Commenting on the seriousness of contemporary politics, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said humour and satire, which have a place in most democracies, are losing their space in the Indian political discourse.
“There was a lot of place for humour and satire in Indian politics, which slowly has come to an end…If it comes back, some will make the most of it,” he said at the release of a compendium of his writings ‘Andhere Se Ujale ki Aur’. The book is a Hindi translation of his previously published posts on his blog.
Describing it as a “phase of democracy”, Jaitley reflected on the use of humour and satire by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and parliamentarian Piloo Mody, and what was visible in the writings of former finance minister Madhu Dandavate.
Referring to his book, Jaitley said his writings touched on the issues related to everyday concerns of the masses and gave him an opportunity to put across his thoughts.
He remarked on the tendency of the mainstream media to set the agenda for the discourse that does not allow space to alternate viewpoints. “I found a way out…I would dictate a few paras and put it out on social media,” he said.
The finance minister, who is credited with shaping the BJP’s electoral strategy, was praised by BJP president Amit Shah for his role as a spokesperson and a key strategist of the party.
Shah, who released the book, said Jaitley has made significant contribution to the achievements made by the Narendra Modi-led government in the past two-and-a-half years of its tenure. He specifically mentioned the passing of the GST Bill and the black money declaration as successes that Jaitley could be credited for.