Since Rahul Gandhi has become president of the Congress party, after his mother Sonia’s 19 years old term ended, there has been a raging debate on dynastic hegemony and nepotism in Indian politics. In fact, various leaders of ruling party BJP, and PM Modi have made this an issue, in the recently held elections in Gujarat. Keeping ideological affiliations aside, prima-facie it’s evident, that there’s substance in BJPs accusations in this regard.
Also, BJPs top leadership can claim a moral high ground, as no relative of any top leader, is occupying a top post in the party, or any BJP government (central or state). Yogi Adityanath, who is ‘Mahant’ (Chief Monk) of ‘Gorakshpeeth’ – a holy seat of the ‘Nath’ sect of Hindu saints in Gorakhpur, has been elected 5 times as Lok Sabha MP since 1998, and became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in February this year, also has a similar story.
Yogi’s sister Shashi Payaal, who lives in Kuthar village of Uttarakhand’s Paurhi Garhwal, sells flowers and some food to make a living. The place is 30 Kms from Panchur village, where Yogi was born and brought up. Mother of a son and 2 daughters, Shashi is 6 years elder to Yogi, and eldest among all her siblings. Yogi also has 3 brothers – 1 is in the army, 1 is a journalist, and 1 is a transporter. Once known as Ajay Bisht, Yogi is the 2nd eldest of them all.
A B. Sc. in Mathematics, Ajay became Yogi in 1994, at the age of 22. His father Anand Bisht – a retired forest ranger, still lives in Paurhi Garhwal. In 1991, Yogi joined ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ movement as student leader of RSS affiliate student organization ABVP, while Shashi got married. When she heard about her brother becoming ‘sanyasi’, for some time she used to look for her brother, in every saint, who came to the village.
Though she doesn’t gets to talk or meet her brother very often, Shashi keeps track of his work as CM, and keeps asking people coming from UP, about the same. She doesn’t expects any special favors from her brother, and only wishes him success in serving the people of UP. Her husband and Yogi’s brother-in-law, also holds the same views. Proud of her brother’s achievements, Shashi wishes to see Yogi, becoming a Prime Minister some day