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Second Meeting, October 16, 17, 18, 2005

in Mumbai, Maharashtra
Text of the Speech
Chairman, Centre for National Renaissance, New Delhi
Fmr. Union Cabinet Minister for Commerce, Law & Justice
A-77 Nizamuddin East
New Delhi-110013
Tel: 91 98101 94279

Address of Dr.Subramanian Swamy, Chairman, Center for National Renaissance, New Delhi to
Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha Second Meeting at Mumbai on October 18, 2005.



His Holiness Dayananda Saraswati, and Heads of Mutts and Mandaleshwars and revered
Acharyas. I thank His Holiness for the opportunity to address you all today.

Hinduism, known as sanatana dharma is uniquely worlds unbroken, continuous and longest in
time, and is a religion constituted by its theology, cultural ethos, and civilizational history. Indias
Hindu society is founded on the content of these three constituents. Hindustan, as India is known
abroad even today [e.g., Yindu guo in Chinese, Hind in Arabic], as a concept is defined as a
nation of Hindus and those others in the nation who accept that their ancestors are Hindus and
revere that legacy. Parsis, Jews, Syrian Christians come in a special category of Hindustanis,
those who were welcomed by Hindus since they came to Hindustan seeking refuge from
persecution in their own lands abroad, and who willingly accepted to abide by, and adopt certain
cultural customs of Hindus. To the credit of Parsis, they have never demanded any special
privileges as a minority. They had even rejected privileges and quotas offered to them by the
British imperialists saying that they were comfortable with Hindus.

Over the last two millenniums, Hindu religion has been subjected to threats several times from
other religious groups, but these threats have been met, the challenges faced and overcome.

Well before the birth of Christianity and Islam, Hindu religion had been intellectually dethroned
by Hinayana Buddhism. But Adi Sankaracharya re-enthroned Hinduism through his famous
shastrathas [religious debates] and caused a renaissance in Buddhism itself, which then came to
be known as Mahayana Buddhism, conceptually in complete harmony with, if not
indistinguishable from, Hindu theology. In South India, the azhwars and nayanmars also through
shastrathas repositioned Hinduism after dethroning Jainism and Buddhism. Since then the Hindu
dharmacharyas have always been looked up to when Hindu society faced a threat or crisis, for
guidance to meet the challenge to the Hindu religion. Today, we again need the revered acharyas
to show us the way. Hence this Sabha is of vital importance for the future of the nation.

Hindu ethos provided for sanctuary and home to those of other faiths fleeing from their countries
due to religious persecution. As I stated earlier, Parsis, Jews and Syrian Christians are among
those religious groups who had sought refuge in India, and survived because the Hindus looked
after them. These three religious communities have had and have today a disproportionate share
in power and wealth in Indian society, but Hindus have no resentment about it. These minorities
had come to India in search of peace and found safe haven in the midst of Hindu society. Parsis
migrated elsewhere in the world too, but disappeared as a community in those countries. Jews
have openly acknowledged that India as the only country where they were not persecuted. Syrian
Christians too are today completely integrated into India. Even early Arab Muslim travelers who
came peacefully to settle in Kerala were taken into Hindu families, and hence called Mapillai
[meaning son-in-law - Moplah in English]. That is the glorious Hindu tradition, the ethos of
compassion and co-option that is unparalleled in world history.

However, militant Islam and later crusading Christianity came to India, and aggressively
challenged Hinduism. They seized power in sequence and established their own state in India.
But despite state patronage to the ensuing onslaught, plunder and victimisation, those of Hindu
faith could not be decimated, and Hinduism remained the theology of the vast Indian majority.

Defiant Hindus suffered persecution and economic deprivation during Islamic and Christian
reigns, such as through differential taxation [e.g., jezia and zamindari land revenue appropriation]
and plain brutality, but Hindus by and large refused to capitulate and convert. Even after almost a
thousand years of such targeting by Muslims and Christian rulers, undivided India in 1947 was
more than 75% Hindu. This was partly because of the victorious Vijayanagaram, the Sikh reign,
and Mahratta kingdoms, and later the Freedom Movement, each inspired by sanyasis such
Sringeri Shankaracharya, Swami Ramdas, Guru Nanak, Swami Vivekanada and Sri Aurobindo,
who by their preaching about the Hindu identity ensured that the flame of Hindu defiance never
dimmed. It was also due to individual defiance of Hindus such as of Rana Pratap, Rani Jhansi,
Rani Bennur, Kattaboman and Netaji Subhas Bose. These icons are admired not because they led
us to victory [in fact they were defeated or killed], or had found out a safe compromise [they did
not], but because of their courage of conviction in the face of huge odds not to submit to tyranny.
That courageous defiance is also is part of Hindus glorious legacy. But those who capitulated like
Raja Man Singh or Jai Chand or Pudukottai Raja in order to live in pomp and grandeur are
despised today by the people.

In 1947, temporal power was de facto restored to the Hindu majority. But the Indian state
formally adopted secularism, which concept however was never properly defined or debated. For
example, it left vague what an Indians connection was with the nations Hindu past and legacy.
In the name of secularism, it was taboo for a public servant even to break a coconut or light an oil
lamp to inaugurate an official function on the ground that religious symbols must not invade
public life. Such orthodoxy was promoted by Jawarharlal Nehru and his Leftist advisers. But then
government took over supervision of temples, legislated on Hindu personal laws and regulated
religious festivals, but kept aloof from the Muslim and Christian religious affairs. The secularism
principle was foisted on the Hindu masses without making him understand why they had to abide
by legislation but not Muslims and Christians.

As a result, the renaissance that had begun in the late nineteenth century to redefine the Hindu
identity [in contemporary terms and norms valid in a pluralistic society], was aborted by the
confusion thus created in Hindu minds by a vaguely understood concept of secularism.

Electoral politics further confounded the issues arising out of secularism, and hence the Indian
society became gradually and increasingly fragmented in outlook and of confused perspective.
Hindu society became divided by caste that became increasingly mutually antagonistic. Attempts
were made through falsification in history texts adopted for curriculum in the education system to
disconnect and disinherit the contemporary Indian from the past glory of Hindu India. The
intrinsic Hindu unity was sought to be undone by legitimizing such bogus concepts as Aryan-
Dravidian racial divide theory, or that India as a concept never existed till the British imperialists
put it together, or that Indians have always been ruled by invaders from abroad. There is no such
word as Aryan in Sanskrit literature [closest is arya meaning honourable person, and not
community] or Dravidian [Adi Sankara had in his shasthrath with Mandana Mishra at Varanasi,
called himself as a dravida shishu that is a child of where three oceans meet, i.e., south India].
The theory was deliberate distortion by British imperialists and propagated by their Indian witting
and unwitting mental slaves. Incidentally, the Aryan-Dravidian myth has now been exploded by
modern research on DNA of Indians and Europeans conducted by Professor C Panse of Newton,
Mass. USA and other scholars. In light of such new research, the British Broadcasting
Corporation [BBC] service in its October 6, 2005 service completely debunked the Aryan-
Dravidian race theory stating that: Theory was not just wrong, it included unacceptably racist
ideas [, religion & ethics homepage, Thursday, 6/10/05].

Modern India has been sought to be portrayed by foreign interests through the educational
curriculum as a discontinuity in history and as a new entity much as are todays Greece, Egypt or
Iraq. That curriculum is largely intact today. On the contrary efforts are afoot to bolster the
disparagement of our past in the new dispensation today. A rudderless India, disconnected from
her past has, as a consequence, become a fertile field for religious poachers and neo-imperialists
from abroad who paint India as a mosaic of immigrants much like a crowd on a platform in a
railway junction. That is, it is clandestinely propagated that India has belonged to those who
forcibly occupied it. This is the theme around which the Islamic fundamentalists and fraud
Christian crusaders are again at work, much as they were a thousand years ago, but of course in
new dispensations, sophistication, and media forms. Thus the concept of intrinsic Hindu unity and
Indias Hindu foundation are dangerously under challenge by these forces. Tragically most
Hindus today are not even cognizant of it.
The challenge today confronting Hindus is however much more difficult to meet than was earlier
in history because the forces at work to erode and undermine Hindu faith, unlike before, are
unseen, clandestine, pernicious, deceptive but most of all sophisticated and media-savvy.
Tragically therefore, a much more educated and larger numbers of Hindus have been unwittingly
co-opted in this sinister conspiracy directed by foreigners who have no love for India and who
also see much as Lord Macauley saw in the nineteenth century, that the hoary Hindu foundation
of India is a stumbling block for the furtherance of their nefarious perfidious game.

Adherence to Hinduism is also being sought to be diluted in the name of modernity and this
dilution is made a norm of secularism. Religion, it is advocated, is personal. To be a good Hindu
today is conceptually being reduced to just praying, piety, visiting temples, and celebrating
religious festivals. The concept of a collective Hindu mindset is being ridiculed as chauvinist and
retrograde, even fundamentalist.

The concept of a corporate Hindu unity and identity however is that of a collective mindset that
identifies us with a motherland from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean and its glorious past,
and the concomitant resolve of its representative leadership defined as chakravartin earlier by
Chanakya to defend that vision. It is this concept and resolve that is being discarded or is just
evaporating under the onslaught of the Nehruvian secularists.

However pious a Hindu becomes, however prosperous Hindu temples become from doting
devotees offerings, when the nation is in danger it is this collective mindset of the people that
matters, and not the piety of the individual in that collective.

Hindu society today lacking a cohesive corporate identity, is thus in the process of becoming
fragmented, and hence increasingly in disarray. This fission process is on simultaneously with the
reality of millions of Hindus who go to temples regularly or walk to Sabarimalai or participate in
Kumbh Mela. This is not what I mean when I speak of Hindu unity to this august gathering today.

I am instead referring to the Hindu consciousness which encompasses the willingness and
determination to collectively defend the faith from the erosion that is being induced by the
disconnect with our glorious past. What Swami Vivekananda, Bankim Chatterjee, Sri Aurobindo,
and Subramania Bharati had achieved by raising Hindu consciousness to that end, has now been
depleted and dissipated over the last six decades.

Even the patriotic and anguished writings of Dr. Ambedkar and his oration in the Constituent
Assembly for a strong united country have been vulgarized to advocate Hindu societys
disintegration. In his scholarly paper presented in a 1916 Columbia University seminar [and
published in Indian Antiquary, vol. XLI, May 1917 p.81-95] Dr. Ambedkar stated: It is the unity
of culture that is the basis of homogeneity. Taking this for granted, I venture to say that there is no
country that can rival the Indian Peninsula with respect to the unity of its culture. It has not only a
geographic unity, but it has over and above all a deeper and much more fundamental unity - the
indubitable cultural unity that covers the land from end to end. Ambedkar wrote several such
brilliant books, but alas, Nehru and his cohorts so thoroughly frustrated him that in the end
bitterness drove him to Buddhism.

Thus, if this degeneration and disconnect are not rectified and repaired by a resolve to unite
Hindustanis [Hindus and those others who proudly identify with Indias Hindu past], the Hindu
civilization may go into a tail spin and ultimately fade away like other civilizations have for much
the same reason.

Of course, this sorry state has come about as a cumulative effect of a thousand years past of
Islamic invasions, occupation and Imperialist colonization. But we failed to rectify the damage
after the Hindus overwhelmingly got de facto power in 1947. For this transfer of power, we
sacrificed one quarter of Akhand Hindustan territory to settle those Muslims who could not bear
to live or adjust with the Hindu majority.

That is, by a failure to usher a renaissance after 1947 India lost her opportunity to cleanse the
accumulated dirt and unwanted baggage of the past. The nation missed a chance to demolish the
birth-based caste theory as Ambedkar had wanted to do. The battering that the concept of Hindu
unity and Indian identity has taken at the hands of Nehruvian secularists since 1947 has led to the
present social malaise. Thus, even though Hindus are above 80 percent of the population in India,
they have not been able to understand their roots in, and obligations to, the nation in a pluralistic
Hindustani democracy.

Today the sacrilege of Hindu concepts and hoary institutions is being carried out not with the
crude brutality of a Ghazni or Ghori, but with the sophistication of the constitutional instruments
of law. The desecration of Hindu icons, for example the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt, is being made to
look legal, thereby completely confusing the Hindu people, and thus making them unable to
recognize the danger, or to realize that Hindus have to unite to defend against the threats to their
legacy. We Hindus are under siege today, and we do not know it!! That is, what is truly alarming
is that Hindu society could be dissembled today without much protest since we have been lulled
or lost the capacity to think collectively as Hindus.

To resist this siege we first need Hindu unity. Numbers [of those claiming to be adherents to
Hinduism] do not matter in todays information society. It is the durability and clarity of the
Hindu mindset of those who unite that matters in the forging of an instrument to fight this
creeping danger.

For example, we had a near disaster in Ayodhya recently. Pakistan-trained foreign terrorists
slipped into India and traveled to Ayodhya to blow up the Ram Mandir. Their attempt was foiled
by courageous elements of the police. But did the representative government of 870 million
Hindus of India react in a meaningful way, that is, retaliate to deter future such attacks? Did
anyone raise it in Parliament and demand deterrent retaliation? On the contrary, the Prime
Minister assured Pakistan that the peace talks will not be affected by such acts. But what
retaliation was there to be for the sponsors of those terrorists who dared to think about blowing
Sri Rams birth place?

Hindus are thus being today systematically prepared for psychological enslavement and
conceptual capture. Indians are being subtly brain-washed. Hindus are being lulled, while
Muslims and Christians are being subject to relentless propaganda that they are different, and are
citizens of India as would be a shareholder in a company run for profit.

We Hindus cannot fight this unless we first identify what we have to fight. We cannot effectively
respond unless we understand the nature and complexity of the challenge. What makes the task of
defending Hinduism much more difficult today is that the oppressors are not obvious marauding
entities as were Ghazni, Ghori, or Clive. The means of communication and the supply of funds in
the hands of our enemies are multiples of that available in the past, for camouflaging their evil

My contention here today is that Hindus are facing a four dimensional siege and this siege is
pernicious, clandestine, deceptive and sophisticated. It requires an enlightened Hindu unity to
combat the threats and get the siege lifted. We have to begin by first understanding the content
and scope of the siege before we Hindus can unite to battle it. These four dimensions are:

[1] The clandestine defamation of Hindu symbols and institutions.

Making Hindus to lose their self esteem by disparaging their tradition, which also had been the
strategy of British imperialists for the conquest of India. Speaking in British Parliament, Lord
Macauley said on February 2, 1835 the following:

Such wealth I have seen in this country [India], such high moral values, people of such calibre,
that I do not think we would ever conquer this country unless we break the very backbone of this
nation, which [backbone] is her spiritual and cultural heritage. And therefore, I propose that we
replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is
foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their
native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.

That basic strategy of those who want to see a weak and pliant India remains. Only the tactics
have changed. Now the target is the Hindu institutions and Hindu icons, and the route is not the
creation of a comprador class to subdue the nation, but fostering a psychological milieu to
denigrate the heritage and to de-link the Hindu from his past legacy thereby causing a loss of self
esteem and a pride in the nations past. There are already many examples of this happening.

A false murder case was foisted on the Acharyas of the 2500 year old Kanchi Mutt. Most Hindus
have watched it as spectators, and with nagging doubts about the truth, and in fact about the
Acharyas themselves. The Supreme Court has however held that the case has no worthwhile
prima facie evidence [Court records: (2005) 2 Supreme Court Cases 13, para 12, page 20]
and that the alleged confessions of other accused persons implicating the Acharyas have very
little evidentiary value [para 10]. The case thus is without basis and is bogus because since then
the TN police has failed to uncover any further or new evidence to sustain the case. That the apex
Court has found the foisted case as without prima facie merit should itself have galvanized the
people against the offending authorities. It has not, because Hindus lack the mindset and guidance
to retaliate against the willful and disguised defamation of Hindu symbols and institutions.
Instead like parrots most Hindus mouth the phrase that law must take its course. Where is the
law in this? Nor did a single Muslim or Christian organization or their leaders condemn this
atrocity, exposing secularism as a one-way obligation of Hindus.

That the obvious perpetrator of this blasphemous atrocity on Hindu religions hoary institution is
the head of the TN state government, one who also claims to be a good Hindu because she
regularly visits temples, has only helped to further confound the already confused Hindu mind
from responding.

That this atrocity could not have been heaped on the Mutt without the aid and abetment, or even
the instigation of the power behind the throne in Delhi, a devout foreign-born Catholic, has not
even evoked any anger amongst the Hindus.

Instead the majority of Hindus have been just passive or satisfied discussing gossip i.e., whether
there was some land dispute of the Mutt with the government that triggered it or a money angle
row with a politician in power to motivate the misuse of state machinery to frame a
Shankaracharya on a murder charge! It is incredible that in a nation of 80 percent Hindus, the
democratically elected state government dared to foist a bogus case on a Shankaracharya and
without a spontaneous uproar and mass protest by Hindus. That this atrocity could be the
beginning of further assault on the foundation of the Hindu religion to defame and discredit it,
should have jolted the Hindus into a fierce protest.

Otherwise, the current Hindu apathy will encourage further assault on Hindu institutions. It is
already happening and there is no time to lose. Further assault is also in progress. In July 2005, an
uncouth official of the TN Governments HR&CE Ministry blocked the Kanchi Shankaracharyas
from entering the holy Shiva temple in Rameshwaram because, the official said, the acharyas had
criminal cases pending against them. Leave aside the fact that anyone is presumed to be innocent
until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or that Ms. Jayalalitha, the CM herself is clothed
from head to foot in criminal cases, what is significant is the audacity of an official in an 80%
Hindu populated country to block a Shankaracharya from performing his god ordained puja
duties. His HR&CE counterpart In Andhra at Tirumala has pontificated recently that the Tirumala
hills except a small portion do not belong to Lord Venkateswara, making a mockery of agama

The state government of Karnataka for example, soon after the Kanchi acharyas arrest, blatantly
patronized the congregation of a Benny Hinn who is under US Internal Revenue Service
investigation. US Christian organizations such as the Trinity Foundation have exposed him as a
fake. Yet in the admiring presence of the Karnataka Chief Minister with his Ministers in tow and
Central Government Ministers, Benny Hinn was allowed to usurp the Bangalore Air force
campus and hold a rally to denounce Hindu concepts and demonstrate his cure of the
hopelessly and terminally ill or handicapped persons just by placing his hand, in the name of
Jesus, on their heads. Bangalore police officers later told the media that the whole exercise was a
fraud since the ailing persons were trucked in from Erode in TN a week earlier and trained to
fake the ailments and the cry of being cured on stage. Of course they were well paid for this
deception. Such obscurantism was however extolled by the Congress Party leaders while
mouthing secularism. Benny Hinn in the end publicly boasted that a friend of Sonia Gandhi had
helped to clear the way to make the Bangalore event possible.

The existence of nexus had thus tumbled out. Taking a cue other foreign Christian missionaries in
trouble with the law such as Mr. Ron Watts made a pilgrimage to Delhi and received relief from
law enforcers on the same patronage.

These visiting fraud Christian missionaries have the intellectual endorsement for proselytizing
activities from well established Christian leaders. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger now known as Pope
Benedict of Vatican, which makes him an acknowledged leader of Catholics world over, had
released a Vatican document in 1997 titled Dominus Jesus in which both Hinduism and its sister
religion Buddhism have been denounced. While releasing the document, the Pope has been
quoted as saying that Hinduism offers false hope and is morally cruel since it is based on the
concept of reincarnation that resembles a continuous circle of hell. He denounced Buddhism as
auto erotic spirituality. US based evangelist Pat Robertson has declared that to liberate Hindus
from their bondage, missionaries will seek to convert 100 million Hindus over the next few

For achieving this goal, even tainted money is welcome for any missionary from abroad. Thus,
Mother Theresa whose proselytizing activities was perhaps the most camouflaged of all foreign
missionaries in India, once wrote to a US Court judge, Judge Ito of Los Angeles not to hold guilty
one of her contributors by name Charles H. Keating Jr. who was on trial in his court for
criminally defrauding nominees of 17,000 persons of $252 million [about Rs. 1200 crores].
Mother Theresa plea to the judge was that since Mr. Keating had donated millions of dollars to
her Missionaries of Charity he should be let off and not be found guilty or even be prosecuted!

The judge asked the Deputy District Attorney [equivalent of assistant public prosecutor in India]
to reply to her letter. Mr. Paul Turley wrote back to her giving the details of the case [by then Mr.
Keating was found guilty and convicted of fraud]. Mr. Turley in his letter advised Mother Theresa
as follows: Ask yourself what Jesus would do if he were given the fruits of a crime? I submit
that Jesus would promptly and unhesitatingly have returned the stolen property to the rightful
owners. You should do the same. Do not keep the money. Mother Theresa did not in fact hesitate
at all. She kept the ill-gotten money and ignored the advice!
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, in 2002-03 private bodies with FCRA permission
had received Rs. 5046 crores as contribution from abroad. In 2005-06 it is estimated by insiders
these contributions at Rs. 7500 crores, of which two-thirds was going to Christian missionary
organizations. This hefty sum has been used essentially for conversion and to defame Hinduism.
Without defamation of Hinduism, conversion is not easy for these missionaries.

Another route to defame Hinduism is the textbook portrayal of Hindu society. Already Swami
Ramakrishna Parmahans has been described in disparaging terms in government prescribed text
books. Traitor Raja Jai Chand has been described as a hero and Prithviraj as a coward! Since
English language provides a fast track channel to India from abroad for propagation of ideas,
books rubbishing Hindu gods and goddesses, sanyasis and other icons are being published abroad
and imported for use in Indias public schools. Lord Ganesha has repeatedly been portrayed in
most hurtful terms. Shiva linga has been ridiculed.

Hence this august Acharya Sabha assembled here in Mumbai should resolve to fight this and
other such atrocities on Hindu symbols and institutions by aiding mass Hindu mobilization
against it.

[2] Demographic restructuring of Indian society.

People of India who declare in the Census that they are adherents of religions born on Indian soil,
that is Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains constituted 84.21% of the total Indian population in
2001. In 1941, the proportion adjusted for Partition was 84.44%. This figure hides the fact that
Hindus resident in undivided Pakistan have migrated to post-Partition India which is why the
share of Hindus and co-religionists have barely reduced since 1941. In the area now called
Bangladesh, Hindus were 30% in 1941. In 2001 they are less than 8%. In Pakistan of today,
Hindus were 20% in 1941, and less than 2% in 2001. Such ethnic cleansing has not been noticed
by anybody. If the figures are adjusted for this migration, then in the five decades 1951-2001,
Hindus have lost more 3 percent points in share of Indian population, while Muslims have
increased their share by about 3%. What is even more significant is that Hindus have lost 12%
points since 1881, and the loss in share has begun to accelerate since 1971 partly due to illegal
migration from Bangladesh.

The lack of Hindu unity and the determined bloc voting in elections by Muslims and Christians
has created a significantly large leverage for these two religious communities in economic, social
and foreign policy making. Although uniform civil code is a directive principle of state policy in
the Constitution, it is taboo to ask for it because of this leverage. Politicians fearing backlash
anger of Christian and Muslim preachers are also unable to defend the need for continuation of a
law to ban religions conversions that occur through inducements and coercion. In the case of
Tamil Nadu, in 2004 the US Consul General in Chennai called on the Chief Minister to seek
reversal of such a statute []. He had been empowered
raise this issue by a 1998 Act of US Congress on religious freedom. Incidentally, the AIADMK
was administered a blistering defeat in the 2004 Parliament elections by a total consolidation of
Muslim and Christian votes against the party because its government had got passed such a law.
After the elections, a humbled Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalitha capitulated and got the law
annulled. I have now put the US administration to test by asking the Ambassador in New Delhi if
the US would be even-handed by asking the TN Chief Minister whether she will withdraw all the
bogus cases foisted on the Kanchi acharyas.

The continued rise in the share of Muslims and Christians in the total population is a threat to the
Hindu foundation of the nation. And we have to find ways and means to meet this threat. Kerala
is a state where the Hindu population declined from 69% in 1901. In 100 years to 2001, the share
has fallen to 56%. Muslims are now 25% and Christians 19%. But Hindus share in agricultural
activities has fallen to 24%, while for Christians the share has risen to 40%. For Muslims it is
33%. In commerce and industry too the same proportions obtain, while in foreign employment,
Hindus share is just 19%, Muslims 49.5% and Christians 31.5%.

In the land fertile districts of Western UP, from Rampur to Saharanpur, Muslims due to a much
higher population growth rate are now 40% of the population. Six of the 14 districts of Assam in
the northeast are already Muslim majority, and by 2031, all fourteen will be Muslim majority if
present trends of differential population growth rate and illegal migration from Bangladesh

In northeast India, minus Assam, 45.5% of the population is already Christian. Every one of the
seven-sisters states has a galloping Christian population. Arunachal which had zero Christian
population in 1971 now has over 7%.

These two communities today fiercely safeguard their control of institutions spawned on public
money besides receiving funds from abroad. Take for example the educational institutions. Jamia
Millia Islamia University has been recognised as a central university with liberal government
grants. But 88% of the faculty is Muslim. American College, Madurais faculty is 66% Christian.
Its junior faculty is 95% Christian. Union Christian College at Aluva, Kerala has 83% Christian
faculty. There are no exceptions. All institutions run by Muslims and Christians have grossly
disproportionate share of their religionists. It is only recently that Allahabad High Court struck
down as unconstitutional the central university, the Aligarh Muslim Universitys reserving more
than 95 percent of the admissions and faculty positions for Muslims. The Hindu tax-payers
money was used all these decades to fund the AMU!

Thus, differential application of family planning, non-uniform civil code, illegal migration and
induced religious conversion have together created a serious looming crisis for the Hindu
character of the nation. We see what Muslim majority will mean to Hindus when we look at the
situation in Kashmir. We can learn from how Muslim majority will treat minorities or even
women of Muslim faith when we look around the world and study Islamic nations. This is
because Muslims believe the world is divided as Darul Islam where Muslims are in a majority
and are rulers and Darul Harab in which Muslims are in a minority and are entitled by the Koran
and Shariat, by hook or crook to transform these countries to Muslim ruled and/or Muslim
majority. At present India is viewed as Darul Harab, and unless the Hindu majority compels or
persuades the Muslim minority to enter into a contract to live in peace, whence India becomes
Darul Ahad, the Muslim population will always play host to fanatics bent upon creating upheaval
in India. That is why I am emphasizing that Muslims in India must declare that their origin and
ancestors are Hindus, and that Hindustan is their matrubhoomi and karmabhoomi. Christians too
have their view of the world as divided between heathens who have to be saved by conversion
and followers of Jesus Christ. Now with the publication of Dan Browns Da Vinci Code and
revelations about Opus Dei organization, Hindus have to go on high alert about Christian
missionaries from abroad. Moreover, patriots concerned with the safeguarding of the Hindu
foundation of the nation have to take note that conversion to Christian faith has been put on a war
footing by entrepreneurs. In Dallas, Texas USA, the Global Pastors Network [GPN] held a
conference and resolved that over the next fifteen years, the organization will support financially
worldwide the construction of five million churches and conversion of one billion persons to
Christianity. From India alone, the target is according the Evangelist Pat Robertson, 100 million
persons. Hence, Hindus are facing a terrible pincer: Islamic fast population growth and illegal
migration, in conjunction with Christian money-- induced conversion activities.

Hence, Hindus have to hang together or ultimately be hanged separately. This is no inflamed
psychosis. Not long ago, despite being the overwhelming majority, Hindus had to pay
discriminatory taxes to the Muslim and Christian emperors who were ruling India. Lack of unity
was the reason, and not poverty. In fact when the onslaught and enslavement took place, India
was the richest country in the world. Within 150 years thereafter we were reduced to the poorest
in the world. Now if the demographic restructuring described herein goes on unchecked, then the
danger becomes several-fold than before. This Acharya Sabha may therefore please address this
issue and give a guideline to the Hindu society.

[3] The Rise of Terrorism Directed at Hindus

If one were to study the terrorism in Kashmir and Manipur, it is apparent that Hindus have been
the special target. The driving away of the Hindu population from the Kashmir valley by targeted
terrorism of Islamic jihadis is the single biggest human rights atrocity since Nazi Germany
pogroms against the Jews. Yet it has hardly received noticed in international fora. Why? Hindu
population in Bangladesh has declined from 30 percent to less than 8 percent of the total
population by deliberate targeted ethnic cleansing by Islamic fanatics aided and abetted by their
government[see Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indias State of Jammu & Kashmir: A
Survey of Human Rights, June 17,2005,] and yet there is no
outcry. Why? This is because of the lack of Hindu mindset to retaliate against atrocities against
Hindus. When in 1949, anti-Hindu riots took place in East Pakistan, Sardar Patel had declared
that if the government there could not control it, then India was quite capable of putting it down
for them. Soon after the riots stopped. Terrorist attacks against India and Hindus in particular thus
is growing because we seem today incapable of retaliating in a manner that it deters future
According to the well known National Counter terrorism Center, a US government body, in its
report titled A Chronology of International Terrorism for 2004 states that: India suffered more
significant acts of terrorism than any other country in 2004, a damning comment. India is
suffering on an average about 25 incidents of terrorism a month. Indias Home Ministry in its
2004-05 Annual report to Parliament acknowledges that 29 of the 35 states and union territories
are affected by terrorism. Moreover, all Indias neighbours have become hot-beds for anti-Indian
terrorists training.

