ARUN SHOURIE POLL: Oracle or opportunist?

In the cesspool that is Indian politics, Arun Shourie has lobbed a giant pebble in the stinking swamp that is the Bharatiya Janata Party. It could sink without a trace or it could throw muck all over his face.

The BJP’s resident intellectual for all matters requiring “an IQ of more than 60” has, with his trademark ability to mix metaphors, likened the party to a kite without a string, called its president Rajnath Singh “Alice in Blunderland” when not calling him Tarzan, and talks of Humpty-Dumpty.

Without mustering the courage to mention the name Lalchand Kishinchand Advani, Shourie says he sees no one in the party who have authority owing to involvement in cases like the cash-for-query scam.

# Shourie wants the RSS to “bombard the party headquarters” and replace the top BJP leadership with 10-15 nominees of its choice.

# Shourie wants radical transformation in the BJP: “My prescription is jhatka (one swift execution) not halal (slow execution). Saare, saare (lock, stock and barrel).”

# Shourie says the BJP is being treated as a private property, and any criticism of the party was completely walled out and not discussed.

And at the same time, Shourie’s gaze unwaveringly remains fixed on the “Gang of Six”—the half-a-dozen journalists who, he claims, had been planting stories against Advani, Singh and others.

The BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy has said Shourie was doing all this because his Rajya Sabha term is about to end and the BJP had nothing to offer as it was out of power:

“This is the problem with admitting people into the party who are apolitical. They want to have the cake when you are in power.”

Another spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad says this was wholly unexpected of Shourie who had been given two terms and even made a Union minister.

Questions: Is Shourie right about the BJP, or is the BJP right about Shourie? Is Shourie telling the truth or is he, like in his articles, being selective in his interpretation of facts? Is Shourie wise in advocating a political role for the RSS or is he being a bit of an opportunist by staying on the extreme right side of the fence?

Also read: Even a paper tiger roars when the ship starts leaking

Don’t laugh: Do journalists make good politicians?

The sad and pathetic decline of Arun Shourie

How Chandan Mitra has his halwa and hogs it too