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Tag Archives: Arun Shourie

Are authors any good in contemporary analysis?

Ravi Velloor is the author of ‘India Rising’ – a book on India from a Singapore perspective. It is a well researched book and showed the author’s efforts.

But the author is also an Associate Editor with The Straits Times.

It was Doklan crisis time. Ravi Velloor wrote an extremely below-standard article that said the following:

  1. China would attack India.
  2. Pakistan would join China in attacking India.
  3. Singapore Air Force, that has its training facilities in India’s Kalaigunda Air Base, should look at other options for its training. 

None of the above happened. The article was under-researched, alarmist and lacked details. 

How could the author, who writes a great book, write such an article that reeks of arm-chair analysis and advertises lack of clear thought processes?, I thought.

I got the answer. Arun Shourie, author of many exemplary books, and importantly of a book on China that brought out how and why Nehru prostrated to China and allowed the 1962 disgrace to happen, said during the same Doklam crisis, that India was preparing to get yet another slap on the face. And we know what happened in Doklam.

I got my lesson – Authors are good at hindsight, but, are not pragmatic and not worthy of contemporary analysis.

May be I am wrong. Point me to journalist-authors who are right in both roles at the same time.

Here is the article that I had referred to.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2018 in English Posts, Writers

 

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What to do with Arun Shourie

Arun Shourie came into my life on a Sunday in May, 1998.

He had written an article about the second Pokhran blast by A.B.Vajpayee. His premise was simple; he had collected what ten liberals had said about the second Pokhran blast and also what the same worthies had said in 1974 when Smt.Indira Gandhi had conducted the first nuclear test.The comparison was so timely and incisive, that I immediately fell in love with Arun and began to gobble-up what ever had to say on anything.

My love affair intensified when I began to read his books. His ‘Eminent Historians’ where he had called out the hypocrisy of the left intellectuals about the way they had gone ahead and changed our history, was a masterpiece. i was impressed with the volumes of evidence that he had given, citing very authentic sources.I was floored.

Then came ‘Falling over backwards’ – the treatise on the stupidity called reservations that was doing the country great harm in every sphere. His extensive research for the topic from court judgements to details from different books, details about how even Ambedkar was against reservation et al opened me to research methodologies that I was not used to.

There was no stopping from then on. i gobbled up his books one by one-‘Worshipping False Gods’,’The world of Fatwas or Shariah in action’, ‘Missionaries in India’, ‘The only fatherland’ and many other articles on different subjects kept me in awe and I began to emulate Shourie sub-consciously so much so that  my own research articles on different political happenings were modelled on Shourie’s approach.

Then came Shourie’s ‘Does He know a mother’s heart’ – a book on how different religions see pain and suffering. I must confess that he made me an atheist for a long time due to the sheer brilliance of the book. Then came the one on India’s China policy and the failures of Panditji in dealing with China.

Shourie’s books have no parallel. His research is thorough, his methods of exposition brilliant and his integrity beyond question. His handling of the disinvestment and telecom ministries during the Vajpayee regime had set standards on how a minister should leverage the bureaucracy and get things done rather than hide behind red-tapism and while away time at office.

Such a person should ideally have been part of the government under Modi. But I assume that stature issues could have hindered the smooth functioning of the government and hence he has not been part of the Modi government.

If I were Modi, I would tap into Shourie’s reservoir of wisdom to steer the country forward rather than make the intellectual come out in public and vent his disenchantments.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2015 in English Posts

 

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‘Self-deception – India’s China Policies’ – book review

When Arun Shourie writes a book, there are three kinds of reactions. The Congress doesn’t speak, the communists denigrate the book and the nationalist becomes sad on reading the book. All three reactions are wholly justified as they are true. The fact of the matter is that the book, true to Shourie’s style, contains detailed analysis, in-depth and incisive evidences to back the analysis and then in the end, the way forward from the current situation.

And, as usual, the way forward is coolly forgotten by the country that continues to live in utopian dreams.

The subject of this book is also on similar lines – Indian nationalism, India’s foreign policy, how the leaders let the country down and what needs to be done to take it forward from the then current abyss. In this book, the leader that has let the country down is, hold your breath, Pandit Nehru. Yes, of all people, how Panditji screwed India’s foreign policy and the aftereffects of that carefully cultivated folly called ‘NAM – Non Aligned Movement’ and the case of mis-placed self-promotion that cost the country dear.

No, this is not an anti-Congress book from a BJP writer. For practical purposes, after Vajpayee started to recede from politics due to health reasons, Shourie has never played any role in the BJP. However, his forthrightness and fortitude are all the same.

It begins with Panditji’s lofty ‘ideals’ at the time of independence in 1947, goes on to explain the lies that he imagined to be true and the imaginary position that he commanded in world affairs and therefore chose to ignore the obvious evil, China and its communist upsurge.

