The other side of Jaya Jaitley

Jaya Jaitley, a former politician, is a hothead activist. As a pioneer of the handicrafts movement in India, her most enduring contribution to the national capital is ‘Dilli Haat’ and now she has aptly taken up a new task… from craft revival to magazine revival.

‘the OtherSide’, as the monthly is called, is now in the hands of Jaya who has to find a devoted readership while brandishing socialist thought and action, which tasks come to her a decade after the journal had stopped publication. She is the new Editor, Publisher and Printer with former Defence Minister George Fernandes being the chairman of the editorial board and also her USP.

The journal aims to be part of people’s struggle in India. “At the same time, it is involved in the search for new ideas to illumine humanity’s path towards a more purposeful and rewarding life,” it declares. It is willing to accept ideas and contributions from all ideologies that promote equality in society.

Uncompromising as Jaya is, I will wait for ‘the OtherSide’ to establish as a forceful and indispensable monthly diary to be personally overseen by her. “I personally design the layout and select the colours every month to prove that being political does not mean dull. This alone should attract readers,” she says, adding “I handle most of the work which is very satisfying and challenging.”

I therefore expect this scion of the famous Chittur family of Sir C. Sankaran Nair and Miss Miranda House 1962 to rise from her present position and work attentively to win for herself an image that she has longed for and which she rightly deserves. For that, I don’t need to pamper her to either look into the mirror or walk dawn the memory lane. I also don’t need to tell her that she combines in her the best of several veterans – be it cultural czarina Pupul Jayakar or the legendary Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, who besides being a member of the Congress Socialist Party and a Gandhian did immensely to uplift handloom and handicrafts sectors and performing arts.

I know she writes well. I know she has been an invaluable Indian soldier. I know ‘the OtherSide’ will do very well under her leadership, given her urbane articulation and capacity to run organizations. What I don’t know is Jaya’s other side. I don’t know if she correctly remembers the lessons her ICS father taught her during his foreign assignments in Tokyo, Rangoon, Brussels and England. I don’t have any clue about her college days at Miranda House in Delhi in late 60’s and in Smith College in Mass. USA. I also don’t know why is she not inclined to lead India. May be she needs unquestioned nationwide respect. Do George and his men understand that!

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Copyright © 2008  Neeraj Bhushan.  All Rights Reserved. 

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  1. Dear Neeraj,
    This seems to be not the correct picture about the revival of the Other side . You cannot credit Jaya for the revival. Just go through the history of the Other side. She has been in the Editorial Boad for so long and could not do much to re-start the Magazine. Her contribution in the Magazine was insignificant. The Magazine could be re-launched thanks to new people joining the veteran socialist leader, George Fernandes. It is a collective effort of all those young and old socialist visionaries. The magazine was to be re-launched under the Editorship of Fernandes. The printing was to be done on behalf of Jaya. By a sleight of subterfuge, the hallmark of this lady, she herself became the editor. While she is hopping all around the bureaucrats, industrialist, seeking fund and credit for the revival, the co-writers and main actors are feeling disillusioned and aghast. Is this another Jaya scandal ? The other side of Jaya is realy dirty.


  2. I foresee a bright future for Jaya Jaitley if she becomes the lady in command. She must dare to lead the political outfit she belongs and re-inforce discipline in the rank and file.

    I think she would be ably supported by her friends and sympathesisers, who are many. Why isn’t she rising up? Perhaps your blog also leaves the same question.

    Well, there is a space for her. Editing side-by-side ‘the Other Side’, she can take a fresh plunge in politics.


  3. What an interesting story on Jaya and her other side! Keep enlightening us this way and do let us know her reaction to your blog.


  4. Neeraj, one observation:

    As you have rightly pointed out later, Kamladevi was among the pioneers of the revival of handicrafts in post-independence India. Jaitley’s contribution is huge, but I’m not too sure whether, at least chronologically speaking, she will be viewed by posterity as the pioneer.




  5. I would still associate her with the Tehelka video where she was seen accepting money on video. No matter what her lineage is what all Awards she won, the bottomline is that she is as corrupt as others, only difference was she was caught on camera.

    Apologies for going completly off-track but could not help it.


  6. Sir, I think the good news is that the journal has resurfaced. Better, it is run by Mrs. Jaya Jaitley in its new avatar. Best you have alredy suggested. Mrs.Jaitley should stand up now. I still remember her as the President of Samata Party and would like to see her as a firebrand leader.


  7. Your crisp writing leaves me amazed. The economy of words and selection of adjectives make you an excellent journalist.

    I agree with you that Jaya Jaitley has the qualities of a leader. This is the time when she should open up and lead the pack. I am of the view that she is certainly better than other women politicians like Mayawati, Jayalalitha, Sushma Swaraj, Vrinda Karat, Smriti Irani and Vasundhara Raje Schindia.

    I also endorse her journalistic venture which she has taken. With this, she can reach hundreds of thousands.


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