Dear Yogi Adityanathji,
This letter should normally have been a private mail congratulating you on becoming the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. However, recent events necessitate introspection rather than any celebration and a need to initiate a vigorous public debate. Just less than a week into your office, the alarm with which one greeted your arrival is now being matched by growing cynicism.
Yes, I am talking about your ill-advised decision to ban pan Masala and Gutkha from government offices. This decision was doomed from the start, and will only alienate the growing urban middle class that values individual freedoms.
I know you are a proud Hindu. But the people of Uttar Pradesh did not vote for the imposition of your cultural agenda, including any forcible attempt to dictate what can and cannot be chewed and spit on the walls of the office in the name of Bharatiya sanskriti.
Why confuse good governance with food governance? I celebrate the rich diversity of my country through food. The right to food of my choice is a freedom which I cherish and am unwilling to cede.
The fact is that your government has imposed a ban in a unilateral manner with no attempt to engage with the stakeholders. The results are there for all to see. Thousands of dentists have overnight seen their earning potential take a hit because of this decision. They are all citizens of this state, many of whom voted for you. I haven’t heard a word of empathy for their plight.
These controversies have overshadowed what should really be the single-minded focus of your government at the moment, good governance. May I urge you to spend the next few days singularly focusing on good governance?