news Saturday, May 02, 2015 - 05:30
Supporters of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be divided on former NDA minister Arun Shourie’s criticism of the PM, but Modi himself has in the past, been respectful of Shourie’s views. In an interview to Headlines Today on Friday, Shourie was very critical of the Prime Minister even though he maintained that Modi was doing a good job on some fronts. Areas of work that Shourie singled out for criticism include the economic policy, which Shourie called "directionless" even as he said that the claims of economic growth were exaggerated.  Although he approved of Modi’s foreign policy on the whole, he differed on perhaps the most important aspect of it – India’s relationship with Pakistan. Shourie cautioned: “Like all previous prime ministers Modi was prone to the belief he could change the relationship. The PM must free himself of the illusion of out of box thinking. There should be steadier thinking, steadier guage.” “It is not a good idea that in the fascination for out of box ideas to ignore the institutional memory embedded in the Ministry of External Affairs and outside.” He urged Modi to take External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other experts into confidence. The former journalist approved of Modi having identified China as the cornerstone of India’s foreign policy: “It is the Modi government's great success and there is a theme which runs through the improved relationship with America, Japan, Australia, France and Canada as well as neighbourhood countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which is the recognition of China as India's principal challenge.” Irrespective of how these comments have been received by the public, Modi himself has in the past, expressed his respect for Shourie’s views. In October 2013, Modi had tweeted: It was great hearing Shri Arun Shourie's insights on foreign policy & how India's initial leadership fooled itself on China's issue. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 18, 2013 The interview, which touched upon a number of subjects, has caused a flutter among BJP-Modi supporters, as Shourie was (at least until now), widely respected in right-wing intellectual circles. However, his criticism of Modi over the church attacks has irked many. Completely disagree with Arun Shourie on the minorities issue. Looks like he did'nt do a follow up on the reasons behind church attacks. — Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) May 1, 2015 Dear Arun Shourie, would have been a better idea to share your constructive criticism with the party seniors rather than with a snake. — Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) May 1, 2015 Other supporters of the party, however, felt that there was some merit in what Shourie was saying, and urged the BJP to consider Shourie’s views in light of his political affinity with the party. Arun Shourie has his ears on d ground-time n again he has been proved right; if he says something-take it positively-else ignorance is bliss — आलोक भट्ट (@alok_bhatt) May 1, 2015 Some issues, Arun Shourie has raised are truly required proper attention from Modi govt but some points are merely for the sake of criticism — neerja (@123crush) May 1, 2015 Arun Shourie has said this many times: it is never wise for politicians to shoot the messenger. — Gopi (@gopimaliwal) April 24, 2015 Lastly, a tweet about taking Shourie’s views with a pinch of salt: Don't start applauding Arun Shourie yet. Let's not forget he learned his politics from a media man, Ramnath Goenka,not by being in politics. — Farzana Versey (@farzana_versey) May 1, 2015

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