Because of a lack of Hindu unity and a mindset for deterrent retaliation, terrorists have become
encouraged. In 1989, the Indian government released five dreaded terrorists to get back the
kidnapped daughter, Rubaiyya of the then Home Minister. Kashmir terrorists got a huge boost by
this capitulation. When the Indian Airlines plane with 339 passengers was hijacked to Kandahar,
Afghanistan, the government again capitulated and released three of the most dangerous
terrorists. Today three of the most murderous terrorist organizations in Kashmir are directed by
these three freed terrorists. Then there is the case of the LTTE which murdered Rajiv Gandhi.
We have made no effort to apprehend the leader of the LTTE who had ordered the assassination.
On the contrary, those MPs [of PMK, MDMK, and DMK] who publicly praise that leader and
hold the assassination as justified, have become Union Ministers in a coalition led by the widow
of Rajiv Gandhi!

Terrorism cannot be fought by appeasement. But that precisely is what the government is doing.
Tragically, innocent Hindus have invariably been the victims of this capitulation. To combat
terrorism, there has to be a determination to never to negotiate a settlement with terrorists.
Citizens of a country have to be educated that there will be hazards when faced with acts of
terrorism, but that the goal of the government will always have to be to hunt down the terrorists
and fix them. Only under such a zero tolerance policy towards terrorism, will the ultimate good
emerge. For example in the Indian Airlines hijack case in order not to risk 339 passengers lives
the government released Mohammed Azhar from jail. But Azhar went to Pakistan after his release
and formed the Jaish-e-Mohammed which has since then killed nearly a thousand innocent
Hindus and is still continuing to do so. How has the nation gained by the Kandahar capitulation

Hence I appeal to this Acharya Sabha to call upon the national political leadership to treat the
fight against terrorism as a dharmayudh, as fight to the finish and a religious duty not to
negotiate, compromise or capitulate to terrorists. The government must also safeguard the nation
by adopting a policy of hot pursuit of terrorists by chasing them to their sanctuaries no matter
in which country they are located.

[4] The Erosion of Moral Authority of Governance

The well known organization Transparency International has graded about 140 countries
according to the corruption levels from least to the most. India appears near the bottom of the list
as among the most corrupt. Recently The Mitrokhin Archives II has been published wherein KGB
documents have been relied on to conclude that shamefully India was on sale for KGB bribes.
If India is the one of the most corrupt countries today and purchasable, it is because the core
Hindu values of simplicity, sacrifice and abstinence have been systematically downgraded over
the years. Wealth obtained by any means has become the criteria for social status. There was a
time in India when persons of learning and simplicity enjoyed the moral authority in society to
make even kings bow before them. Not long ago, Mahatma Gandhi and later Jayaprakash
Narayan without holding office were here exercising the same moral authority over political
leaders. In a very short period, that Hindu value has evaporated. India is fast becoming a banana
republic in which everything, person or policy is available to anyone for a price. The proposal,
now implemented in some states, to have reservation in government employment for Muslims
and Dalit Christians is one such sell-out. Reservation quotas are strictly for those whom the
Hindu society due to degeneration had suppressed or had isolated from the mainstream. But those
who were ruling classes in our nation, such as Muslims and Christians, and that too for a total of
1000 years, cannot claim this facility. But some political parties in reckless disregard for equity
and history have sold out for bloc votes the national interest by advocating for such a reservation
proposal. In such a situation the nations independence and sovereignty slides into danger of
being subverted and then rendered impotent. This has happened before in our history, not when
the nation was poor but was the richest country in the world. India then was ahead in science,
mathematics, art and architecture. And yet because the moral fibre weakened, all was lost. We had
to struggle hard to recover our freedom. But by the time we did, we had lost all our wealth and
dropped to the bottom of the list of countries in poverty.

In this time of creeping darkness in our society, there are still venerated souls who draw crowds
of people who come on their own expense to hear such evolved souls and follow them. These are
our dharmacharyas, many of whom are sitting here in this Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha. Just as
Rshi Vishwamitra picked his archers and hunters to put an end to asuras and rakshasas, the same
way I urge and implore this Sabha to pick a political instrument to cleanse the body politic of the
nation. It cannot be done without Hindu unity in our democracy, and hence formulating a code of
ethics and moral principles is essential for creating a meaningful and purposeful Hindu unity. The
nation looks to you all on this today, for guidance in this hour of need.

Therefore my call today is first and foremost for the undiluted unity of Hindus, a unity based on a
mindset that is nurtured and fostered on the fundamentals of a renaissance [see my website for a detailed elaboration]. Only then Hindus can meet the challenge of
Christian missionaries and Islamic fundamentalists. I can do no better here than quote Swami
Dayananda Sarasvati:

Faced with militant missionaries, Hinduism has to show that its plurality and all-encompassing
acceptance are not signs of disparateness or disunity. For that, a collective voice is needed.

Non-Hindus can join this Hindustani unity, but first they must agree to adhere to the minimum
requirement: that they recognize and accept that their cultural legacy is Hindu, or that they revere
their Hindu origins, that they are as equal before law as any other but no more, and that they will
make sacrifices to defend their Hindu legacy just as any good Hindu would his own. In turn then
the Hindu will defend such non-Hindus as they have the Parsis and Jews, and take them as the
Hindustani parivar.

India can be only for those who swear that Bharatvarsh or Hindustan is their matrubhoomi and
karmabhoomi. Since the task to defeat the nefarious forces ranged today against Hindu society is
not going to be easy, we cannot therefore trust those amongst in our midst whose commitment to
the motherland is ambivalent or ad hoc or those who feel no kinship to the Hindu past of the
nation. We partitioned a quarter of Hindustan to enable those Muslims who could not live with
Hindus in a democratic framework of equality and fraternity. Hence only those are true children
of Bharatmata who accept that India is their matrubhoomi and karmabhoomi.

As Swami Vivekananda said to Hindus: Arise, Awake and Go Forth as Proud Hindus. But what
does being a proud Hindu entail? The core of what it entails can be found by gleaning the
writings of our sages and interpreting it in the modern context. I have tried summarizing the
distilled wisdom in the following axioms or fundamentals of Hindu unity:

First, a Hindu, and those others who are proud of their Hindu past and origins, must know the
correct history of India. That history which records that Hindus have always been, and are one;
that caste is not birth--based and nor immutable. India is a continuum, sanatana. That ancient
Hindus and their descendents have always lived in this area from the Himalayas to the Indian
Ocean, an area called Akhand Hindustan, and did not come from outside; and that there is no
truth in the Aryan-Dravidian race theory. Instead Hindus went abroad to spread learning.

Second, Hindus believe that all religions equally lead to God, but not that all religions are equal
in the richness of its theological content. Respecting all religions, Hindus must demand from
others that respect is a two-way obligation. That is if Hindus are to defend the right of others to
adhere to ones own religion, then other religionists have to stand up for Hindus too. By this
criterion, secular attitude, as defined till date has been a one-way obligation for Hindus. Hence
Hindus must reject such a concept because of its implied appeasement. At the same time
enlightened Hindus must defend and protect vigorously those non-Hindus who identify with the
concept of Hindustan, as a nation of Hindus and of those who accept that their ancestors are
Hindus. A vibrant Bharatvarsh cannot be home to bigotry and obscurantism since that has never
been Hindu tradition or history. But Muslims and Christians shall be part of the Hindustani
parivar or family only if they accept this truth and revere it.

Third, Hindus must prefer to lose everything they possess rather than submit to tyranny or to
terrorism. Today those in India who submit to terrorists and hijackers must be vehemently
despised as anti-Hindus. They cannot be good Hindus merely because they are pious or go
regularly to the temple or good Hindustanis just because they are citizens of India.

Fourth, the Hindu must have a mindset to retaliate when attacked. The retaliation must be
massive enough to deter future attacks. If terrorists come from training camps in Pakistan,
Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, Hindus must seek to carpet bomb those training camps, no matter the
consequences. Todays so-called self proclaimed good Hindus have failed to avenge or retaliate
for the attack on Parliament, Akshaya Mandir, Ayodhya, and even a former Prime Ministers
[Rajiv Gandhis] assassination. On the other hand those who defend these assassins and praise the
terrorist organization behind them are central government Ministers today.

Fifth, all Hindus to qualify as true Hindus must make effort to learn Sanskrit and the Devanagari
script in addition to the mother tongue, and pledge that one day in the future, Sanskrit will be
Indias link language since all the main Indian languages have large percentage of their
vocabulary in common with Sanskrit already.

These five fundamentals constitute the concept of virat Hindu unity, a bonding that Hindus need
in order to be in a position to confront the challenge that Hindu civilization is facing from Islamic
terrorists and fraud Christian missionaries from abroad, who are also aided and abetted by
confused Hindus who have not grasped these fundamentals. Without such a virat Hindu unity and
the implied mindset, we will be unable to nullify and root out the subversion and erosion that
undermine today the Hindu foundation of India. This foundation is what makes India distinctive
in the world, and hence we must safeguard this legacy with all the might and moral fibre that we
can muster. In this we can get great moral support from Hindus resident abroad because of their
sheer commitment to the motherland. Free from economic constraints, aching for an identity, and
well educated, I have seen them organize effectively to challenge the attempts to slander Hindu
religious symbols and icon. Overseas Hindustanis have contributed during our Freedom Struggle,
the Emergency and in enabling our acharyas to spread the message of the Hindu religion abroad.
This has been done without demeaning other religions.

I urge and implore this Acharya Sabha, that since in a democracy the battle is in fighting
elections, therefore to resolve to foster a Hindu consciousness that leads to a cohesive vigorous
Hindu unity and mindset, so that the Hindustani voter will cast his ballot only for those
candidates in an election who will be loyal to a Hindu Agenda drawn up by the Dharmacharyas.

Thank you, I seek your ashirvad and offer my pranams to all the Acharyas present here.

A brief report on three day Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha conference

The three day Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha conference convened by Swami Dayanand
Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gururkulam was held in Mumbai on October 16, 17, & 18 and
concluded after passing unanimously several resolutions for future action.

Over 400 high ranking dharma gurus, muttadhipatis, peethadipatis and mahamandeleswars and
other acharyas from all parts of India attended the conference as delegates. Among the special
invitees were Janata Party President and former Union Cabinet Minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy
and VHP leader Mr. Ashok Singhal.
Two of the significant resolutions passed were: the deploring of the criminal cases filed against
the Kanchi Mutt Shankaracharyas and to set up a permanent office of the Acharya Sabha in New
Delhi to coordinate the Sabha activities and galvanise action for defending the Hindu faith against
onslaught by national and international forces.

The Acharya Sabha represents the first significant effort for consolidation of Hindu authority into
an apex body in recent years after the VHP Dharma Sansad had been formed for the
Ramjanmabhoomi movement.

Speaker after speaker at the conference spoke of the assault on Hindu faith in a nation of more
than 80 percent Hindus. All felt that an instrument must be forged to seek an effective Hindu-
minded leadership at the political level. They felt that at this hour the Hindu vote must be
consolidated into a vote bank, and be cast for those candidates who adhere to an acceptable Hindu
agenda. The highlight of the conference was the invited address of Dr. Subramanian Swamy on
the 'Fundamentals of Hindu Unity and the Concept of Hindustan. (The text is available at

Introducing Dr. Swamy to the gathering, Swami Dayanand Saraswati said: "Dr. Swamy has been
invited here not as a political leader, but as a scholar of repute, in fact a Harvard don as a person
of eminence who has contributed importantly and more so courageously for Hindu unity and
integrity. He is 'Swamy' in name but recently he has demonstrated he is one deed too." Dr.
Swamy, though hailing from Tamil Nadu, delivered his speech in Sanskritised Hindi for which
the Acharya Sabha cheered him.

He highlighted the nature of the crisis confronting Hindus today as clandestine and pernicious
that is different from the crisis that was overt and obvious when centuries ago, Mahmud Ghazni
destroyed Somnath Temple or Ghori defeated Prithviraj or Clive plundered Hindustan. He said
Hindus are under a siege today and most Hindus do not realise it. Dr. Swamy said that today
Islamic and Christian onslaught is multidimensional, psychologically subtle, and media savvy. He
added that we should be alarmed that a bogus murder case that was filed on the holiest of
acharyas of Kanchi is really a mischievious international conspiracy of certain Christian forces
working through a Catholic lady in Delhi. And yet most Hindus are debating whether to speak out
or not.

The assault or undermining of other Hindu icons is continuing in other holy spots such as
Tirupati, Akshaya Dham and Ayodhya, and will increase if we do not stand up and fight this
trend. Dr. Swamy also pointed to the demographic restructuring of India that is taking place
through a combination of faster minority population growth, illegal migration from Bangla Desh,
money-induced conversion to Islam and Christian faiths, and by legislating for reservations in
jobs and higher education for Muslims and Dalit Christians. We should oppose all this.

Pointing to a recent conference in Dallas, Texas of Christian organisations, Dr. Swamy said, with
the Vatican Pope's blessings, a target of 100 million conversions to Christian faith of Hindus has
been set for achievement within 15 years. Money is no constraint for this project. He said that
opponents of Hindu faith have a clear agenda and are working resolutely to achieve it. But
Hindus have no clarity or even awareness on how to combat this onslaught. Hence, he said, the
Acharya Sabha should design an agenda by which we can define a virat Hindu. It is not enough if
today's Hindu is pious or rich. What matters is the mindset of the Hindu that recognises that India
that is Hindustan shall forever be a nation of Hindus and those whose ancestors are Hindus or
those we accepted in our land as refugees [Parsis, Jews and Syrian Christians]. Such Hindus must
always retaliate in a deterrent way when attacked even mildly.
Past-standing symbols of aggression against Hindus, such as mosques and churches built on
ancient temples, must be demolished. Hindus must accept without any doubt or reservation those
who want to return to the religion of their ancestors. And finally, all Hindus must pledge to learn
Sanskrit or make their children learn Sanskrit since all Indian languages have a high proportion of
Sanskrit vocabulary. Upon ending his speech all the acharyas gave him a prolonged ovation by
clapping. Some even presented him with angavastrams.
1 1. Full text in English :
2 2. Some of the pictures:

The LTTE shadow over India

Subramanian Swamy

THE ASSASSINATION of Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has exposed the
fault lines in India's policy towards the internationally proclaimed terrorist organisation, the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. On the one side, the Indian Government has banned the LTTE
as a terrorist organisation. On the other, despite the continuing assassinations, India does not
oppose the "peace dialogue" of the Sri Lankan Government with the LTTE, talks that could end
up legitimising the terrorist outfit and making the ban meaningless.

Although the LTTE has officially denied any involvement in the Kadirgamar assassination, such a
denial cannot be taken seriously. The organisation has always denied its involvement in terrorist
activity - murder, arson, extortion, drug trafficking, and so on. The LTTE denied any part in Rajiv
Gandhi's assassination. However, the Supreme Court of India, in its 400-page judgment delivered
on May 12, 1999, laid bare what a huge lie that was.

`Stockholm Syndrome'

That security failed to secure the neighbourhood of the Foreign Minister's residence despite his
being high on the LTTE's hit list is clear evidence that the Sri Lankan authorities are suffering
from the `Stockholm Syndrome' of capitulating to tormentors. They are wholly incompetent to deal
with the murderous LTTE. The Sri Lankan President's first reaction was that the island
government, despite the assassination of the Foreign Minister at his residence in the capital,
would not suspend the so-called peace talks with the killers - a further indication of the tragic
syndrome at work. Sri Lanka seems to have lost its collective nerve to combat and confront terror.

India needs to consider what to do to remove the fault line in its policy towards the LTTE - and
thus secure its geographical neighbourhood. The LTTE, which could be legitimised through the
agency of an inane Norwegian facilitation, is a menace not only to Sri Lanka's integrity, but also to
India's national security. The Tigers have links with India's terrorists such as the Maoists and
ULFA, and with the ISI of Pakistan and even Al Qaeda and with separatist Indian political parties.
Even if the Congress shows scant interest in bringing Velupillai Prabakaran to justice, patriotic
Indians cannot forget either Rajiv's martyrdom or the LTTE's unforgivable perfidy. India has to fix
Prabakaran some day by bringing him to justice for his lack of respect for India's sovereignty.

India has a national security imperative and an unavoidable moral obligation to get involved to
help free the island nation of the LTTE's treacherous terror. I thus see four specific reasons
behind this obligation:

First, India trained the LTTE in the 1980s. The country has to atone for this by actions to disband
and unravel the Frankenstein monster it helped create. Secondly, despite enjoying India's
hospitality for years, and after welcoming the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement in 1987, the Tigers
betrayed India by killing more than 1000 personnel of the Indian Peace Keeping Force sent to the
island to enforce the accord. The betrayal and loss of lives of our valiant jawans have to be
avenged to keep up the morale of the Indian armed forces.

Thirdly, as the Home Ministry's 2005 Annual Report to Parliament points out, the LTTE has been
targeting pro-Indian Sri Lanka politicians and assassinating them. The latest is of course
Kadirgamar. For India, the most heinous act is the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. A trial court has
declared Accused No.1 Prabakaran a proclaimed offender, and the Interpol has issued a Red
Corner Notice for apprehending him. India is thus obligated to search for Prabakaran - and to
immobilise the LTTE and deter it from engaging in any murderous and terrorist activities against
India and Indian interests.

Fourthly, the LTTE interferes in the internal affairs of India by financing certain Indian politicians,
providing training to Indian militant and extremist organisations, and extending insurgency
infrastructure to bandits such as Veerappan. It also launders black money from India through its
illegal Eelam Bank in the Jaffna area. India cannot allow such erosion of law and order within its
own borders.

To discharge these obligations, what must India do? Obviously, it cannot depend on Sri Lankan
governments of today or the near future to bring the LTTE to book. Sri Lankan political parties are
either capitulationist or chauvinist. The recent pact of Mahinda Rajapakse, Prime Minister and
presidential candidate, with the JVP that if voted to power he will defend the present failed unitary
constitution is a retrograde step. This shows the Tamils are squeezed between the devil and the
deep sea.

India's first move should be to initiate action to revive the hunt for those of the LTTE who need to
be prosecuted under Indian law. This includes Prabakaran and his intelligence chief Pottu Amman
- and whoever has tried to help them to escape the arm of India's law enforcement.

In 1998, Parliament set up under the Central Bureau of Investigation a multi-disciplinary

monitoring agency (MDMA) to hunt for these wanted persons. But the National Democratic
Alliance Government waffled and failed to pursue the matter. The present United Progressive
Alliance Government has done even worse. When President Chandrika Kumaratunga came to
India recently, India went along with the proposal to take on board the LTTE as a party in the
tsunami relief work and have its share in the $ 3 billion international aid commitment.

The time has come to energise the MDMA, to get it moving to apprehend the wanted criminals, in
unconventional ways if necessary. Further, India must assist and nurture the democratic elements
in the Sri Lankan Tamil population.

These include those who have demonstrated the capacity to stand up to the LTTE (such as SC
Chandrahasan, and the breakaway LTTE group that opposed Rajiv Gandhi's assassination,
namely, the Karuna group), to form a non-violent and democratic alternative to work out with the
Sinhala majority a federal constitution that would serve the purpose of power sharing. Thirdly,
LTTE sleeper cells in Indian cities need to be identified and put out of action. At present, terrorists
of various hues are active in several States and Union Territories.

One day, these terrorists and the LTTE sleeper cells may coordinate and cause a huge bloody
incident. India must guard against such contingencies through pre-emptive action.

The time has come for India effectively to contribute to the war against terrorism and in the
promotion of democracy by targeting the LTTE sincerely and effectively in the larger interest of
security and national integrity.

(The writer is a former Union Law Minister.)

My meetings with great personalities - Indira Gandhi

I entered politics in a formal way in 1974. In these 22 1/2 years of public life, I have personally
been in close touch with many great names of contemporary history. Today's younger generation
know of these names, but have little idea or depth of knowledge of their contribution to our or world
history. So I thought I will write a series of short articles about these personalities and about what
made them great. The names that every household has heard of are such as Indira Gandhi, Rajiv
Gandhi, Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, etc. I shall write about each of these leaders by turn.
Today I will write about Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who was Prime Minister of India for 16 years. I first met
Mrs. Gandhi at Brandeis University in the USA in the year 1965, some months before the Indo-Pak
war of 1965. She was then Information and Broadcasting Minister in Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet,
and was visiting the University to speak to an audience about Jawaharlal Nehru who had died the
previous year. In 1962, I had arrived as a PhD (Economics) student at the world famous Harvard
University, and within six months I had broken the record by qualifying in the PhD general
examination in the shortest time. Soon I joined the Harvard University as a professor and my
scholastic record became famous. Brandeis University, to where Mrs. Indira Gandhi had come was
only 32 kilometres away. So she asked my very good friend Ashok Kalelkar studying at nearby MIT,
whom Mrs. Gandhi knew because he was the grandson of Kakasaheb Kalelkar, noted freedom fighter
of Gujarat, to bring me to meet her at the Brandeis University guest house where she was staying.
Our meeting lasted half hour. I had to leave for attending to my lectures; otherwise I would have
stayed longer. Mrs. Gandhi liked the company of highly-qualified persons who had distinguished
themselves. At that time, I was already a 25 year old Harvard Professor, something to be proud of.
The topics Mrs. Gandhi talked with me were only two. One was how to make Rajiv and Sanjay, both
in Britain to study harder. She asked me how to motivate them. It was quite clear that she was
disturbed by her two sons non-serious attitude to studies, and wanted tips from a Professor. The
other topic Mrs. Gandhi talked to me was how people, whom Nehru had helped so much, had so
quickly forgotten him. She said bitterly to me "you know, we Indians are by character ungrateful
people. That is why no one wants to help anyone else". This remark I never forgot. Much of Mrs.
Gandhi's actions later as Prime Minister, such as declaring Emergency came from this bitter thought
of hers. I next saw Mrs. Gandhi as Prime Minister in 1968, aboard an Air India flight to New York. In
those days, Prime Ministers did not charter flights but travelled First Class as a passenger. I was still
a Harvard Professor then, and when she saw me boarding the flight at Rome, she recognized me.
We sat side by side till Frankfurt, which was about one hour. I talked to her about why India should
make the atom bomb. She heard me patiently till I said to her "If you don't prepare India's defence
against China, you will be repeating the mistakes of your father". At that she flared up, and
criticized me for disparaging Nehru without knowing the circumstances. She was particularly harsh
on Morarji Desai, who she said as Nehru's Finance Minister, refused to allot enough money for
defence. Interestingly at that time, Desai was Mrs. Gandhi's Finance Minister too! But I did not
argue. However when she returned to India, I was happy that she began opposing the NPT nuclear
treaty. In 1970, I resigned my Harvard Professorship and returned to India. Mrs. Gandhi by then
had split the Congress and with the help of the communists had become ultra-socialist. I was
against state control and monopoly. So I became her critic, soon entered Parliament to oppose her
tooth and nail. During Emergency, I had escaped to America to campaign against the human rights
violations. Today it may be surprising but it is worth recounting that when Mrs. Gandhi tried to force
me to return by asking the US Government to cancel my visa, and failed, she had asked Sri.
Chandraswami to go to USA and use his influence with President Jimmy Carter who he knew
personally. Chandraswami did go, but my influence through my Harvard colleagues was stronger, so
he too failed. He became my friend later in 1988, when he fell foul of Rajiv Gandhi on Bofors. After
Mrs. Gandhi returned to power in 1980, she became friendly with me again. We used to meet often
in her parliament office or corridors for a brief chat. She became especially warm towards me after I
helped to get the Chinese government to deny Assam militants sanctuary in Tibet. I also got the
Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping whom I met in 1981 to agree to reopening the holy Kailash and
Mansarovar area to Hindu pilgrims. She was very much impressed with these achievements and
suggested to me to be friendly to Rajiv Gandhi, who was reluctant to enter politics. She had
obviously also talked to Rajiv, because he and I became friends very quickly thereafter. My last
meeting with Mrs. Gandhi was in August 1984. She and I had many verbal duels in Lok Sabha over
her Punjab policy. In fact, Chandrasekhar and I were the only two MPs who had condemned
Operation Bluestar. I had even met her in April 1984, and had warned her of the dangers of military
action. When she saw me in August 1984, she gave me a motherly squeeze of my fore arm and said
"Swamy, you were right. The Sikhs will never forgive me." She also enquired me what my plans
were for the Lok Sabha elections, because Chandrashekar as Janata Party President had expelled
me from the party for challenging him for the post in the party elections. I understood her hint. I
said to her: "I will come and discuss with you after the Parliament session is over". I never saw her
again. She was assassinated on October 31, 1984. My recollection of her today is that she was a
very nationalistic person, but insecure about betrayal. She had a vision to make India great, but
lacked the political associates to carry it out.

My experience with Jayprakash Narayan

I met JP first in USA in 1968, when he came on a tour sponsored by an American organization - the
Quakers. I was then a Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and had already made a name
in the field having collaborated in research with two of the most famous Nobel Prize Winners, Paul
Samuelson of MIT and Simon Kuznets of Harvard. In fact both of these Nobel Laureates had said
that I too would get some someday the Nobel Prize if I continued to work on my theory of Index
numbers, for which I had already achieved fame. But it was that fateful meeting with JP that
changed my life and my profession from teaching to politics. I have never regretted for a moment
that decision because of the way JP convinced me to make the sacrifice, during his three days stay
with me. I have been filled with a sense of mission since then which has focussed my attention in
achieving my political goals. Because of this, I am never discouraged by defeat or delay, nor even
much delighted by victory. And again because of this sense of mission acquired from JP, I never give
up any fight nor been afraid of consequences. It is thanks to the combination of JP's political advice
and spiritual blessings of the divine Parmacharya, that I am as tough today as I am never afraid to
stand alone, and speak as I feel.

It was sometime in April 1968 that the Harvard University Marshal's office, which deals with visitors
to the campus, telephoned me at my office at the Economics Department. The lady on the phone in
a typical American slang said: "There is a guy from India called Mr. JP Narayan who is here and
wants to meet you as well as the Universitys Faculty." I had as a child in 1940s heard of a leader
called 'JP' and wondered if this was the same person. I asked the lady to put him on. When he came
on the line, I simply asked "Are you the freedom fighter JP?" JP's voice choked with emotion and
said "Oh I am so happy that the younger generation (I was 28 years old then) has heard of me!" I
then asked JP to hand back the phone to the Marshal's office lady. When she came on the line, I
instructed her to put JP up at the University's Faculty Club, and that I would right away go to see

Those days I was fired by nationalist ideas such as that could do without foreign aid, that we could
afford to build the atom bomb, and that the Aryan-Dravidian theory is a British concoction to divide
India. In the 1960s these ideas were considered radical and extreme. So because of this
nationalistic fervour, I used to wear "close coat", modern Indian dress, unlike other Indians who
wore tie and shirt. The Americans to their credit never commented on my dress since I was a good
economics professor and researcher. It was the Indian's inferiority complex that made them wear
western clothes.

But when I went to see JP at the Faculty Club, I was taken aback to see him a three-piece Western
suit and tie. His wife Prabhavati was with him, dressed in a sari and she saw the incongruity. She
then admonished JP for wearing western clothes and told me that I had put two Gandhiji's followers
to shame. But JP with his famous sweet smile said "It looks like I have found a new friend", and
simply went back to his room, changed into an Indian Sherwani and Pyjamas. After that, all through
the 3 days stay, he was in Indian dress.

I acted as a driver for JP during this visit, since he did not have a car. I arranged for him to lecture
at Harvard on the current situation in politics in India. Due to the fact, that my father was in the
Congress party during the Freedom Struggle, and was associated with Satyamurthi and Kamaraj, I
was aware of little facts which I overheard as a child in the drawing room of our house. One such
fact which I knew impressed JP greatly. When at a lecture, he asked his audience, "What is the last
wish of Mahatma Gandhi?" No one in the audience, consisting 300 Indian and American scholars
could answer. Then JP looked at me, and I blurted out that (Gandhiji's private secretary, Pyare Lal
had recorded it as the "Last Will and Testament"), Gandhiji wanted the Congress Party to wound up.
He complimented me for keeping such close touch with the history of Freedom struggle despite
living abroad for so long.

After the meeting was over, JP asked me to see him at the Faculty Club for dinner. On that occasion,
he began urging me to return to India, and join his Sarvodaya movement. He told me how he too,
as well as Dr. Ambedkar, had received American education and degrees, but they had sacrificed for
the country. He told me about Gandhiji, Nehru, Patel and Subash Bose who gave up their careers for
public service. But he urged me not to enter politics, but instead join him in Sarvodaya.

A year later in 1969 I resigned my professorship at Harvard and came to India. After meeting JP in
Delhi, I left for Batlagundu in Madurai district to join the Sarvodaya movement, or at least try it for
few months. At that time, JP was almost a forgotten person by people of India. I remember going to
receive him at the New Delhi Railway station after my return to India. JP was coming to Delhi from
Patna by train. At the railway station, except for his secretary, there was no one else to receive him
except me. None recognized JP in the platform after he disembarked from the train.

I left for Batlagundu, Madurai in October 1969 after having lived in comfort in the USA for more
than seven years. While life in Sarvodaya was hard, the Sarvodaya leaders in Batlagundu tried to
make my life interesting. But what I found was while the people in the villages respected Sarvodaya
leaders for their sacrifice, they did not take them seriously. Meantime during my stay, I read
Gandhiji's work in the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi Museum in Madurai city which I often visited to reduce
the boredom of living in a village. Gandhiji had clearly advocated in his writing the combining of
politics with constructive social work to enthuse the people. But Sarvodaya was purely social work
with no politics. Indian society, it seemed to me, was not ready to de-politicize anything.

So I wrote to JP after a few months that I could not fit into Sarvodaya as I did not believe that
social work without political clout had a future in India. And hence I left Batlagundu for Delhi in
early 1970 to become a Professor of Economics at the IIT, Delhi.

