P-2: Is Arun Shourie Unfairly Targeting Modi?

Shourie’s assessment appears to lack balance and fairness

Shourie targets Modi
Shourie targets Modi

Part 1 of this post can be accessed here.

Why is Shourie targeting Modi

We’re highlighting the criticisms levelled by Arun Shourie in his interview to the Wire magazine and our response to these criticisms.

Criticism: “I remain the same person, but when I was supporting Modi they adored me but when I spoke of his actions and what they were creating, suddenly I became ‘frustrated’.”

Let’s flip this argument. When Arun Shourie was with Modi, till 2014, didn’t he adore him? Now that he’s not with Modi, why is he ultra-critical, even of pre-2014 events when he was with him? Though Shourie has said so much about Modi, Modi hasn’t uttered a word about Shourie. Modi has done nothing to suggest that he is vengeful against Shourie, just a conspiracy theory. Sure enough, Modi may not love him for being so caustic, but that’s only human.

Criticism: Many people in BJP indulge in speeches and actions that cause communal divide; e.g., that fellow, Mahesh Sharma, Minister for Culture. And Modi doesn’t address them immediately. He speaks about them when the need for it has subsided.

Fair criticism, even if a little uncouth. Though the number of such instances is small and media makes it appear that they happen across the country in large numbers every day, yet as PM he should speak about them as and when they happen and not allow them to happen, esp after media highlights them. It is true that the general belief is that Modi is unable to (or unwilling to) speak against his supporter base more frequently, and more forcefully. Modi needs to address this issue.

Criticism: Love jihad, beef killing, etc….in UP, Bihar, Kerala, etc: there’s a pattern. Once elections are over, they stop. It makes Kashmiris feel that “There is no place for us here”.

If BJP is benefitting from these, all that is required of opposition parties is not to let BJP milk them by not fanning these incidents to get bigger. It is competitive politics by all political parties, BJP inclusive. Not all incidents are concocted, though some are. Any party that acts responsibly will lose out politically, which no party is ready for. Why blame BJP alone for this? Why does Shourie not criticise other politicians and some media who are equally guilty? Other parties were gaining by their pseudo-secularism; now, BJP has defeated them at their own game in the last 3 years. I’m not defending BJP, just stating facts. I’m not happy about this either.

Criticism: “Mrs. Gandhi would talk of the foreign hand – this is not the foreign hand but I am the foreigner. I am not just the instrument of the foreigner; I am the one who should be out.”
We just had a former Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit calling Army chief ‘sadak ka goonda’. We’ve had the likes of Mani Shankar Iyer, Digvijay Singh, Partha Chatterjee, et al who have castigated the Government and the Army Chief. If these people have the right to call Modi and the Army Chief all kinds of names, what is wrong if these people are called anti-nationals, not by Modi but by others? Is name calling a one-way street? Again, I’m not defending name-calling; I’m just saying that if some people have this right, their opponents have the same right as well.

Criticism: Modi and Amit Shah create state leaders; then they are completely beholden to and completely available to the Centre.

If BJP decides to have an age limit for appointing Central Ministers and State CMs, how can you fault it? And if certain leaders are leaders of groups, BJP may want to have someone acceptable to all; what’s wrong? Within these constraints, BJP has leadership shortage. And so, new leaders have to be found, which is being done. Vasundhara Raje and Yogi Adityanath are leaders with their own base. In Bihar, Sushil Modi was promoted, but BJP lost.

Criticism: Have you or have you not made an ass of yourself over Pakistan? Have you or have you not made an ass of the country in regard to China, whether it’s on NSG or anything else?

Just by passing off an opinion as a fact, is Shourie trying to make this opinion stick? There are many (outside the liberal circles, of course) who believe India is managing Pakistan and China policies reasonably well, given they are both extremely unmanageable neighbours. What the previous PMs didn’t do in 70 years, can we expect Modi to do in 3 years, esp when these neighbours are getting worse? Have a heart!

Criticism: I personally feel, Raghuram Rajan was driven out because of corporate interests. Because of discipline that Rajan was imposing upon the banks. Rajan was forcing them one way or the other – that these fellows need to pay, their names were coming out in public.

Was Raghuram Rajan not part of the problem of NPAs during UPA? Is Shourie saying that the Government should not choose its own team, esp after giving Rajan time to complete his tenure?

Criticism: The so-called Gujarat model is exactly this. One man, nobody else. One man going to any extreme. The man not even realising that drama is not achievement.

