तो इसलिए अरुण शौरी से खुशवंत सिंह के रिश्ते तल्ख हुए

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हिंदुस्तान टाइम्स में आज खुशवंत सिंह ने जो अपना वीकली कालम लिखा है, उसमें अरुण शौरी से लंबे समय से खराब रिश्ते का कारण बताया है. खुशवंत के मुताबिक- सच बोलना मेरे लिए अपराध बन गया. कालम के आखिर में अरुण पर भयंकर टिप्पणी करते हुए खुशवंत कहते हैं- वे ह्वील चेयर पर बैठे अपने अपाहिज बेटे की बेचारगी को दिखाने का कोई मौका नहीं चूकते. खुशवंत की भड़ास इस प्रकार है-

When telling the truth becomes a crime

Khushwant Singh

There was a time when I was a frequent diner in the Shouries' household in Vasant Vihar. I got on very well with all members of the family, particularly with Arun's father who after retiring from service had set up Common Cause which took up issues of national interest which had been ignored.

He argued every case in the Supreme Court and won every one of them. He was also a good photographer and painter. He gave me two samples of his work which adorn my flat. I thought he deserved a Bharat Ratna for his achievements and wrote about him in my columns. I was also much taken up by Arun's wife. She was not up to her husband's ability to cope with her son's disability. I dedicated one of my books to her.

The break up came after a few months. At one of the Shouries' dinner parties, among other guests was Kuldip Nayar. The conversation was largely about LK Advani's Rath Yatra 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 said?" (Both he and Rajender 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 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.