JP was very upset with my letter. I little realized that JP had come to the opposite conclusion in
1953 after rejecting Jawaharlal Nehru's offer of making him the Deputy Prime Minister. JP's mission
from 1953 was to liquidate politics. He had advocated party less democracy and panchayati raj
based on non-political Sarvodaya. My letter was thus in effect saying that JP had wasted his life
since 1953, and JP was justified in feeling hurt.

JP wrote me a stiff and cold letter in reply, saying that he was disappointed with me. He did not
reply to any of my letters thereafter. But in July 1972, 2 1/2 years later I received a telegram from
JP. He was recuperating from a heart attack at Tipponagondahalli near Bangalore. In the telegram,
he invited me to join a small get together of his friends to discuss "an important matter".

So I went to Tipponagondahalli to see JP. There about 15 top Sarvodaya leaders were camping. We
all stayed together and discussed many issues. In one session, JP posed a question. He asked: If
Indira Gandhi imposes military rule, what should be his role? Or what can he do to stop it?

While all Sarvodaya leaders advocated fasting or writing letters or something passive. I was the only
one to suggest to every ones shock, that JP had committed a mistake in giving up politics and that
he should correct for it by entering it now. Every Sarvodaya leader in the meeting condemned me
for saying this and exhibiting my immaturity. But to everyone's surprise, JP in his concluding speech
agreed with me that for stopping the dictatorship of Indira Gandhi, he had to re-enter politics. He
said emotionally; "Dr. Swamy is courageous. He is not afraid of speaking the hurtful truth. I agree
with him. At the appropriate date. I have decided to enter the political arena". Thus I can truly say
that the germ of the idea to oppose the coming Emergency and create the Janata Party was planted
in JP's mind by me.

By 1974, JP was fully into the political movement to oppose Mrs. Indira Gandhi's authoritarian rule
which he was certain would come in the form of military rule. Throughout 1974-75, JP was never in
Delhi without giving me a telephone call and asking me to meet him. He made me a member of the
national coordination committee of political parties, even though I was a junior in politics. The first
meeting of Kamaraj with JP was fixed by me. This was in November 1974 and all the papers had the
photograph of the three of us.

On the morning of June 25, 1975 ( the day before Mrs. Gandhi declared 'Emergency') , I got an
urgent call from a political leader who said that for the crucial evening rally for that day in Delhi's
Ramlila Grounds, JP and Morarji Desai were locked in a quarrel, and no one had the guts to talk to
either. Morarji Desai was in high spirits because his fast for Gujarat Assembly polls had led to a
formation of Janata Front Government in the elections. Morarji was a strong disciplinarian and
disapproved of JP's unpunctual schedules. This quarrel was because the public meeting had been
announced for 5 PM that evening. It was a hot summer, so JP said he would arrive at the meeting at
8 PM. Morarji quarrelled on that, saying that if meeting was for 5 PM, JP and he must both turn up
on time. "Why are we spoiling people's habits that we don't mean what to say?" So it was left to me
to persuade JP to come on time, since all political leaders knew the soft corner JP had for me. This
situation helped me to get properly introduced to Morarji. But becoming friends with Morarji was not
easy, since he thought I was too young (I was 35 years old then) to mingle with "seniors". He kept
telling me "You are Americanized. You are too frank for Indian political culture". This, coming from
Morarji who had been criticized for being too blunt, surprised me!

But I finally made the two giants agree to a joint appearance at 6 PM at that historic Ramlila
Grounds rally, which was later cited by Mrs. Indira Gandhi as the reason for proclaiming the
Emergency (JP, it was alleged had, at that rally, incited the Army to rebel against Indira Gandhi. As
an eyewitness I can say this was a lie). Morarji Desai was so impressed with my patience in
handling the issue that he asked me to sit with him in the rally. In his autobiography (Volume III),
Morarji has reproduced a photograph of the rally, with me sitting with JP and him.

That night I had a dinner with JP alone. He was very emotional. He said military rule was certain,
and I must fight. "You have necessary guts and friends all over the world. So you must organize the
fight abroad". I really thought that JP was being unnecessarily alarmist. But he was right. Next
morning a policeman, who shall remain anonymous, called me at 4.30 am. He said JP has been
arrested and unless I left my residence, I too will be.

Remembering JP's previous night advice, I went underground. All through the Emergency, despite
being declared a "proclaimed offender", and having the highest reward for my arrest, Indira
Gandhi's police could not catch me. That is another story I will write about later. But I opposed the
Emergency tooth and nail as JP had wanted me to do.

When I next met JP, it was in 1977 after the Emergency. He has been transformed from zero of
1970 to national hero. He was very pleased to see me, but I could not get anytime to talk with him
as before. The crowds were everywhere. Old socialists reclaimed him, and hailed him as theirs. Even
RSS almost made him their leader. Till 1979, I met JP off and on. In our brief meetings, he
sentimentally referred to our 1972 Tipponagondahalli meeting. He also complained about Morarji to
me. I tried to patch up, but the forces pulling them apart were much stronger. JP had specially
called me to the Gandhi Peace Foundation, when he and Acharya Kriplani selected Morarji Desai and
not Jagjivan Ram. JP made me sit with him throughout as leader after leader came in to give their
view. I got a real political training in witnessing this event. JP was very clear that Morarji Desai
should be PM for the first 2 1/2 years. But everyone knew Morarji was too strong headed to accept
any conditions. So ultimately JP relented, Morarji was made PM.

My last talk of great substance with JP was in 1979 in Patna when the Janata had broken up. He
was literally in tears and in bad health. "My beautiful garden of flowers (Janata) has been made a
desert", he cried. He then put his hand on my arm, and said "But you must mobilize the younger
generation to keep the Janata flag flying. Promise me". I have kept the promise. When the BJP was
formed by further splitting the Janata, I did not desert the Janata. When in 1984, Chandrasekhar in
a fit of rage for opposing him in a Presidential contest expelled me from the party, I waited for an
opportunity to make friends with him, and return to Janata. In 1989, when everyone including
Chandrasekhar deserted the party to join Janata Dal, I stayed out with Deve Gowda (later in 1992
Gowda too deserted the Janata for the Dal). I have stuck with Janata because of the promise I had
made to JP, and tried to rebuild it. But JP had formed the Janata for an ideology of decentralization.
Today JP's victory is that his ideology is accepted by everybody.

Even though his baby, the Janata Party, has not regained the 1977 glory, the ideology has
triumphed. His arch opponent, the Congress Party has lock, stock and barrel accepted JP's ideology.
That is his victory. For this we should thank Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao.

When I look at JP's personality now, what strikes me in his simplicity and straight forwardness That
is what made him great. If Gandhiji symbolizes Freedom, JP symbolizes that spirit of democracy. It
was an honour to have known him so closely.

Rajiv Gandhi - my friend

My first contact with Rajiv Gandhi came when he entered Lok Sabha in 1982 in a by-election. I was
too in Lok Sabha then re-elected from Bombay in 1980. However before this, Rajiv communicated
with me regularly through a journalist since 1977. The first communication was a thanks - as a
gratitude for defending him in a Parliamentary Party Executive of the Janata Party presided over by
Morarji Desai.

In one meeting, George Fernandez, the most characterless person in Indian Politics, had demanded
that the PM take action against Rajiv Gandhi then an Indian Airlines pilot for allegedly taking bribe
in a 1973 purchase of Boeings by Indian Airlines. All that I said in the meeting was that Rajiv
Gandhi should not be dragged in merely because he was the son of Indira Gandhi. There must be
concrete proof. Morarji agreed with me, and asked Fernandez for evidence which of course he did
not have. So the matter was dropped. In fact Fernandez's socialist colleague Mr. Purushottam
Kaushik was Civil Aviation Minister and he remained silent too.

Naturally the word spread, and a journalist who lives in London now, called me to convey the thanks
and the proposal that Rajiv and I meet. In fact, this journalist printed posters and pasted it all over
Delhi to proclaim that "Rajiv exonerated by Swamy". I told this journalist that there was nothing to
thank since I was doing what was humanly decent. Further I said to him that Rajiv was neither in
politics nor did he participate in the Emergency. In fact he had disapproved of what his brother
Sanjay did. I also felt that there was no need to meet for this purpose.

Rajiv never forgot this, and when he came to Lok Sabha, he came over to my seat and formally
introduced himself although he did not need introduction. That was his simplicity that remained a
hallmark till his end. He was a sweet person too, always speaking in soft tone. My friendship grew
with time. Mrs. Indira Gandhi was delighted with this development because she felt that Rajiv
needed friends of his age group (Rajiv was four years younger) who knew politics. But I had little
time because I was mostly touring and mostly away from Delhi. In those days I travelled a lot
abroad too on official invitations from China, Israel, UK, Pakistan, Japan etc.
Still Rajiv and I met in Parliament sometimes and discussed various national topics which because of
his non-political background. The only point on which we had disagreement was over Punjab, and
that too because he came under influence of two rootless persons Arun Nehru and Arun Singh. Both
ditched him later when the Bofors scandal unfolded.

By 1984, Rajiv and I had become friendly enough to joke with each other. But 1984 was a terrible
year with the Golden Temple Bluestar fiasco, and then Mrs. Gandhi's assassination. The terrible
holocaust of Sikh genocide of November 1984 had very much upset me. I had also become
unpopular in North India because I was the only Hindu politician to oppose operation Bluestar, which
had fanned Hindu fanaticism. Chandrasekhar also had me expelled from Janatha Party. This made
me lose the 1984 Lok Sabha election, as did practically every opposition leader because of the
sympathy wave due to the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi. I met Rajiv Gandhi briefly during his
mother's funeral. He simply said "Swamy, Join me". Only later I came to know he had wanted me to
join the Congress Party at that juncture.

After my defeat in the elections, I was invited by Harvard University to rejoin as Professor of
Economics. So in early 1985 left for Harvard and stayed as Professor there for two years. All
through 1985 I wrote critical articles of Rajiv Gandhi's policies which in my style were hard-hitting. I
was sure that because of these articles, and the sycophants around him, I would lose his friendship.

In August 1986, while on a short visit to India while my University was on vacation, I notified the
External Affairs Ministry that my friend from 1978 and President of Pakistan Gen. Zia ul Haq had
invited me as his personal guest to Pakistan and wanted to know if the Government wanted me to
get anything clarified with Zia. To my surprise, I got a call from the PMO fixing time in Rajiv's
Parliament office to meet him.

When I met Rajiv, he was all smiles. He said jokingly "I heard you have run away to Harvard. How
have you been?" Obviously either he had not read my articles or he thought nothing of it. He then
proceeded to tell me about the help Zia was giving to Sikh militants and urged me to take it up with
him. He also asked his Minister, Natwar Singh to give me a detailed background on Indo-Pakistan
relations. While I was leaving him, he said "Promise you will stay in touch?" I did.

With my contact re-established with him, it became very easy to become an even closer friend after
I re-entered Parliament in 1988. By then Rajiv was in deep trouble on the Bofors issue. I had that
time exposed VP Singh's closest ally and a harsh Rajiv-baiter, Ramakrishna Hegde on the telephone
tapping scandal and the NRI land fraud. Hedge had to resign. I had also become critical of VP Singh
of his double games. Naturally, Rajiv felt happy and more so when I discovered that the first
negotiation with Bofors was actually conducted by none other than VP Singh as Finance Minister on
June 10, 1985. Rajiv had known about this naturally but failed to use it because his "advisers" told
him not to annoy VP Singh anymore. Maybe that VP Singh as Finance Minister had dossiers on these
"advisers" and to save their own neck, they sacrificed Rajiv's interests. Rajiv was so simple that he
accepted their suggestion on not exposing VP Singh.
In fact the principal culprits for the Bofors fiasco are VP Singh, Arun Nehru and Shiv Shankar. Two
bureaucrats were equally responsible for trapping Rajiv Gandhi. Since I know this, no one in
Parliament would to raise the Bofors issue when I was Law Minister, fearing that I might expose
those who were trying to expose Rajiv Gandhi.

By the end of 1989, Rajiv Gandhi and I became very close friends. After he ceased to be PM and
moved to 10, Janpath, he invariably called me at 1 AM in the night and ask George his secretary to
pick me up to come to 10, Janpath for some chocolates (which he loved) and tea. By March 1990,
we began foreseeing the downfall of the VP Singh government, and carried out exercises on who
could form a new government. It was I who suggested that if his 220 MPs could combine with 60
MPs split from Janata Dal by enticing Chandrasekhar, we could form a new government.

On this we began working from April 1990. Rajiv Gandhi was superb in storing and reviewing
information on his personal computer. We met practically every day from April till November 1990
when Chandrasekhar was made PM. And it was always between 1 AM and 4 AM.

By September it was clear that such a government could be formed. It is then Rajiv Gandhi made a
surprising proposal. He said one night "Swamy, I am really not comfortable with Chandrasekhar.
Why don't you instead become the PM? I can work with you easily?" At first I was completely taken
aback. I then said to him that all the 60 MPs of Janata Dal had already been told that. Rajiv said
since Congress was the largest party it could suggest anyone as PM to the President. I said I would
think about it, and then forgot about it because of the fear that the whole proposal of the new
government formation would collapse. But two weeks later, Rajiv repeated this to me in presence of
TN Seshan. Seshan as usual began playing double games which I came to know later. He
encouraged me to make a bid for it at the same time he spoke to Rajiv against the idea, and then
going to Chandrasekhar and telling him how he had sabotaged this idea of making me PM.

But by mid-October, it became clear to me that it was too late in the day for a new proposal (to
make me PM). Further, Advani's Ratha Yathra was causing a crisis, and events were moving fast. So
when I met Rajiv I told him it is too late now. He accepted my view, but correctly added, "But I
don't think I can work with Chandrasekhar for long". He was prophetic because even I could not
prevent the Chandrasekhar-Rajiv quarrel within one month of the government formation.

But for the few months that Chandrasekhar was PM, I kept meeting Rajiv to see that his wishes and
suggestions were implemented. That is why when Chandrasekhar resigned; Rajiv Gandhi called me
to suggest that I join the Congress Party. He even convened a lunch meeting at the residence of a
Tamil Nadu MP to announce my joining. But the sycophantic behaviour of some Congressmen at that
lunch put me off. I declined to join then, but I told Rajiv Gandhi at the Lunch that if after the
elections he still wanted me to join, I would. But fate willed otherwise. He was assassinated in Sri
Perumpudhur on May 21, 1991.

In my view, Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister did many great things. He first introduced the idea of
economic reforms. He doubled our defence expenditure and but for the Bofors scandal, he would
have made us a mighty military power. He sent Indian troops for combat to Sri Lanka and Maladives
and he showed Nepal its place. He promoted our culture by getting Doordarshan to show Ramayana
serial. He also raised our national pride by coining the slogan "Mera Bharat Mahan" and illustrating
that on TV through examples to inspire the youngsters.

But he was inexperienced and made many mistakes. His tenure in the opposition had however
rounded his personality. Therefore, had he lived and become Prime Minister again he would have
become the greatest Prime Minister of India of the 20th Century.

The assassins not only robbed the nation of a leader who could have made for the country a
glorious entry into the 21st century, but also robbed me of a very good friend.

Morarji Desai - my true friend

I was first introduced to Morarji Desai in 1975 when senior leaders were finding it difficult to bring
him and Jayaprakash Narayan on the same wave length of thinking and pushed me in the front to
dare to talk to both. As I have already described in my earlier article, if it were not for my audacity
in bringing JP and Morarji together, the June 25th 1975 historic Ramlila Ground meeting in Delhi
(which Mrs. Gandhi used as an excuse to declare Emergency),would never have taken place. The
Emergency was originally scheduled for June 22nd when JP was to address the rally, but his Patna-
Delhi Indian Airlines flight got cancelled, and so Mrs. Gandhi postponed the decision. She wanted to
use JP's speech as an excuse. It is a wonder to me that had I not succeeded to bringing the two
together on June 25th, and the meeting thus cancelled, would the declaration of Emergency been
further postponed, or even Mrs. Gandhi changed her mind about the idea itself with a little more
time to think about it?

My Next meeting with Morarji Desai was a stormy one. It was a meeting demanded by Morarji to
give me a lecture. It was also meeting that became a turning point because after that Morarji and I
became very close.

The General Elections to Lok Sabha were declared on January 18, 1977 when I was abroad, having
escaped again after a dramatic appearance on the floor of Parliament despite an MISA arrest
warrant and the highest reward on my head for my capture. This was my second escape abroad
during the Emergency.

Morarji had been released from prison, and in his first press conference, a pro-Congress news
reporter taunted him with the question about Mrs. Gandhi's allegation that opposition leaders had
run away abroad rather than go to jail. The news reporter mentioned my name in this connection.

Morarji angrily reacted to the question by remarking that it did not matter because I was not a
"front-rank" leader. I did not mind that remark because I was then only 37 years old, and only been
four years in politics. But I had resented Morarji's failure to rebut the idea that I had "run away".
Actually I was abroad on JP's direction to awaken the world to the Emergency's atrocities, and
Morarji had known that. It would have been easy to stay in jail. Because I had evaded arrest under
MISA, Mrs. Gandhi put 18 false cases against me, declared me a "proclaimed offender", and
confiscated my property, household goods and car. My two daughters Gitanjali aged 5 and Suhasini
aged 2 had to suffer trauma of not knowing where their father was, not to mention the harassment
suffered by my wife in going to court for my cases, and who was always against my leaving
academics (that too Harvard) for politics.

When I returned to India on February 5th, 1977 to contest Lok Sabha, I was red hot with anger. My
other political colleagues sensed that I would retaliate, so advised me restraint till elections were
over. But in my first press conference after return, the same press reporter taunted me with
Morarji's remark. I found it difficult to contain myself and yet the cause of winning the elections
loomed in my mind. So, I replied: "Morarjibhai is right. I cannot be front rank-leader because I am
not 80 years old. This was front page box item news. Everybody found it humorous and had a good
laugh. But not Morarji. He was even angrier. So he sent word to me to see him in the Jantar Mantar
Party office. I refused saying I don't recognize him as my leader.

Morarji then surprised me by asking me to come to his Bombay residence for tea. I relented, and
went to see him. Morarji's took me to meet him in the privacy of his bedroom. The conversation
went like this:

Morarji: "Why have you called attention of the press to my age?"

Swamy: "Because you called attention to my age"
Morarji: "But you are not a front-rank leader today"
Swamy: "I have publicly agreed with you on this. So what is your objection?"
Morarji: "Do you realize that your remark on my age is helping Mrs. Gandhi's propaganda?"
Swamy: "Do you realize that your silence on Mrs. Gandhi allegation that I ran away abroad had hurt
my reputation and the feelings of my family?"
Morarji: "Why did you not go to jail? I don't believe in evading arrest"
Swamy: "Who cares about what you believe. JP asked me to go abroad and organize. Abroad I
agitated against your detention. This was a mistake, I agree"
Morarji: "JP asked you? No one told me so"
Swamy: "As a leader you should have found out"
Morarji: "Yes, that was my mistake. But still you should not have remarked about my age"
Swamy: "I did not realize Mrs. Gandhi would exploit it. It is my mistake for which I am sorry"

Morarji was immediately moved by my saying sorry. "Young man", he said "You are blunt and
truthful. I admire your courage, even if I do not approve of this underground activity. Let us be

From that day on wards, even if Morarji did nothing much for me politically, he was always on my
side helping me where he could and I remained his friend till his last breath. When his Cabinet was
formed, it was widely thought that I would be made a Cabinet Minister for my role in the
Emergency, but Atal Behari Vajpayee, who had played a disgraceful role of writing an apology letter
to Mrs. Gandhi during the Emergency - to come out on parole out of jail - controlled 91 Jan Sangh
MPs. Vajpayee was given to tremendous jealousy, and it is the root cause of the mess BJP is in
today. He found my "Emergency Hero" status unbearable especially since he wanted to hide his own
surrender shame. He therefore prevailed upon Morarji to offer me only a Minister of State with
independent charge. Morarji also thought that at the age of 37, a Cabinet Ministership was too early.

When I turned down the junior Ministership, Morarji was truly impressed. He called me to have
dinner with him to express his appreciation. At the dinner, he expressed his approval of my simple
habits (no drinking, no smoking), my courage, and my education. At one stage, he said to me "You
should have come into contact with me years earlier". From that day onwards till his death, I was
one of the few who could see Morarji at any time or any place that I wanted especially at his lunch
(10 AM) or dinner time (6.30 PM). Throughout his Prime Ministership, I was regularly the last visitor
to see him (8.30 PM). Very often, Morarji would invite me to come with him on trips within the
country on the special Air Force Plane. Morarji had clearly taken a liking for me and my boldness.

Morarji helped me to break the ice with China. Vajpayee as Foreign Minister blocked my visit for one
year, but in 1978, Morarji saw that I went first to China. He accepted my view about China, and
rejected Vajpayee's, who was keen to keep the Soviet Union pleased. Even on Israel, Morarji
accepted my view and invited Moshe Dayan to visit India.

Because of the factionalism in the Janata Party during his tenure as PM, he could not make me a
Cabinet Minister. Delhi was always abuzz with the rumour that he was about to induct me as Foreign
Minister because he was fed up with Vajpayee's drinking habits whenever he went abroad or his
indiscretion with women. But the 91 MPs of the Jan Sangh group was Vajpayee's strength so Morarji
kept postponing the date. Then there was the Raj Narain nuisance. However in June 1979, Raj
Narain was expelled from the Janata Party, and everything was under control - or so it seemed. It
was then I was confidently told by insiders that Morarji would bring me into the Cabinet in the
September 1979 re-shuffle. That re-shuffle never came because Morarji quit office in July 1979. But
the greatness of Morarji was exhibited in those trying moments when he was betrayed by colleague
after colleague, each trying to become Prime Minister. Some got a bad name for it such as Charan
Singh, but the real culprits were Vajpayee and Ramakrishna Hegde who pushed Morarji into a
confrontation with Charan Singh, and then let Morarji down.

Provoked by what he mistook as Morarji induced insults, Charan Singh broke the party and the
Janata Party lost majority. Then Vajpayee and Hegde produced a list of 279 MPs of which 23 MPs
signatures were forged. The President Mr. Sanjiva Reddy was alerted to it by the IB and he made it
public. Morarji gallantly took the blame and quit public life. It should have been Vajpayee and Hegde
who should have quit but they left Morarji holding the bag and owning responsibility! Such was their

Later at his residence at night I asked Morarji why he took the blame when he was blameless and
paid such a heavy price. He said simply: "After all, I am the leader. I must sink with the ship". Such
was his greatness.
Morarji never recovered from the 1979 debacle. But till his death, he tried to help me to the extent
he could. He backed me for becoming the President of the Janata Party to replace Chandrasekhar as
early a 1981. He tried again in 1984 but Chandrasekhar and Hegde combined to get me expelled
from the party rather than pose to challenge. Later Hegde got ambitious and tried to push
Chandrasekhar. It was ironic that Chandrasekhar sought my help. Since of the two, Chandrasekhar
was a better person, I launched a campaign against Hegde on telephone tapping and land scandals
for which Hegde was responsible. He had to resign from the Karnataka Chief Ministership and has
been marginalized in politics ever since.

For Morarji, the most hurtful part of his life was when cheap allegation was hurled on him by an
American author of being a CIA agent. There could not have been a greater patriot than Morarji but
he was slandered like Sita was in Ramayana. It was the only time I saw Morarji's eyes moist. But he
told me: "It is the law of Karma. I must have wronged somebody in my past life".

I advised him to ignore the charge since every newspaper editorial in the country came to his
defense. No politician however came explicitly to his defence. Some attacked him. In Lok Sabha, I
stoutly defended him which pleased him immensely. But his other friends were not satisfied. They
wanted him to sue the author in US courts. Morarji chose to ignore my advice and he suffered even
more going to US in cold winters to pursue the case and raise money for legal fees. It was a futile
exercise and a waste of time and money. Morarji was deeply hurt by outcome and regretted his
decision to fight a defamation case in a US court. He seemed to lose all desire for public life.

But Morarji was getting old too. He was nearing 90. Soon he simply retired completely and never
left Bombay. But he would keep inquiring about me. During my struggle against the Jayalalitha
government, and the violence let loose against me, Morarji would chuckle and say, "Foolish woman.
Does she not know your exploits in the Emergency?" But he kept telling me to be careful about my
life and limb. I know he was concerned from his heart.

When Morarji died, he saved my life. Strange as it may seem, I was driving in last week of April
1995 to Pondicherry to address a public meeting. At Tindivanam, a huge crowd was waiting for me
to with petrol bombs and acid filled eggs. They were planning to stop my car and set it on fire,
thereby roasting me to death. The crowd was AIADMK sponsored, and they were particularly angry
at my getting sanction to prosecute their leader, Ms.Jayalalitha. They wanted to prove their loyalty
to her.

I had no idea that this mob was waiting for me, since as usual the Tamilnadu Police had disappeared
from Tindivanam. As my car was speeding towards Tindivanam, in a small town about 10 Kms away,
a few people blocked my car to give me the news that Morarji Desai had passed away.

I immediately told Chandralekha who was travelling with me, that I must return and catch a flight to
Bombay. My party people accompanying me and Chandralekha thought that since a huge crowd
would be waiting in Pondicherry to hear my speech, I should fulfill that commitment first. I could
pass a condolence resolution in that meeting, they suggested. But my emotional attachment to
Morarji was deep. Therefore I insisted on cancelling the programme and returning right away.

When I reached Chennai three hours later there was an urgent call from Dr. Chenna Reddy from
Pondicherry. There was real concern in his voice. I thought he was calling about Morarji, but he
asked me: "Are you alright?" I said yes but asked him why. He replied "Thank God! There was an
AIADMK mob ready to murder you, burn you alive. Thank God you did not go to Tindivanam". Dr.
Channa Reddy later wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Mr. Narasimha Rao about it.

But I said: "Thank God, and thank your Morarji Bhai. Even in your last breath you thought of
helping me". I flew to Ahmedabad via Bombay, and meditated by the side of Morarji's body. I am
rarely moved to tears. But on that day, tears rolled down my cheeks when I saw Morarji's body I
placed a wreath on his body and said "Good bye, my Friend. I shall never forget you".

Morarji was a great inspiration for four reasons:

First, he came from an ordinary school teacher's family and while remaining completely honest,
simple, fearless and truthful, he rose by sheer hard work to become the Prime Minister of India.
Those who say that we have to be corrupt to rise in politics should learn from Morarji's example.

Second, Morarji was a man of guts and conviction. Even JP came out of jail during the Emergency
on parole (though justifiably) but Morarji despite 20 months of solitary confinement did not budge.
He even refused to talk with Mrs. Gandhi's emissaries about compromise.

Third, Morarji was noble and humane. After he became PM, Mrs. Gandhi went to see him and
request an allotment of a government bungalow. Despite protest from many Janata Party leaders,
he treated her with respect and allotted her a spacious bungalow. "After all, she was our Prime
Minister for 11 years" he told me one day.

Fourth, Morarji had a complete philosophy of life. It was he (and course the divine grace of
Parmacharya Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswathi) who educated me on how not to be disheartened by
failure. He would say "Plans are good only for 10 percent of your success. Events control 90 percent
of the failure. You can plan, but God only controls events". Morarji's commentary on Bhagwat Gita is
still one of the best that I have read of any commentators. Like Patel and Subash Bose, Morarji's
stature will grow with time.

The Kamaraj I knew

I first met Thiru Kamaraj when I was just 9 years old in early 1949. Kamaraj had come to our
residence in New Delhi for lunch. My father was in government service then, after a period as
lecturer in mathematics in Annamalai University. When my father was a student and later lecturer,
he was closely associated with Satyamurti, the popular Congress leader and member of the fore-
runner of our Parliament - namely the Central Legislative Assembly. Because of this closeness with
Satyamurti, my father came to know Thiru Kamaraj.

When Kamaraj came to our house, naturally there was little to discuss between us since I was only
9 years old, and Kamaraj appeared not interested in anything else except politics and India's freshly
achieved freedom. But I sat with my father and Kamaraj and heard their conversation, which was
mostly about Rajaji, which I did not understand.

I next met Kamaraj in 1968 after he had lost the elections. I was then a Professor of Economics at
Harvard University in USA and was on a short summer vacation trip to India to give lectures at the
Delhi school of Economics in Delhi University. To fix an appointment, I simply telephoned Thiru
Kamaraj on the number in the Telephone Directory. When he came on the line, I explained who was
I, in my broken Tamil (which I could barely speak in those days) and reminded him of his coming to
our house in1949! Either out of sweetness or just genuine memory, he recalled that meeting and
immediately invited me to see him at his Jantarmantar residence.

When I met Kamaraj at his Delhi residence, he had hardly any visitors. He had been defeated at the
polls and Indira Gandhi whom he had made Prime Minister, was not listening to him. So he was
glum and quite alone. He gave me a good filter coffee and asked me only one question in broken
English - What do the Americans think of India and Indira Gandhi? Not much conversation could
take place however since I tried to speak to him in my broken Tamil and he tried to make me
understand in his broken English!

My next meeting took place in April 1974. By then, I had become an MP. Thiru Kamaraj had invited
me for lunch to his new residence at Ashoka road. We had first met that morning in Morarji Desai's
residence where we had all been asked to assemble to celebrate. Morarji had got his demand on
holding Gujarat Assembly elections conceded following his fast unto death, which fast was broken
on the fifty day. So we all went to celebrate. Kamaraj saw me there and asked me to come with him
to his residence. I was pleased that he gave so much recognition and went with him to his place.

At the lunch table, Kamaraj said to me that since I enjoyed JP's confidence, I should ensure that
Morarji Desai is not made the combined opposition candidate for Prime Minister. I felt honoured that
he trusted me with his confidence, but asked him why he was against Morarji. He replied in the
simplest Tamil with gestures to make sure that I understood that Morarji was too rigid to head a
coalition of opposition parties. It needed someone more flexible in nature, he said. Kamaraj wanted
me convince JP of this. Kamaraj-Morarji enmity originated from the time Nehru in 1963 used the
"Kamaraj Plan" to dislodge Morarji from the Finance Ministry.