Did Arun Shourie realise this only after Modi became the PM, not when he claims he was assisting him in the 2014 elections? If he did, why was he assisting such a person to become PM?

Criticism: As Advaniji said at that time, Modi is a good events manager.

Advani was given 2 chances to become the PM by the party, in 2004 and 2009, and he failed. Modi caught the imagination of the people even before the 2014 elections. If Advani was the PM candidate in 2014, it’s doubtful if NDA would have won even a simple majority, and the party would have grown as well as it has done. Advani played an important role in growing the party, alright, but he and his fans circles should have graciously accepted Modi in 2014, which they finally did only reluctantly. Advani didn’t own the party.

Criticism: Modi and Shah are every day espousing RSS values, these are their values. This is the RSS in power. These people were out of the institutions, prevented from coming in by, lets say, the Marxists, so their ambition is to be like the Marxists.

BJP wouldn’t have come to power without RSS support, not only in 2014 but even in 1999. Frankly, I think not allowing Marxists to dominate institutions should be part of nation building strategy. I see it as essential. Was Shourie hoping that RSS would win Modi the elections, and Shourie would backseat drive the Government? This is an idea of democracy?

Criticism: The important thing is not that Kejriwal has been led to conclude that Modi was out to kill him; it is that people are asking for his murder. And these persons are being encouraged by Modi, by telling them, ah, I am following you, very good, very good.

Modi will be foolish to let Arvind Kejriwal be killed, or even beaten. In fact, Modi’s political success will be better with the antics of Rahul and AK. AK can make such hilarious allegations, but how can Shourie respect it with an answer like this?

Criticism: These are now (social media) armies and that shows the debasement of discourse in India. It’s part of a well thought out strategy. I remember a comment on Mussolini’s black shirts – they were nothing without the state but with the state they were everything.

This is nothing but a conspiracy theory, like the many conspiracy theories of Shourie’s; most of his misperceptions are due to these. (I’m now going into each of these in detail, as the article is already getting very long.) And only people who know social media know how it works; Shourie admits he doesn’t know it.

There are all kinds of people who say all kinds of things on social media; you cannot believe they are all orchestrated. For example, I write articles in PGurus about Modi, but Modi doesn’t know I exist. Even if his team were to bring my articles to his notice, it will be just the essence of what I say. Social media is 1000 times more amorphous. True, political parties also manipulate social media, but private participants manipulate it 1000 times more.

Criticism: After Gujarat riots, Atalji wanted Advaniji to ask Modi to resign. But on his own, Modi pre-empted and resigned. After a silence of two three seconds, 10-15 people started shouting, “No”. Atalji was completely astonished. It was obviously a coup that had been staged against him.

A clear conspiracy theory again, like the many of Shourie’s. How is he sure that Modi’s offer was not genuine? And if Atalji had accepted, Modi would have been gone. And in any case, why did Shourie support Modi in 2014, if he thought so poorly of him?

From all the foregoing, though Modi has had his share of mistakes and failures (who is infallible?), there is no coherent articulation of what’s wrong with Modi. In fact, if anything, this only strengthens my belief that, if the worst critic of Modi has not much substance in his criticisms, perhaps Modi is even better than I had imagined!

An Engineer-entrepreneur and Africa Business Consultant, Ganesan has many suggestions for the Government and sees the need for the Govt to tap the ideas of its people to perform to its potential.


  1. After everyone has said what one wants to on any subject, in the interest of closing discussions on the topic, there comes a time when it’s best to agree to disagree.

  2. Arun Shourie expected a cabinet minister post from Modi. Since he did not get it, he is frustrated and is talking rubbish against Modi. Of course now he is spent force, his opinion does not matter much.

  3. Can u deny the following charges against Modi? Mr. Ganesan Subramanian
    Forget Arun Shourie. He may be blabbering out of frustration for being sidelined.
    But I have strong suspicion that Modi is in the pay roll of the GM Mafia.
    Though the perils of GMOs are known world wide, Modi gave approval for FIELD TESTS of the harmful GM Mustard – obviously as in initial step for final approval of the same
    Ministers in his cabinet were openly praising the virtues of GMOs even as FIELD TRIALS were yet to start – a clear indication of imminent approval of GMOs
    Why Modi is protecting the other 2 NETAS – Sharad Pawar & Manmohan – who are agents of MONSANTO (helping the company to introduce Bt Cotton & looting our farmers in billions in the name of royalty.)?
    Why is Modi not encouraging CHEMICAL FREE ORGANIC FARMING throughout India, even while praising the Sikkim CM for making the Statem 100% Organic.
    While praising the Sikkim CM for his organic efforts, Modi is simultaneously hobnobbing with ‘criminal traitors like M.S. Swaminathan’ who destroyed Indian farming & farmers by allowing the West dump WAR CHEMICALS in India branding them as FERTILIZERS & PESTICIDES
    The ongoing attempts by Shiv Sena (several of whose members are in the pay roll of Monsanto) to project this criminal M.S. Swaminathan as a Presidential candidate is actually BJP-SS sponsored attempt.
    I agree with all what you said about Arun Shourie. But can you deny my above charges?

