The Commissioner for Lost Causes
The new book by Arun Shourie, The Commissioner for Lost Causes, discusses his innings at The Indian Express. A comprehensive account of dramatic incidents like getting governments to swallow legislation against the press, unseating of chief ministers, a deputy prime minister trying to dislodge colleagues with fabricated documents, people’s movements ending up as rivulets in the sand, and more.
Delicious tales of characters from the noble to the colourful to the short-sighted to outright bounders: from JP to a president, to prime ministers, chief ministers, a conman, indignant editors, and of course a great warrior, the press baron, feature in this honest retelling.
Arun Shourie was born in Jalandhar, Punjab (1941), studied at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi and then obtained his doctorate in Economics from Syracuse University, US.
He was a minister in the NDA govt (1998-2004) of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Among other portfolios, he held the office of the Minister of Disinvestment, Communications, and Information Technology. Earlier he was Editor of The Indian Express. He is widely regarded as the initiator of Investigative Journalism in India. The International Press Institute, Vienna, acclaimed him as one of 50 “World Press Freedom Heroes” whose work has sustained freedom of the press in the last half-century. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Magsaysay Award and the Padma Bhushan.
Arun Shourie has written over 25 books on a variety of topics ranging from constitutional law, modern Indian history, religious fundamentalism, governance in India, to national security.