The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sangh sees red over actor in minister chair

New Delhi, Nov. 23: Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha and his mentors in the BJP who gave him the health portfolio are at the receiving end of the RSS’ ire.

An editorial in the latest issue of the RSS’ Hindi mouthpiece Panchajanya has derided Sinha for being “filmi” and trivial on sombre occasions — even while delivering lectures at important gatherings.

The editorial ends with a barb at the BJP leadership, which got rid of Sinha’s predecessor, C.P. Thakur, a reputed doctor in Patna to accommodate the actor who has been busy globetrotting instead of focusing on health policies.

Achhe khase doctor ko mantralaya se hatakar ‘actor’ ko baitha diya to ab suno chutkule, dekho nautanki (You removed a good doctor from the health minister’s post and appointed an actor. Now, you have no option other than listening to his jokes and putting up with his antics),” said the editorial.

Usually editorial comments in the RSS mouthpiece are indication of the status a minister enjoys within the Sanghparivar and also the likelihood of his continuing in that post. Sinha, going by the tenor of the editorial, is completely out of favour with the Sangh. His career as minister may be short-lived if this trend continues, say observers.

The editorial begins with a description of a meeting of renowned doctors in Delhi on November 20.

“A crowd always turns up to catch a glimpse of both political leaders and actors. At this meeting on November 20, there was a big crowd — but this was no ordinary crowd. The gathering consisted of reputed doctors and intellectuals,” says Panchajanya.

The subject under discussion was improving the health policy and the Union health minister was invited to give his suggestions.

Filmi adaaon se bal jhatakte huye mantriji mike ke saamne aaye aur filmi andaaz mein bolna shuru kar diya (The minister came to the mike swinging his hair flamboyantly and began to speak in an equally theatrical manner),” the editorial says.

Sinha seemed to have forgotten what the gathering was all about. Instead of serious suggestions on health policy, the Union minister started peddling trivia on “romance”.

“In his reverie on romance he seemed to be totally oblivious to his surroundings. Getting carried away by his own comments on romance, Sinha even sunk so low as to use abusive language,” said the outraged Panchajanya author.

Sinha’s ramblings, according to the editorial, provoked adoctor to say: “Yeh janab bhool gaye hain ki swasthya sammelan mein bol rahe hain, kisi filmi party mein nahin (This gentleman seems to have forgotten that he is speaking at a meeting of health policymakers and not at a filmi party).”

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