New Delhi: Satire and humour, once part of Indian political life, have gradually dwindled, Union Finance Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley observed on Thursday at an event here.
“Satire and humour once had a place in Indian politics and political life. But to my disappointment, I find that these qualities have slowly come to an end now,” Jaitley said at the unveiling of the Hindi translation of some of his works.
“I will wait for the time when humour returns to Indian politics so that we can take full advantage of it,” the minister, known in the BJP circles for his witty observations, said.
Earlier, BJP President Amit Shah unveiled the book titled “Andhere Se Ujale Ki Or”, a compilation of Jaitley’s articles published in various newspapers/magazines, blog posts written over several years, and now translated in Hindi by Prabhat Prakashan.
Jaitley said that the objective behind his writing was to present the party’s point of view in a serious and no-nonsense manner, adding in a lighter vein, that it was not possible just through the media.
Dwelling on the experiences in his long public life, Jaitley said that with the “changing character of the media it became evident” that one cannot rely only on the media to convey through it the exact message one wants to convey.
“Over the years I learnt that you cannot totally rely on the media to carry across your message, because media has a tendency to only pick parts/pieces which they find interesting or relevant for the day. In this way, the media sets the agenda,” he said.
He added that the advent of social media, however, made it possible for the people to communicate more freely.
Jaitley also expressed satisfaction that despite writing so much and interacting with media very frequently, he has “not once uttered a word or sentence” that could embarrass his party.
Speaking on the occasion, Amit Shah said that the title of the book was quite apt as Jaitley had struggled along with the BJP since his student days and has even remained in jail during the Emergency.
“Among the leaders born after Independence, and I am deliberately making this demarcation (born after Independence), Arun Jaitley is one of those few politicians who have upheld the ideals of transparent and value-based politics,” Shah said.
Shah said that although Jaitley is seen as a Lutyens’ Delhi product (meaning one living in opulence), but his writings also reflect the pain of the rural and the marginalised.
Shah said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation and the recovery of black money, so far to the tune of Rs 65,000 crore, were very important achievements of the Narendra Modi government, and Jaitley has played a crucial role in both.