The story of Subramanian Swamy: A political mystery

Another grudging eulogy.  The writer tries to impress that Hajpayee is something of a Dharmaputhra.  Far from it.  Hajpayee was the most deceitful scoundrel who betrayed Hindus,  appeased the Talibans and served Sonia well.  Hell awaits this rascal.


First Post staff

Dec 29, 2011

If there was no It’s Subramanian Swamy, someone would have to invent him. Inveterate rabble-rouser and unabashed publicity hound, his long storied political career is the stuff of Jeffrey Archer novels. Conspiracies abound, as do betrayals, reversals, and comebacks.

Tehelka‘s Ashok Malik pulls together the many colourful details in an exhaustive cover story that doesn’t break new ground, but paints an engaging portrait of a political riddle [Do check out the full story here]:

At the end of the day, Swamy is trusted by few but ignored by even fewer. He can plug into extremely diverse social groups — serious economists, the loony right, the Janata parivar, the TamBrahm fraternity. He can hold both Ram Setu and N Ram close to his heart (or profess to). For all his right-wing politics, the Hindu has been a loyal platform and publisher. His dogs have come from N Ram’s litter, as indeed have Sonia Gandhi’s dogs

Canine pedigrees aside, Malik also charts Swamy’s long history of conflict with powers-that-be in his academic career, from Delhi School of Economics to IIT-Delhi to Harvard – often with just cause. He still has a case pending against IIT – which sacked him and his wife on the basis of a stray remark by Mrs Gandhi – “for a claim of salary arrears for the 1972-91 period, which he wants with 18 percent interest.”

Subramaniam Swamy. PTI
There’s also the other Swamy with slippery allegiances and a taste for low intrigue. For all his loathing for the present-day Gandhis, his most bitter feud was with Atal Behari Vajpayee who refused to let him into the BJP. “He reacted by abusing Vajpayee, questioning his personal life and accusing him of collaborating with Indira Gandhi,” and later in 1999, worked with Sonia Gandhi to bring the Vajpayee government down. An ill-advised bit of political intrigue for which he paid a high price in the years he’s spent in political wilderness.

According to Tehelka, Swamy is in the midst of yet another comeback, reinventing himself as an anti-corruption crusader with impeccable Hindutva and anti-Gandhi family cred. And even as he courts the hard Hindu right, Swamy may be holding out for that still-elusive invitation from the BJP:

So is the exile about to end? BJP President Nitin Gadkari has told party colleagues he is “highly impressed” with Swamy and wants to send him to the Rajya Sabha. Not everybody in the upper echelons of the BJP agrees. Others in the NDA have not been consulted.

Swamy has won over LK Advani and persuaded the RSS and the VHP. Former RSS chief KS Sudarshan, VHP doyen Ashok Singhal and Advani confidant S Gurumurthy have been his advocates. The BJP’s so-called second generation has been resisting. When Advani mooted the idea at a meeting in 2005, the late Pramod Mahajan is believed to have remarked, “Advaniji, aren’t there enough Subramanian Swamys in the party for you to want to bring in the original?”

Then again, can there be more than one Subramanian Swamy? We think not.

You can read Malik’s delightful essay, “Don Chaotic: The Beastly Beatitudes of Subramanian S“, in its entirety on the Tehelka website.

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