I asked Kamaraj why he did not think of himself to lead the coalition. He said that the North, which
had majority of the Lok Sabha seats, will not tolerate for long anyone who did not know Hindi. He
had not learnt Hindi so when in 1964 Nehru died; he brought in Lal Bahadur Shastri. At that time,
he himself could have become PM, but because of this reason he declined to do so. Then he added:
"Unless you know how to reprimand Northerners in Hindi, they will not listen to you!"
He then congratulated me for getting elected to Parliament from UP. "It is a real credit for a Tamil to
come to Parliament from UP." But he added a warning: "Today you are a youngster, so they may
accept you, because you speak Hindi, and can abuse them in Hindi. But after some years, when you
become a big leader, you will have to come to Tamil Nadu and go from there. With a name like
Subramanian Swamy you will always be considered a Tamil in UP, even if you speak Hindi like them.
So sooner or later, you will have to shift to Tamil Nadu to be in Parliament. ". This advice of Kamaraj
never left my mind and memory. After I became Commerce Minister in 1990, I knew time had come
to implement Kamaraj's advice.

I next met Kamaraj accidentally at Meenambakkam Airport in Madras on May 1, 1975. This was to
be our last meeting since soon after, the Emergency was declared. On October 1, 1975, Kamaraj
passed away. I was underground then evading a MISA arrest warrant, so I could not even come to
pay my last respects to his body.

But this last meeting was the most rewarding experience. Kamaraj and I were together for three
and half hours - one hour in the airport lounge and 2 1/2 hours on the flight seated together. My
Tamil had improved to the point that Kamaraj felt comfortable to speak freely and continuously in
Tamil with me. His Tamil was simple and not like the cinema dialogues of today.

When he saw me at the airport, the first thing he said was that henceforth when I come to Madras,
I must first look him up. He also asked me to accompany him on tours so that my Tamil will improve
and I could be sent to Lok Sabha from Tamil Nadu. He was in a very good mood on that day
because he had been drawing very large crowds in his meetings. Lok Sabha elections were near,
due then in February 1976, only nine months away. So Kamaraj was feeling confident about the
future, and planning for it.

On the flight, Kamaraj spent most of his time telling me on the evil deeds of Mrs. Gandhi and why it
was important to unseat her. When I half-jokingly suggested that it was he who made her PM, he
replied that it was all the more his responsibility to unseat her. Then he asked me. Do you know
who killed [Commerce minister] LN Mishra? "I know the gossip, but nothing concrete". I replied.
"In the Lok Sabha election, I will reveal everything" Kamaraj added.

In the flight, on the other side of aisle, was sitting Mr. C Subramaniam, then minister of Finance.
During the entire flight or at the airport, he never said even "hello" to Kamaraj. This was surprising
since Subramaniam owed his political career to Kamaraj. But he was probably afraid that Indira
Gandhi may misunderstand his courtesy to Kamaraj, and drop him from the Finance Ministership!
Such is the Tamil political culture even today.

Kamaraj pointed to CS and whispered to me: "Do you know who he is? I said "Of course, he is the
Finance Minister". Kamaraj then said: "He knows everything about LN Mishra".
"How?" I asked. "In 1967 when Indira Gandhi dropped LN Mishra from Deputy Home Ministership,
she sent this man to me to explain. Mishra had been brought to Rajya Sabha by me, so I had been
unhappy", Kamaraj said.

"CS explained to me that Indira Gandhi had been furious with Mishra for bringing to her notice little
incidents in which Sanjay Gandhi had landed in trouble, such as rash driving in which a cyclist had
been injured. CS said that Mishra had informed Mrs. Gandhi that he paid the cyclist and hushed up
the matter. In those days Sanjay was always in trouble, but CS told me that Mrs. Gandhi was
annoyed that Mishra was trying to blackmail her. So to teach him a lesson, she had removed him
from the Ministership."

Then Kamaraj looked straight at me and said "If that was the case in 1967, then how was it that in
1969 she not only brought him back, promoted him to a full Minister and gave him the money-
spinning Commerce portfolio? How did he win back her confidence?" I was speechless. Kamaraj then
added: I will speak about this also in the Lok Sabha election campaign".

But then why did you team up with her in the [Feb 1974] Pondicherry Assembly elections? I asked.
"Big mistake. I did not want it, but my associates were pushing for it, and in a weak moment I
yielded" Kamaraj replied. "But now after LN Mishra's murder, I am determined not to have anything
to do with Indira Gandhi or her party", he firmly added.

Our flight reached Delhi. On parting with Kamaraj at the airport, I promised to meet him again and
travel around the Tamilnadu countryside with him. I got the distinct feeling that Kamaraj wanted to
project me for a role in Delhi and therefore wanted to get to know me better. But it was never to be.
Events overtook us.

Emergency was declared on June 26, 1975. I was told that Kamaraj wept, and held himself
personally responsible for promoting Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister. But his grief in the loss of
democracy was so great that he fell ill, and never recovered. He died on October 1, 1975.

Kamaraj can be counted as one of the greatest Tamil leaders of post Independence era. He was
honest, simple and yet a visionary. He developed Tamil Nadu to the point where it became the best
administered state in the country till the cinema culture of the DMK ruined the state.

Knowing Kamaraj I can say that those who left his party in 1976 and joined Indira Gandhi in the
midst of the Emergency by claiming that Kamaraj had wanted it are guilty of double treachery: First
in insulting his memory by joining Indira Gandhi while the Emergency was still on, and many were
in jail under MISA and second, by claiming that Kamaraj's last wish was this - to join Indira Gandhi!
I know Kamaraj's real last wish. It was to build a strong opposition party to both Indira Gandhi and
the DMK (who were allies in 1974) and bring back honest rule to the state. Those who claim
otherwise are not true followers of Kamaraj.
Charan Singh - The much misunderstood giant

Charan Singh, popularly known in North India as "Choudhary Saheb", was in my opinion one of the
most honest politicians in India. He was also one of the most well-read and of scholarly bent of
mind, contrary to popular impressions. Yet he was type-cased by the media as an opportunistic
village rustic, someone who had no national vision.

I first met Charan Singh in Lucknow in 1974 when I was contesting the Rajya Sabha seat. We were
not in the same party then; to get me defeated he had set up industrialist KK Birla as an
independent candidate. Birla went about openly buying MLAs who were expected to vote for me. So
the situation was precarious. But Charan Singh decided to cast the second preference votes of his
party for me, thus ensuring my victory. I did not know Charan Singh much then since I barely been
in politics for two years. I too had formed an impression that he was a village rustic and not worth
talking seriously. Little did I realise that in his last days twelve years later I would become one of his
closest confidants and his admirer.

Charan Singh met me in the UP Vidhan Sabha premises when he came to cast his vote. He was an
MLA then, and leader of 105 MLAs of the Bharatya Lok Dal (BLD). The BLD in 1977 merged with
Janata Party, and donated the farmer with plough symbol to the new party. This is the symbol of
Janata Party even today.

When Charan Singh saw me in the UP Vidhan Sabha, he spoke to me in fluent English. He said:
"Young man, despite you abusing me in the UP Assembly election campaign (held in 1973), I have
forgiven you and voted for you. I am impressed with your educational qualifications and intelligence,
so I voted for you. When you are elected, come and see me". I thanked Charan Singh for voting for
me, but I was dazed by his simplicity and English diction. But after defeating KK Birla and becoming
MP, I went straight to Delhi. I corresponded with Charan Singh, but since he mostly stayed in
Lucknow and I in Delhi, we could not meet till 1977.

In Feb 1977, after Elections to Lok Sabha had been declared, I returned from USA to contest
elections. Both Charan Singh and I were in the same party the Janata Party. So I went to see him.
At that time, he was staying in a small flat in Vithal Bhai Patel House. When I met him, he was in
the midst of a huge crowd relaxing in sunshine on that cold February day. As soon as he saw me,
joy came over his face. I had thought he might rebuke me for not seeing him earlier but Charan
Singh did not. He simply shouted to his followers to gather. Soon about 500 people, mostly farmers
from Haryana and UP, gathered. "Choudhary Saheb" caught me by the hand, took me to the
gathering and introduced me in a lavish way. He said: "This is Dr. Swamy, my friend. Do you know
him?" The crowd had come to know of me during the Emergency by reading newspapers and
listening to my BBC broadcasts. So they all nodded enthusiastically.

Charan Singh said: "We are a nation of cowards. Very few people have courage in our country. But
we have survived because there are always some Indians with extra-ordinary courage. Rana Pratap
and Subash Bose are examples. Now after the Emergency struggle, we have one more example -
Dr. Subramanian Swamy." The crowd cheered. I was very much touched. I said to myself that here
is political leader whose follower I am not, and barely know him. And yet he praised me like this in

After all the greetings were exchanged, I took leave of Charan Singh, and promised to see him
soon. I next saw Charan Singh after he had become Home Minister. I went to his residence on Akbar
Road. But unlike many other politicians power had not affected him. He was as simple and warm as
before. He got up to receive me, and put the palm of land on my forearm, and asked: "why did not
Morarji make you a Minister?" I replied "He says that he cannot make me a Cabinet Minister
because I am not old enough, and I will not accept a Minister of state". Charan Singh smiled and
said: "Bahadur aadmi (brave man). It is good to wait. Look at me, I am 77 years old, and first time
Central Minister. You are 37, and already a two term MP. Nothing to worry." he comforted me.

Then Charan Singh put his hand on my shoulder, and asked, "Will Morarji be grateful to me, that I
made him Prime Minister?" Charan Singh was right that he helped make Morarji PM; because of his
112 MPs in the Janata tally of 320 MPs his support to Morarji over Jagjivan Ram decided the contest
in favour of Morarji Desai. But Morarji had already told me that God had made him PM, that he had
asked no one to support him. Hence if he is to be grateful to anyone on this earth, it is to the whole
Janata Party and not to anyone particular leader. Otherwise, destiny made him.

I could sense trouble brewing here. Morarji was an evolved sadhu and did not care who thought
what about him. Charan Singh, for all his education, was essentially a simple patriarch with a deep
sense of expecting gratitude for favours done and returned favours. Therefore, he wanted Morarji to
show deference to him. This developing clash was a pity because ideologically Morarji and Charan
Singh were on the same side, more in the Gandhiji-Sardar Patel line than in Nehru's. Morarji and
Charan Singh were for simple living, were honest and strong believers in prohibition. If Morarji was
the brain of the Janata, Charan Singh was the spinal cord of the party. We needed both Janata to be

Since both men were strict disciplinarians other less strict and more corrupt Janata leaders saw
personal advantage in dividing the two. Atal Behari Vajpayee was, for example, feeling insecure with
Morarji for asking him to give up alcoholic drinks. On one occasion, when the Japanese Foreign
Minister gave a dinner party in the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi, Vajpayee had became quite
drunk at that party. I had been also invited to that dinner and was horrified to see our Foreign
Minister drunk. Morarji came to know of this through the Intelligence Bureau, so he asked me for
confirmation, which I gladly gave. Morarji then called Vajpayee in my presence, and gave him big
firing. Vajpayee had no answer except to giggle like a school girl caught stealing. But naturally he
felt humiliated.

To keep Morarji in check, Vajpayee began poisoning Charan Singh's mind. It was he who first put
the idea of becoming PM in Charan Singh's mind. Like a typical trouble-maker, Vajpayee could carry
tales to Morarji about Charan Singh, and vice versa. The 'credit' thus of laying the foundation for the
break up of Janata Party and the fall of its government, really goes to Vajpayee and not to Charan
Singh as is popularly thought. The split came in 1979 and Charan Singh became PM with Indira
Gandhi's help. I stayed in Janata with Morarji. Vajpayee ditched Charan Singh at the last minute and
decided to stay in the Janata Party. A year later, he ditched Morarji and left the Janata to form the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and become its President.

Despite my remaining with Morarji in Janata, I kept my good relations with Charan Singh, and met
him often. Charan Singh also knowing fully well that I had cast my lot with Morarji never let that
affect his warmth towards me. It was Charan Singh's respect for my scholarship and education and
not politics which drew him to me. In our meetings therefore during this period we rarely discussed
politics, but books which are worth reading in economics and history.

In 1984, Morarji asked me to contest against Chandrasekhar for Janata Party President in the Party
polls. This enraged Chandrasekhar and Hegde (who were later to full apart), and who saw it as a
plot by Morarji to regain control of the party before the General Elections to the Lok Sabha in 1984

Breaking all the rules of the party Constitution, Chandrasekhar got me expelled from the Janata
Party. The first phone call I got after the expulsion was from Charan Singh. He made critical remarks
about Chandrasekhar (whom he had never liked), and then took me by surprise by inviting me to
join his party. "I want someone like you to be with me with whom I can discuss." he said. He had
recently written a book on the Indian Economy, detailing how the farmers had been exploited. I had
given him a note on how he could improve his thesis in the second edition of the book. He was
delighted, but almost childlike asked me: "Why cannot my books be recognized abroad. No one
reads them here. And because of communist influence in our Universities, it will never be prescribed
for students." I promised to do something someday.

In the 1984 Elections, after Mrs. Gandhi's assassination, except Charan Singh, all of us in the
opposition including Chandrasekhar, Vajpayee and myself lost the elections. So, thinking that a
young Rajiv Gandhi of 40 years old, with a huge majority will remain in power for 15 years at least
like his mother and grandfather, I decided to take a holiday from politics. I was also only 44 then,
young by Indian political standards, so I could wait.

Harvard University, upon learning that I had lost the elections, invited me to return to teach
economics. When I resumed my teaching in June 1985 at Harvard, I remembered Charan Singh's
wish to have international recognition for his book. So I used my professor status to prescribe his
book in the economic courses in the university. Harvard formally wrote to Charan Singh asking him
to send 350 copies of the book for purchase.

When Charan Singh received the letter (his wife later told me) tears came down his eyes. In an
emotional burst he said "I have only one true friend that is Swamy". It occurred to me that Charan
Singh, despite having become PM, essentially craved to be intellectually recognized. He hated the
media hype casting him as a village Jat rustic, and ignoring his writing as a thinker. It also hurt him
and made him sad.
I remember one day in 1982, he telephoned me to come and see him. I thought something
important had happened. When I was with him, seated on the floor in Gandhian style, he asked me,
his eyes moist: "Swamy, is there a ritual you know by which I can become a Brahmin?" "Why
Choudhary Saheb?" I asked "What value is it to be a Brahmin today?" "See what this correspondent
has written "he said showing a newspaper report which described Charan Singh as an "Illiterate".
Then Charan Singh said to me "Unless you are a Brahmin, your intellectual ability will never be
allowed to be recognized. Jawaharlal Nehru's books are of less scholarly value than mine and yet he
is called 'Panditji' and I am denounced as an illiterate. Why?" Unless I become a Brahmin, my
writings will not be recognized".

I agreed with him that while he wrote on difficult economics subjects, Nehru's works dealt with easy
essays in history. I also argued that the urban English media is not to be taken seriously. But
throughout my association with Charan Singh, I felt that while politicians felt jealous of his solid
electoral base he instead would have been happy if he was recognized as a scholar. And of course
he should have been in my opinion, regarded as a top intellectual. But because he did not have any
outward westernization and was dressed very simply, the city-based people never respected him. It
had nothing to do with his not being a Brahmin. Vajpayee is a Brahmin, but he is not regarded as an

After some months, one day while I was at Harvard, I received a telephone call from Mr. Ajit Singh,
son of Charan Singh. He said that his father had been admitted for treatment in Baltimore Hospital,
and is barely conscious. He had suffered a stroke.

I took the next plane from Boston to Baltimore, and went straight to the hospital. I was joined by
Mrs. Charan Singh and Ajit Singh. Despite being in semi-conscious state, when Charan Singh saw
me, he recognized me and tears rolled down his cheeks. Mrs. Charan Singh told me that Charan
Singh had never forgotten that I prescribed his books at Harvard. Today he does not recognize
unless someone has touched his heart and memory in some big way. For others, his memory has
failed him. That is why tears rolled down his cheeks on seeing.

Charan Singh spoke a few words to me, but they were all unconnected with anything relevant. For
instance he kept asking me to be aware of another Emergency coming, and rigging of general
elections. Clearly, the stroke he had suffered had also affected his brain. USA could not cure him.
Charan Singh was flown back to India. I returned from Harvard after nearly two years. Charan
Singh was still alive, but in a semi-conscious state, I went to see him at his Tughlak Road residence.
His wife Gayatri and Ajit warned me that he may not open his eyes or even recognize me after this
long absence. But as soon as I entered the room, he opened his eyes, his body shook, and he cried.
Ajit explained that this was his only way of saying "hello" and this emotion was reserved for a very
few. Obviously, the simple joy of having his books prescribed at Harvard had made an indelible
impression on him. I said goodbye to him; he died a few days later.
During the 1980s, Charan Singh had spoken a lot about his son Ajit Singh, then an Engineer in USA.
As a tribute to Charan Singh, I brought Ajit Singh from the wilderness of politics to make him the
Janata Party President. He did not stay long and soon left the party to join VP Singh.

Charan Singh was the most misunderstood political leader of India. Had he been given a full term as
PM, he would have revolutionized Indian agriculture. He was a person a great courage. He opposed
Jawaharlal Nehru in the famous Nagpur AICC when Nehru wanted to collectivize agriculture like in
the communist countries. His grip over UP rural masses was so strong that once on an election
campaign in Farrukabad, UP, he asked the people to vote against his own party candidate because
he drank alcoholic drinks, and asked them to vote for an obscure Independent candidate! If Ajit
Singh is winning his election today, it is entirely because of the love people of UP have for Charan
Singh. Those who knew him loved him. Those who didn't made fun of him for superficial

My friend Deng Xiao Ping

No Indian except me in his personal capacity has ever been received by the recently departed
China's great leader Deng Xiao Ping. Deng invited me in April 1981 to China for a discussion with
him on Sino-Indian and other international issues. This meeting, which lasted 100 minutes was
hailed by our newspapers as historic as it revived the normalization of our relations with China,
which had begun earlier when Morarji Desai become the first Janata PM, but was briefly interrupted
after Mrs. Gandhi returned to power. The Chinese had a deep distrust of Mrs. Gandhi because of her
pro-Soviet Union tilt in policies, and had broken off the normalization abruptly after she returned to
power in 1980. Mrs. Gandhi was however concerned that if the Chinese started to help the Assam
students in agitation, India's Northeast would go out of control of New Delhi. There were
Intelligence reports with Mrs. Gandhi that the Assam extremists were planning to send a team to
China across the Tibet border to seek arms from that country. This Mrs. Gandhi wanted to stop. And
that is why she wanted to make up with China. But she could not talk to the Chinese at the senior
level since their leader Deng Xiao Ping refused to meet the Indian Ambassador in China, Mr.
Shankar Bajpai. Indian diplomats told Mrs. Gandhi that the only Indian who enjoyed the Chinese
trust was me, and Deng Xiao Ping should be approached through me.

At that time, I was a staunch opponent of Mrs. Gandhi. Her action of denying me three
professorships (Delhi, Nehru and IIT Universities) at the bidding of communists in 1971-73, which
forced me to join politics ( the other alternative was to return to Harvard University in USA) and
later the struggle against the Emergency, had made me a bitter opponent of Mrs. Gandhi.

But it is a tribute to Mrs. Gandhi's patriotism that she did not allow political enmity to come in the
way of national interest. At first she tried to convince me through Narasimha Rao to help her break
the Chinese hostility. Then she appealed to me directly. So when Deng Xiao Ping invited me in 1981,
I decided to help her for the nation's sake. This mutual gesture completely dissolved the enmity
between me and Mrs. Gandhi. We became good friends from that date, so much so that the Madurai
MP Subbaraman once came to see me to plead with me that since Mrs. Gandhi had so much regard
for me, I should join Congress Party. He even offered to resign his Lok Sabha seat to send me to
Parliament. I was, at that time, a Lok Sabha MP from Bombay, so I politely put him off. But it is an
irony today that the son of Subbaraman, Rambabu, not only deserted Mrs. Gandhi's Congress Party,
but actually defeated me by unfair means, in the 1996 elections for Madurai Lok Sabha seat. Mr.
Subbaraman must be writhing in pain in heavan at this turn of events caused by his wayward son.

The question often asked of me is why a communist country like China gave me a known anti-
communist- so much importance. The reasons for this are many. To begin with, communist
countries ill-treat anticommunists only of their own country. But in dealing with those abroad, they
look to see only if such persons are hostile to their own country. In my case, since for long I have
advocated normal relations with China, when it was unpopular to do so, the Chinese leaders felt
special warmth of feeling for me. My argument for supporting dialogue with China was that we
should not have two enemies China and Pakistan, in the borders of our country. A Sino-Pakistan axis
was dangerous for us, and it was making us depend on Russia too much. Therefore, I felt either
China or Pakistan should be befriended. Pakistan could not be tackled because it was dominated by
the USA, therefore not independent and could not be relied upon. China was an independent
country, so we could talk with that country. China in turn had two enemies, Russia and USA and so
it wanted to normalise relations with countries which could help either of its enemies. In our case,
China's normal relations with us meant that Russia could not use us to trouble China especially
through Tibet. So both India and China would mutually gain from normal relations. This was my

When I first raised the issue in 1967 of improving relations with China, KR Narayanan, our President
today, was then a Joint Secretary in our External Affairs Ministry. He wrote me a letter once in 1967
saying it was unpatriotic to raise the issue since China had attacked India in 1962. Of course I did
not agree. France and Germany attacked each other for centuries. Today they are good friends.
Nations have permanents interests, not permanent friendships or permanent enmities. When
interests coincide, friendships follow. When interests clash, enmity will be inevitable.

This exchange between me and Narayanan became public. Many people could not understand how
I, a perceived pro-American, Harvard educated person be for friendship with China. Because I was
anti-communist, people automatically thought that I was pro-American. This is wrong. I would be
Pro-or-anti a country according what is in India's interests. Everyone abroad understands this (but
not my critics in India). That is why the Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein, a bitter foe of USA & Israel,
had personally invited me twice to Iraq. Last month, the leftist Prime Minister of Namibia (in Africa)
invited me to lead a conference. In June, Vietnam had invited me to participate in an international

Chinese leaders therefore clearly understood that despite my anti-communism, it was my fierce
concern for India's interests which was motivating me for good relations with China, and that I had
the courage to challenge the Russian lobbies in India, who were against China (despite being
communists)! The Chinese admired me for this.
There was another reason why the Chinese found it easier to make friends with me. When I had just
become a Professor at Harvard after getting my Ph.D. the world's most famous and revered China
Scholar at Harvard, John Fairbank called me up. This was in early 1964, just one and half years
after the 1962 Chinese attack. Fairbank taunted me with the assertion: "Why are Indians so poor in
learning Chinese? Six students from India were brought here by me on Scholarship at the request of
Prime Minister Nehru for a three years course, to learn Chinese. All six have failed in the first
semester." My pride was hurt, so I retorted: "God knows where you got these six students. But if I
wanted to, I can learn all the Chinese of a three year course in just six months." Fairbank
challenged me to prove it.

Later Fairbank told me that he had used this ploy to attract me to China studies. He succeeded. I
went back to classes at Harvard to learn Chinese. I was a star student, and indeed in six months
learn all the Chinese in a three year long course. But surprisingly the little Tamil I had learnt from
my mother came useful. For example, Chinese and Tamil had some common words "Nii" means
"You" in both languages. The exclamation "Aiyoyo" is the same in both the languages. Most
American students could not pronounce the ('zh') sounds in Chinese. Since I had learnt to
pronounce ('pazham =fruit') in Tamil from childhood, I had no difficulty. So I was a hit and favourite
with my Chinese Teacher. She was convinced despite my denial, that I had spent my childhood in
China. Otherwise how could I pronounce 'zh' so beautifully and so naturally, while American
students floundered on it, struggling to say it as 'zz'.

Because I could speak Chinese fluently, it was natural for the Chinese leaders to feel comfortable in
my company. Chinese is a hard language to learn and so if some one learnt it, they assumed that
the person had a love for China. Little did the Chinese realise that it had nothing to do with my love
for China but more to disprove Fairbanks assertion.

After I learnt Chinese, I wrote many articles and books on Chinese Economy. Between 1970 and
1980 I published nearly 100 such writings. Most of it was critical of Chinese economic performance
and Chairman Mao Tse Tungs dictatorial policies. I was condemned by leftist intellectuals for these
critical articles who thought Mao had revolutionized China. But the political changes in China during
1976 - 80, went in my favour. Mr.Deng Xiao Ping who took over the leadership in 1978 repudiated
Mao, and said that he had ruined the Chinese Economy. World over among China Scholars, only I
had written that in vain. Therefore the Chinese scholars immediately began quoting my articles to
support Deng's view.

At that time in 1980, China had applied to the World Bank for a soft loan (i.e., at low 1/2% interest
rate). This meant that China became a competitor with India for loans from the World Bank. To
prevent China from getting the loans, the then Finance Minister Mr. R Venkatraman foolishly argued
with the World Bank that China did not qualify for the loans since according to some leftist
economists, China's per capita income was US$1000 compared India's $250. To qualify for low
interest loans from World Bank, the per capita income had to be less than $400. The World Bank
President Mr. Robert McNamara made Mr. Venkatraman's negative attitude look silly by quoting to
him my study in which I had concluded that China's per capita income was the same as India's
$250. So therefore, China qualified for the loan. Rather than correct himself, Mr. Venkatraman made
his position more ridiculous by later suggesting to Mrs. Gandhi that on patriotic grounds I should be
asked to revise my estimate of China's per capita income upward to $1000! Mrs. Gandhi politely
referred Mr. Venkatraman's demand to me. I laughed at the request, but told her that she should
call all the government experts to come to a conference with me, and prove my estimate wrong.
Then I would revise it. Such a conference was arranged. About 40 government experts including the
Reserve Bank Governor assembled in the then Foreign Secretary Mr. Ram Sathe's office. For four
hours I sat with them, but they could not find anything wrong with my estimate of China's per
capita income. Therefore, I did not revise my estimate. China got the soft loan from the World Bank
despite Venkatraman's protest because of my research paper on the Chinese economy. But our
country's name was spoiled by this negative attitude of our Finance Minister. The Chinese leaders
came to know of this through the World Bank President Mr. McNamara. So they were emotionally
moved. Therefore to thank me, the Chinese invited me to China to meet Mr. Deng Xiao Ping,
considered as a great honor by one and all. Both India Today and Indian Express described my
meeting with Deng as "historic" and covered it extensively.

When I reached Beijing in April 1981 I informed the Chinese Foreign Ministry that I would bring with
me our Ambassador Mr. Shankar Bajpai to Mr. Deng's meeting. The Chinese were upset, and said
that this visit was for honouring me in my personal capacity as a scholar, and not as a
representative of India. I insisted, saying that our Ambassador must be present to take notes, and
give me clarifications. Besides, I was an MP, hence automatically a representative of India. The
Chinese were adamant. So finally I said that I will have to leave China without meeting Mr. Deng if
the Ambassador cannot accompany me. This firmness on my part, that abroad I will not separate
myself from our government, impressed the Chinese ultimately. They finally understood that I was
for truth, but at the same time would stand by my own country.

When I finally met Mr. Deng, he grabbed my arm and said in Chinese: "Lao peng yeou". This is the
ultimate compliment in China to be called "an old friend" and that too by Mr. Deng, the supreme
leader of China. I raised the Assam agitators question with him right away, as I had promised Mrs.
Gandhi. Deng asked me why I wanted to help Mrs. Gandhi who had tried to put me in jail during
Emergency. I told him it was not a personal issue. If China gave arms to Assam agitators, then
people of India will never forgive China, and it will ruin Sino-Indian relations. This would, of course,
help Russia to create tensions between our two countries.

Deng appeared convinced. He said "Tell Mrs. Gandhi, if anyone crosses our border from India
unauthorized, we will catch that person and hand him to your Border police". This was the
assurance Mrs. Gandhi was looking for.

Deng smiled at me, said "Anything else?" I immediately jumped at that, and said "You have closed
Manasarovar for 25 years. This is our holy spot, so please open it for our pilgrims". Deng did not
know anything about Mount Kailash, but his officers explained in Chinese to him, about how difficult
the place was to travel to etc. Deng turned to me said with a challenging smile: "If you promise to
go there yourself, by walking to Mount Kailash, I will order its re-opening". In September 1981 later
that year, I became the first Indian to visit Kailash and Manasarovar after 25 years. Kailash has
been open to Hindu pilgrims ever since. Every year about 200 - 300 pilgrims go there.

Deng then turned to his other favourite topics like Vietnam, Russia, economic reform etc., He took
me and our Ambassador however by surprise by suddenly declaring to me: "Tell Mrs. Gandhi, I want
to improve relations with India. So I am sending our Foreign Minister Huang Hua to India later this
year". Huang Hua came in June 1981, and after that Sino-Indian relations has been steadily
improving without a break.

After about 100 minutes of meeting, I took leave of the then 71 years Mr. Deng. He said "you look
so young (I was 41 years old then). In your long career ahead, there will be ups and down, but
always be optimistic. We thank you for your help to us".

I felt very pleased with that meeting because despite my not being a Minister then, my efforts laid
the foundations for improvement in Sino-Indian relations. Ten years later in 1991 when I returned
to Beijing as India's Commerce Minister, India signed the first Trade Protocol with China in which
exports and imports were given a boost. Within two days, I could complete the negotiations,
because I was China's and Deng's "Lao peng yeou" (old friend). The Chinese were ready to please,
because unlike us, are a grateful people. They never forget favours. President Nixon of USA had
normalized American relations with China in 1972. After that Nixon landed into the Watergate
scandal, and had to resign in 1974. But the Chinese never forgot him for normalizing Sino-US
relations and treated him with honour as if nothing had happened. That is why China has so many
friends in the world today and we have so few.