Panditji is warned, with great foresight, by Rajendra Prasad, the then President of the Nation, Sardar Patel, the then Home Minister on China’s evil designs. He is repeatedly sent long lists of evidences from different officers of the Indian Government from Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet, Beijing ( then Peking ). Panditji chooses to ignore each and every one of these evidences and letters. In fact, he admonishes the writers of these letters.

It becomes a habit for Panditji to putdown the very officers of the government who choose to do their duties. Officer after officer presents Panditji with the situation on the ground in Tibet, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin and Lhasa. And every time each of these officers are admonished by Panditji. He puts them down either for their usage of the term ‘communist’ or for the term ‘McMahon Line’. Or otherwise he chides them for some language usage. With these he wishes his hand away from the main problem of China.

The officers repeatedly talk about the issue of China issuing maps that show large parts of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet as their territory. First he rubbishes them that those were old maps. Later he says the Chinese government doesn’t have time to issue new maps and hence ignore that. And these are exactly the lines spoken by Chou-en-lai, the then Premier of China. And what ever Chou-en-lai says, Panditji repeats.

When opportunity presents itself for Panditji to discuss these issues with Cho-en-lai, he prevaricates. Instead he speaks about Cuba, Algeris, Korean war, the US-Britain imperialism etc.

These, Shourie presents from Panditji’s own letters o his Ambssadors to China, Letters to the Chief Ministers and hid various press conferences. And what we see is that first Pandithi refutes and puts down the questioner, then after some years seems to slightly agree but hide under the garb of ‘socialist thought’ and later only when China attacks in 1962, does he acknowledge the Chinese threat.

And the issue of the Chinese communist threat to India has been there from 1950 onwards.

We also get to know the great debates and questions that happen in Lok Sabha when Panditji is questioned by Prof.N.G.Ranga, Acharya Kripalani and Atal Bijari Vajpayee. Yes, Vajpayee is relentless in his questioning of Panditji on China.

Towards the later part of the book, we get a glimpse of China’s growing hegemony in the world – oil diplomacy, funding diplomacy and later military diplomacy, the way countries in Latin America that are not eligible for IMF loans are provided loans in return for oil favours, the way deep water ports are constructed in Gwadar Pakistan, Sri Lanka almost free of cost with the only condition that China would have first rights for oil transport through these ports, the way oil pipelines have been laid from Burma deep into China, the way Tibetan rivers are diverted to provide water to Central China – all these are explained in great detail with evidence.

And the Chinese way of usurping territory – ignore complaints, silently encroach and set up base and later claim that they had never had any contention in the area under question. The other tactic is ‘murder with borrowed knife’ – arm the enemy’s enemy. And China excels in that.

And what is also explained is the complete policy paralysis in India right from the days of Panditji to the current regime when inaction is eulogized as policy and strategy, ignorance is camouflaged as wisdom and policy paralysis has become the norm.

And towards the end of the book, we get the complete but abysmal picture of the current state of affairs especially with respect to foreign policy ( better that we don’t discuss about the other fronts like Finance, Education etc ).

The book leaves you with a deep sense of shattered national pride.

A must read for every Indian nationalist.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2014 in Writers

 

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'Self-deception – India's China Policies' – book review

When Arun Shourie writes a book, there are three kinds of reactions. The Congress doesn’t speak, the communists denigrate the book and the nationalist becomes sad on reading the book. All three reactions are wholly justified as they are true. The fact of the matter is that the book, true to Shourie’s style, contains detailed analysis, in-depth and incisive evidences to back the analysis and then in the end, the way forward from the current situation.

And, as usual, the way forward is coolly forgotten by the country that continues to live in utopian dreams.

The subject of this book is also on similar lines – Indian nationalism, India’s foreign policy, how the leaders let the country down and what needs to be done to take it forward from the then current abyss. In this book, the leader that has let the country down is, hold your breath, Pandit Nehru. Yes, of all people, how Panditji screwed India’s foreign policy and the aftereffects of that carefully cultivated folly called ‘NAM – Non Aligned Movement’ and the case of mis-placed self-promotion that cost the country dear.

515gbda7zml-_sx315_bo1204203200_No, this is not an anti-Congress book from a BJP writer. For practical purposes, after Vajpayee started to recede from politics due to health reasons, Shourie has never played any role in the BJP. However, his forthrightness and fortitude are all the same.

It begins with Panditji’s lofty ‘ideals’ at the time of independence in 1947, goes on to explain the lies that he imagined to be true and the imaginary position that he commanded in world affairs and therefore chose to ignore the obvious evil, China and its communist upsurge.

Panditji is warned, with great foresight, by Rajendra Prasad, the then President of the Nation, Sardar Patel, the then Home Minister on China’s evil designs. He is repeatedly sent long lists of evidences from different officers of the Indian Government from Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet, Beijing ( then Peking ). Panditji chooses to ignore each and every one of these evidences and letters. In fact, he admonishes the writers of these letters.