    • Dear Mr. Nagar Iyer,

      Whether it’s GM or any other topic, there are bound to be at least 2 points of view. Just because people oppose one’s own point of view, it’s most unfair to come to the conclusion that the others are on the payrolls of tycoons on other side. Modi doesn’t have to be on anybody’s payrolls to earn for his kith and kin.

      Frankly, I’m unable to take a position on either side on this subject. I see merits and demerits on both sides.

      Maybe you don’t know or you don’t remember: productivity did increase when we moved away from our traditional farming methods. If we hadn’t gone for chemicals-based farming then, we may not have been able to feed our crores of people all these years. But I also see the need for preserving our organic methods, and increase our farms under organic methods.

      Very often, things are neither white nor black, or at least we can’t take a side easily.

      While appreciating Sikkim for its organic efforts, Modi may also see the need for cautiously trying out GM, step by step. Please leave some space for honest difference of opinion.

      • Mr. Balasubramanian,
        I thank you for the courtesy to respond my comment.
        Though the topic was about Arun Shourie, FOOD being vital for our subsistence & the personalities in my SUSPICION LIST are the ones whom I used to adore a few years back, it is imperative we discuss this subject threadbare to reach the bottom of the truth.
        I will be responding to your comments in 4 parts.
        This part-I is in response to ‘your comments’ vide ‘para 1’ & ‘para 5’ wherein you have justified Modi’s actions & claimed each topic/issue is bound to have more ‘points of view’. Agreed
         GMOs have been banned throughout the world except the U.S. & a few countries like India where corrupt politicians like Manmohan & the Congress dynasty willing to sell the national interests. THIS VERY FACT SHOULD ALERT US & APPROACH THE GMO ISSUE WITH UTTER CAUTION
         Modi has never had the courage to make a public statement on the GMOs & the clandestine field trials were given in the utmost secretive manner.
         Immediately after FIELDTRIALS for GM Mustard were given the permission to go ahead, Prakash Javadekar & Radhe Mohan Singh declared that GMOs are harmless. This clearly indicates decision to allow commercial GM Mustard had already been taken & the FIELD TRIALS were just for the ‘public consumption’
         Manmohan & Sharad Pawar are confirmed agents of Monsanto who abetted that vicious company spread the Bt Cotton poison spread throughout India. Modi is very soft towards these two & have even blessed Pawar with
         FARMERS’ SUICIDES started in India after the FRAUDULENT GREEN REVOLUTION.
         FARMERS’S SUICIDES multiplied exponentially after the introduction of Bt Cotton in early 2000
         If GREEN REVOLUTION & GMOs genuinely multiply agricultural productivity & enrich farmers:
        o How do you explain the migration of more than 50% of the farmers to URBAN CESSPOOL in the last 50 years.
        o How do you account for almost half a million suicides
         But the truth is our vedic COW BASED ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING can grow as much food as CHEMICAL FARMING or GMO CROPS with absolute ZERO COST
         At the end of my career now as an Engineer, I am now going to engage in COW BASED FARMING to prove the above statement.

        To criticize Modi is not my intention & in fact I was Modi Bhakt who like several million Bhakts fasted for 2 days for his victory in 2014
        I wish some saner elements in the RSS will prevail & prevent this Modi’s GMO SUNAMI from destroying Indian

        • Dear Mr Nagar Iyer,

          Thanks for your detailed reply. I was myself badly impacted by famine in my school days when our population was not even 40% of the current population, when rains were aplenty and rivers were still flowing, and we were mostly following organic farming methods.

          Only after Green Revolution did our agricultural productivity go up substantially. Despite 150% growth in population, adverse water availability, etc, we have not faced famine since my school days. Please look up Government statistics and you’ll know.

          But I’m open to the possibility that it may be bad in the long run, but perhaps we had no choice then.

          We should not judge decision makers, call them names and impute motives to ‘honest errors of judgment’ assuming their judgment was wrong (a ‘big’ assumption), unless we have evidence to prove that they did it with ulterior intentions, esp people like Dr MSS and CS.