After my meeting with Deng Xiao Ping, I was widely recognised all over the world as one who could
talk to China frankly. Many business people asked me if I would become their consultant for fat fees,
for trade with China. I turned them all down, because the best relations are non-commercial. In
1988, Rajiv Gandhi was to go to China. He asked me to accompany him so that I could help him
with Deng. I agreed but later Rajiv changed his mind. He laughingly told me: "My advisers say that
if you come with me to China, the Chinese will treat you better and on a higher status than me". He
quoted MJ Akbar, a newspaper editor in support of this view. Since Rajiv and I were good friends, I
did not mind his frankness. At least he was truthful.

India and China should try to be friends. Only then we can manage Pakistan. Deng helped us to
restore normal relations and we should never forget that.

Jagjivan Ram

I first met Jagjivan Ram when I was 12 years old in 1952. He was a Minister then in Jawaharlal
Nehru's cabinet, and was living in a bungalow on the same road (Queen Victoria Road, renamed
now Rajendra Prasad Road) as my father, who had been allotted his official residence as a senior
civil servant. Our neighbour was a Bihar MP called Shyamnandan Sahay, who had taken a
tremendous liking to me. On the other side of our house was Feroze Gandhi's residence where I
used to see a very unhappy Indira Gandhi come and go, after a fight with her husband.

Sahay, every evening, used to call me to have tea. He was old and very fat, so he was mostly
seated on a big sofa in his house. During these tea times, I met many politicians who visited Sahay.
I used to ask them questions freely. These VIPs tried to humour my curiosity because they were not
used to a 12 year old asking so many questions on current topics.

Jagjivan Ram one day came for tea to Sahay's house. He brought his son Suresh Ram, about the
same age as me, with him. Suresh and I became good friends after that, and played Cricket for the
same team for many years. Because of Suresh, I had a chance to go to Jagjivan Ram's residence
often, and have tea and snacks with his father. Despite being busy, Jagjivan Ram often talked to me
on current topics. Knowing that I was from Brahmin family, he asked me once why I did not wear
my thread (poonal). I told him that at the age of 7 when an upanayam (thread ceremony) was to be
held for me, my questioning mind made me ask the pujari why I should put it on when my
schoolmates did not have it. The pujari's answer did not satisfy me, so I asked him more questions.
This embarrassed everyone in the family. My father was a communist-minded person so although he
himself put on the thread, he agreed to call off the ceremony. My mother was heart broken, but I
was adamant that unless the Pujari answered my questions I would not go through the ceremony or
put it on (My mother however told me that I would have to have the ceremony anyway when I get
married. She was however disappointed because I married a Parsi girl in a registered marriage in
the USA. However her spirit would be happy today because the great soul, the Paramacharya Sri
Chandrashekhara Saraswathi convinced me to don the thread on special occasions. Paramacharya
told me that whether I acknowledge or not, Tamil society has become so poisoned that I would
anyway be regarded as a Brahmin. He also explained to me the scientific basis for the thread in

Jagjivan Ram was mighty impressed with this questioning mind, and thus opened his heart to me.
He told me of the nature of Hindu Society and the atrocities heaped on scheduled castes. I as a city
boy just could not believe these stories, so asked my mother who confirmed these as facts. She
even told me that in my village in Mullipallam, Cholavandan, the shadow of a scheduled caste could
not fall on the path of a Brahmin walking on the road. I was shocked, and resolved never to go to
my village. And till the age of 30, I never visited Mullipallam. But since I entered Tamilnadu politics
in 1992, I not only visited my village regularly but recovered my ancestral house which my
grandfather has lost during the Great Depression of the 1930s, unable to pay his debts. My father
was too busy with Congress politics with Satyamurthi to pay attention to this loss. Later he had
moved to Delhi. Of course my village today is a different society. And because of leaders like
Dr.Ambedkar and Mr.Jagjvan Ram today, the society in Mullipallam also is a better than when I was
a little boy. The Brahmin society perhaps has also come to its senses, thanks to Periyar's

But because of what I learnt from Jagjivan Ram as a young boy, I have never hesitated to come to
the support of scheduled castes. His descriptions of cruelty meted out to SC community are deeply
etched in my mind, When the Kodiyankulam (near Tirunelveli) atrocity took place in 1995. I did not
hesitate for a moment to rush there and fight for them in the High Court to get a CBI inquiry
instituted. Leaders like Karunanidhi who day in day out talk about the poor oppressed classes failed
to even visit Kodiyankulam may be for fear of alienating other castes who voted against the party
in the elections. But because of Jagjivan Ram and my long association with Suresh Ram in my
childhood, I did not care about the consequences, and had rushed to kodiyankulam.

In 1957, after I went to the University, I lost contact with Suresh Ram and his father. Thereafter I
went to USA for studies in 1962 only to return 1970. When I returned to India, Congress had split
and my sympathies were with Morarji and Kamaraj who were in Congress (O). Jagjivan Ram went
with Indira Gandhi to Congress (I). Therefore, I had no occasion to meet him till I entered
Parliament in 1974. But because I was in those days a virulent opponent of Mrs.Gandhi, Jagjivan
Ram would smile at me, and treat me with courtesy but would not let me come near him.

In 1977, Jagjivan Ram jointed the Janata Party. I went to meet him after the elections, having been
elected to Lok Sabha from Bombay. He had been promised by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nana Goray
of the Socialist Party support for the Prime Ministership, so he was hopeful of becoming PM. He
spoke to me about the social transformation that would result by a scheduled caste becoming PM.
Of course Jagjivan Ram was not just of scheduled caste, but one of the most efficient Ministers of
Independent India. No letter was unanswered; no file was not read by him. His grasp was quick,
and he took decision with dynamism. In my opinion, he would have been a superb Prime minister,
but at the same time there was one thing against him in the Janata Party. He was the mover of the
approval resolution on Emergency. Jagjivan Ram's resignation from Congress in February 1977
completely demoralized Mrs.Gandhi, and she never recovered from the shock during the 1977
election campaign. Jagjivan Ram made up for the error in his supporting the Emergency resolutions
in Parliament by his beautifully timed resignation. Had he not resigned the sea-change in political
climate to ensure the Janatha victory would have not taken place?

But the problem was that Charan Singh was against Jagjivan Ram becoming PM. Charan Singh told
me that we could not forgive him for supporting the Emergency resolution. Charan Singh also made
an issue of non-filing of income tax returns for ten years by Jagjivan Ram (because he "forgot to").
But besides this I felt, because Charan Singh was a Jat, he did not like the idea of making a
scheduled caste PM. The Jat community in UP, Haryana and Rajastan is a fierce agricultural
community like some of the backward communities in Tamilnadu and Andhra. They are especially
harsh the scheduled castes, who are in rural areas the landless labourers. Charan Singh gave
special concessions to scheduled castes in his party, but for PM post it was something he could not
agree although he would not admit that this was the real reason. In my political and social life I
have found surprisingly a higher percentage of Brahmins than backward castes that are willing to
bring up scheduled castes and other oppressed castes, although in the popular campaign the
Brahmins are targets. History is replete with examples of the Brahmins wanting to challenge the
orthodoxy to integrate the scheduled caste community. Chanakya picked up a young goat herd boy
to make him Emperor Chandra Gupta. Ramanuja's role in reading Vedas to scheduled castes is
another example. Mahatma Phule is revered in Maharashtra by the Dalits. Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar got
his surname Ambedkar because his Brahmin teacher gave him his own for his college admission.

Today caste prejudice, disregarding merit is the bane of society. The nation lost a great opportunity
in not making Jagjivan Ram Prime minister of India because though he was eminently qualified and
an efficient Minister for decades he was denied because of prejudice. If he could not become PM in
1977 because of some leaders conspiracy, then he could have been in 1980 elections when the
Janata Party projected him as the Party's candidate for Prime Minister. But the Janata Party lost the
elections then because caste-voting defeated Jagjivan Ram. The nation was the loser; Today Kanshi
Ram is the other side of the coin of caste prejudice.

In 1977, Jagjivan Ram was confident of becoming the Prime minister because Vajpayee and Nana
Goray promised him support. The Jan Sangh MPs were 102 in number, the Socialists were 35, and
Jagjivan Ram's Congress for Democracy was 27. That is, of the 318 MPs elected on Janata ticket, a
very slender majority were pledged to Jagjivan Ram. Vajpayee's only reason for preferring Jagjivan
Ram to Morarji Desai was that Morarji was a strict prohibitionist while Vajpayee was regular
consumer of alcoholic drinks (in secret). But when Charan Singh categorically threw his support for
Morarji, Vajpayee became apprehensive because there was a small revolt in the Jan Sangh camp,
especially amongst those who had suffered during the Emergency. He feared that they would switch
sides and vote against party line. Morarji used to jokingly tell me that Vajpayee "roared like a lion
but had a heart of a rabbit". Vajpayee found that after Charan Singh's decision, Morarji was assured
the support of 154 MPs and needed just 11 MPs more to get majority. Thus Jan Singh's MPs revolt
would have ensured victory. Morarji also sternly told Vajpayee that if he (Morarji) becomes PM
without his (Vajpayee's) support, he would not make him a Minister. That was enough to scare him.
He immediately somersaulted, without telling Jagjivan Ram. So on the day of the election of the
parliamentary party leader, Vajpayee quietly went to JP and Acharya Kriplani and told them that he
was switching sides. I was present there because JP had asked me to be at the Gandhi Peace
Foundation with him. JP winked at me with a smile when Vajpayee came rushing in with his change
of heart. JP knew what I thought of Vajpayee. Morarji now had majority.

But Jagjivan Ram did not know this. He was so sure of his majority that he had already ordered
sweets and fire crackers to celebrate his becoming PM, little realizing Vajpayee's betrayal.

When the news reached him of Morarji being chosen by JP, Jagjivan Ram was wild with grief. He
threw chairs and tables in disgust. He refused to attend Morarji's swearing in ceremony. Later in the
evening I went to Jagjivan Ram's residence to see him. He was still a broken man; now in full know
of the betrayal. He looked at me and said "My friend, this is a great Brahmin conspiracy". I did not
want to contradict him because he was so upset. But it was Charan Singh's open revolt that had
changed the scene. Vajpayee is no Brahmin. He drinks alcohol and publicly claims that he is a
bachelor but not a Bramachari. How can he be called a Brahmin with those 'qualifications'? Besides
JP and Acharya Kriplani were not Brahmins. But I had the confidence of Jagjivan Ram, so I could
talk to him freely. I really felt sorry for the betrayal even though the man I respected, Morarji Desai,
had become PM. Soon Jagjivan Ram got over his grief, and joined the Morarji Cabinet as Defence
Minister. He then appointed me as the Party MP's Defence Committee Chairman, and regularly took
me into confidence on Defence matters over dinner at his residence. When Mrs.Gandhi attacked him
for choosing the Jaguar fighter bombers over the French Mirage planes, Jagjivan Ram asked me to
be the lead speaker in Lok Sabha to defend the government.

The years that I got to know him as a young boy helped me to get close to him. He often requested
me to keep Morarji informed so that the Prime Minister does not listen or is influenced by his
detractors. Morarji later made a gesture by making Jagjivan Ram as Deputy Prime Minister on par
with Charan Singh.

Morarji resigned from the Prime Ministership in July 1979 bringing the government down. Charan
Singh became Prime Minister. What surprised us all at that time was, those who used to swear by
Mrs.Gandhi, and were at her beck and call (and even today parade themselves as supporters of
Mrs.Gandhi) went rushing to Charan Singh to seek Ministership. Among them was C.Subramanian
who in Lok Sabha bitterly criticized Mr.Charan Singh's budget only months ago, but abandoned
Mrs.Gandhi and joined Charan Singh's cabinet as Minister of Defence. That is of course not
surprising behaviour for CS. Later in the 80s he abandoned Rajiv Gandhi to accept V.P. Singh's offer
to be Governor of Maharashtra. How hurt Rajiv Gandhi was, only I and few others know. But today
on TMC plat form he eulogizes Rajiv Gandhi.

But Charan Singh's government was to fall because he refused Mrs. Gandhi's demand to abolish the
Special Courts trying cases against her and Sanjay. So she refused to extend him support in
Parliament. By now Jagjivan Ram had replaced Morarji Desai as leader of the Janata Party in
Parliament. The Janata Party was however 18 MPs short of majority, but AIADMK had 19 MPs.
Earlier MGR had supported Charan Singh, but thanks to the efforts of some common friends, MGR
was ready to extend support to the Janata Party. MGR informed Jagjivan Ram that if I came on
behalf of the Janata Party to Chennai, he (MGR) would finalize with me the alliance. Now it looked
as if finally Jagjivan Ram would become Prime Minister.

Jagjivan Ram called me to his residence one evening 36 hours before the deadline set by President
Sanjiva Reddy, to prove his majority. He told me about MGR's message, and said I should fly to
Chennai with a letter from him to MGR requesting support. He said putting his affectionate hand on
my shoulder "Swamy, phone me from there as soon as you get the letter from MGR pledging
support. We must beat the deadline set by the President." Then he said in an emotionally choked
voice: "Hurry, because this is a chance I do not want to miss". For me it was a pleasure. I knew if
Jagjivan Ram because PM, he would make me a Minister. Morarji could not make me Minister
because of Vajpayee's jealousy. But Jagjivan Ram would not care for Vajpayee's opinion since he
would never forget the betrayal of 1977.

When I reached the airport next morning to catch the flight, Vajpayee was therefore to catch the
same flight. I asked him what he was doing there. He sheepishly said "The parliamentary party has
asked you to meet MGR, while the organizational wing has told me to go and meet MGR." How
petty! He probably did not want me to get all the credit, so he must have persuaded Chandrasekhar
to send him. Anyway I had Jagjivan Ram's letter, so it did not really matter, whether Vajpayee came
or not.

From Chennai airport, we were driven straight to MGR's Thottam house since there was no time to
lose. There MGR had laid out a huge breakfast, and he personally insisted that we eat everything.
MGR would not let me talk, but kept feeding us one dish after another.

After sometime, I pulled out Jagjivan Ram's letter to give to MGR. Then MGR handed me his letter
to Jagjivan Ram, with a demand that we accommodate two AIADMK MPs as Ministers. That was no
problem. Then from there I telephoned Jagjivan Ram to tell him the good news, that now he had
majority, and also about MGR's demand for two nominees in the Cabinet. Jagjivan Ram was thrilled,
and asked me to return immediately by the next flight. He said he would inform the President
immediately. I was beaming with pleasure when I put the phone down. Then MGR softly asked me
in Tamil "Do you think Sanjiva Reddy will ever allow Jagjivan Ram to become PM". "What not?" I
retorted. "If we have majority, he has to call him" I added. "My information is that Reddy will
dissolve the House the moment he learns that Jagjivan Ram has majority" MGR said to me gently.

I had a press conference to attend before going to the airport and some sleep to catch before that
so I took leave of MGR, who had a strange sarcastic smile as if to say how innocent I was of the
facts of life. Two hours later, I went to address a press conference. By then Jagjivan Ram would
have gone to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and informed the President of the Janata Party's majority. As I
reached the press conference, I wondered what portfolio Jagjivan Ram would give me as Minister.

Before I could declare to the press the Janata Party's prospects, pressman jumped on me to ask my
reaction to Sanjiva Reddy dissolving the Lok Sabha without giving Jagjivan Ram an opportunity! The
news had just come on the PTI ticker. I was dump founded. MGR was right. Sitting in Madras he
seemed to know more about Delhi than me! After giving the press my reactions, I left for the
airport. What did MGR mean that Reddy would dissolve the House after learning about Jagjivan
Ram's majority?

I understood later. Reddy belonged to a zamindar's family in Andhra. They have a proverbial lack of
respect for scheduled castes. So Reddy did not want a scheduled caste PM, or alternatively he had
some other personal hatred for Jagjivan Ram. In either case, he denied Jagjivan Ram his just
chance. This time it was clearly not a "Brahmin conspiracy?

I felt sad when on the flight back to Delhi, not only that I lost my chance to be a Minister, but since
a truly capable experienced and efficient person could not become the Prime Minister because of
some silly petty prejudice. The nation lost twice in 2 1/2 years (1977 -79) in having the services of
a great administrator.

Jagjivan Ram never recovered from this low. He became cynical and bitter about it. Although in the
1980 elections, Janata Party projected him as the party candidate for PM, his heart was not in the
campaign. I was elected to the Lok Sabha again from Bombay. So I used to see him in Parliament,
but Jagjivan Ram was mostly silent in Parliament. Then one day he left Janata Party and joined
Congress. Mrs. Gandhi welcomed him but clearly did not forgive him for the 1977 shock. She gave
him no importance in the party. One day in 1984, Jagjivan Ram died, broken hearted. With him died
a dream of social revolution that is yet to be realized. It is difficult to visualise an able administrator
of Jagjivan Ram's calibre of any caste, coming up in the near future.

Jagjivan Ram had many personal faults. But that is not important if it does not affect his public life
or does not compromise him to black mail. But as a person he was warm and despite all the
prejudice, Mahatma Gandhi was right in picking him up from nowhere to make him a Minister. Even
if he did not become PM, he was Minister from 1946 to 1980, holding at sometime all the important
portfolios. He served mother India as a great son.

My friend turned Foe turned friend : Chandrashekhar

Chandrashekhar - Part I Subramanian Swamy Former Prime Minister

Former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar and I had known each other on a personal basis since 1974.
Three years earlier in 1971, he had won my admiration by writing an editorial in a magazine, he was
bringing out called Young Indian, in which he praised my book then just published titled Indian
Economic Planning -An Alternative Approach. Mrs. Gandhi had denounced the book in Parliament as
a "dangerous thesis". My thesis was that socialism would not work in India, and would breed
governmental corruption. If we wanted to remove poverty and develop nuclear weapons then we
should give up our dependence on the Soviet model of governmental controls and move to market
economy. I did not advocate like Rajaji a "free market", but a market economy in which the
government will have a role to play as an "umpire" between consumers and producers. But both
consumers and producers will be free to act within simple rules. Rajaji had advocated the "survival
of the fittest" principle, and saw no role for the government to protect the weak against the strong
using unfair means.

In my book, I had also advocated that for our exports we should develop relations with Israel and
China. Naturally my book brought a torrent of abuse from the communists who denounced me as an
"American agent" because they could not answer my arguments. Time has proved me right because
today we are moving towards a market economy and have improved our relations with Israel and

Chandrashekhar in his editorial understood my distinction between free market capitalist economy
advocated by Swatantra Party and my concept of market capitalist economy. The former was for
"free competition" and the latter for "fair competition". Today I am against opening the doors blindly
to multinational corporations because that "free competition" will kill our local industry due
multinationals access to capital which our industry does not have. But "fair competition" will ensure
that if multinational have some advantage, the government provides some support (such as cheap
credit) to local industry to make the contest or competition equal. I also believe that if Americans
ask us to open the market for their capital, we should demand that they open their country to our
labour to freely go there. Why should capital have free entry but not labour?

To hide these attractive nationalistic ideas, Mrs. Gandhi's Congress and the Communists not only
denounced me as an American agent, but got me removed from my Professor's post at the IIT,
Delhi (which post was restored to me in 1991 after 20 years by the Delhi Court). In these
circumstances, for Chandrashekhar, then a Congress working committee and a friend of Indira
Gandhi, to come out publicly in my support took all by surprise, but won my admiration for his
I first met Chandrashekhar in 1974 at the Lucknow coffee house located in the famous Hazratbal
area. In those days, politicians used to meet intellectuals in coffee houses. Five star hotels had not
come into fashion. Both Chandrashekhar and I had been made candidates for Rajya Sabha by our
respective parties. He was surrounded by Congress party workers and me of Jan Sangh. I went up
to him and introduced myself to him. Congress party workers snarled at me for my anti -Congress
statements. But Chandrashekhar got up from his chair and silenced them. He then introduced me to
them as an original thinker to whom Congress should listen to.

After that Chandrashekhar met me often in Parliament and the friendship grew. It reached a peak
during the Emergency, when he wrote glowingly about my daring escape from Parliament.

Chandrashekhar was made President of the newly formed Janata party in 1977, but because I had
become a friend of Morarji, a strain developed in our relations. Because I remained steadfast with
Morarji, and Chandrashekhar's close circle contained two of the most poisonous minds in Indian
politics -- Vajpayee and Ramakrishna Hegde-- the relation between us fluctuated and reached a
flash point in 1984 when with Morarji's backing I contested for the post of Janata party President
against Chandrashekhar in the party polls. I was Deputy Leader in Parliament then. It was a literal
Mahabharata with every newspaper giving front page coverage. Although I lost the election, I got 25
percent of the vote under very imperfect conditions of polling. Morarji refused to accept the verdict
saying it was rigged. But Chandrashekhar's circle knew that if not now, two years later at the next
party poll, I would certainly be elected President of the party.

The modern Mantharas (Kaikeyi's adviser in Ramayana) began to work on Chandrashekhar.

Chandrashekhar suddenly announcing my expulsion from the party for six years, a few weeks
before the Lok Sabha polls. Both Chandrashekhar and I were defeated for the same reason --- we
opposed operation Bluestar in the Amristar Golden temple.

In the mean time, Ramakrishna Hegde got re-elected to become the CM of the Karnataka
government. Like Moopanar has become a media-favourite today, Hegde became the media darling.
This went to his head and soon he began plotting against Chandrashekhar, and to remove him from
the President ship of the party. This not only hurt Chandrashekhar because it was he who against
the part wishes in 1983, had foisted Hegde as the CM over the claim of Deve Gowda. He also
realized that till the time I was in the party, Mr.Hegde used to run to Chandrashekhar for
protection, to save him from all the corruption charges that I had been collecting against Hegde
(these charges were all proved later by the Justice Kuldip Singh Commission).
Therefore, one day in 1986, Mr.Jayant Malhoutra (now Rajya Sabha MP) came to see me. He was a
very good friend of Chandrashekhar. He said that he had talked to Chandrashekhar, and he felt that
now he (Chandrashekhar) understood why Hegde was so keen to get rid of me from the party.
Malhoutra asked me that since Chandrashekhar realizes this, could not I and Chandrashekhar
become friends again.

At first I protested. "How can I when he has expelled me for six years, and made me suffer?" But
after some persuasion, I agreed on the principle that when we meet, it will be "bygones will be
bygones" and we will think only of the future. Malhoutra talked Chandrashekhar on the phone and
got his agreement.

We met in Chandrashekhar's Bhondsi Ashram in February 1987. When he saw me, he became
emotional and embraced me. He and I said nothing for sometime, sipping tea in his cottage. Then
we talked of the past memories of JP. And finally, he said "Swamy no one can beat you in
intelligence or in gathering information. I need your help, so does the nation. Let us work together

Friendship was re-established as if nothing had happened these last few years. It was so firmly re-
established that it never went sour again despite political differences; for example during my
struggle against Ms.Jayalalitha, Chandrashekhar felt that I was making it easy for DMK to return to
power. While he was against all the violence let loose against me, he had a deep conviction that
DMK should not be facilitated to power. But despite this, our friendship has been unaffected.

Chandrashekhar -Part II
Subramanian Swamy

Once the friendship with Chandrashekhar was re-established, we began working together in a true
spirit of friendship. In late 1987, I suggested to him that he had a chance to be PM, but for that he
should expand the Janata Party base. I told him that the Charan Singhs base was intact with his
son Ajit Singh, and that he (Ajit) should be invited to merge his Lok Dal into the Janata Party. At
that time, the Janata Party had a majority government in Karnataka under Ramakrishna Hegde as
CM. With another 12 MPs in Lok Sabha, it can become the largest opposition party. The BJP had
just 2 MPs. So I suggested to Chandrashekhar, that he should offer the Janata Party Presidentship
to Ajit Singh, and get his party to merge in Janata . At first, Chandrashekhar was shocked by the
suggestion, but I convinced him that Hegde had used the resources of the Karnataka government to
mount a massive whisper campaign against him. Many newspapers were writing editorials to
condemn Chandrashekhar for sticking to the Janata Party Presidents post. Newspapers like the
Hindu and Indian Express began painting Hegde as some kind of Messiah, a Mr.Clean, just as they
have done recently with regard to Moopanar. It was clear that a campaign was on to make Hegde
the Janata Party President, and then position him for the 1989 Lok Sabha elections as the Janata
Partys PM candidate.

Of course, I was against the idea because I had known that Hegde was an immoral character and a
crook. I certainly was not going to allow him to become Prime Minister if it was in my power to stop
him. So I convinced Chandrashekhar that he was anyway going to lose his Presidentship due to
Hegde's high voltage campaign. I also told him that after the merger of the Lok Dal with Janata,
Ajit and I would jointly work to make him Prime Minister with in the next two years.

A good quality about Chandrashekhar is that if he is convinced about something, he acts swiftly. He
does not hesitate thereafter. He thus quickly moved and called a Janata Working Committee Meeting
to bring about the Lok Dal merger with the Janata Party. Hegde was so shocked by the speed of our
action that he could not block the move. After all Janata Party was going to expand we argued,
getting Lok Dal MLAs in UP, Bihar and Rajasthan to join the party. Ajit Singh thus became President
and I was made General Secretary of the Party. Considering that in 1984, I had been expelled from
the Janata Party for six years by Chandrashekhar, the same Chandrashekhar now before even three
years of the six over, brushed aside all objections, admitted me to the party and made me once
again General Secretary of the party. Hegde and his friends in the news-media made much of the
"opportunism" of Chandrashekhar. There was however no opportunism because after all both
Chandrashekhar and I were out of power in those days. By becoming friends, what, compromise did
we make? If political enemies become friends, why anyone should object. I have made a rule in
politics: never start a fight; but if someone starts it, never stop the fight till either the opponent
gives up or is finished. Chandrashekhar had offered the hand of friendship, so I made up with him.

Hegde remained un-reconciled to this merger because he understood what it meant. With Deve
Gowda joining us to form a foursome group of Chandrashekhar, Ajit, Gowda and myself, I felt time
had come to put Hegde in his place. I looked for an opportunity, which arrived when Indian Express
published a transcript of a telephone conversation between Gowda and Ajit plotting against Hegde.
The Janata party was shocked, more by the fact that this conversation was tapped and published,
than by the content of Gowda. Ajit plot. The party therefore asked me to investigate and give a
report to the Parliamentary board. I knew that Hegde and Indian Express were close to each other,
so I was confident that Hegde must be the culprit. But how to establish it?

As luck would have it, when I took a flight to Bangalore in July 1988 to investigate this telephone
tapping, on the plane sat next to me a top Intelligence Bureau Officer. He introduced himself and
said that he was my admirer because his younger brother was my student when I taught him
economics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. His younger brother had told him what a
good Professor I had been. He said to me: "We IB people are sick of today's politicians because they
are corrupt. We see them naked. But I admire you because you are different". I jumped at this God
sent opportunity of meeting an IB officer, and asked him about telephone tapping. It was he who
gave me the tip that later completely exposed Hegde. The IB officer told me to check with the
Telephone Exchange whether any written requisition were made for tapping as required under
Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act. He also warned me that in some states like Tamil Nadu, the
Inspector General of Intelligence illegally tapped telephones by bribing the linesman or the operator
at the exchange. In such cases, he said, there will be no records. I thanked him for his tip, and after
my plane landed in Bangalore, I raced to a telephone and called my friend, the Communications
Minister Mr.Vir Bahadur Singh in Delhi. I requested him to procure the file, if it existed of
requisitions for telephone tapping made by Hegde. A few days later, in Delhi Vir Bahadur Singh
confirmed the existence of such a file and that he had a copy. Through my friends in the
bureaucracy later, I got a Photostat copy of the entire file. According to this file, Hegde ordered the
tapping of 51 telephones belonging to Janata Party MLAs and MPs, and surprisingly even seven of
his girl friends! Telephone tapping is permitted by law against anti-social elements, but Hegde was
tapping the phones of his own party colleagues and girl friends rather than keeping a tab on anti-
social elements.

My report to the parliamentary board on telephone tapping finished Hegde. He had to resign from
the Chief Ministership, which he did after publicly shedding copious tears. Hegde's resignation would
have directly benefited Chandrashekhar in the long run, but for the rise of V.P.Singh who had been
expelled by the Congress party. With the Bofors scandal filling the pages of the newspapers, V.P.
Singh began to be projected as the next PM. People like Hegde, seeing themselves blocked in the
Janata Party began advocating the formation of a new party under V.P.Singh's leadership. I tried to
stop this formation, but suffered a setback when Ajit Singh deserted us and joined with V.P.Singh. I
could never understand how Ajit Singh could give up the Presidentship of a party to become a
General Secretary in V.P.Singh's Janata Dal but Ajit was immature and inexperienced. This betrayal (
betrayal because Ajit Singh had assured Chandrashekhar that he will remain with him and canvass
for his Prime Ministership) disheartened Chandrashekhar. Soon he too joined the Janata Dal.
Therefore except for Deve Gowda and myself, all others joined V.P.Singh. I became the President of
the Janata Party and Deve Gowda agreed to organize the Karnataka unit of the party. Gowda
remained with me till 1992, but he too joined the Janata Dal. I thus became the only member of the
Janata Party of 1977 who still remains in the party. It was lonely, but I went to seek the advice of
Paramacharya Sri Chandrashekhara Saraswati. He told me not to worry, and asked me to rebuild the
Janata Party even if it takes years. It is because of Paramacharya's blessings that I have dared to
keep the Janata Party alive and rebuild it even if it takes time.

