Monday, January 16, 2017

Arun Shourie on Narendra Modi


People of my generation are very familiar with the name Arun Shourie.  As editor of the Indian Express, he did a tremendously bold job of questioning Indira Gandhi in the days of the dreaded Emergency.  Later he joined the BJP and became an MP in the Rajya Sabha.  He has written a number of books which are thought-provoking.  The 75 year-old intellectual spoke to Swati Chaturvedi, author of I am a Troll, a book which exposed the BJP’s digital army which abuses and harasses people online for questioning Narendra Modi and the party.  Let me highlight some interesting points from the interview.
 
In happier times

Emergency-like situation in India

Mr Shourie thinks that the Prime Minister has created a “decentralised emergency”.  The country is run by mafia groups who terrorise those who criticise Modi or his policies.  Gau rakshaks, for example, are not motivated by “love for the cow” but the need to dominate other people.  Mr Modi’s emergency is worse than Indira Gandhi’s because the latter relied on the law machinery for imposing her will on the people while Mr Modi supports people who “act outside the law”.  People’s rights are being choked to death.  “... the Right to Information (RTI) is being choked, the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is being denigrated unless it’s in your favour. The judiciary is being denigrated...”

Mr Modi is a bully

Mr Shourie says that like all bullies Mr Modi gets easily frightened.  When something wrong, he immediately panics and announces some populist schemes.  Like bullies, he resorts to intimidation and abuse when that suits him.  “Anybody who opposes Modi is immediately embroiled in cases – like Pradeep Sharma, the [IAS] official in Gujarat, and Teesta Setalvad. A third instrument towards the same end is all Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to be put in the dock and then to be intimidated and troubled.”

Mr Modi and antinationals

India has been divided into them versus us by Modi and Amit Shah.  “... if you look at Modi versus the cabinet, there is nobody, Modi and the party, there is no party – only Modi and Shah. Look at the choice of chief ministers – [Vijay] Rupani [of Gujarat], [Devendra] Fadnavis [of Maharashtra], [Manohar Lal] Khattar [in Haryana] – persons who do not have any base at all.”  Anyone who questions them is antinational and may be asked to go to Pakistan.   They might even face death threats.  Arvind Kejriwal’s allegation that Mr Modi wants to kill him is not false because Mr Modi supports those who act as his hounds and will do the hunting for him. 

You can read the whole interview HERE.



11 comments:

  1. nice one sir,
    i had read Arun shourie sir's THE ONLY FATHERLAND ...which is really a nice book .. and as far as mr.narendra modi's administration is concerned i remember the theory BANALITY OF EVIL as said by Hennah Brendt .. where people are blinded by ignorance and lost their ability to reason..this is what happening in india right now sir, people are blinded in the name of religion ... and those who are questioning it are branded anti national, i wish these people had read history, then they will come to know that our national movement is first fought for freedom of expression and freedom of press by the great Raja rammohan roy...

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    1. Banality of evil is a relevant concept here because we may soon arrive at a situation in which terrible crimes will be committed against particular sections of people reminding us of the pogrom which created that concept. Nationalism is the mask used here for hatred of people.

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    2. yes sir, and the world is heading to situation where every community will try to justify its crimes in the name of religion and nationalism.. Hindutva aganda which is being pushed by the present regime scares me alot sir. as a person belonging to minority community, the world scares me alot.. because the HINDUTVA which we are seeing now got nothing to do with hindus at all,what all they doing is arousing the feelings of our HINDU brothers and conquering their minds only to remain in power.. this can be understood clearly regarding beef ban .. hope some day our Hindu brothers will understand this and raise against this type of aganda which is actually degrading Hinduism..sanathana dharam as i know , is always about peace and happiness not crime and violence in the name of cow and bharat maata

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    3. The leader makes the difference. There are thousands of antisocial elements just waiting for opportunities to flaunt their skills. Now they have the right system. All they need to do is to pretend to be bhakts!

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  3. Brilliant post, and Arun Shourie has rightly put forward reasoning into our country's current state. If only people could Un-elect Modi.

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    1. Unfortunately there's no un-electing! Let's hope certain lessons will be taught in the coming state elections.

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  4. Listening to the opinions of Arun Shourie about Narendra Modi is about Asking an imp who has been fired by the Satan as his deputy without serving an explanation. Arun Shourie today is one heck of a grumpy old man because he did not get the much expected cabinet post of Finance minister...
    So he and the old brigade will pour scathing criticism on NaMo. The only difference between them and Namo and them is this...During their heydays they practised a less virulent form of hindutva due to minority govt but today it is in full flow under modi and unfortunately they are sitting in the galleries watching it than leading from the front....

    I have read his waste of a book WORSHIPPING FALSE GODS on B.R.AMBEDKAR...where he reveals his fangs hidden by his benign smile...The book and his views on BHIM reveals his casteist, patriarchal and parochial mindset...No wonder why he did not respond to the open challenge of RAMACHANDRA GUHA for an open debate on the subject....He was nowhere to be seen. He sacrificed his journalistic ethics and professionalism in the corridors of power and became a stooge of BJP later in his career. Whatever he has said in his interview here has happened during his tenure in Vajpayee rule too....You need to read between the line....He is one unhappy OLD MAN who hates Modi SINCE he didnt get a cabinet post..
    He would have had a different view had he been the finance minister of the country....he is in the team of the murali manohar joshis and the advanis...the old brigade........

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    1. I agree that some views of Shourie were parochial and obscurantist. However, for a fair share of his life he was more sensible than most right wingers.

      His present criticism of Modi is valid and to the point whatever the motives. After all, can we ever find any person who is purely objective?

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  5. "After all, can we ever find any person who is purely objective?"- The stage we have come to!

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