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Issue No.: 550 | April 2013

Viren J. Shah, R.I.P


Industrialist, Member if the Rajya Sabha, Governor of West Bengal,  treasurer of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Swatantra Party Member of the 4th Lok Sabha, passed away in Jordan where he was on a holiday.

At a meeting on August 1, 2009 commemorating the 50th year of the Founding of the Swatantra Party, Viren Shah reminiscing about his years said, "I started my active political work with the Communist Party of India as a student in 1942. The CPI’s head office was then on Sandhurst Road in a building named Raj Bhavan. So, when I went to Raj Bhavan in Kolkata as Governor of West Bengal, I reminded Jyotibabu, the then Chief Minister, that from Mumbai Raj Bhavan, at Sandhurst Road, I had come to Kolkata’s Raj Bhavan. Till 1966, I still had a very strong feeling for the Socialist Party, great respect for Jayaprakash Narayan and  Achyut Pawardhan who had just retired from active politics, Ram Manohar Lohia, and also for my friends in the PSP, Nath Pai in particular”.

Influenced by what Rajaji had to say about state capitalism and the licence-permit-quota raj, he joined the Swatantra Party, contested the 1967 elections to win the Lok Sabha seat from Junagadh.       


He was a responsible member of parliament and played the role of running his company and representing the people of Junagadh without the one interfering with the other. The Swatantra between 1967 and 1971 was the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha and Virenbhai had the opportunity to speak often and receive encomiums not only from the Party leadership but from other parties as well.

During the Emergency of Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1975, he went underground to defy the Emergency regulations. With the lifting of the Emergency, he responded to Jayaprakash Narayan’s call and joined the Janata Party. Sadly, the Janata Party split and he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

His was an active, courageous, even colourful life. He was arrested during the Emergency and charged for sabotage in what came to be known as the Baroda Conspiracy case.  Soon the Emergency was lifted and he was out of prison and the conspiracy case was dropped. 






Other Articles in this Issue


Water Thievery - Cause of Droughts in Maharashtra

Sharad Joshi

Main Feature

Budget 2013 – An Elaborate Exercise in Denial

M. R. Venkatesh

Twelfth Plan and the 2013-14 Budget - 3

Sunil S. Bhandare

Reflections: The Gang Rape and After

The New Delhi Protest

Nitin G. Raut

Justice Verma Committee Report

Suresh Sharma

Death of a Rapist

Ashok Karnik

Reflections: A Flawed Democracy

Are We Really Free?

Firoze Hirjikaka

A Travesty of Justice!

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana

'Trousering’ a Brown Envelope in Myanmar and Communal Politics in Britain

Professor Christie Davies

Reflections: In the midst of Blasts, Turf wars continue

National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC)

Ashok Karnik

Foreign Relations

Terrorism Strikes Again, and Again, and Yet Again

B. Ramesh Babu


Preamble to a Farce

Firoze Hirjikaka

The Art of Giving

Firoze Hirjikaka

Point Counterpoint

Terror Strikes Again!

Ashok Karnik

Phone Tapping and CDRS

Ashok Karnik

The Helicopter Deal

Ashok Karnik


Disenchanting India: Organised Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India By Johannes Quack

Reviewed by Prabhakar Nanawaty

Educating Adults

The Right to Education Act (10)

Suresh Sharma

Children First Party of India Debut

Dilip Thakore

My Mother Pramila

R. C. Saxena

Anandi Gopal Joshi

B. M. N. Murthy

Maha Kumbh: Time to Come Clean

Sunita Narain


Freedom First, this month in April 1956


In Memoriam

Professor P. V. Indiresan, R.I.P


Viren J. Shah, R.I.P


Remembering Hari Shankar Singhania


From Our Readers

Perpetuating the Status-Quo

Kaiser Ansary

Yet another Strike!

Kaiser Ansary

India’s Growing Leadership ‘deficit’

Saratchandra Panda, Bhubaneshwar

In case you have not heard this one

The Hijacking of Wharton

Rajiv Malhotra


an African child
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