After the 1989 Lok Sabha elections, the Janata Dal under V.P.Singh came to power in a coalition
arrangement. Chandrashekhar was kept out the entire power structure and sidelined. One day I
found him sitting alone in the Central Hall of Parliament. I walked up to him and sat by his side. He
looked quite sad because he felt that V.P.Singh would divide politics of the country by his advocacy
of caste via the Mandal Commission Report. He said that while he fully supported the
implementation of the Mandal Commission Report, he felt that V.P.Singh was using it to create caste

Then he sighed deeply, and said that a riot between castes has become inevitable. "I feel useless
today" he said in an emotional tone. "But what about trying to become PM to stop this rot?" I asked.
"Be serious, he retorted. How can I?" "Well, I have a plan if you agree" I replied.

Thus began the Operation Topple of the V.P.Singh Government.

Chandrashekhar - Part III

Subramanian Swamy

The plan for putting Chandrashekhar into the PM's chair was arithmetically simple: Rajiv Gandhi's
Congress plus allies such as AIADMK were 220 in number. The deficit thus for a Parliamentary
majority was 52. If I could mobilize 52 MPs from the Janata Dal, then it would serve two legal
purposes, one of providing a majority and two, of being more than one-third of the Janata Dal to
legally split the Party.

Chandrashekhar's supporters were only 7 MPs, so there was the problem of securing the remaining
45. Arithmetically simple, but in terms of human chemistry, it was a night mare.
I discussed the matter with Rajiv Gandhi for the first time; the Chandrashekhar government
formation in March 1990, three months after V.P.Singh came to power. Rajiv was keen for this new
formation because he felt that V.P.Singh was not loyal to the nation's interests. I too never liked
Mr.V.P.Singh because I found him a hypocrite. He talked about fighting corruption, but his political
friends were the most corrupt in the country, such as Ramakrishna Hegde and Arun Nehru. So I was
prepared to believe the worst about him. Toppling his government was pleasure for me.

But it took me a while to convince Rajiv that Chandrashekhar was "PM material". Rajiv told me that
he was uncomfortable with Chandrashekhar because most Congress leaders distrusted him. I told
Rajiv that there is no other leader in the Janata Dal on whose name I can mobilize 52 MPs. I told
him that I would guarantee that Chandrashekhar gave him due respect.

On that note, Rajiv agreed. We also decided that we would meet everyday at 1 A.M! So every day
for six months of plotting to bring down the V.P.Singh government. I met Rajiv Gandhi at 10,
Janpath from 1 AM to 3 AM. No one except George, his Secretary and occasionally Mrs. Sonia
Gandhi, was seen in the premises in those unearthly hours.

Rajiv Gandhi would sit with his computer in which the names of all the MPs, their bio data, names of
their friends, their allegiance to leaders, their weaknesses, etc. had been stored. So we drew up a
list of 76 MPs who were unhappy with V.P.Singh for some political reason or the other, and could be

Thereafter we would everyday take up a list of 5-7 names and I would meet them during the day
and report back to Rajiv and his computer. Again at 1 AM Rajiv and I would meet and discuss the
prospects of which MP is likely to join and who might not.

Throughout this operation, Chandrashekhar did very little to help. The entire operation was a Rajiv-
Swamy managed show. This continuous meeting between me and Rajiv developed a bond between
us. Therefore, when the operation was near completion, in end of October of 1990, and as per plan,
Chandrashekhar was slated to take oath in the first week of November, I got a call from Rajiv one
day at 4 AM after I had gone to sleep. In his typically sweet and shy voice, he said "Swamy, are you
free to come now to see me. I will give some excellent coffee and chocolates".

When I entered Rajiv's study room at 10, Janpath at 4.30 AM, he said in a soft voice, but fresh as
ever: "Swamy, I want you as PM, not Chandrashekhar" shocked by this, I said "Why at this late
stage? My party people are comfortable with you, but they don't like Chandrashekhar". "Will the
President (R.Venkataraman) agree to administer me the oath?" I asked, hoping to discourage Rajiv
at this change of heart.

"I will send R.K.Dhawan to the President with the proposal. He dare not refuse him," he said.
"Why?" I asked. Rajiv only smiled but refused to elaborate. "But, Rajiv," I went on ,"the 52 MPs
have agreed to come out of Janata Dal to make Chandrashekhar PM, not me". "Yes, but now that
they have come out, they cannot go back. You take oath, and they will fall in line".

Much as I would have loved to grab that chance to be PM, I knew it would not work. I would earn
the wrath of the 52 MPs who may fall in line, but they would despise me for cheating them. My age
was 50 years then, and suppose it became a fiasco? I would have to live in disgrace. I was at that
time too young to retire from politics but also too old to restart my academic career in the

For sometime, I kept sipping coffee and eating chocolates. Then I told Rajiv, getting emotional at his
trust in me: "Rajiv, I shall never forget his honour, the faith you have in me. But it is gone too far
now to change Chandrashekhar." Let him be, and after one year it will be time for the Presidential
elections, at which time Chandrashekhar can become President and you may become PM then. I
shall work for it."

At 6 AM, a sleepy Rajiv relented. It will be difficult to work with Chandrashekhar. We will have to go
to the polls, but let us go through with the plan as it is for now." Thus most reluctantly, Rajiv went
through with the plan. But he did not turn up for the oath ceremony of the Council of ministers. As
usual, Chandrashekhar being the strong headed independent minded person, he took into the
Council of Ministers, Mrs.Menaka Gandhi and Sanjay Singh, both disliked by Rajiv Gandhi. So Rajiv
boycotted the oath ceremony in protest without any warning.
After taking oath as a senior Minister, holding the portfolios of Commerce and Law & Justice. I went
to 10, Janpath to call on Rajiv and thank him. He received me warmly, and gave lot of sweets to eat
and celebrate.

Why did you not come for the oath ceremony" I asked? "What for?. You said that the
Chandrashekhar government was a necessary transition from V.P.Singh's government to the General
Elections. I have done my duty as per my agreement with you. There is nothing to celebrate
however" he said.

But it was clear that he was already angry with Chandrashekhar. Will the Government last even one
week? I wondered. When I next met Chandrashekhar, I urged him to meet Rajiv and clear things
up. Chandrashekhar was equally upset. "Do you think that for the PM's post, I will prostrate before

It was a miracle that Chandrashekhar lasted seven months because from day one, Rajiv and
Chandrashekhar were at logger heads. I can claim that had I not been in the middle,
Chandrashekhar government not only would not have come into being, but when it did, it would not
have lasted more than one week.

But as Prime Minister, Chandrashekhar was very good and decisive. Our government set many
things right.

Chandrasekhar - Part IV
Subramanian Swamy

After Chandrasekhar became Prime Minister, it became clear to me that it was only a question of
time before Rajiv Gandhi brought the Government down. I was keen that our Government does not
go out in disgrace without doing anything during the time it lasts though it may be only few
The main plus about Chandrasekhar was his decisiveness. If he became convinced of something, he
would not be afraid of annoying anybody to do it. There fore I was hopeful that the PM and I
together would achieve something. In our system of Government, the Cabinet is Supreme. This is
widely known. But what is not widely known is the existence of a "super Cabinet" called the cabinet
committee on political affairs (CCPA), which consists of the PM, Home Minister, Defence Minister and
Finance Minister and any other Minister the PM specially nominates. The intelligence services such
as RAW, IB and Military Intelligence have to give clearance for a Minister to become a member of
this super Cabinet, because it is the CCPA which reviews intelligence reports and not the full

Chandrasekhar's CCPA had Devi Lal, the Deputy PM, Yashwant Sinha, Finance Minister and myself. I
was nominated by Chandrasekhar. The PM was the Home Minister and defence Minister as well, so
the CCPA consisted of us four. In actual practice, CCPA meant only Chandrasekhar and myself
because Devi Lal showed not much interest in its proceedings since CCPA meetings were based on
voluminous documents which were in English which language he did not understand. Yashwant
Sinha was mostly interested in socialising which his unexpected Ministerial status gave a huge fillip,
so he was generally missing or late. Therefore Chandrasekhar, I, along with RAW, IB, and MI Chiefs
and senior civil servants usually met to discuss the issues confronting the nation in the CCPA

From the very first meeting, four issues were of concern to us: 1. Mandal agitation and how to cool
it down.
2. RSS's Babri Masjid campaign and how to counter it. 3.The alarming network of LTTE in Tamilnadu
and other states such as Assam and 4. the economy and how to save it from collapse and

It is to the credit of Chandrasekhar that he handled the Mandal agitation beautifully and cooled it
down. Had general elections been held before the Mandal agitation had been brought under control,
the elections would have been a violent one. For this alone, Chandrasekhar should be given a Bharat
Ratna, because no one else could have saved the situation. He was acceptable to all the sections of
the people.
On the Babri Masjid issue, Chandrasekhar skilfully used Chandraswami to split the sadhu community
in Ayodhya. Chandraswami won over the Mahant (main priest) of the Ayodhya temple itself causing
enormous division in the movement. This forced the RSS to call off the karseva scheduled for
December 1990. I, as law minister, told the RSS representatives very firmly that we would use the
draconian laws, TADA and NSA to arrest even Sadhus if they touched the Babri Masjid. This
frightened the RSS so much that throughout the seven months we were in office, the RSS never
raised their voice again on the Babri Masjid issue. In the meantime, we got a commitment from the
Muslim organizations, that if it is proved by a commission headed by a supreme court judge that
there had been a temple demolished by Babar to build the Babri Masjid over its foundations, they
(the Muslims) would help Hindus to remove it, because they then would not regard the structure as
a masjid. But before we could implement this compromise, our government fell. Even today,
however that is the only solution to the Babri Masjid controversy.

The dismissal of the Karunanidhi government was another tough decision. Many people even today
do the propaganda that the decision was taken under pressure from Rajiv Gandhi and
Ms.Jayalalitha, on whose parliamentary support our government was existing. The truth is however
far from it.

Although individual Congress leaders like Vazhapadi Ramamurthy were for dismissing the
Karunanidhi government, Rajiv Gandhi took the stand that it was for Chandrasekhar to take a view,
and whatever was decided by us, he would back us. There was therefore no pressure on us from
Congress as a party. As for Ms.Jayalalitha, she made her position known to us that she was for
dismissing the government. But by December end, she seemed to have lost hope that we would do
anything about it since the Tamilnadu assembly was being convened soon after, and was to go on
for two months. She and Sasikala soon left for Hyderabad and were there till nearly the date of
dismissal arrived. Therefore, she too put no real pressure on us.

The pressure came on us instead from IB reports which were alarming. According these reports, the
LTTE had built massive network in Tamilnadu. Warehouses in coastal areas of the state, a highly
modern communication system in Tiruchi, a grenade factory in Coimbatore, a military uniform
stitching factory in Erode and had financed STD booths and Photostat shops all over. They owned
petrol pumps through benamis across the state. The LTTE had also linked up with PWG in Andhra
and ULFA in Assam. Besides, the LTTE was liberally using cars bearing DMK flags so that the police
had an excuse not to intercept them while in the travel within the state.
When I paid visit to the state as a Minister in the last week of December 1990, police officers met
me in my hotel room in Madras to tell me that there were instructions "from above" that the LTTE
were Karunanidhi's mapillai (son -in-law) and hence not to be disturbed.

I have of course never liked the LTTE because of two reasons: They are Marxists and they are
Therefore, the IB reports fuelled my determination to do something to save the situation. I had no
faith in Karunanidhi controlling the LTTE because basically he is not a courageous person who can
face them. Prior to 1987, Karunanidhi was a great supporter of the TELO leader Sabaratnam, who
was a hate-figure for Prabhakaran. But when Prabhakaran had Sabaratnam killed, Karunanidhi's
opposition to Prabhakaran immediately melts in fright, and soon he began wooing the LTTE. In June
1986, Karunanidhi even offered the LTTE some money from his birthday fund, which the LTTE
publicly rejected. But Karunanidhi still continued to cultivate the LTTE and the LTTE used its
mappillai status to spread its influence. So we could not expect Karunanidhi to show guts to oppose
a Marxist-Terrorist organization.

Chandrashekhar and I used to meet everyday when we were in Delhi for dinner at his modest 3,
South Avenue Lane. Chandrashekhar used to use the PM's Race Course Residence to meet visitors
during the day, but at night we used to sit on the floor in his house allotted to him as a MP, for
dinner. He and I discussed practically every issue at these dinner meetings.

It was Chandrashekhar who suddenly one night said to me: "Is this Karunanidhi anti-national?"
Taken aback, I asked him why he wondered so. Chandrasekar said to me that when Karunanidhi had
come to see him recently, he had given him some sensitive details about the LTTE operations, and
also given certain confidential directions to him. "Only Karunanidhi and I were in the room, when
this conversation transpired, and yet today the intelligence people brought me the transcript of the
LTTE intercepted communications from Tamil Nadu to Prabhakaran at Jaffna. In the LTTE
transmission, there is a complete description of my confidential conversation with Karunanidhi. How
would they know unless Karunanidhi told them?"

Soon we held a CCPA meeting in which M.K.Narayan, the IB director was present. In that meeting,
we got full details of the LTTE machinations. I was surprised how the LTTE had spread its net wide to
include even G.K.Moopanar's close confident, P.V.Rajendran who is a TMC MP today. LTTE cadres had
made friends in the media, bureaucracy and even amongst retired Supreme Court judges and
foreign Secretaries, who went on foreign trips to do the LTTE propaganda.
Today, that network in still intact despite Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. The way some affidavits have
been filed before the Jain Commission and the way cross-examinations have taken place, has
convinced some in the SIT of CBI that the proceedings of the Jain Commission have benefited the
LTTE in delaying or contesting the Rajiv Gandhi murder trial. The Jain Commission Proceedings is
helping the LTTE immensely by the wild accusations being made in that forum.

It is then we decided that the DMK government should be dismissed and the LTTE network
destroyed, and in the CCPA adopted a decision to that effect. Many persons felt at that stage that
this would create sympathy for DMK, that it may spur a separatist movement, or that like MGR's
dismissal in 1980, the DMK may sweep back to power in the midterm polls. But to the credit of
Mr.Chandrashekhar, he did not waver, even after then Governor Surjit Singh Barnala took a partisan
stand. Barnala had agreed with the seriousness of the intelligence reports, but he told us clearly
that he was appointed by the V.P.Singh's National front government, so he would remain loyal to
them. We got over his objections since Article 356 of the Constitution does not require the
Governor's report. Barnala however promised us that he would not go back to Tamil Nadu and
campaign against our decision. He however broke his word and criticised our decision. Here too
Chandrashekhar did not hesitate. He got Barnala replaced by Bhisma Narain Singh.

But to our surprise, President Mr.R.Venkataraman developed cold feet. When the CCPA
recommendation went to him for his signature, he hesitated . Chandrashekhar asked me to go and
talk to the President, which I did. Venkataraman, despite his contrary media-cultivated image, was
the most undeserving person to become the President of India. His political career was based on
strategic betrayal of whoever came to trust him or repose faith in him e.g., Rajiv Gandhi. At that
moment when the national security was at state, Mr.Venkataraman's concern was what would DMK
volunteers do to his four houses in Kotturpuram in Chennai, and not the safety of the Tamil people.
But really, he had no alternative but to sign because it was a cabinet decision based on extensive
documentation. But to satisfy Mr.Venkataraman, we asked the CRPF to keep an eye on his houses.

People at various levels had of course warned us that DMK volunteers would get violent, and one
civil servant said "rivers of blood would flow". Chandrashekhar asked me about this possibility. I told
him that every Collector knows and every police station has a list of rowdies of the area. As soon as
we take over, I said to the PM, ask the police or CRPF to ensure that they make pre-emptive arrests
of these rowdies. Party volunteers never riot, only hired rowdies : Some of them can be party men,
but in the eyes of the law, they are still rowdies.
On January 31st, 1991 that is exactly what happened. There was absolute peace in Tamil Nadu after
the dismissal of the DMK government. The LTTE hardware network was smashed in the following
two months, but the LTTE personnel just melted into the Tamil populace. But we had saved Tamil
Nadu even if later we could not save Rajiv Gandhi from his assassination.

While we were planning our moves in Tamil Nadu, Chandrashekhar one day called me up in the
secret RAX phone to say that unless we got $ 2 billion from abroad within a week, the economy may
collapse. He said I must use my influence in the USA to arrange it. Then he put an impossible rider:
if the money comes from IMF, we cannot accept any conditions.

Chandrasekhar - Part V
Subramanian Swamy

When we first met as a government in November 1991, Chandrasekhar told the cabinet that there
was a great economic crisis particularly in petroleum and foreign exchange looming. After some
discussion, it was decided by the PM that I should, for controlling the crisis, explore some informal
steps to obtain crude oil on barter i.e., in exchange of sugar, or engineering goods, and also get $ 2
billion (Rs.6000 crores) IMF loans (and without conditions). That is, the PM wanted me to act as
Finance Minister as well! Chandrasekhar had denied me the Finance Ministership when the Cabinet
was formed because, he told me my free market philosophy would "embarrass" his "socialist"
image. But the real reason was (in my opinion) I, as Finance Minister, would go after the Swiss bank
accounts of politicians, and as a consequence, many political leaders would go to jail. (There is
Rs.3,20,000 crores deposited illegally by Indians in Swiss banks). Therefore when the Cabinet was
being formed, there was near hysteria at the prospect of my becoming Finance Minister.
Chandrasekhar was bombarded by these frightened friends, saying "please bring the devil as
Finance Minister, but not Swamy".

This "fear" later was amply justified on May 3, 1991 when I insisted as Law Minister that the CBI be
allowed to raid the residences and offices of the 'hawala kings', the Jain brothers, despite vociferous
opposition from Finance Minister (now BJP) Mr.Yashwant Sinha and Minister of State Kamal Morarka.
The PM sided with me after a heated discussion. But for the raid on that date, hawala probe would
never have come about.
When the Cabinet meeting was over, Chandrasekhar asked me to come with him to the airport (he
was going to Varanasi). In the car, sitting next to him I taunted him: "you denied me the Finance
Minister, and now you want me to do the work of the Finance Minister as well?" "Arre Baba!" he
exclaimed in Hindi, the economy is on verge of collapse and you can only think of your grievance".
"'Why should I do this task?" I persisted. After all, Commerce and Law, was my portfolio, and
therefore why should I have to work for another Minister? "Listen" said Chandrasekhar "No one else
in the Cabinet has your contacts abroad, in USA, Israel, China etc., so use it for the nation's sake".

We sat quietly till the car reached the Special VVIP airport, and out to the tarmac where the IAF
Boeing reserved for the PM was parked. As he climbed the stair case to alight the plane, I told him
when he returned, I would have a proposal on how to tackle the financial crisis. "To hell with the
Finance Ministership" I said to myself. "CCPA membership is more prestigious".

The foreign exchange crisis had been caused by the large number of short term loans (3 -5 years
repayment) taken from Europe by the Rajiv Gandhi government (1985-89) mostly to pay for
defence equipment purchases abroad. These loans became due for repayment during V.P.Singh's
tenure as PM (who as finance Minister sanctioned it) but he slept over it. So when we came to
power it coincided with non-payment, plotting to declare India as a defaulter or bankrupt. It was a
Mexican type situation. We needed $ 2 billion to tide over this, and save our reputation. We could,
like Mexico, straight away have applied to the IMF for a "crisis loan", but then the IMF would have
strapped us, like Mexico, with humiliating conditions. When I spoke to Rajiv Gandhi about this crisis,
after returning from the airport, he said flatly that the Congress party would not support any
Mexican type conditionality. So our government was in a fix: "No conditions, No loan from IMF; no
loan, no economy!"

But I knew of one possible escape route. The IMF is dominated by the Americans, who control 87
percent of the voting power in the Executive Board of the IMF. Despite popular impressions to the
contrary, Americans are very simple people if you have a deal with them on a give and take basis. If
you want something from an American, offer him something in return which he needs. Then he will
respond fully. Americans in the past were irritated with us because we took their aid, and yet voted
against them in the UN. Americans are straight forward, contractual minded people, whereas we are
highly moralistic people who do not like to reveal our mind. Americans are much like me in
character: blunt and open in thought, but a typical Indian is more like Narasimha Rao: soft in
words, but covert in action. So when Chandrasekhar returned to Delhi, I received him at the airport,
and told him of Rajiv Gandhi's refusal to support an IMF conditions-prone loan. I then told him:
"There is one way out. Ask the Americans to help. They will help, if you offer them something in
return". "What can be possibly given them that they do not have already?" asked Chandrasekhar. I
had no answer. I just kept quiet. Chandrasekhar said "We are running out of time. Think of

Soon after sometime, the opportunity came. The US Ambassador came to my Commerce Ministry
office to tell me that the US was planning to support a UN declaration of war on Iraq, and US will
conduct the operations. He said that the Indian government should support the war effort of the US.

With IMF on my mind, I asked the Ambassador: "What will India get by doing so?" The Ambassador
was taken back. He said it was a moral imperative for the world, since Kuwait had been crushed by
Iraq's invasion. I laughed at the US ambassador. I told him "Listen Excellency, ten years in the US
as a student and as a professor has made me more American than you. You keep your moral
imperative, but give me a deal". I explained our problem to him. He was very sympathetic. As I
expected, he immediately responded. Thereafter President Bush and Chandrasekhar were in touch
with each other. The $ 2 billion arrived without any conditions! We, of course allowed the US to
refuel their planes flying in from Philiphines to Saudi Arabia. Nowhere will it be recorded as a "deal",
but the truth is this. In the history of the IMF, such a large loan has never been given without
conditions. Ours was the exception.

Of course once the loans came, the close associates of Chandrasekhar like Sinha and Morarka, who
were jealous of his growing trust in me naturally wanted to claim credit or thought that it could have
been done by them. In May-June 1991, when again the same crisis came, they saw to it that I was
not allowed to interfere. They soon found out what "credibility" and "credentials" meant. Every
government ignored our Finance Minister, and in the end, the President Mr.Venkataraman and the
Finance Minister (now BJP) Mr.Yashwant Sinha together in one of the biggest undiscovered scandals
of our history, mortgaged with European banks, our gold reserves without informing the Commerce
Ministry. I publicly protested, and even threatened to register a criminal case for bypassing the
Commerce Ministry. But by then, elections were at hand and therefore I could not do anything.
Someday I will reopen this. But the resolution of the crisis in January 1991 generated tremendous
confidence in Chandrasekhar's mind about my abilities. Soon for practically every problem, he was
on the phone consulting me.

In this atmosphere of confidence, I began pressing Chandrasekhar to abandon his traditional

socialist bias. I urged him to consider economic reform and liberalization. His economic adviser was
Dr.Manmohan Singh (later Finance Minister). I had known Manmohan Singh since the days we were
Professors of Economics. In those days, he was a leftist and against my ideas. But the collapse of
the Soviet Union made him come over to my views. So he gave me full support.

Montek Ahluwalia, now Finance Secretary, was my Commerce Secretary. I had known him since he
was an economics student at Oxford. His wife was a student of economics at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT) situated next to Harvard. With the help of Ahluwalia and Manmohan
Singh, I prepared a series of documents on economic liberalization. At that stage, Dr.Manmohan
Singh asked me: "Do you think that any government will implement this?" Little did he realize that
the next government of Narasimha Rao will have Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister and the
government will take all the credit for our government's economic liberalization programme. The
Congress party government did a complete ideological somersault, and in broad daylight stole my
economic liberalization blue print. Chandrasekhar government was not long enough in office to
implement this economic package, but the nation has benefited by the Congress somersault and

Chandrasekhar-Part VI
Subramanian Swamy

The granting by the Chandrasekhar government permission for US military planes to refuel in
Indian airports during the Gulf War suddenly transformed Prime minister Chandrasekhar's image in
the eyes of the Americans as a "good friend". This was the first time an Indian government had
helped the US. Naturally the prestigious newspaper like Washington Post, New York Times began
praising our government for its "decisiveness". During this period, I had also in the GATT talks,
bargained with the Americans for a formulation on agricultural subsidies that pleased them; at the
same time they helped us to protect our interests in textile exports. This was another great help to
the US vis--vis Europe. So the American press began portraying Chandrasekhar and myself as
"able leaders", who can be trusted to be good friends.

This publicity internationally, pleased Chandrasekhar a great deal, but I warned him that he would
now have to be extra humble with Rajiv Gandhi, because the Nehru family was always very
sensitive to foreign publicity. They do not like to be upstaged internationally. I told Chandrasekhar
that some Congress leaders would now go to and tell Rajiv how if he continued in office as PM, he
would swallow up Congress Party, and that Rajiv would become an orphan.
At the same time, I told him (Chandrasekhar) that some flatterers would come and tell him how
popular he had become and that if he got rid of Rajiv's "crutches" and stood alone now, he would,
like Indira Gandhi in 1971, sweep the Lok Sabha polls. So these sycophants would urge him to go
for elections immediately. I also told Chandrasekhar that he should control his two rootless Ministers
whom I had nick-named as the "disco" group businessman, Mr.Kamal Morarka and ex-bureaucrat
turned Finance minister, Mr.Yashant Sinha. These two were talking loosely, I said, to their girl friends
in Delhi's Taj Hotel discotheques about Rajiv Gandhi, boasting how they could control him by
enforcement Directorate and Bofors Investigations. These girl friends, mostly unmarried journalists
or Rajya Sabha MPS, would in turn boast it to people like P.Chidambaram (another disco fan), whose
only job those days was to carry tales to Rajiv Gandhi. Such tales would irritate Rajiv Gandhi no
end, and made him think of Chandrasekhar as an ungrateful person.

"Let us not forget" I said Chandrasekhar, "that it is 220 MPs of Rajiv Gandhi that is underwriting the
government. We need at least a year in government before people fully accept us in our own right.
Therefore today we cannot do without Rajiv Gandhi's help.

But Chandrasekhar's personality was not cut out for this role of humble partner. He could not bear
to hear some of his close associates taunt or tease him that he is "crawling" before Rajiv Gandhi for
the post. He told me one even in Feb, 1991: "Now that the Mandal fire is under control and the
Babri Masjid issue has been contained, why not go for elections?" Obviously, his sycophants had
succeeded in putting him on the offensive. The seed had been planted. I did not answer him then
since he would start arguing with me, and become bitter about Rajiv Gandhi. Besides, I had to leave
that night for Beijing, the capital of China, to sign the first ever Trade Pact with that country. There
were many documents for me to read before catching the flight, so I told Chandrasekhar that I
would answer that question after returning from China. I needed time to think, I told him and
excused myself.

While I was in China, I learnt from telephone calls from friends in Delhi, that the disco group was
playing havoc in my absence. Not being in grass root politics, they were carried away by the foreign
newspapers in praise of Chandrasekhar, little realizing the ground realities. We had 54 MPs, Rajiv
had 220; we had no party structure, while Rajiv had a massive party organisation for which he had
plenty of finance. The four months in office had created a good impression about him in people's
mind, but it needed consolidation. Popularity is fleeting, and by itself cannot make win elections.
Popularity, like Imran Khan found out much later, does not substitute for party organization.
When I returned from China ten days later, I was expecting a celebration for getting the first ever
Trade Pact signed with that country, enabling us to export among other things, telephone exchanges
and steel production processes. Instead I found the atmosphere so vitiated by suspicion, that the
fall of the government was being discussed. Soured by the nasty propaganda of the disco group and
influenced by the Mantharas in his party, Rajiv had decided to bring Chandrasekhar down. First, he
made an issue of why we did not support Saddam Hussein in the Iraq war. Later he dropped the
issue, because our Gulf policy had been made with his prior consultation and approval .Furthermore,
Rajiv Gandhi had relied on Mr.Gorbachev of the Soviet Union to join him in an international
campaign in favour of Saddam Hussien. But Gorbachev supported our stand, disappointing Rajiv. So
he had to drop this issue as a non-starter. Next, he picked on the Haryana CID surveillance issue.
Two constables had been posted by the Chauthala government to spy on who goes in and out of 10,
Janpath, Rajiv said. Obviously, this was an excuse for fighting with Chandrasekhar. But one thing led
to another, and soon enough there were angry words exchanged. Rajiv wanted Chandrasekhar to
make amends. The character of Chandrasekhar came out clearly in this conflict. He was not a
person to bend for a post to the point of humiliation, so he refused to make amends. This was his
strong point as well as weak point. As a leader of the government with absolute majority,
Chandrasekhar's unbending character would have made him a hero of people. But as a leader of
coalition, it made him a zero. Chandrasekhar was Janata Party President for 11 years (1977-88),
but he presided over his gradual liquidation. In the end, he quit and joined the Janata Dal led by
V.P.Singh. Why? Janata Party was founded as a coalition party, a merger of five parties.
Chandrasekhar had no patience for the compromises necessary for a coalition. Had Janata Party
been built like other parties, brick by brick, and over 50 years, Chandrasekhar as its leader would
have flourished. Strong leaders cannot lead coalitions unless they know how either to blackmail the
partners into submission like Jyoti Basu does, or be a sweet gentleman. But Chandrasekhar was a
gentleman strong leader. That as Chanakya would have said is a self defeating combination. For a
coalition, a leader should be either a gentleman or strong, but not both.

After the Haryana constable issue, the government fell. Elections came. Rajiv Gandhi was
assassinated. Chandrasekhar felt truly sorry. So as a gentleman, he proposed in the cabinet that
Rajiv Gandhi should be given Bharat Ratna for his sacrifice. This did not mollify Rajiv Gandhi'
supporters. They demanded that the Government allot a Rajghat area for Rajiv Gandhi's memorial.
Chandrasekhar immediately agreed, and proposed that in the vast area for Indira Gandhi's
memorial called Shakti Sthal an enclosure be carved out to create a place for Rajiv Gandhi. This
infuriated Rajiv's followers. Even Sonia Gandhi was upset. They wanted Rajiv Gandhi's memorial on
its own merit, not as Indira Gandhi's son.

