People of 2020: Yogi Adityanath 'The Hindutva Hero'

Kaveree Bamzai

Yogi Adityanath, 48 
Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh

From offering Bollywood nationalists a haven in Uttar Pradesh to his Cabinet clearing an ordinance on ‘love jihad’, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister carried on the cultural project of RSS, often dictating national political discourse

Shekhar Yadav

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s unapologetic hardline on matters ranging from law and order in the state to inter-faith marriages has made him a Hindutva hero. He has managed, with a mixture of discreet silence and timely bureaucratic changes, to overcome the deeply embarrassing rape and murder of a young woman in Hathras.

He has tried to change the narrative of Uttar Pradesh—from a backward state to one with industry-friendly labour laws, from a state which attracted film stars only when they were forced to perform at Saifai, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s birthplace, to one which has offered an alternative Film City in Noida, spread over 1,000 acres. By ensuring action against 800 corrupt government officers, Yogi Adityanath has kept his tough guy image intact. He has transformed his home constituency Gorakhpur from beyond badland to an investment destination. And through his law on ‘love jihad’, he has, quite consciously, set the political agenda for Assembly elections 2022.