He has himself publicly stated that he had his disagreements with the Janata Dal (Secular) as a party and some of the decisions taken by H.D. Deve Gowda and H.D. Kumaraswamy. He stood as a candidate when JDS put up “outsider” Rajeev Chandrashekhar for a Rajya Sabha, prompting Kumaraswamy, as chief minister, to ask “Who is he?”. And he has had the mortification of having his contribution to the State and even Kannada questioned by HDK.
Yet, U.R. Anantha Murthy had no qualms in sitting to the left of HDK, and to the right of H.D. Deve Gowda, while releasing a booklet titled “Aftermath of Friendship with BJP—A retrospection” in Bangalore yesterday.
Should our “public intellectuals” be weather vanes like politicians, who have no firm stand, no firm beliefs, no firm principles, no firm loyalties or enmities? Or is U.R. Anantha Murthy a supersmart intellectual, who is not stuck in his position and ideology, swallows his pride, and moves with the flow, depending on the “secular” situation?
Does this kind of weather-vane intellectualism enhance the image of intellectuals among the aam janata? Or does it only expose our public intellectuals and contribute to the raging cynicism about their motives and motivations?
Photograph: courtesy The Hindu