Why Khushwant Singh fell out with Arun Shourie

Khushwant Singh, former editor of Hindustan Times and the now-defunct Illustrated Weekly of India, on why he is no longer friends with Arun Shourie, the Magsaysay Award-winning former editor of Indian Express, in the Hindustan Times:

“There was a time when I was a frequent diner in the Shouries’ household in Delhi…. At one of the Shouries’ dinner parties, among other guests was [editor, columnist, activist] Kuldip Nayar. The conversation was largely about L.K. Advani‘s Rath Yatra in 1990 from the temple of Somnath to Ayodhya.

“I had no doubt that the exercise was undertaken with evil intent to destroy Babri Masjid.

“Passing by, Arun remarked: “Who says it is a mosque?”

“I was taken aback.

“Kuldip Nayar said, ‘Professor Sahib, did you hear what he [Arun] said?’ (Both he and [former Delhi high court judge] Rajinder Sachar call me professor sahib since they were students of the law College, Lahore and I was a lecturer.)

“I could not hold back and said to Shourie, ‘Arun, have you ever seen any building with three domes and a wall facing Makka which is not a mosque?’ He did not reply. Since then we have been on opposite sides; he on the mosque breakers’. I wanted them to be arrested and punished for the criminal act of vandalism.

“I stopped associating with Arun Shourie. I read of his rise to eminence as a cabinet minister and a member of the BJP’s think-tank. His book on Dr B.R. Ambedkar offended Dalits. He was roughed up by them while presiding over a meeting in Mumbai. Being hurt himself he wanted to hurt other people.

“He has taken every opportunity to display his disadvantaged son in his wheel chair. I feel very sorry for him but no longer admire him.”

Read the full article: When telling the truth becomes a crime

Illustration: courtesy Rajneesh K. Singh

Also read: The sad and pathetic decline of Arun Shourie

Arun Shourie: ‘Intolerant, abusive, dictatorial’

How Arun Shourie became Express editor

Arun Shourie: The three lessons of failure


  1. Not A Witty Nick

    This gentleman finds it very comfortable to stay complacent about the genocide perpetrated by Indira Gandhi’s goons’.

    Arun Shourie might have biased views about Babri demolition, but he does not deny/justify the violence in Gujarat.

    1. khushwant is always biased towards congress party but his faith towards secularism is never questioned

  2. PRS

    @not a witty nick

    Stop deluding yourself with this nonsense.

    Khushwant Singh deposed before the Nanavati commission and called the 1984 anti-sikh riots a “progrom”. No one has heard Shourie call Gujarat 2002 a pogrom.


    Khushwant also said the riots were organised by the government. No one has heard Shourie say about Narendra Modi’s government.


    Khushwant Singh even returned the Padma Bhushan when the Army laid seige at Indira Gandhi’s orders on the Golden Temple. That’s unlike Shourie who sucked up to the Ambanis after leaving journalism.


    1. cnm

      Arun Shourie did not say anything on the Gujrat issue because in Gujrat it was not a Pogrom. It was not that only Muslims were killed.Hindus were also massacred.And riots in Gujrat happened in the first place because of the Godhra carnage that provoked the Hindus to take to arms.It is as simple as that.

  3. Amit

    This sardar has no issues with Emergency or the crimes perpetrated by Sanjay Gandhi’s goons but he got upset with Arun Shourie for supporting the Right. Pathetic.

  4. AV

    Kushwant Singh is “not a nice man to know” (in his own words – he has said so in many articles and books that he himself has written).

    What he has not said about himself is that he has always been close to the Congress party. During the years when he was a senior journalist in Delhi, he used to be part of the ruling elite.

    Khuswant Singh’s journalistic career is about sub-standard and biased journalism. Instead of giving real news and analysis to his readers, he fed them the political propaganda that he got from his political masters.

    He is a man without integrity.

    Whereas Arun Shourie has always been fiercely independent. A million Kushwant’s can’t compare to one Arun Shourie.

    I would take the words of Khuswant on any issue with a fistful of salt. I dont trust that guy at all. Once upon a time, he used to be a writer who wrote a few mediocre stories, but as a journalist, Khuswant was a complete failure.

    He started this trend of cultivating politicians. If today we have this culture of certain journalists being close to certain political parties, then Khuswant is to blame for that.

    Khuswant started the trend by opening cosying up to India’s first family.

  5. mysore peshva

    i admire the old man, even when he is a petty old man.

    but i admire arun shourie more.

  6. Sam

    My respect for the ‘dirty old man’ has gone up a notch!

  7. calvin

    JP movements nearest organized structure being the BJP got the maximum advantage of that great movement; RSS is not an influence on BJP but is the party wipe of BJP proved by Nitin Gadkaris super seeding promotion, Kiran Bedi & kesirwal may not be averse to international agenda based NGO funding. Non organizational structure and undefined way forward by team Anna Hazare other than lok Pal bill. Maximum the Congress, great believer of globalization and free market economy will collect the taxes after legitimization of donations that the parents pay to educate their children, other corruption controls may help the 10 crore, , the policies are against 110 Crore (eg slum act ) The opposition is match less to understand the diverse caste, faith, & language characteristic of our country. Where do we go now?

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