It becomes a habit for Panditji to putdown the very officers of the government who choose to do their duties. Officer after officer presents Panditji with the situation on the ground in Tibet, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin and Lhasa. And every time each of these officers are admonished by Panditji. He puts them down either for their usage of the term ‘communist’ or for the term ‘McMahon Line’. Or otherwise he chides them for some language usage. With these he wishes his hand away from the main problem of China.

The officers repeatedly talk about the issue of China issuing maps that show large parts of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet as their territory. First he rubbishes them that those were old maps. Later he says the Chinese government doesn’t have time to issue new maps and hence ignore that. And these are exactly the lines spoken by Chou-en-lai, the then Premier of China. And what ever Chou-en-lai says, Panditji repeats.

When opportunity presents itself for Panditji to discuss these issues with Cho-en-lai, he prevaricates. Instead he speaks about Cuba, Algeris, Korean war, the US-Britain imperialism etc.

These, Shourie presents from Panditji’s own letters o his Ambssadors to China, Letters to the Chief Ministers and hid various press conferences. And what we see is that first Pandithi refutes and puts down the questioner, then after some years seems to slightly agree but hide under the garb of ‘socialist thought’ and later only when China attacks in 1962, does he acknowledge the Chinese threat.

And the issue of the Chinese communist threat to India has been there from 1950 onwards.

We also get to know the great debates and questions that happen in Lok Sabha when Panditji is questioned by Prof.N.G.Ranga, Acharya Kripalani and Atal Bijari Vajpayee. Yes, Vajpayee is relentless in his questioning of Panditji on China.

Towards the later part of the book, we get a glimpse of China’s growing hegemony in the world – oil diplomacy, funding diplomacy and later military diplomacy, the way countries in Latin America that are not eligible for IMF loans are provided loans in return for oil favours, the way deep water ports are constructed in Gwadar Pakistan, Sri Lanka almost free of cost with the only condition that China would have first rights for oil transport through these ports, the way oil pipelines have been laid from Burma deep into China, the way Tibetan rivers are diverted to provide water to Central China – all these are explained in great detail with evidence.

And the Chinese way of usurping territory – ignore complaints, silently encroach and set up base and later claim that they had never had any contention in the area under question. The other tactic is ‘murder with borrowed knife’ – arm the enemy’s enemy. And China excels in that.

And what is also explained is the complete policy paralysis in India right from the days of Panditji to the current regime when inaction is eulogized as policy and strategy, ignorance is camouflaged as wisdom and policy paralysis has become the norm.

And towards the end of the book, we get the complete but abysmal picture of the current state of affairs especially with respect to foreign policy ( better that we don’t discuss about the other fronts like Finance, Education etc ).

The book leaves you with a deep sense of shattered national pride.

A must read for every Indian nationalist.

The book can be bought from here.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2014 in English Posts, Writers

 

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Namaskaaram , China

Image

Arun Shourie, who else, is at it again. You leave him alone and he comes out with a book that he would have written on some nationalistic topic.

Yes, ‘nationalism’ – the ugly word that regional chieftains and now-a-days the national dacoits err, the UPA are most averse to. That is what Arun Shourie writes on. It could be arguing against the folly called reservation or deciphering the missionary activity or arguing against the existence of God or calling the shots off the communists.

What is needed to read Arun Shourie is your capacity to remain seated while reading him as you are most likely to suffer from a heart attack looking at the volume of evidence that he would have presented in his book.

One thing is a given in his books : The material would be authentic, first hand and with lots of references quoted at length along with the sources.

In ‘Bending over backwards’ he argues against reservations. Yes, I know that I was excited by the topic. But what I was floored by was the logic and the voluminous court judgments that he had painstakingly collected and researched to establish his theory. People could oppose his views but not his logic.

In his other books “Eminent Historians”, “Courts and their Judgments”, “Harvesting our Souls” and “The world of Fatwas”, one encounters an extremely scholarly interpretation of the different judgments, embarrassing government orders and ordinances and the way in which some of the laws of the land have been violated with impunity.

One needs to read his “Missionaries in India” to re-visit the 1800s and 1900s when the British government overtly and covertly resorted to mass conversions and how the British Parliament willingly let itself to be hoodwinked by extremely overzealous successive Viceroys.

“Worshiping False Gods” is one of his better known and most riled masterpieces. Reading this book at length would help one to get to know about Ambedkar, the demi-god and what he actually was, in his own words.

“Does He know a Mother’s heart?” is bound to convert a hard headed believer into an agnostic. Such a brilliant exposition of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the different mystics like Ramana Maharishi has never been seen. And the way the topic of pain and its endurance and its handling by the different religions is written,  is sure to floor anybody with a deep sense of philosophy and rational thought.

True to what he is, a thorough intellectual, he has propounded his views on China and the falling-at-the-feet of China by India in this new book.

The current book should probably talk about the circumambulations, the beatings around the bush and the pusillanimity of the current UPA dispensation at the Center when ever it needed to answer anything pertaining to China.

Waiting to lay hands on this treatise as has often been the case with all his other books.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in English Posts, Writers

 

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