Shourie reopens old wounds on Kandahar hijack episode

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.

Updated: Jan 09, 2010, 22:41 PM IST

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

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

"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..."