          I’m neutral on GM crops, and IMHO, the Government is keeping an open mind on GM crops, any expressed views of Ministers notwithstanding. They may be forced to say things to justify even half-hearted experiments the Government may be doing today with GM crops.

          When 2 honestly differing points of views are possible, we should accept any decision that is taken and move along. We may reflect later, on hindsight, without being judgmental.

    • Just google GMO foods and America. Americans have been using GMO foods for more than 25 years directly and indirectly (via animal feeds). During these years, the life expectancy there has gone up not down. There are some 38 countries which has banned growing GMO foods but almost all are allowing GMO foods to be imported as animal feed and they eat those animals. India is fourth largest GMO cultivating countries behind America, Brazil and Argentina cultivating GMO crop in 29 million acres and this number was before GMO mustard issue. All in all, some eighty percent of the world population is consuming GMO food directly or indirectly.

    • You are pointing fingers on Swaninathan too. Being a fan of organic farming is one thing but meeting the food requirements is another. Over time and affordability, these issues will settle down. Calling anyone corrupt for not doing what you think isn’t fair.

    • Arun Shourie was a very logical person, once upon a time. He used to give good, irrefutable evidence on facts or present great analysis from history to give his view points. All that has gone now and media seeks him out only for bytes which he readily gives these days.

  4. 1.I find it very strange that there are lot of ruling party supporters,sympathizers,mavericks,various other varieties of media these days that are masqueradin as “voice of people” or even trapping public/gullible public asif they are their voice by first initially criticizing present Govt policies/drawbacks but eventually toe the line of ruling party to extent of simply complaining/accusing anyone even within ruling party but only to protect/save present BJP Govt PM. They may even coin strange fictional theories to deflect onto Govt officials,media in general or even PM’s own cabinet ministers asif they are their punchbag. I think this is just dangerous and i believe started by none other than Swamy & his men in ruling party. Ofcourse Swamy’s own stance on various policies tilldate are dubious right from “Aadhaar” he opposed,coined MNC conspiracy theories purely becos it was from Nandan of Infosys who was on INC/Cong ticket at that time. Now Swamy acts as if he has been either disciplined in party or as usual retorts to conspiracy/mahabharatha stories. God Save.
    2.I am amazed that for these above varities/ones “PM” stands for “Protect Modi” and not Pradhan Mantri/Prime Minister who is the highest powerful position empowered to achieve things promised in runup to 2014 elections.
    I dont have any personal grudge againt ruling party or PM Modi whom i admire but above attempts to deflect/protect i dont like.
    my 2cents

    • You’ve effectively proved Arun Shourie’s arguments are ill-founded. Just as you’re NOT part of a ‘well thought out’ strategy of the other side, Shourie should realise that those who speak for Modi (at least one some issues) are NOT part of a ‘well thought out’ strategy of Modi or Amit Shah.

      • Lol. what&how did you conclude out of my above comment? pls enlighten. Though space is limited to xchange here i would atleast read your comment though i cannot refute back in detail. i am a good listener though.
        I clearly say that today there are many forces/categories of people i mentioned above are out there whose only aim is to protect Modi come what may from all ineffectivess,failures in promises tilldate,drawbacks of Modi Govt esp in what was promised in 2014 runup+Governance issues (Min.Govt,Max Governance etc).
        It will certainly appear so for you esp when i point out opportunism,escapism on part of those who do so as above.

  5. I think in politics, this zig zag and tumbling approach is quite ordinary.Just read the articles of DrSwamy in 2000/2002 in The Hindu.This is a peculiar Indian /Hindu mindset approach where what we say one day, we easily say opposite with very next day.Arun Shourie’s present tantrums are nothing compared to how DrSwamy had changed his views which are more in the category of somersaults than change of directions.But then, I do have lots of respects for what DrSwamy has done and is doing .In the same way, my respect for Arun Shourie too will continue.we need more of these kind and possibly like Morarji Bhai,Narasimha Rao,JP,CharanSingh,Senior patnaik,Sardar patel..list goes on..

  6. I salute your well- analysed response without disrespecting Mr Shourie. The top leadership of the BJP also have not made any personal attack on Mr Shourie. Lining with people associated with NDTV and the like by Mr Shourie is disgusting. He failed to mention any point of appreciation in Mr Modi. That is our tragedy

  7. Good that pgurus is rebutting this mental case arun shourie. because media (i mean thugs with media logo) will never analyze or ask such questions.
    But I personally feel, this guy is gone crazy.


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