Soft-spoken but sharp-tongued, Arun Shourie has remained one of India's most controversial public figures for two-and-a-half decades.india Updated: Apr 03, 2004 14:09 IST
Soft-spoken but sharp-tongued, Arun Shourie has remained one of India's most controversial public figures for two-and-a-half decades. A minister in the Vajpayee cabinet for four years now, he earned his name as a wily journalist and a right-wing author before that.
Shourie's career started as an economist with the World Bank from 1967 to 1978. He also worked as a consultant to the Planning Commission between 1972 and 1974. It was during the 1975-77 Emergency that he started writing scathing articles defending press freedom.
Shourie became the editor of the Indian Express in 1979 and began an new era of aggressive, investigative journalism, exposing corruption in high places and taking the lid off several scams involving top politicians – including Bofors. Under pressure from the government, the Express management fired him in 1982. He freelanced for four years and edited The Times of India for a year before retuning to the Express in 1987.
But he resigned in 1990 to devote his time to writing books and columns, which appeared across the country in several languages. It was now that his image underwent a sea change: from a champion of people's power to a campaigner for right-wing causes. He joined Rajya Sabha as a BJP member in July 1998, became a Minister of State in November 1999 and a Cabinet minister in September 2001. He ranks among the top 10 ministers of the Vajpayee cabinet, according to an ORG-MARG survey.
Shourie was born in Jalandhar, Punjab in 1941. He has won the Padma Bhushan and the Magsaysay Award for his work.