The Gods we must worship


Koi din agar zindagani aur hai

Apane ji mein hamane thani aur hai

Atishe-Dikhaj mein itni garmi kahan

Soje-Gum-haie-nihani aur hai

                                                –Mirza Galib

 

Certain things have made me very upset. Whenever I get into discussions or rather debates with my cousins and friends there is only one thing they have to say. “Entire society is corrupt, honesty is no good” they further advice me not be so idealistic and be ‘practical’. According to them I am yet to grow. When I will face the realities of life they assert; I too will be speaking their language.

 

I wonder if they are really correct. Surrendering to any argument is not my habit. I remember people telling me similar things 5 years back that I will change after I join college. I dint change, then why will I change 5 years hence? That’s not the point. Should I change? That is the point. At this moment I think the answer is no.

 

If my answer is no then why every single person around me says ‘yes’? The principles my parents taught me and the values my teachers imbibed in me, were they all wrong? And yeah none of those neither my parents nor my teachers had any significant achievements to their credit. I also have full reasons to believe that it was because of their idealistic nature.

 

The Man

 

The commotion that these thoughts created in my mind disappeared after I read a short biography of Mr. Arun Shourie who is now my ideal.  I had heard of him long back for his book on ‘Worshipping False Gods’. I read his book for the first time in June 2006 and since then he is my favorite author. In modern times where values and principles remain as mere dictionary terms. Where we have to search for the people on whom we can model our self, Dr. Shourie is a lighthouse. He is source of inspiration for all the journalists, true politicians and economics. There is hardly any field of life where he has not contributed significantly. As a MP of RajyaSabha he donated his entire amount of discretionary spending to IIT Kanpur to set up a new Bio technology Lab.

 

This man was born in Jalandhar, Panjab. He was a son of eminent social servant H.D. Shourie. Nalini Singh is his siter. After studying in Delhi he went to U.S. where he burnt his midnight oil to get a P.hd. in Economics from University of Syracuse. He worked as an economist with World Bank, adviser to planning comission-India, Editor of Indian express and lots more.

 

The Journalist

 

He became a hero of journalism in India as he exposed one scandal after another at the highest levels of governance. That was a time when pointing to such levels was considered as a crime. With extensive research, objective statements of facts and comittment to truth he made his opponents speechless.

 

First time in the history he made a Chief Minister resign due to corruption charges. It was Abdul Rehman Antuley Cheief Minister of Maharashtra. He had allegdly extorted millions of dollars from business firms that were dependent on state resources and put them in a trust named after Indira Gandhi. This was great embarrasment for Mrs. Gandhi in 1981. The same A.R. Antuley is now a Minority Affairs Minister in UPA government.

 

All this was done without any political motives and support from opposition. The workers in Indian Express went on an unjustified strike on instigation of Antuley. Their demands were to raise their salry to double than what any newspaper in the country paid. Antuley used intimidation as argument and assault as proof but this man was not shaken at all.

 

But he became a God of journalism when he started his crusade against the Rajiv Gandhi government who tried to bring up a ‘(anti) defamation bill’ which was supposed to restrict media from writign against government policies. The bill was brought up with extraordinary hurry and was more intended to restrict shourie from his crusade against corruption in Rajiv lead government.

 

Central government charges Indian Express with more than 300 court cases, the comunication links, power supply, water supply to the Indian Express was broken. Police and Gundas treid to vandalise the office. Banks were forced to stop lending money. No lawyer was ready to fight cases for them. News papers like ‘Times of India’ tried everything to give a knockout punch to their rival in such difficult situation. The publishing stopped for 24 (figure might be wrong) days.  But Arun Shourie and Ramnath Goenka were as solid as rcok against every force that they thought was not good for nation. Then the entire media community joined hands with Arun Shourie and the government lost to them.

 

But this same hero of journalism became a put down man when he opposed ‘Mandal Commision’. He opposed the reservation policy suggested by this commisioin to the V.P. Singh governement. His views differed from what were the editorial policies of Indian Express and he left the newspape in 1990.

 

He believed in his principles and had nothing to with the popularism in journalism. He exposed the Bofors Scandal and the Rajiv Gandhi lost his nerves. He got defeated in the election due to Arun Shourie’s efforts to expose him before the public.

