He might have got perilously close to facing disciplinary action in the BJP for siding with Jaswant Singh, but Arun Shourie does not share the expelled leader’s view on Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
“He unleashed the armed thugs shoring up the Muslim League in his Direct Action against the Hindus. He paralysed the interim government through Liyaqat Ali. From 1935 onwards, he worked stealthily and continuously with the British to thwart every scheme that might have preserved a united India,” Shourie says in his latest book.
In his 25th book titled “We Must Have No Price And Everyone Must Know That We Have No Price”, the former Editor of The Indian Express and The Times of India and ex-union minister “profoundly” disagrees with Jaswant Singh’s assessment of Jinnah.
“Ever since I read the multi-volume Jinnah Papers brought out by the National Archives of Pakistan - the two-volume Foundations of Pakistan and four-volume History of Partition of India, he (Jinnah) seemed to me to be a pinched, narrow-minded, diabolic schemer, one who used and was used by the British to divide India,” the BJP leader says.
Voicing his contempt for Jinnah, Shourie goes on to say, “His (Jinnah’s) contemptuous characterisations of India, of Hindus, of our national movement and its leaders make one’s blood boil to this day.”
The book released yesterday touches upon a variety of issues ranging from internal security, India’s Tibet policy, reforms in higher education and climate change.
Attempts to portray Jinnah as secular also fails to impress Shourie who says, “That he talked Islam and drank whiskey, ate ham, and the rest, that he hardly knew Quran to say nothing of living by it, do not prove his secularism to me; they make him out to be a hypocrite.”
“In a word, far from being attracted by Jinnah, as my senior, Jaswant Singh is, I am repelled by him,” he says.
Shourie also differed with those “who still dream of a grand confederation of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh” and who talk of “Akhand Bharat”.
“The best thing that has happened for us is the Partition. It has given us breathing time, a little time to resurrect and save our pluralist culture and religions. Had it not happened, we would have been bullied and thrashed and swamped by Islamic fundamentalists,” he says.