'Worry Not, Economy In Safe Hands': FM Nirmala Sitharaman' Takes On Historian Ramachandra Guha On Twitter
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The Finance Minister's remarks came after Guha took a jibe at Sitharaman saying, 'FM is obsessing over historian's (his) tweets. Economy is in safe hands'.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday told historian Ramachandra Guha not to worry about the economy, saying it is i "safe hands".
The Finance Minister's remarks came after a lengthy debate on Twitter which started after Guha compared Gujarat and West Bengal using a quote from British writer Philip Spratt.
"Gujarat, though economically advanced, is culturally a backward province... . Bengal in contrast is economically backward but culturally advanced".— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) June 11, 2020
Philip Spratt, writing in 1939.
Guha later clarified that he doesn't necessarily endorse the quotes that he tweets. "Reserve your praise or your anger for the ghost of the person being quoted," he said.
Statutory warning; when I post quotes by others found in the course of my research, I do so because I find them arresting in some way. I may (or may not) endorse, in part or in whole, what I am quoting. Reserve your praise or your anger for the ghost of the person being quoted.— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) June 11, 2020
Responding to Guha's tweets, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that these were tricks to divide Indians.
Earlier it was the British who tried to divide and rule. Now it is a group of elites who want to divide Indians.— Vijay Rupani (@vijayrupanibjp) June 11, 2020
Indians won't fall for such tricks.
Gujarat is great, Bengal is great...India is united.
Our cultural foundations are strong, our economic aspirations are high. https://t.co/9mCuqCt7d1
In a sarcastic reply, Guha wrote that Gujarat was "indeed in safe hands" since the chief minister is "so keenly following the tweets of a humdrum historian and so easily confusing the historian with a dead writer being quoted".
FM Sitharaman later joined the debate and shared an article about the Poland government conducting an event to honour Maharaja Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji Jadeja for organising shelter for 1,000 Polish children during World War II.
In 1939, when Philip Spratt, from Britain, belonging to the Communist International wrote, (who @Ram_Guha quotes) this was what was happening in Gujarat: Jamnagar...Maharaja Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji Jadeja...saved 1000 Polish children #Culture https://t.co/5XsY2cL1WZ— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) June 11, 2020
In another sarcastic response, the historian said that the "economy is surely in safe hands" since the FM is also "obsessing about a humdrum historian's tweets".
"Taking cognisance of thoughts in current national discourse + responsibly doing my job aren't mutually exclusive," the FM assured Guha that the economy was in safe hands.
The economy is very much in safe hands; worry not, Mr. Guha. Taking cognisance of thoughts in current national discourse+responsibly doing my job aren't mutually exclusive. Either way, an interest in history is a plus. Surely an intellectual such as yourself should know that 🙏🏽. https://t.co/speBC2bggv— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) June 11, 2020
The war of words concluded with Guha's tweet which read: "I have been trying without success for thirty years to make the writer Philip Spratt better known; thank you to the Troll Army for accomplishing this in a day."
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