There have been suggestions that those returning their Sahitya Akademi awards against the policies of the present Government are fellow travellers of the Leftists or those who were patronised by the Congress.That could be part true but mostly a sweeping statement by a regime that seems to be losing the battle for sanity to its own fringe elements and allies.But none of this sticks to the latest revolt in the saffron party against Modi in the form of Arun Shourie who has not only attacked the functioning of the PMO but, in probably the most vitriolic attack so far, added that people have now started remembering his predecessor Dr.Manmohan Singh.
Shourie, who has also been a minister in the NDA government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee, now joins the ranks of two other Ss, Subramaniam Swamy and Shatrughan Sinha and if we don’t count Shiv Sena, who have been highly critical of the policies of the Modi government. And of course, there is the permanent adversary Ram Jethmalani.
His public statement at a book launch programme where the former Prime Miinister Manmohan Singh was also present, is like returning the Sahitya Akademi award which unfortunately he cannot because he never got one.
There will be some in the inner circle of the present dispensation who will now start imputing motives to Shourie. He might even be attacked in the social media by the Modi Bhakts.But Arun Shourie is a doyen in journalism and the kind of stories that the Indian Express carried during his stewardship will be difficult to replicate.
Even though he remained a minister at the Centre, there has never been a corruption charge against him and people listen when he speaks out even though he is such a soft spoken person.
Swamy has his grievances against the economic policies being followed by Arun Jaitley but his motives remain suspect after he confessed in an interview that he was overlooked for the post of Finance Minister.
Shourie does not appear to have personal interests but his statement that managing economy does not mean ‘ managing headlines’ also seems like targeting Jaitley who is currently both the Finance and I and B minister.
Shourie has been a fighter against the excesses of the emergency during Indira Gandhi’s tenure and if he says industrialists are afraid of speaking out and headlines are being managed, it is time for everyone to sit up and take notice.
By Amitabh Srivastava
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