Shantanu Gupta comes from a middle class background, is highly educated, had a booming career, and everything else one can think of. In short, he is every Indian Right Winger’s dream, except he chose to sacrifice it all. He returned to India as a Public Policy Expert after completing his education in political science from University of Sussex. After his return he has authored books on Yogi Adityanath & BJP. He got into a freewheeling chat with Mandar Ghotkar from Indic Nagpur during his visit to the city.
We started with his journey from being a global citizen to returning to his roots. He was working in different countries, and leading a good corporate life. But an incident in Egypt, he narrates, provoked him to think harder about his identity as a Hindu. He decided to follow his heart after this. He quit his job in few years, did his masters from University of Sussex, and came back to India.
During this time he started reading about India’s culture & history. He was shocked by the disparity between the reference material produced by leftist historians, and that written by the right wingers. He has decided to challenge this left-lib dominance to control the narrative, by writing more and more.
“I have taken this oath, till the time I live, every 2-3 years I will produce a book which will tell the Indic side of my life. I will tell everyone who believes in the Indian-ness to contribute or support a person who is writing a book, because the other side is full of books.”
Upon his return, with his newfound identity as a Hindu, he was naturally gravitated towards BJP. He became a part of BJP Think Tank, and worked closely with many leaders. During this period he wrote a book in Hindi 'Uttarpradesh- Vikas Ki Pratiksha Mein'.
During UP assembly elections in 2017 and after he became CM, Shantanu got a chance to work closely with Yogi Adityanath. He was so impressed by Mahantji, that it inspired him to author his biography- 'The Monk Who Became Chief Minister'.
When asked about it, Shantanu talks about Yogiji’s political resume, style of working, his hold on administration, and his connect with the masses.
“The Math runs almost 45-50 institutions. He works like a CEO there. Writing cheques, hiring-firing people, having directors…”
As a political analyst, he is very optimistic about BJP’s chances during upcoming elections in the states of Delhi, West Bengal, & UP. He is confident that with minor tweaking of policies at the state level, the party can reach corridors of power in all states.
On succession politics in BJP, Shantanu lauds party’s internal democracy and availability of a large talent pool. He throws a few names in the ring, but is always ready for a surprise choice from the party.
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