video below for a glimpse of the grandeur of LG OLED TV.

Play

To know more about what makes LG OLED TV the “King Of TV”, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of LG and not by the Scroll editorial team.