Supporting Narendra Modi was a mistake, Arun Shourie hits out at PM in Kasauli
Former BJP cabinet minister Arun Shourie hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the second time in the week when he said supporting him was a mistake.
Delivering the inaugural address of the sixth edition of the Khushwant Singh literary festival at Kasauli on Friday morning, Shourie said, “I made too many mistakes — by supporting (former prime minister) VP Singh and then by supporting Modi.”
Shourie, the minister for communications and information technology from 2002-04, was speaking on ‘How to recognise rulers for what they are’.
“Don’t believe that leaders will suddenly change when they come to power. Judge character with the adherence to truth. Is he (the leader) a man of his words?” he said.
Shourie is the latest senior politician to speak out against the government over its economic policies, sliding growth rate and unemployment. Last week, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had criticised the government for making a “mess” of the economy, warning that its impact would be hard-hitting. Sinha was finance minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. The BJP responded by dismissing Sinha and Shourie as frustrated politicians avenging their sidelining by the party.
On leaders of today, Shourie said, “Just believe I’m talking about (US President) Donald Trump. Any resemblance closer home is your imagination.”
“The leaders of today are Machiavellian and narcissistic. They are also sociopathic with this underlying sense of victimhood. After demonetisation, leaders started victimising themselves, saying ‘Demonetisation ke baad mujhe kitne zulm sehne pade (Had to go through so much after demonetisation)’,” he said.
Shourie also expressed his disappointment about the current state of the media. “See what has happened to the media, nobody is telling them the truth. The media will have to devise other methods to realise the truth,” said the Jalandhar-born former editor. He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in journalism, literature and creative communication arts in 1982.
With a heady mix of film personalities, journalists, and writers, literature lovers are in for a treat as the annual three-day Kasauli lit fest, which pays homage to late author Khushwant Singh’s brand of humour, irreverence, passions and concerns, got off to a lively start. This year, the theme is simply ‘70’, which celebrates 70 years of Independence.
Authors Vikram Seth and Shobhaa De and actors Shatrughan Sinha and Divya Dutta were among the prominent at participants at the festival, which is on till October 8.