I watched on television many Congress leaders paying tributes to V.C. Shukla who died of injuries sustained in a Maoist attack two weeks ago. Only those who are aware of the horrible days of the Emergency know how he bulldozed everybody to air Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi’s ideas on AIR and Doordarshan. The way he got electricity suspended to newspaper offices in New Delhi is just one example. We saw defiant editors leaving blank spaces in their newspapers, not willing to submit to Shukla’s censorship, and ending up in prison. Yes, it is only fair to mourn the dead, but let not the Congress make him a martyr.
I read Shukla’s obituary “Ambitious to the end” (June 12) with great interest. It was under his term as Information & Broadcasting Minister that the AIR started broadcasting Sanskrit news bulletins, which continue till today. This perhaps compensates his action of gagging the press at that time.
“Avaricious to the end” would have perhaps been a more appropriate headline. The account leaves one amazed at the way the country and its people have been exploited and taken for a ride by some politicians — and the way they were tolerated and accommodated by many parties.
Jagan M. Seshadri,