Shourie appears totally ignorant of NDTV’s misdeeds
Please, Sree Iyer ji, please gift your book on NDTV Fraud to Arun Shourie, And do it now, just now.he former economist with the World Bank, once a consultant to the extinct Planning Commission of India, a former Union Minister in Vajpayee’s cabinet, a Padma Bhushan awardee, and a roaring nationalist journalist of yore, needs your book badly to service his muddled mind at age 75 and more.
Shourie appears totally ignorant of NDTV’s misdeeds and misdemeanours so painstakingly revealed in Iyer’s book
Judged by his very recent address to the media at a function of the Press Club of India in Delhi, the man appears to have fallen hook, line and sinker for NDTV founder Prannoy Roy’s public statement that the recent CBI raid on the houses of the hubby-wife founders amounted to “overt pressure” on the media. He opined that the government was intent on gradually extending its domination on all forums of public life.learly, Shourie is still soaked in the Emergency frame of mind, forgetting the guts and gusto with which Opposition leaders have been permitted to label our honourable Prime Minister as a feku (fraud), a psychopath, and much more; equally, Shourie appears totally ignorant of NDTV’s misdeeds and misdemeanors so painstakingly revealed in Iyer’s book. Once the champion scribe of anti-corruption and clean public life, Shourie has, alas, now looked the other way. And his “battle for media freedom” is absolutely out of tune with the times.
Truly has Shourie turned a villain to those like me who long held him in high regard for his erudition
There are more disturbing facts about the way Shourie’s muddled mind played out in that media event at Delhi on 9th June reported in Mumbai’s ‘Free Press Journal’
Shourie said there that non-cooperation and boycott of ministers were essential ways to fight for freedom of the press. If these words are spoken any time by any professional in any school of journalism, that faculty member would simply be heckled and laughed out because ministers in power are simply foddered or feather caps for journalists vying for controversies, TRPs and print circulation accelerators.e recalled that when the Rajiv Gandhi government brought the defamation bill, journalists decided to ask every minister at press conferences whether they supported the legislation. If the answer was ‘yes’ or supportive of the bill, he said, the reporters would walk out. Now that may have been true, Shourieji, but wasn’t the defamation law passed then and is still in place? Or have you forgotten the complaint which Arun Jaitley, our Finance Minister, has made out against that Aam Aadmi Party anarchist in a court of law? Do you not watch daily TV debates where, one night, a Congress leader dubbed our nation’s Army Chief as speaking the language of a sadak ka goonda (street goon)? Yes, yes, Shourieji, our media in Modi’s Raj has rarely been as free before as it is now.
Shourie’s advice to journalists not to invite ministers to their function is once again contrary to the self-interest of journalists themselves because, by and large, blacklisting ministers deprives the media of an extensive coverage of their event, besides helping them, or at least some of them, to build bridges with those in power for seeking favours of one kind or another, immediately or later.
Truly has Shourie turned a villain to those like me who long held him in high regard for his erudition, for a soft tongue of the cultured and for all his myriad achievements in the field of journalism, authorship of very meaningful books and as a proponent of disciplined nationalism of the RSS kind.still remember the polite response he gave me years ago in letter and humbly accepted the enumerated errors of the once-great newspaper he then edited. I still recall his soft interactions with other participants during lunch sessions of a Think Tank meet in Chennai where people like L.K.Advani were invited by a major right wing organization. And I recall how softly and logically he spoke from the dais of a public platform to uphold the cause of the BJP just prior to the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
It’s undeniable that Arun Shourie has long been a blessing to India. Now, alas, he is slowly turning out to be a curse instead. Whether the cause is the denial of a place in the Modi cabinet (despite two alleged face-to-face interactions with the PM) or for some unknown reason of age etc., Arun Shourie cannot be permitted to play the role of a typical villain as in a Bollywood film. His image must be restored to its pristine stature. He can be as caustic as he wants in his criticism of PM Modi. But let him do so with his grace and softness of yore — and with the facts of logic, political otherwise.
He can begin by writing an inimitable treatise on “Farm Loan Waivers” or a searching syndicated article on the wisdom of M.Swamnahan’s old recommendation of giving our farmers a minimum of 50 per cent profit over the weighted average cost of production as calculated by the government.
Perhaps Sree Iyer’s book is the magic potion he needs to be administered. Now, just now.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."
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