Arun Shourie’s pessimism .. Such a waste
A recurring theme with him is the decline in standards. One of his early books was called Symptoms of Fascism and I ask him if he sees the spread of fascist tendencies. The danger, he says, is not fascism but disarray, even disintegration. I ask about that last word. “If you were in the Soviet Union in 1985, would you have said that the whole place would implode in five years,” he asks as a counter. It is a bleak view as he recounts stories of corruption in state governments, and says, “Things are much worse than even 10 years ago. It is not corruption but cancer, and it is spreading.” He says the point about Gandhi’s and Nehru’s generation, and he mentions BK Nehru, is that “they were people without a price”. (via LUNCH WITH BS: Arun Shourie)
A few decades ago …
Arun Shourie a younger man was a firebrand journalist, who could ruin political careers. Antulay could tell you more about this. He used his power with care – and integrity. Shourie heralded the much more accountable system that India has today.
While the Western ‘soft power’ may project itself differently, the rise of accountability in India is unprecedented in the modern world. Kennedy’s mafia connection’s were overlooked as was Nixon’s Watergate. Clinton’s White House saga became a genre of reality shows by itself. Reagan’s Iran Contra scandal became a by word in systemic subversion. The Lockheed scandal in Japan is symptomatic of the power wheeling dealing.
Compare this with Indira’s Gandhi’s Allahabad Court judgement in 1975. Or the trial of Narasimha Rao. Or the rise of the Election Commission, the CAG or the credibility of the Indian Supreme Court. Axiomatically, there will always be more reasons for pessimism than optimism. While such a debate can continue interminably, the pessimism is such waste.
Especially from someone like Arun Shourie.