One day in late May 1991, a few days after the assassination, I got a call from Chandrasekhar at 6
AM in the morning. He asked me to come right away. When I saw him at his residence, he told me
about the problems he was having with the Rajiv Gandhi memorial site. He told me that the
Government had offered to prepare a site out of the Shakthi Sthal, but Sonia Gandhi had refused,
because she had wanted Rajiv Gandhi's memorial to have an independent identity. I told
Chandrasekhar that Sonia was right. After all, Rajiv had been PM for five years in his own right.

But the problem Chandrasekhar told me was that Sonia was asking for a part of Lal Bahadur
Shastri's memorial area which was then a temporary CRPF camp. Not all of Shastri's Memorial had
been developed despite so many years. He said, "If you cannot carve out a memorial for Rajiv from
Shakti Sthal, I am not going to agree to carve it out from poor Lal Bahadur Shahtri's area" "So
what's the problem that I should come here so early in the morning?" I asked Chandrasekhar,
sensing that something else was on his mind.

"IB tells me that Sonia is going to go to public today, or ask for Doordarshan time, to condemn our
government for 'dishonouring' Rajiv memory. That should be prevented because so many world
leaders are arriving for the cremation and no site is ready" Chandrasekhar said. "Why don't you talk
to her directly?" I asked despite knowing the answer. Sonia was already bitter with Chandrasekhar
for forcing Rajiv to go to the polls, and so she was unlikely to come on the phone to talk to him.
"She is unavailable, every time I telephone her house" he said. "What can I do now?" I asked.

"Amitabh Bachhan told me last night that if you talked to her, she might agree. She would talk to no
one else. Since she is so upset and in mourning" Chandrasekhar told me. "She will agree to what,
Chandrasekharji? What do I offer, and why should not we close down the CRPF camp and shift it
elsewhere? If it can be even temporarily partitioned for the CRPF, it can be permanently set aside
for Rajiv Gandhi" I retorted. "Except Lal Bahadur's memorial you have the authority to take out any
government land anywhere in India to offer it to Sonia for the memorial. But don't try to force me
on Lal Bahadur's site. I too have sentiments. I will not agree, Chandrasekhar added belligerently,
obviously hurt by the way the Rajiv loyalists were behaving. I agreed to talk to Sonia, because I had
no choice. If nothing else for Rajiv's sake. Otherwise there would have been an International

When I went home, I called Amitabh Bachhan. Bachhan was very friendly with me because as Law
Minister I had ordered withdrawal of a FERA case against his brother Ajitabh, a case filed by
V.P.Singh's government. V.P.Singh had hatred for the Bachhans, so he had directed a FERA case to
be filed, even though in law it had no basis. But in these politically motivated cases like Lakhubhai
cheating and St.Kitts cases. The idea is to get one's target or enemy, arrested for interrogation
purposes (remand), and then after sometime release the person on bail. The newspaper would do
rest of the job, making out that remand is actually conviction or punishment. One's enemy then
becomes guilty without a trial. The person may be acquitted after some years, but who is to
remember that, or who is to compensate for the lost years? Take the ISRO so-called spy case. How
many people have needlessly suffered?

As Law Minister, whenever any one made a petition to me charging that such frivolous case had
been filed, I usually went into the case myself. Ajitabh Bachhan's FERA case was one such.
Chandrasekhar had forwarded Ajitabh's petition made to him, and had asked me to deal with it.

The case was silly, because the charge was that Ajitabh had purchased a house in Switzerland with
foreign exchange without RBI permission. So a FERA case was foisted on him. Ram Jethmalani had
taken up this issue to please V.P.Singh so that he could come into V.P.Singh's inner circle. But
Jethmalani never does his home work. He tried to get his point by shouting all kinds of legal
rubbish. The ordinary citizens get frightened by it since they do not know law. In Ajitabh's case, he
was already a NRI with Indian passport, so he was entitled in law to buy a house abroad, in foreign
exchange. How he got the NRI status was another matter, but CBI did not question that. I was
shocked by the silly nature of the case, which was untenable and waste of public funds in
prosecution. For nearly a year, Ajitabh had been harassed by such a baseless FERA case.

I therefore called the law Secretary and asked him to instruct the CBI and Enforcement Directorate
to withdraw the case. The Law Secretary told me: "Sir, you will get a bad name for this. Please
consider". "Am I wrong legally?" I asked the Law Secretary. "No Sir. But this is a political matter
which newspapers will play up. It will spoil your good name" he said. "Politics is my area, not yours.
Call a press conference and I will announce my decision to the world" I told him. "Why Sir?" asked
an alarmed Law Secretary. Because if I don't, the Indian Express will get a leak from the CBI, and
then it will be big news. If I call a press conference, and explain the basis, people will understand" I

That is exactly what happened. Ajitabh case was withdrawn and even though the Indian Express
condemned it in an editorial, no one else agreed. Rajiv, Sonia and Amitabh were naturally pleased.
Amitabh had then asked to see me. I told him he could see me in Attorney General G.Ramasamy's
house. At GR's house, Amitabh told me that he would never forget my help. "Rajiv's opinion that I
had the courage of my conviction is amply proved", he said.
So when I telephoned Amitabh on that morning, after meeting Chandrasekhar he warmly
responded. He gave a special telephone number at which a mourning Sonia would be available. He
said she was expecting my call. But he warned me that she was going to insist on the CRPF Shastri

I called Sonia and fixed a time to see her that afternoon. With the PM's authority, I called up the
Urban Development Minister Daulat Ram Saran and asked him to send the secretary of the ministry
with the entire blueprint of the Rajghat area for my study. After studying map for empty spaces
available, I selected one site, next to Shakthi Sthal, but not on it. It was a dumping ground for coal
ash of the Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking (DESU) and was fenced by a wall from the Sakthi Sthal.
It was filthy but it could be easily cleaned up.

While I drove to 10, Janpath to meet Sonia, I had only one question in my mind: how to protect
Chandrasekhar's sentiment or shall I say obduracy, on the CRPF site and at the same time make
Sonia agree to a new site, in this highly emotional climate. It was a very delicate mission for me,
with international consequences. But I had a trump card for success, which I did not tell
Chandrasekhar about. When I was taken to Sonia's room, there was besides her, Amitabh, Rahul
and Priyanka. Sonia asked me to be seated.

I spread the map on the table and said:" Soniaji, you know how much I respected Rajiv. This site I
have selected, please accept. We will use the government funds to clean it up and make it the best".
At this, Priyanka flared up and said in a demanding tone: "Are you, or are you not going to give the
CRPF camp site for my father's memorial. Otherwise we dont want anything from Government".

At this tone of voice, I was upset. I was a senior Cabinet minister and Priyanka was a college girl.
She had no right to talk to me like that. I had come to see her mother, not her. Congressmen can be
backbone less wonders, but not Subramanian Swamy even if he has to go into the wilderness for it.
In a raised voice, I thundered "No! We will not give that site. I will pass such an order on the CRPF
site that no future government can dare to overrule it".

There was an eerie silence for nearly a minute. Amitabh was feeling very uncomfortable. No one
spoke. Then Sonia said in a very soft voice: "why? Why not that site? With that question, I got a
chance to play my trump card. I said, "Soniaji, the only reason is that I want to respect Rajiv's
sentiment. When in 1987 Charan Singh died and was to be cremated ,his son Ajit and I had asked
Rajiv (as PM) for the same CRPF site for Chaudhary Saheb. He had declined. Rajiv had explained to
me then that already Shastri's memorial is much neglected, and if this site, temporarily with the
CRPF is given away , there will be much misunderstanding and adverse publicity. He recorded this in
the files of the Government. So to respect Rajiv's view, we cannot give the site of your choice. But I
have told the PM that this alternate site I have selected should be offered for Rajiv Gandhi memorial
and immediately developed.

After a few moments, Sonia agreed. I took it as recognition by her that I would not deliberately try
to give a bad site for Rajiv's memorial. Because I had so much regard for Rajiv which she knew was
mutually felt by Rajiv. I would she understood, select the best available site. Priyanka was still angry
, but Sonia restrained her from speaking anymore. "We will accept because it has come form you"
she said. The crisis was over. A site has been selected. When I informed the PM, he promptly
announced it over Doordharsan, to set all the rumours afloat, at rest. Had I not intervened, God
only knows what would have happened. But for Rajiv's sake, who I consider was the most patriotic
and dynamic leader produced to date by the Nehru family, and perhaps also the most underrated, it
was God's grace that we found a way out.

The killer instinct & my enemies

I am quite embarrassed when perfect strangers accost me nowadays in air flights to ask me who is
my "next target" for political annihilation; or when my friends meet me in the Central Hall of
Parliament to inquire if I could set my "gun sights" on someone they do not like, as if I am some
kind of Clint Eastwood who single-handedly can destroy someone, or at least his reputation.

I am embarrassed because I was brought up instead to be a soft intellectual, who having secured a
Ph.D in Economics at Harvard, became a teacher in the same world famous university for ten years,
and who went to do research jointly with two of the world's most famous economists Nobel
Laureates Paul A Samuelson and Simon Kuznets. I was so well-regarded that- when I was defeated
in my third-term Lok Sabha bid from Bombay- Harvard University , despite my absence from
academics for 15 years - promptly re-invited me to come back to teach (which I did for two years,

Now this intellectual attainment does not square up with the Hollywood Clint Eastwood image, nor
am I happy to have that image. I am in politics for certain well defined ideology, which ideology
happily has been internationalized today by all the major political parties. For the last 25 years I
have advocated that the Indian Government adopt a market economy, rectify the pro-USSR tilt and
balance out the foreign policy to befriend USA, Israel and China, and to motivate a cultural
renaissance especially in the Hindu community.

But media appetite is not for such heavy ideological matters. Thus, for no fault of mine, my quarrels
and political blood-spilling have received much more media attention. And ever since I campaigned
and was successful in dethroning Jayalalitha, at the heels of demolishing Ramakrishna Hegde, these
unwanted enquires about my "next target" have become legion.

I have as a philosophy never 'targeted' anyone. I have only defended myself against harassment,
sidelining or attempted political elimination. But my defence has been vigorous, systematic, and
effective to the point that the attacker has been either immobilized, or discredited, or politically
disabled. In turn, this had tended to create the media impression that I am "making trouble", when
in fact as the prey I have not simply taken things lying down. But I have never made the first
'strike' against anyone.

As a further norm of my philosophy, I have never sought to demolish any honest critic; nor it is my
duty to expose to destroy any and every corrupt person. It is the duty of the government and of the
people to elect such a government, to prosecute all corrupt persons without fear or favour. As a
public person, I can effectively fight corruption only with the state apparatus. Without government
office, an individual can do only so much. Therefore one has to be selective. Obviously those corrupt
persons who seek to harm me are the obvious candidates for selection.

It has been my lot throughout my life to be confronted and to confront the corrupt and powerful. As
a student for my Masters degree in the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Calcutta, the then
Chairman, P.C.Mahalanobis took a dislike to me because he and my father were rivals in the
government statistical organisation. Mahalanobis was a corrupt leftist. I had come to the ISI as an
innocent student with a brilliant first class B.A. Honours degree in mathematics. But Mahalanobis'
dislike of me filtered down to the professors. For no reason except to please him, they began failing
me in every subject. A ruined career stared me in the face. So I decided to retaliate ( a foolish
resolve on first thought, since I was then a 19 year old student facing the darling of the Left, USSR
and Nehru: P.C.Mahalanobis). But I dropped everything, parked myself in the library, and read
whatever Mahalanobis had written as a scholar. I found that his celebrated Second Five Year Plan
model, the so-called Mahalanobis model, was actually stolen from M.A.Feldman, an obscure Soviet
economist of the 1930s. This discovery I could not use against Mahalanobis however, because
neither the USSR nor the then docile Indian press would take notice. But I discovered that
Mahalanobiss magnum opus something called 'Fractile Analysis', had recently been published in a
scholarly international journal. That research was, I found worthless when scrutinized under the
microscope of modern mathematics. It was, literally, well-known earlier research re-hashed.
Mathematics laid bare the plagiarism. Mahalanobis was too big to be challenged by other Indian
scholars. But I had nothing to lose.

Naturally when I wrote out my critique and set it to the journal, it was hot stuff. The journal
published it, and asked Mahalanobis for a rejoinder. He had none. His reputation abroad was
therefore in tatters. He never recovered from it. A 19 year old writing out complex mathematical
equations was a novelty for Harvard's Economics Department to whose notice the journal article
came. They offered me a scholarship for a Ph.D Course. My ruined career prospects did a 180 turn!
I never looked back thereafter. Had I not been cornered like a cat, I would never have ventured to
demolish Mahalanobis.

The same problem I faced, years later, with Ramakrishna Hegde. Hegde belonged to that class of
politicians who practice bogus humility to impress the middle class, who engage in sham
intellectualism by having articles and books ghost written for a price to make society ladies going
'ooh aah' at the India International Centre, and behind it all are mediocre crooks.

From day 1 of the Janata Party formation in 1977, Hegde was consumed by jealousy. I was already
a middle class hero then because of my anti-Emergency struggle, and was a former Harvard
University Professor to boot, of genuine intellectual credentials. I did not have to be synthetic in
anyway for all the things that Hegde had to be. From 1977 to 1984, he harassed me in Indian style
par excellence: pin pricking. Finally he managed to put me against Chandrasekhar, who in a fit of
rage as he was prone to, expelled me from the Janata Party. Hegde went on to become the Chief
Minister of Karnataka on Chandrashekar's political largesse, and then turned against him too. I
returned to the Janata Party after patching up with Chandrasekhar. During the period of six years
1983-1988 as Chief Minister, Hegde had lost his head. His media con-tricks made him a middle class
hero. But behind the stage, he was committing one corrupt act after another in the mistaken belief
that if had Rs.1000 Crores in loot, he could buy his way to the Prime Ministership. By the time I
returned to the Janata Party, I had studied and documented three of Hedges major cases of
corruption or misuse of power which I made public: Telephone Tapping [later proved by a
parliamentary probe], Bangalore Land Grab for his son-in-law (1000 acres) [later proved by Justice
Kuldip Singh Commission], and Illegal Commission collecting in the sale of torpedoes in the HDW
submarine [confirmed by Corp of Detectives (COD) Karnataka Government investigation]. Since
1990, when V.P.Singh asked him to quit his Planning Commission Deputy Chairmanship after the
Kuldip Singh Commission Report was submitted, Hegde has remained a political leper. He cannot
now get out that rut, because the synthetic moral halo that he contrived to wear has vanished.

The fight with Ms.Jayalalitha was the toughest of my life. It also took the longest (3 - 1/2 years)
time. It was the toughest because unlike other 'targets' there was no counter veiling power to
ensure some kind of 'level-playing field'. In case of Mahalanobis, it was the international community
of scholars, whom I could address. They did not depend on Mahalanobis for research grants. Indian
scholars in economics were a castrated lot since they depended on the government for grants and
positions. In Hegde's case, Rajiv Gandhi's central government was a buffer. If I came up with
queries, they were ready to answer, as in the case of Telephone Tapping or in appointing Kuldip
Singh Commission. In Ms.Jayalalitha's case, all the political parties were politically wooing her, or
eyeing her booty. That is why practically every party from BJP to CPM filed affidavits in the Supreme
Court supporting her stand that a Governor has no locus stand to give sanction to prosecute a Chief
Minister after Dr.Chenna Reddy had given me sanction to prosecute Ms.Jayalalitha. Now they are to
rue their stand in the Laloo Yadav issue. The Central government headed by Narasimha Rao was
most reluctant to be of help, because Mr.Rao's son and confidants were all being effectively
'serviced' by her people. When Mr.Rao appointed me to head a GATT Commission in 1994, even
Moopanar and Chidamabaram tried to organize a signature campaign in the Congress Parliamentary
Party against my appointment because it would, in Chidambaram's words send a wrong signal to
Ms.Jayalalitha, with whom they were at that time as late as February 1996 on best behaviour. Such
was the array of forces in favour of Ms.Jayalalitha. That is why it was so tough to fight her. During
my struggle against her, Karunanidhi hid in Gopalapuram most of the time.

But the breakthrough in my campaign against Ms.Jayalalitha came by the inexorable law of
fermentation: if you keep hammering away, and it is the truth, then the people will sooner or later
revolt. Day in and day out, I brought out one fact out after another. My old school boy and teacher-
student network fed me with document and data. Press conference and Court writ petitions did the
rest, Ms.Jayalalitha's attempt to foist false cases on me only re-affirmed the substance of my
campaign against her. When the General Elections came, people spoke.

But Ms.Jayalalitha during her tenure as Chief Minister tried to get me to jail in a number of
ridiculous cases. One was under TADA by faking a photograph, another was under the severe
Protection of Civil Rights Act [PCRA] for abusing the scheduled castes-- by calling the LTTE as an
"international pariah!", and yet another for attempting to murder her!! Each time the Supreme
Court came to my rescue.
I had therefore no option but to go after my political predator, and immobilize her. But lacking a
developed Party cadre, I could not cash the public popularity I thus got. The political zamindars (and
in reality too), Karunanidhi and Moopanar came out of their hibernation, and harvested the wave I
generated by my struggle, But they are no better than her. They are trying now to silence me by the
same methods, only less skilfully. I am therefore again not without a target. Fortunately, each time
my predators make the mistake of underestimating me. And I with each success, have acquired a
more experienced killer instinct.

V.P.Singh : My enemy

I first met V.P.Singh when I entered Parliament as an MP in 1974. He was then a Deputy Minister in
Indira Gandhi's government. I had already made a name opposing Indira Gandhi's so-called socialist
policies (which policies had meant only more only more government control and harassment to the
public), and hence as a more prominent MP I took little notice of the then lesser known V.P.Singh.
He too was very low profile in Parliament and hardly spoke on any subject even though he was a
Minister. Between 1974 and 1980 therefore Mr.V.P.Singh was hardly noticed by anyone. In 1980,
Sanjay Gandhi suddenly made him Chief Minister of UP, because V.P.Singh was during the Janata
Government period, a loyal sycophant of Sanjay. In fact on Sanjay's death in 1980 he coined the
phrase in Hindi which translated means: "Till there is a sun and moon, there will be Sanjay's name
blazing". Many were sickened by this sycophancy. In 1981, he suddenly resigned from the CM's post
to boost his image thinking that Mrs.Gandhi, distraught and depressed by Sanjay's death and
because of his sycophancy to Sanjay's memory would reject his resignation. But she saw through
his game and promptly asked the governor to accept his resignation, and he was out of the CM's
post. Thereafter, I again began to see V.P.Singh in the Central Hall of Parliament, this time singing
praises of Mrs.Gandhi. Obviously this had its effect on Mrs.Gandhi because soon he was made
Commerce Minister. When I got the Chinese to re-open the Kailash Manasarovar route, and was
selected by Mrs.Gandhi to be the first Indian to go as a pilgrim to that holy spot in 1981, she sent
Mr.V.P.Singh to see me off at the departure point in Delhi. I got to know him better on that occasion,
and after that, I met V.P.Singh regularly on some occasion or another in Delhi or Lucknow. But I
never became close because I distrusted him. In September 1986, I had met Rajiv Gandhi prior to
my visit to Pakistan. He asked me as to what I thought of V.P.Singh performance in the first GATT
conference that had been held in Uruguay. I told him that V.P.Singh had surrendered on all points in
the proposed new GATT agreement to the United States, and hence he has become very popular
with the American government and media. In fact he was being projected as the next 'Prime
Minister' by the Americans. I told Rajiv that the Americans were unhappy with him (Rajiv) because
he was increasing defense expenditure in a big way, and the Russians too were not happy because
he was ordering purchase of weapons from countries other that USSR. His mother, Indira Gandhi
bought all the weapons from the Russians. Rajiv Gandhi nodded in agreement with me in a manner
that made me feel that all was not well between him and V.P.Singh. In March 1987, V.P.Singh
resigned his Defense Ministership (to which portfolio he had been shifted from Finance in January of
that year for approving income Tax raids on Amitabh Bachan) after announcing an inquiry into the
purchase of submarines from Germany. Soon he was expelled from the Congress Party. At that
moment, I was also an expelled member of the Janata Party, but Chandrasekhar and I were on the
point of becoming friends, and I was about to be re-admitted to the Janata Party. Chandrasekhar
had immense dislike of V.P.Singh, and V.P.Singh too sensed Chandrasekhar as a rival to be sidelined.
Therefore, one day in early 1988 V.P.Singh invited me for tea, The purpose was to dissuade me from
my efforts in making my friend Ajit Singh join the Janata Party, which would strengthen
Chandrasekhar. At tea, it became clear that V.P.Singh had teamed up with Ramakrishna Hegde to try
and capture the Janata Party. I told V.P.Singh that if Rajiv Gandhi was corrupt, Hegde was ten times
more corrupt. I told him that in the HDW submarine deal in which he had as Defense Minister
ordered an inquiry, Mr.Hegde too was involved. Hegde as Chief Minister made state Public Sector
firm NGEF enter into a collaboration with AEG of Germany, and in the name of supplying torpedoes
for the submarines had collected Rs.3 Crores as commission, which was illegal. I also told him of the
land racket of Hegde by which his son-in-law got 5000 acres of government land in Bangalore and
elsewhere, and about the telephone tapping he ordered of his own Ministers including Deve Gowda.
V.P.Singh told me that he would find out about my allegations. He never bothered to. On the
contrary he got even more close to Hegde because Hegde had begun to finance V.P.Singh, Arun
Nehru and Arif Mohammed Khan, the Jan Morcha trio, for their political activities. Soon, V.P.Singh
and Hegde stepped up their campaign to merge the Janata Party and Lok Dal to form the Janata
Dal. At first Chandrasekhar resisted the idea, and so did H.N.Bahuguna of the Lok Dal. But
Bahuguna soon thereafter died of a heart attack. Chandrasekhar too lost his nerve when Ajit Singh
did a somersault and was left all alone. When the merger was announced, I was isolated as all the
big leaders of Janata Party crossed over to Janata Dal headed by V.P.Singh. I was shocked that so
many senior leaders who suffered in the Emergency were ready to desert the Janata Party which
brought democracy back to the people, and were ready to accept the leadership of V.P.Singh who
was a sycophant of the Emergency terrorist Mr.Sanjay Gandhi. V.P.Singh also had stabbed Rajiv
Gandhi in the back by using the Finance Ministry to boost his own image. I still remember the sad
scene of a 80 year old Kirloskar, a gentleman industrialist with a Masters degree from the world
famous MIT, being asked to report to a police station at 2 AM in the morning because V.P.Singh had
ordered that he be prosecuted under the criminal law for what turned out to be a minor tax evasion.
This boosted V.P.Singh's image as a great crusader against the high and mighty. But V.P.Singh would
not treat Ram Nath Goenka on the same principle, because Goenka was opposed to Rajiv Gandhi
while Kirloskar was pro-Rajiv. But people were so shocked by the Bofors scandal, that they
overlooked any fault of V.P.Singh. In fact people even began to think that Bofors scam was exposed
by V.P.Singh when infact it was a pro-communist peace group in Swedan which was responsible for
the expose. Later, another Communist, Ms.Chitra Subramaniam with the full support of yet another
CPM sympathizer N.Ram of Hindu newspaper fully exposed the bribery in it. V.P.Singh played no role
in exposing it at all. On the contrary, when later I became Minister, and Chandrasekhar made over
to me all the Bofors files, I discovered that V.P.Singh as Finance Minister had led the first secret
negotiation with Bofors on behalf of Rajiv Gandhi in Stockholm on June 10, 1985. Yet V.P.Singh
maintained publicly that he knew nothing about the Bofors deal till it came up for Cabinet approval
in March 1986! The press was so infatuated with V.P.Singh that they refused to publish my press
conference where I made this allegation against V.P.Singh. It is not that I am alleging V.P.Singh also
received bribes from Bofors, but that he knew all along about the deal. No deal by government of
over Rs.50 Crores can be cleared without Finance Minister's approval. This deal was worth Rs.1700
Crores, and V.P.Singh was not only Finance Minister but later Defence Minister as well. He should
have known, and he had approved the deal as well, yet he lied to the public that he knew nothing
about it. But Rajiv Gandhi was surrounded by persons all whom had benefited by Bofors. So they
were all too scared to confront V.P.Singh with this fact before a hostile press. So they bungled and
bungled, and finally when the Lok Sabha elections came in 1989, the people defeated the Congress
Party. After V.P.Singh became PM, he began to go slow on Bofors. At first he said that he will reveal
all within 15 days. Nothing happened for 60 days. I knew that because of his involvement in the
negotiations and his Minister Mr.Arun Nehru's full participation in the bribery, V.P.Singh did not want
to speed up the probe. Therefore, I began raising the issue in Parliament in a big way on the delay
in the Bofors investigation, and openly charged V.P.Singh and Arun Nehru of being afraid. The net
result of my attack was that V.P.Singh went on the defensive. As a consequence, Rajiv Gandhi
picked up courage, and even once challenged V.P.Singh to lay on the table of the Lok Sabha all the
Bofors papers in the PMO. Rajiv himself told me that because of my attack, the whole climate in
Parliament had changed. He said: "If my Congress MPs had one tenth your courage and capacity to
speak, we can conquer the world." I told Rajiv that since most Congress MPs were involved in some
deal or the other, how can they dare oppose a Prime Minister? He heartily laughed in his innocent
way. Ironically, Rajiv Gandhi was pushed into the Bofors deal by Arun Nehru. Now as Minister in
V.P.Singh's government, he was prosecuting Rajiv Gandhi. Such a hypocrisy or fraud I have rarely
seen even in Indian politics. In late 1990, when I became Minister after toppling V.P.Singh's
government, I discovered another fraud case in which V.P.Singh had played a double game : the
St.Kitts case.

V.P.Singh Part II Subramanian Swamy

In 1989, when it appeared that V.P.Singh would head a new coalition and perhaps become the next
Prime Minister, this appeared in some foreign news papers as a story that his son Ajaya Singh,
settled abroad had a foreign account in the First National Bank in St Kitts islands, which is near the
state of Florida in USA. The allegation was the huge amounts alleged to have been deposited,
actually was illegal commissions collected by V.P.Singh when he was Commerce (and later Finance)
Minister. Some documents in support of this allegation were also published. No one believed the
story, which was also reproduced in Indian newspapers. In fact, the documents appeared on the
face of it, forged and fake. Soon, the General Elections came, and the Congress Party was defeated
at the polls. V.P.Singh became PM, and the first thing he did was to ask the CBI to register a case of
forgery against Sri Chandraswami and some others, but not P.V.Narasimha Rao. His name was
added later on Delhi High Court directions, in 1996, and then struck out at the trial stage recently.
Mr.Rao as Foreign Minister had instructed the Consul General of India's office in New York to attest
and notarize the photostat of the documents as genuine copies. The trial court of Ajit Bharihoke had
ordered the deletion of Mr.Rao's name because of Mr.Rao's defence that he did it on Mr.Rajiv
Gandhi's directions. When I became Law Minister, the PM, Mr.Chandrasekhar asked me to handle
Parliament questions on all ticklish and tough subjects like Bofors, St Kitts etc., .Therefore, the
St.Kitts file came to me. After studying it, I called the CBI Director to my office to ask him two
questions. The first question was: where were the original documents on which the Photostats or
Xeroxes were made. The CBI Director told me that they were untraceable. Then only had the Consul
General authenticated Photostats. So I asked the CBI how they hoped to win the case when they
had only Photostats. No court in the democratic world would convict anyone on Photostats. Worse,
the CBI had recorded in the file that even the Consul General had not seen the original! He simply
had authenticated the Photostats on orders from Mr.Rao, who in turn did it on Rajiv Gandhi's orders.
The second question I asked the CBI Director was: Did the CBI go to St Kitts and visit the First
National Bank office to get affidavits of the Bank officer that no account of Mr.Ajeya Singh ever
existed in that Bank. The Director of CBI told me that they could not, because the Bank had
collapsed, and was sealed. No former officer of the Bank was ready to talk except a former general
Manager who insisted that there was an account of Mr.Ajeya Singh. But the CBI did not accept this
because, the Director said, Sri Chandraswami had through his associates, one 'Mamaji' bribed the
former general manager to say this. Thus the CBI case against Sri Chandraswami and later
Narasimha Rao was based on Photostats and without any verification from the Bank itself ,since it
was closed. I asked the CBI Director: "How do you hope to win this case on such flimsy evidence?"
The Director only smiled. They had been forced by V.P.Singh to file the case, and the CBI did not
have the guts to refuse the Prime Minister. It was not my case that St. Kitts documents were not
forgeries. On the face of it, the documents look like forgeries. But in a court of law, unless there is
direct evidence, it can never be proved, The Bank had been closed down, and even the Prime
Minister of St Kitt's refused to help. His argument was that his island country's main economy was
tourism and secret bank accounts and hence he would not like the word to go around that St. Kitts
banks are no longer strict about secrecy. Hence, there could never be any direct evidence in the St
Kitts case. The St. Kitts case thus is a sterile and dead case. No one will ever be convicted by any
fair minded judge on these CBI's evidence. The case was clearly instituted by V.P.Singh for some
secret purpose. So I began searching for that secret purpose. The purpose could not be political
harassment of Mr.Rajiv Gandhi since the CBI did not name him in the FIR. It could not be to take
revenge against Sri Chandraswami whom he did not like for other reasons, since V.P.Singh too
would know that Chandraswami is not a soft person who can be demoralized by court cases. The
purpose became clear to me after perusing the file on St.Kitts. When Rajiv Gandhi, as Prime
Minister asked the CBI to investigate the newspaper reports of the St.Kitts accounts of Mr.Ajeya
Singh son of V.P.Singh, the CBI had interrogated Mr.Ajeya Singh. In his September 1989
questioning, he had admitted to operating two secret Swiss Bank accounts. The CBI had then asked
him to give them the bank transcripts of deposits and withdrawals with dates, into these accounts.
From that, the CBI could study whether any transfers were made to an account in St.Kitts First
National Bank. Mr.Ajeya Singh promised to provide these transcripts in one month's time. In one
month's time however, Lok Sabha general elections were announced. Rajiv Gandhi lost majority in
the elections and V.P.Singh became PM in December 1989.The CBI never want back to Mr.Ajeya
Singh thereafter. So when I became Law Minister and read this in the file, I made a noting to the
Prime Minister that the CBI should go back to Mr.Ajeya Singh and ask him for the transcripts. But
Chandrasekhar just sat on the file. So did Narasimha Rao later, so did Deve Gowda, and Gujral. Till
I get a chance this shall collect dust. V.P.Singh's purpose to file the St.Kitts forgery case thus
became clear to me. He wanted to stall by diversion the CBI probe of his son's Swiss Bank accounts.
Such is the truth of India's Mr.Clean, V.P.Singh.

