Shourie reopens old wounds on Kandahar hijack episode
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Last Updated: Saturday, January 09, 2010, 22:41
Mumabi: Brushing aside BJP's dictat to its leaders not to go public on goings-on in the party, its senior leader Arun Shourie has sought to reopen the old wounds about the Kandahar hijack episode involving L K Advani.

Referring to Advani maintaining that he did not know about various aspects of release of terrorists in return for safety of passenges in the plane, Shourie says in his latest book that "Jaswant Singh disclosed facts that put Mr Advani's account in question.

"Brajesh Mishra set out further facts that nailed Mr Advani's version even deeper," he says in the book.

Mishra, Shourie argues, had brought about the central question: "how is it that the plane was not disabled as it stood on the tarmac for 45 minutes in Amritsar?"

"Yashwant Sinha endorsed what Mishra stated. With these statements, four members of the Cabinet Committee on Security, excluding Vajpayee, all four other than Advaniji had called Mr Advani's version in question, for George Fernandes had already said that Mr Advani had perhaps forgotten that he had participated in the meetings at which each of these decision had been taken", Shourie says in the book.

Shourie slammed party spokesmen for calling Mishra's statement as "unfounded, unfortunate and politically motivated" and that "he is not a member of the BJP".

"What had the veracity or otherwise of Mishra's statement to do with his being or not being a member of the BJP? He was the National Security Adviser at the time as well as the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. He had participated in every single meeting and decision relating to Kandahar," said Shourie.

Without naming BJP, Shourie, in the book "We Must Have No Price-And Everyone Must Know That We Have No Price", talks about how the controllers of an organisation see questions asked about their functioning as "a challenge, as a clever ploy to bring in question the way the organisation has been managed by them. It looms as an affront."

"When they are able to get the media to start referring to him as 'the beleagured expelled leader' they prove that what they want is not discipline but servility.

When they succeed in squashing the ones who were asking for something just, the controllers and rulers come to believe that their modus operandi has been clever, even brilliant," he says and adds "the ailment therefore, remains uncorrected, it swells", he says.

Keeping a low profile after his "Humpty Dumpty" and "Alice in Blunderland" remarks against the then BJP President Rajnath Singh saw him coming perilously close to being sacked, Shourie has called party spokesmen "loudspeakers" and said in his latest book how party leadership's resolve to oust him floundered after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's comments on him.

Apparently referring to BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudi's statement immediately after his "Humpty Dumpty" utterances, Shourie says in the book "....he is doing this only for publicity. He wants to be a political martyr. We will give him the opportunity.... He is saying all this because he got to know that he will not be given a third term in the Rajya Sabha".

Shourie reminisces how after his interview with Indian Express Editor Shekhar Gupta, when BJP was reeling from the aftermath of Jaswant Singh's expulsion, the newspapers had predicted "strong action" against him, with some even forecasting his expulsion.

He refers to a press conference by Bhagwat where a journalist had asked if it was appropriate for a senior leader of the party to speak in the language he had used against his colleagues.

"The expectation--in several quarters I know! was that he would express strong disapproval that would give grounds for the leadership to act. To their great confusion, the head of RSS pronounced 'You see, Arun Shourie is a very respected, senior intellectual. So, I don't want to comment on what he has said about others, he should think about that'."

"It was as if lightning had struck the spokesmen. Their resolve to give me the opportunity for martyrdom was suddenly deferred!" Shourie says sarcastically.

Though Shourie has written very briefly about BJP in the 339-page book, published by Rupa and The Express Group, that was released today, he has devoted most paras dealing with the party to target spokesmen of political parties.

"So many of them are lawyers--who will argue either side of the case, if the reward is right! Most of them are official spokesmen for political parties--they take it to be their duty, ex officio, to twist facts and turn out opinions that the party's convenience requires," he says.

Referring to the "calumny" he faced in his life, including about his alleged connections with the "American CIA", Shourie quoted Mahatma Gandhi to say "public men who wish to work honestly can only rely upon the approbation of their own conscience. No other certificate is worth anything for them..."


First Published: Saturday, January 09, 2010, 22:41

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