A war of words broke out on twitter between Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Ramchandra Guha with the minister asking the historian not to worry about the Indian economy as it is in “safe hands”.
Earlier in the day, Guha tweeted quoting British writer Philip Spratt’s comment in 1939 that Gujarat was economically strong but “culturally backward”.
Sitharaman then posted a web link to an article published in September 2018 about the Poland government organising an event to honour former Jamnagar king, Maharaja Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji Jadeja, for giving shelter to 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 1,000 Polish children #Culture,” Sitharaman tweeted.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also responded to Guha’s tweet saying that Indians would not fall for “tricks” of dividing them.
Soon after, Guha tweeted: “I thought it was only the Gujarat CM, but now it seems even the FM is obsessing about a humdrum historian’s tweets. The economy is surely in safe hands.”
Taking a swipe at Guha, Sitharaman tweeted late in the evening: “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.”