Parmacharya Sri Chandrashekhar Saraswati - God in human form

Parmacharya Sri Chandrashekhar Saraswati - God in human form

I have bowed before only one sanyasi in my life, and that is Sri Chandrasekhar Saraswathi, known
to the world as the Parmacharya. It is not that I am arrogant or that I have no respect for sanyasis
and sadhus. In fact I respect many sadhus in this country for their learning and social services. But
my upbringing, first in an English convent school, and then ten years in USA had created a distance
between me and traditional Hindu culture of bowing and prostrating before any elder, or anyone in
saffron clothes. Therefore, I was the "modern" Indian, believer in science, and with little concern for
spiritual diversions.

In fact till the age of 30, I had not even heard of a god like human being called Sri Chandrasekhar
Saraswathi. It was a chance meeting with an Indian student at Harvard in his room in the university
hostel, that I saw a picture of Parmacharya on top of this student's TV set. I asked him: "Who is he?
And why are you keeping his picture?" The student just avoided the question. I also forgot about it,
except that Parmacharya shining smiling face in that photograph got etched in my memory. Six
years later, as my Pan American Airways plane was about to land at Delhi airport during the
Emergency, I saw that smiling Parmacharya's face reappear before me for a brief second for no
reason at that time. I was coming to Delhi surreptitiously to make my now famous appearance in
Parliament and subsequent disappearance, while a MISA warrant was pending for my arrest in the
Emergency. At that moment, as the plane landed, I resolved that whenever the Emergency gets
over, I shall search for Parmacharya and meet him.

In 1977, after the Emergency was over, and the Janata Party in Power I went to Kanchipuram to see
the Parmacharya. It was in sheer curiosity that I went. Some friends arranged for me to come
before him. It was a hot June evening, and Parmacharya was sitting in a cottage, a few kilometers
outside Kanchipuram. As soon as he saw me, he abruptly got up, and turned his back on me, and
went inside the cottage. My friends who took me there were greatly embarrassed, and I was
puzzled. Since no body including the other sadhus at that ashram had any idea what went wrong, I
told my friends that we should leave, since Parmacharya was not interested in giving me "darshan".
From the cottage, we walked a few hundred yards to where my car, by which I had come to the
ashram, had been parked. Just as I was getting into the car, a priest came running to me. He said
"Parmacharya wants to see you, so please come back". Again puzzled, I walked back to the cottage.

Back at the cottage, a smiling Parmacharya was waiting for me. He first asked me in Tamil: "Do you
understand Tamil?" I nodded. In those days, I hardly knew much Tamil, but I hoped the
Parmacharya would speak in the simplest Tamil to make it easy to understand.

He then asked me another question: "Who gave you permission to leave my cottage?" The Tamil
word he used for "permission" was of Sanskrit origin, which I immediately understood. So in my
broken Tamil with a mixture of English words, I replied: "Since you turned your back on me and
went inside the cottage, I thought you did not want to see me." This reply greatly irritated the priest
standing in attendance on the Parmacharya.

He said "You cannot talk like this to the Parmacharya". But Parmacharya asked him to be silent, and
then said that when he saw me, he was reminded of a press cutting he had been keeping in store
inside the cottage and he had gone inside to fetch it.

"Here it is" he said. "Open it and read it. I opened the folded press cutting, and with some difficulty,
I read the Tamil question answer piece printed in Dinamani Kadir, a magazine of Indian Express
group. The press cutting had a photograph of me and below it the question asked by a reader: "Is
the hero of the Emergency struggle, Dr.Subramanian Swamy a Tamilian?" And the answer given
was, "Yes he is a native of Cholavandhan of Madurai District."

Parmacharya asked me, "Is this your photograph, and is the answer given to the question correct?"
I nodded. Then Parmacharya said: "Now you may go. But in the future when you come, you cannot
leave till I give you permission to leave." Everyone around me was naturally very impressed, that
Parmacharya had given so much special attention especially since in those days, he often went on
manuvvat (silence vow). As I left a sense of elation at the meeting with Parmacharya. I wanted to
come back again. I could not understand why a "modern" person like me should want to see a
sanyasi, but I felt the urge strongly.
A month later, the Tamilnadu Assembly elections were on, and I was passing Kanchipuram in the
campaign rail. So I told the Janata Party workers to spare me some time to pay a visit to the

When I again reached the same cottage, a priest was waiting for me. He said: "Parmacharya is
expecting you." I asked: "How is this possible, when I decided at that last minute to come, without
appointment?" The priest replied. "That is a silly thing to ask. Parmacharya is divine. He knows
every thing".

Sure enough a radiant smiling Parmacharya received me. I thought that this time too, our meeting
would last a few minutes, and after a few pleasantries, I can continue on my election campaign. But
not so. Parmacharya spoke to me for 1-1 1/2 hours on all important subjects. He gave me
guidelines on how to conduct myself in politics and what was necessary to protect the national
interest of the country.

He told me that in politics, I should never bother about money or position, because both would
follow me whenever an occasion demanded. But I should not be afraid to stand alone. He told me
that all great persons of India were those who changed the thinking of the people from a particular
set way of thought to a new way of thinking. "That is the permanent achievement for a politician,
not merely becoming Minister or Prime Minister. Great persons, starting with Adi Shankara, to
Mahatma Gandhi dared to stand alone and change the trend of people's thought. But did either hold
a government position?" he asked me. He said "If you dare to think out fresh solutions for current
problems, without bothering about your popularity, and without caring for whether a government
position comes to you or not, you will have my blessings." When he said that I felt a strange
sensation of happiness. I suddenly felt very strong.

During the period since my first meeting with the Parmacharya, I had thought a lot about him,
heard his praise from so many people. From what I learnt and what I saw of him, I began to feel his
divinity. There was no other human like him. If nothing else, he was one sadhu who did not bless
Indira Gandhi during the Emergency when in the height of her power and at the height if the
nation's sycophancy, she came and prostrated before him. And yet when Indira Gandhi was down
during the Janata rule, he received her and gave his blessings to her after she repented for the
It is this thought, every time (that if I do something sincerely, and for what is for the good of the
people) that Parmacharya's blessings will be with me and see me through the interim period of
public and media criticism and unpopularity, that has given me this courage that today even my
enemies do not deny that I possess. In such endeavours, even though in the beginning when most
thought that I was doomed, I came out it successful in the end because of his blessing.

In the next few instalments I shall, without drawing the Parmacharya's name into the controversy,
reveal many such initiatives that I took with his blessings. From 1977 to his day of Samadhi, I met
the Parmacharya so many times and received his oral benediction and advice. But I never gave it
publicity or got myself photographed. During his life time, I did not boast of my proximity to him
either, although whenever I came to the Kanchi Mutt, always without appointment, he would see
me. If he was asleep, he was awakened by his close helpers to whom he had obviously given
instructions about me. There may not be another god in human form for another 100 years, but it
was my honour to have known him and received his blessings. He may not be here today in human
form, but because of what he had instructed me, I know and feel his is around.

Parmacharya - Part II
Subramanian Swamy

After wonderful discourse from Maha Periyawal Sri Chandrashekhara Saraswathi in 1977, I went to
have Parmacharya's darshan numerous times. Whenever I had a difficult question that I could not
answer, I would go and ask him for guidance. He gave me audience also in abundance. I got to see
him whenever I came to Kanchipuram, or at Belgam in Karnataka or at Satara in Maharashtra or
wherever else he was. But I did not publicize these darshan sessions in the newspapers as some
others were doing. This was greatly appreciated by the Mutt officials and pujaris.

When Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980, defeating the Janata Party, I was upset, and
wondered if Emergency would be declared again. So I went with a group of Janata workers to the
Karnataka - Maharashtra border, where Sri Parmacharya was camping on his walking tour. When I
reached him, he was sitting in a hut almost as if he was waiting for me. As soon as he saw me, he
got up and started briskly walking to a nearby temple. I just stood there watching him. Soon he
stopped walking and sent someone to ask me to come to him alone.
When I reached where he was standing, he said to me anticipating my question; "It is a good thing
that Indira Gandhi has got an absolute majority. At this juncture, the country needs a stable
government, and only Indira Gandhi is in a position to give that stability." "But what if she declares
another Emergency and tries to put us all in jail?" I asked.

To this question, Parmacharya only smiled and put his hand up in his known style of bestowing his
blessings. I did not realize at that time, that Indira Gandhi had before elections, gone to Hubli in
Karnataka where he was camping and prostrated before the Parmacharya. On her own, she had
vowed to him and had said that if she came back to power, she will not repeat the mistakes of the
past of declaring an Emergency. Then she asked for his blessings, which the Parmacharya had given
by raising his hand and showing his palm.

As I was leaving, Parmacharya asked me if I could work to unite the opposition and include the
communists in it. "Communists!" I asked in utter incredulity. I added: "The Soviet Union has just
invaded Afghanistan (December 27, 1979), and are preparing to capture Pakistan, and then soon
they will swallow India. How can we believe the Communists?"

"Not like that at all" said Parmacharya to me. He clearly gave me a hint that Communists will never
be a danger to India. In fact he gave me a clear indication that in some years to come the Soviet
Union will not be there at all. I just could not believe what I heard. But eleven years later, that is
exactly what happened. The Soviet Union broke up in 1991 into 16 countries, a development no
human being foresaw. Parmacharya was above human, a divine soul. He could see it. To this day I
regret that I did not act on his advice because I spent nearly a decade (ten years 1980 -90)
opposing Communism, little realizing that it was going to collapse of its own weight. I earned the
Communists enmity for nothing. That is the only advice of Parmacharya I did not act on. On other
occasions, I blindly followed whatever he told me. Of course, the golden rule with Parmacharya was
that he would not on his own offer any advice, but when I asked him, he showed me the way. When
my mind was made up on anything, I did not ask him what I should do. Of course if I did not have
his blessings, I rarely succeeded.

In 1987 for example, I tried to land with some fisherman in the island of Katchathivu to assert the
rights of fisherman under the Indo-Sri Lanka accord. MGR was Chief Minister then. He had me
arrested in Madurai and put me up in Tamilnadu Hotel instead of Madurai jail. The then DGP, told me
clearly that unless I give up the Katchathivu trip and agreed to return to Chennai, they would keep
me under arrest. Those days I knew little criminal Law, so I agreed to return to Chennai not
knowing my rights. After arriving in the city I drove to Kanchipuram and saw the Parmacharya. I
told him of my humiliation and my inability to go to Katchathivu. Parmacharya smiled at me as if I
was a child. He told me: "You go to Delhi and file a case in the Supreme Court against the arrest,
and ask the court to direct the Tamilnadu government to make arrangements for you to go

So I flew that evening to Delhi. My wife is an advocate in the Supreme Court, so I asked her to draft
my writ petition. She was shocked by my request, "The Supreme Court will laugh at you if you come
directly on a question of arrest. You must first go before Magistrate in Madurai, then Sessions Court,
the High Court, and then only to Supreme Court" she said.

I insisted that she draft the petition. So finally she said "As an advocate, I don't want to look foolish
in the Court. So I will draft your petition but the rest you do. I won't associate with it." But my blind
faith in Parmacharya kept me going. With the petition filed, I appeared in the Court of the Chief
Justice Venkataramiah. I arrived in the Court a few minutes before the Chief Justice took his seat.
Many lawyers who recognized me met me to ask why I had come, they all laughed. All of them said:
"Your Petition will not only be dismissed, but also the Chief Justice will pass remarks against your
stupidity, and for wasting the time of the Supreme Court."

When my Petition came up for hearing, a miracle happened. Chief Justice Venkataramaiah asked the
Tamilnadu Counsel (then Kuldip Singh, who became a famous Judge himself later) why the
Government had arrested me. Taken by surprise at the Petition not being dismissed, Kuldip Singh
stammered. "Kuldip Singh went on to explain that a pro-LTTE mob was against me going to
Katchathivu, and the LTTE had also issued a threat to finish me. Chief Justice Venkataramaiah then
burst out at Kuldip Singh. He thundered "Are you fit to call yourself a democratic government? If
mob wants to stop Dr.Swamy, you arrest the mob not Dr.Swamy."

The Chief Justice then passed an order that the Government should make all the necessary
arrangements for me to go to Katchathivu. No one in court could believe it. Some asked me: "Are
you related to Venkataramaiah?" I am not only not related, but those days I did not even know him.
But I had the blessings of Parmacharya, and I was doing as he asked me to.
That was the divine power of Parmacharya ; when he asked you to do anything, he also took
measures to see that the right thing happened.

After the Supreme Court verdict, I met Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Parliament House. Kuldip
Singh had already informed him of the court verdict. So he told me: "Why did you not speak to me
first? I would have told MGR to allow you. In any case, when you plan to go to Katchathivu, the
navy and air force will give you cover. But the fishing boat on which you travel has to be provided by

On May 8, 1988, I landed on Katchathivu and planted the Janata Party's saffron and green flag, and
prayed at the St.Anthony Church there. As I approached the island, there were navel patrol boats
on either side of my fishing vessel which I had taken on hire. Two air force planes were flying over
me. I felt grand like a king. My salutations went to the Parmacharya. He made the impossible
possible. From being arrested in Madurai to being royally escorted to Katchathivu, only Parmacharya
could arrange.

Parmacharya- Part III

Subramanian Swamy

In 1981, I became successful in persuading the Chinese government in re-opening for Hindu
pilgrims the route to Kailash and Manasarovar. After 3 years of persuading the Chinese, in April
1981 the Chinese strongman Deng Xiao Ping invited me to China to meet him. In that meeting, he
told me that as a "special favour to me and my efforts and in recognition of my steady advocacy of
improved Sino-Indian relations [ he used the term "lao peng yeou" 'meeting old friend' ] he was
asking the officials to meet Indian counter parts to work out the arrangements for pilgrims to visit
Kailash. Deng had in jest asked me "But you must go first". He had said it jokingly, but I was keen
to see Kailash and Manasarovar. So when I met Mrs. Gandhi in Delhi to tell her of my meeting with
Deng, I told her that I will lead the first batch of pilgrims and that she should agree. She laughed
and said "of course. I wish I could go too."

The opening of Kailash and Manasarovar had been considered impossible by our Foreign Ministry
officials. China is a communist country and Kailash and Manasarovar is in the most sensitive area of
Tibet. Therefore how could China allow Indians, even if as Pilgrims, to walk into Tibet? But the
impossible happened because throughout the three years of talks with the Chinese, Parmacharya
not only gave his blessings to me for this venture but encouraged me. "We must be friends with
China and Israel" he would keep telling me whenever I came to him for darshan and anugraha

When the Kailash and Manasarovar re-opening was announced, the first batch consisting of 20
pilgrims was slated to go in the end of August. That meant in 30 days of walking from the end of
August to late September. By the time, we return, it would be end of September. At those heights in
the Himalayas, September meant snow and ice cold temperatures, and that we would have to walk!
Foreign ministry officials told me that since the route had not been in use for nearly 25 years, it
would be a rough walk. We would have to clear bushes on the way, and perhaps encounter animals
and snakes!

To make matters worse, Inderjit Gupta, then a CPI Lok Sabha MP, and good friend of many years,
asked my wife to prevent me from going on this trip since I would not return. "It requires
mountaineers to trek this route, not people like us" he told her. Others told me that I should think of
my family (of two daughters then age 11 and 8) and not venture on such foolishness. In fact one
BJP MP, perhaps more out of jealousy than concern, told me that it is punya (blessing) to die on the
route to Kailash. If that were so, I wondered, why not a single BJP or RSS leader has ever gone on a
pilgrimage to Kailash? Perhaps because there are no Muslims there, nor a Masjid to demolish! BJP is
anti-Muslim but not pro -Hindu, so Kailash means nothing of political value to them.

But the net result of all this was that a scare was created in my family and social circles. Many
urged me to forget going to Kailash. I had done my duty, they said, in getting the route opened, but
it is not necessary to go there. My daughters reminded me of my promise made the previous year
that I would be with them on my birthday, which fell on September 15th. The previous year I had to
be away to address a meeting in Bihar. If I went to Kailash I would again not be in Delhi on my
birthday. This troubled me.

So anguished and confused by all this I flew to Bangalore, and drove down to where Parmacharya
was camping. He was reading a book when I saw him. He put down his book and glasses, and asked
me what brought me to him. "Kailash and Manasarovar route has been opened with your blessings.
I have been asked by our Government to lead the first batch of pilgrims. But all my colleagues in
Parliament are scaring me with stories of what can go wrong with me on this hazardous trip".
Parmacharya said in a comforting voice "Nothing will happen. You go and come. The opening of
Kailash route is a great achievement for our country"

"I have only regret. That I will not be able to be with my daughters in Delhi on my birthday" I
added. "When is your birthday?" He asked. "September 15th. But the journey back will not be
completed before September 30th." Parmacharya only smiled. He puts his palm in blessing and
merely said: "you go and come". I left on September 1st on my journey.

My journey to Manasarovar lake and then for a darshan of Kailash went very smoothly thanks to
Parmacharya's blessings. I returned to the Tibet-India border on September 13th, and camped that
night at Kalapani, a military cantonment on the Indian side. That night, faraway from Delhi on the
Himalayas, I could not help thinking of my daughters and my promise to them to be with them on
my birthday. It would be another 15 days of walking before I could reach the plains and then Delhi.

Next morning at breakfast, the camp commandant came to me with a telex from Delhi. It said that
on Prime Minister's instruction, an air force helicopter would be coming that morning at 10 AM from
Bareilly to pick me up and take me back to Bareilly, from where I will be taken by car to Delhi. I was
thrilled. This meant that I would be in Delhi on September 14th evening, and be with my family on
the next day for my birthday! What a miracle!

I was that time just an MP, and that too from the opposition. And yet this privilege was extended to
me. The only reason for this was the blessing of Parmacharya. With this blessing, any miracle could
happen. I was honoured to witness it. I prayed to Lord Shiva and Durga at the Kalapani temple at
18,000 feet above sea level, with snow all around. I said a special thanks to Parmacharya. When I
returned to Delhi, and thereafter went to see Parmacharya, I explained all that happened. He
merely smiled.

In 1986, I was passing Kanchipuram, so I made a detour and went to the Kanchi Mutt. Parmacharya
was there giving Darshan to hundreds of people. I also stood in the crowd. But the pujaris saw me
and whispered to the Parmacharya that I had come. So he asked me to come close and sit before
him. After the crowds had left, he looked at me as if to ask me why I had come. The Babri Masjid
issue then was hotting up, and so I said Parmacharya that I was planning to visit Ayodhya to study
the situation. I asked the Mahaswami what stand should I take.
Parmacharya looked at me very sternly and said "you are a politician. Why do you have to take a
stand on a religious issue? You stay out of it. You spend your energies on improving our economy or
our relations with China and Israel." I was taken aback by his stern remarks. But I persisted and
said "At least the Government will have to take a stand". He said: "Let the government make it
possible for the religious leaders of both religions to come together and work out a compromise. But
you stay out of it.

I then told Parmacharya that my friend, and leading Babri Masjid agitator Mr.Syed Shahabuddin
wanted to see his holiness, and whether I could do bring him next time. The pujaris around the
Parmacharya protested. They said that Shahabuddin was anti-Hindu, and he should not be allowed
inside the Mutt.

The Parmacharya waved away their objections. He gave me permission to bring him to the Mutt.
Then he said to the Pujaris. "Only Subramanian Swamy knows the art of befriending Americans,
Chinese and Israelis at the same time. He can also be a friend of Shahabuddin." Then turning to
me, he said: "Keep this quality. Never be afraid of making friends with anyone." I have followed this
advice despite heavy criticism from the media. I have made friends with Morarji, Chandrasekhar and
Indira Gandhi after terrific quarrels with them. Sometimes one needs to quarrel to come to an
understanding of each other's strength. Generally, I love to oppose those in authority because for a
strong democracy, opposition is necessary. But Indian society being feudal, those in power
underestimate who oppose them. And in my case, people in power have always underestimated me
because they think I am alone. But they don't realize I have friends everywhere, in all political
parties and in all important countries. That is why I have won all my battles against Government.
Because I have never betrayed anyone, these friendships remain for a long time. In 1990, I could
have betrayed Chandrasekhar and fallen for temptation offered by Rajiv Gandhi to become PM. But
when I discouraged this idea, Rajv Gandhi's esteem of me and trust in me went sky high. Because
of the trust I develop my friends from all over the world confide in me. People ask me often "How do
you get so much accurate information". This is the answer. I have secret friends and open enemies.
Most other people have the opposite: secret enemies and open friends.

Thus Shahabuddin trusted me to bring him to the Mutt with honour. In early 1987, I brought
Shahabuddin to see Parmacharya.
Parmacharya -Part IV
Subramanian Swamy

I brought the fierce Muslims-rights agitator Mr.Syed Shahabuddin to Kanchipuram to have a darshan
of the Parmacharya. Shahabuddin had told me many a times that he had a urge to see the
Parmacharya. He never explained why. Nor I asked him why since I assumed everyone would like to
see a living God on earth.

Although Shahabuddin is a strict Muslim, he accepted two fundamental points defining a patriotic
Indian Muslim. The first point, a patriot would accept that though he is a Muslim, his ancestors are
Hindus since 99.9 percent of Muslims of India are descendents of converts. Muslims who think that
their ancestors are Persians or Arabs or from Tajikistan, can never be patriotic Indians, because
they live in a myth. They are psychologically uprooted from India. The second point is that although
the present day Indian culture is composite, in which all communities and religions have
contributed, the core of this culture is Hindu in character and substance. Hence even if one changes
one religion, it need not lead to a change of culture. Religion is personal, culture belongs to the

Shahabuddin had accepted the two points and that is why I defended him against the charge that
he was communal. But the RSS [which is not pro-Hindu, but merely anti-Muslim], saw in
Shahabuddin a convenient hate figure, and dubbed him a "second Jinnah". Naturally bigots of the
RSS protested when they came to know that I was bringing Shahabuddin to meet Parmacharya.
When we arrived at the Kanchi Mutt, the Mutt-Pujaris told me that Parmacharya had wanted me to
bring Shahabuddin right into the inner part of the Mutt where he was staying. We were made to sit
before a shut door, and told Parmacharya would come soon.

The door was opened by Parmacharya himself. When Shahabuddin saw him, he started to weep,
with tears rolling down his cheeks. He folded his hands in a 'namaste' and said "Oh my Lord
Parmacharya, please save my community and save the nation". I was taken aback [Much later when
we were back on our way to Chennai, I asked Shahabuddin why he broke down , before the
Parmacharya. He simply said that he could not control himself when he saw the radiant face of the
Parmacharya asked Shahabuddin what troubled him. He said "The Babri Masjid has been shut to
Muslims by a Court Order and I pray to you to help us open it to us". [At that time, 1988 there was
no talk of its demolition by RSS]. Parmacharya told him that Hindus and Muslims should work out a
compromise. He suggested a number of proposals, such as joint prayers, or Hindu Prayers on
Monday-Wednesday-Friday and Muslims Namaz on other days with Sunday being denied to both. All
these compromise proposals, Shahabuddin said, would be unacceptable to devout Muslims.

I added in my proposal. Koran prohibits Namaz in constructions built by demolishing other religions
holy places : therefore if it can be proved that a temple was demolished by Babar's men to build the
mosque in Ayodhya, and then the Muslims themselves should agree to the Babri Masjid demolition.

Parmacharya looked at me with a benign smile. He had earlier warned me to stay away from this
issue, instead asked me to concentrate on political and economic issues. But Shahabuddin quickly
agreed that Koran prohibited reading namaz in such places, but contested that Babri Masjid was
built on a temple site. He said he had construction blue prints to prove his point. Two hours of
discussion had taken place, and therefore the Mutt pujaris were getting impatient. A big crowd was
waiting for the Parmacharya's darshan. So Parmacharya closed his discussion by asking
Shahabuddin to bring his blue prints and come again. Surprisingly, again Shahabuddin prostrated
before him, and then we both left.

Shahabuddin never came back again. But two years later, I became the Law Minister. I confronted
the Muslim organizations with a proposal that the Government would appoint a Supreme Court
Judge in a one man Commission of inquiry to determine whether or not there was a temple before
the Babri Masjid was built. And if the conclusion was that there was a temple, then Muslims must
agree to give up the Masjid. If not, then the Hindus would vacate the masjid.

Surprisingly, while all the Muslim organisations agreed to my proposal, the fanatic Hindu
organizations refused to agree. Our government did not last long enough for me to go ahead with
the Commission of Inquiry anyway disregarding the fanatics. Nor could I persuade the successor
Narasimha Rao Government to follow my proposal. It would have amicably resolved the issue. But
alas, Babri Masjid was finally demolished in bitterness.
Perhaps Parmacharya was telling me not to get involved from the beginning because he foresaw
that it would be demolished as a part of destiny. If Babar's violence was undone 450 years later,
then RSS violence on December 6, 1992 could also be undone someday, but I hope, by
understanding and love. Otherwise the cycle of violence will continue in the country, with the Hindus
and Muslims not reconciled to each other.

In April 1990, I received an urgent summons from Parmacharya to come to Kanchipuram. So I

rushed. When I saw him, he merely smiled, put up his palm in blessing and then waved me on to go
away! I was puzzled. Why was I asked to rush to the Kanchi Mutt from Delhi, merely to be sent
away? The Mutt pujaris told me that on Parmacharya's instructions the Mutt had decided that I was
to share the dais with Rajiv Gandhi on the occasion of Parmacharya's 97th birthday in May that year,
to be celebrated in Kanchipuram. It turned out that no other politician except Rajiv and myself were
to share the platform. It was a great honour, not only that I would be with Rajiv, but more that it
was on Parmacharya's instructions. But why did he so honour me?

That May meeting turned out to be crucial for me, because it created a rapport with Rajiv which I
did not have before. Rajiv too had great regard for the Parmacharya and therefore his selection of
me to pair with Rajiv, meant for Rajiv that I could be trusted. From that date onwards, Rajiv trusted
me blindly with no reservations.

Parmacharya thus not only altered my outlook, but he also ensured from time to time that I came
on the right path. Once for example, in 1992, the two junior swamis, Jayendra Saraswati and
Vijendra Saraswati had asked me to collect some funds for a Ghatikasthanam library that they
wanted to build in honour of the Parmacharya. They even printed letter heads to make me the
"Patron" of the project, but insisted on a donation.

With great difficulty, I collected Rs.15 lakhs and gave it to them as Janata Party's gift. When
Parmacharya came to know about it, he sent me a query: "Why should you donate to the Mutt when
you are yourself begging for funds from the people to run your party? Please do not do it in the
future". Since then I have stopped giving donations to any cause. Beggars cannot donate.

Naturally, when Parmacharya attained samadhi in 1994, I felt like an orphan in public life. HE was
always there when I had a dilemma to set things right. But I had the God's grace to see him, a
living divinity, for 17 years. Many of his opinions and directions I can never reveal, because he said
them knowing fully well that I will keep it to myself. But by guided and listening to him, I have
become so strong mentally as a person, that I feel that no one can cow me down or demoralize me
no matter how bad a situation I am in.

Parmacharya taught me that the easiest way to finish an enemy is to make him a friend. He had
urged me not to hate the sin, but the sinner. Of course, sometimes the easiest way is not available
because of ego clash, and so the sinner has to fought to be made to realize the sin. But one has to
keep in mind that there is a God's scheme, redemption for the sinner what we call as prayaschitam.
The ultimate revenge belongs to the divine. As human beings we have no right to revenge; only
self-defence and righteous struggle. As Hindus, this is easy to understand because we believe in the
law of Karma. People who see me fighting fiercely with Indira Gandhi, Chandrasekhar and
Jayalalitha and then working with them get confused or even disgusted at what they perceive as my
opportunism. I do not make up with those I quarrel with at height of their power, but when they
cease to be in office. The reason for this flexibility in making friends out of enemies of yester year is
the advice that Parmacharya once gave me in 1977: "India is plagued by divisions, and the egos of
our rajas had played havoc with our national security, making it easy for foreigners to conquer us.
Therefore, never hesitate to create unity, without of course compromising on the fundamental
concepts of morality. India has never forgotten those who unite the nation." I have defined three
such fundamental moral principles.

These three fundamental concepts of morality are

I shall not speak lie, even if I withhold truth.

I shall practice what I shall preach.

What I do will be transparent for all to see. I consider myself therefore free to plan my political
strategy as I see best, without regard to criticism from my political opponents, but within these
three moral limits.