 

The Author

 

After 1990 he devoted himself to write books on different subjects mostly moving around politics, corruption and religion. His books are characterrised by extensive research which is hardly matched by any other author.  His conscientiously independent perspective, rigorous analysis and meticulus research makes the critics speechless which intern motivates them to go for personal attack which can be termed as rabid and petty.

 

Read what a Panikkar a communist Editor say about him

 

“In the public eye his hymen has not remained intact, not because where he writes or to whom he gives interviews and articles, only because what he writes. Needless to say that the RSS publications carry his interviews and articles only because they are rabidly communal. He can not hope remain virgin after sellign himself in felsh market.”

 

Any reader of Shourie will admit without arguments that his views is totally unbiased. His writing can never be classified as ‘Rabid’ or ‘communal’ what you can see in his books is plain ‘facts’.

He has almost 18 books to his credits to this date. Almost all books stirred debates among intellectuals. He developed a following among the intellectuals and young students of elite instituions like IITs and IIMs. His popularity was something that always hurt the secularist politicians but heir every attempt to defame failed miserably because of his untainted and crystal clear character.

 

The Politician

 

He is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party but this is his little known identity, Because of his character and intellect he got respect in NDA government like no other minister. Atal Bihari Vajpeyi appointed him as disinvestment minister despite of oppostion codemning even formation of such ministry.

 

While everyone wondered what such ministry will do and whether or not disinvestment is a good policy, he went ahead with disinvestment in Maruti, VSNL, Hindustan Zinc etc. Though there were apprhensions about this stretagy it is now proved that he was right in doing this. Maruti has regianed its market share, VSNL has provided much more efficient internet connectivity needed for BPO and software business. He penned down his experiences in his book ‘Gevernance’ and explained why disinvestment was necessary and why it was impossible to do. This book came after the newly formed congress government alleged that he disinvested in Centaur Hotel unneccesarily and with scope for doubts about his honesty in doing so. The book was a sevear blow to all these allegations and I don’t know how they dissapeared. He with proof proved that all these hotels were liabilities rather than an asset to the government besides they harmed the administrative efficiency of the government and for most of the hotels the ownership of the governement itself was questionable. In a poll of India’s top 100 CEOs in February 2004 he was ranked the most outstanding minister of Mr.Vajpayee’s government.

 

His achievements as IT & Communication minister are often undermined when we talk of IT and communication industry in india. He was among first few who identified the flaws and potential bottlnecks for implementing latest communication technologies in India. He strongly disapproved the licensing regime, something that no one from government will dare to do. Bill Gates was one of shouries admirers and Shouries vision helped to improve India’s image as a IT hub. He was not a kind of minister who would rely on advisers to make his decisions but he followed his own mind but never before he convinced himself after sufficient research.

 

Family

 

He has a wife Anita and Son Adit. Adit is child of lesser God. While Shourie had to travel to U.S. for his treatment the Congress and Communists alleged that he was a C.I.A. agent and that is why he was traveling to abroad so often. The kind of support he got from his loving wife only helped him to fight continuously and relentlessly against corruption and injustice.

 

His writings have gained him a considerable following around the country, as well as several national and international honours. Among these are the Padma Bhushan, the Magsaysay Award, the Dadabhai Naoroji Award, the Astor Award, the K.S. Hegde Award and the International Editor of the Year Award. The Federation of Indian Publishers recently conferred The Freedom to Publish Award on him.

 

In the year 2000, Shourie pledged the entire amount (Rs. 11.90 crore) of discretionary spending available to him under Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) to setting up of Bio-Sciences & Bio-engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. In 2005, he displayed his commitment to the cause by again pledging Rs. 11 crore for developing a separate and well-equipped building for Environmental Sciences and Environmental Engineering at the institute.

 

8 thoughts on “The Gods we must worship

  1. Arun Shourie is my idol.
    His untainted character and conviction to fight against the most unnoticed evils in the Indian society is unmatchable. He is an example for others to emulate.

  2. Arun Shourie is the most dangerous communal politician around.
    His conclusions come first and evidence is just fabricated to substantiate his assertions.

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  4. @ Siddharth
    First learn the spelling of Divide.

    Finding factors that can unite people can never lead to division. Accepting and proclaiming that India is not one nation but aggregation of several nations states will lead to a division. Aren’t we on verge another partition? isn’t it the result of Neharuvian policies which you must be thinking “are uniting” our nation ?

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