BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha has been unrelenting in his barbs against the party at a…
Patna,Subhash K Jha: He’s used to bellowing the command, Khamosh, but is himself silent about the storm his party — the government in power — is weathering. Here, he talks about an identity crisis within the party, the controversies plaguing it, and leading by example…
While BJP’s prominent leaders are embroiled in unsavoury controversies, you are uncharacteristically quiet about the corruption charges against Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje?
Yes, people are wondering why the one who has always commanded others to remain khamosh is khamosh himself today. There seems to be some sort of a dark cloud passing over the party.Whether our party is in a crisis or a Catch-22 situation, only time will tell. Nazar lag gayi hai hamare party ko. The thirteenth month of our party in power hasn’t proved lucky for us. Even my dear friend Hema Malini was involved in a road accident.
She too seems to have offended some by not helping the child who died?
Tell me something. When such a terrible accident happens doesn’t the victim go in a daze? Hema may be the most beautiful woman in the world. But during a crisis of this gravity, she is a human being. She was so numbed by the impact of the accident she hardly knew what was happening. Those who are criticising her for the tragic death of the child in the accident don’t know what a beautiful soul she is. If her mind was working at that traumatic time, she would’ve done everywthing within her power to help the child.
Coming back to the other beleaguered ladies in your party, what do you think went wrong ?
I had decided not to say anything as this involves a dear friend Mrs Sushma Swaraj. But if you insist, all I’d like to say is those accused of wrongdoing must prove their innocence immediately.
Shouldn’t Mrs Swaraj and Mrs Raje resign before they prove their innocence?
That’s what I’d have done. My mentor, guide, friend and philosopher within the party is L K Advani. That’s what he did when false allegations were levelled at him. He not only resigned he vowed not to enter Parliament until he got a clean chit. I’ve learnt from Mr Advani that though honesty and transparency seldom go together, they must do so.
Are you a BJP or an L K Advani loyalist?
As long as he has been with me I’ve never bothered with how the High Command has treated me. I didn’t even react when I was provoked as to why I was never given a cabinet rank. Miley na miley sab theek hai. This is what I’ve learnt from Mr Advani. He’s always taught me to set a good example, to be a role model and not to follow the example of others Being a role model isn’t easy.
Are you saying the accused should step down?
That’s what had happened with Lal Bahadur Shastri as well. Having said that, I want to reiterate I am a loyal and supportive soldier of the party. I am dismayed by the allegations, especially against Sushma Swaraj who I consider a very dear friend. I hold both Sushma and her husband in very high regard. They are both mature, sharp individuals. I don’t know whether the allegations are substantiated or not. My speaking about it would not be proper. Speaking on an emotional level, this is a matter pertaining to office of profit. On a professional level, it involves a conflict of interest.
If your friend Mrs Swaraj is innocent, why is she not coming forward with evidence of her innocence?
One does wonder sometimes.
Has the high command consulted you on the crisis?
That’s the problem. No, I’ve not been consulted. Forget about high command, I wasn’t even invited to the function for the President of the BJP at Patna. And I’m supposed to be the Bihari Babu.
Fear of being overshadowed?
Maybe they feel they never gave me my any due or recognition so they do not have the right to take my advice.I’ve no demand no command and no expectation. But I’d like to tell the high command to bring to the front of the party those party members who are close to the grassroots and those who have a clean image within and outside the party.
What do you have to say about Pahlaj Nihalani’s chairmanship of the Censor Board?
Finally, there’s a chairperson who is doing everything correctly. Look at how liberally the so-called progressive filmmakers used cusswords in our films. If he’s cleaning that out, he is doing our society a good turn. Look at the language of Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s Mohalla Assi being used by the Gods in the city of the Gods, Varanasi. Shame!
You’ve always stood by your friends in the BJP and the film industry. But do you have to say about women in your party being embroiled in controversies?
Finally, women have proved themselves equal to men , if not more equal.