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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 1 New Delhi December 23, 2017 - Annual Number

An Ever Vigilant Swamy

Sunday 24 December 2017

by Sardar Amjad Ali

Dr Subramanian Swamy, a Tamil-born highly qualified person and Harvard economist, an eloquent speaker in my estimation, might have failed in his memory. In this age of 78 years (just one month and 15 days older than me), he seems to have forgotten this writer who had the privilege of being the first speaker from the ruling Congress party in the Rajya Sabha when in the year, 1976, Shri Om Mehta, the then Minister of State in the Department of Home Affairs, moved a motion for the appointment of a committee consisting of the members of the Committee on Privileges of the Rajya Sabha to consider if the actions and conducts of Swamy were unbecoming of a member of the Rajya Sabha during the Emergency (1975) days in and outside the country, and to make appropriate recommendation for his expulsion from the House. Yes, it was Dr Swamy emitting his rancour against the government and Parliament, at Canada and in the United States, and resolving to raise an army of lakhs of Indians abroad to fight the ‘Indian autocrat’, namely, Indira Gandhi, bent upon killing Indian democracy. In the process Dr Swamy wanted to demonstrate his pure and sacred Nationalism.

I was then too naive and a half-literate stupid with a scanty or no sense of Agmark nationalism as Dr Swamy had, to have jumped into a parliamentary debate in support of the motion. In fact, at the end of the entire exercise, the committee, appointed by the House of Elders of the Indian Parliament, had unanimously recommended a censure against his activities and conducts being not commensurate as a member of the august House of Elders of the Indian Parliament, seeking to undermine the institution of Parliament and the national government in the estimation of the people abroad. Dr Swamy was dismembered from the House. Members of all the political groups in the House, excepting the Communist Party of India -Marxist, headed by the Hon’ble Member Shri Viswanath Menon from Kerala, supported the motion. It was a queer matrimony of the then Jana Sangh, the party to which Dr Swamy belonged, and the CPI-M; of course to save the brilliant Swamy from being scathed and dismembered.

But Dr Swamy by no means can be humbled given his zeal and stamina in treading into a volcano where the less prudent will dare to tread. He knew a bearded Chandra Shekhar as a Congress bandmaster but in an odd Indian winter, found in the same Chandra Shekhar the vanguard of a real Indian renaissance in the year 1990, and preferred to form a coalition with his outfit, called Janata Party, and glorifying himself as the Hon’ble Minister in Charge of Law and Justice. We must shower our encomiums on Dr Swamy of course for giving us a golden opportunity to appreciate his talent in a theatre which is the last resort of the ’God- sent Saviours’. The government where Dr Swamy was a Cabinet Minister drafting law and defending the mantle of justice was a government having its limping leg to stand upon only with the support of a party Dr Swamy knows and believes to be a party of dynastic clones which heralded in our national life nothing but corruption.

Dr Swamy, though not a professional, but even as an amateur has also high skills of a lawyer and takes unbound enthusiasm in lodging complaints of the nature of Public Interest Litigation on various subjects. The Hon’ble Judges of our Apex Court as well as the State High Courts also do not register their Lordships’ intolerance or indignation when Dr Swamy appears in person with a brief in which a public interest aka a private interest is writ large in the proposed lis.

For instance, as a Janata Party Member of Parliament Dr Swamy took up the cause of the Hashimpura murder case where 42 Muslims were shamelessly butchered by the Uttar Pradesh Armed Constabulary. A cold-blooded genocide in the Indian Republic was brought to the public domain so vigorously because of Dr Swamy fasting in the Boat Club of Delhi for a good many days. Dr Swamy, it is understood, was persuaded by another Janata MP, Syed Shahabuddin, to take up the cause when a Delhi Court acquitted all the 16 accused persons out of 19 (three having died during the trial) and an Appeal was preferred by the victims’ relatives. Dr Swamy took out a craftily drafted petition before the Appellate Court and asked for a further probe into the case regarding the role of Shri P. Chidambaram, the then Minister-in-Charge of Internal Security. A Bench of Justices G.S. Sistani and Sangita Sehgal, however, could not help Dr Swamy to get an order for a retrial of the case. An incident that occurred in 1987 ended in acquittal on March 21, 2015. On an appeal preferred by the victims’ relatives for justice if an order for a further probe to book P. Chidambaram was made, could not possibly have found any of the accused persons or the witnesses alive.

Dr Swamy took keen interest to get the former Congress Minister, Sashi Tharoor, booked for the mysterious death of his wife, Sunanda, that took place in a posh Delhi hotel on the night of January 17, 2014. The police was in sesin of the investigation, but even then Dr Swamy, now a presidential nominee in the House of Elders in Parliament from where he was once expelled for his proven misconduct, could not resist the temptation to move yet another public interest litigation in the Delhi High Court along with another Court seeking a Court-monitored enquiry into the mysterious death of Sashi’s spouse, leaving aside the next of kins of Sunanda, the victim, alleging that he was sure of Sashi seeking help of his party, the BJP, to save his skin. Much to their distress the Delhi High Court could not oblige the champion of public interest and delivered a verdict terming the PIL as a ‘text book example of a political interest litigation’. Be that as it may, we, the common people, may very humbly ask the Hon’ble Dr Swamy to let the country know who those benevolent souls in his party were available for rendering their helping hands to Sashi, an alleged ‘killer’. Additional Solicitor General Sanjoy Jain also could not come to the aid of Dr Swamy’s jibe that the Congress leader (Sashi Tharoor) continued to interfere in the investi-gation.

Dr Swamy is by no means a zealous prota-gonist of honesty in public life. The Gandhi dynasts were, he believed, indulging in syphoning public money in a circuitous manner by transferring the shares of National Herald, a Congress newspaper established by Jawaharlal Nehru. The mother and son, along with some other cronies, were fattening their personal coffers, he alleged. In this country of 135 million ‘boozed citizens’, Dr Swamy was the only conscious puritan who knocked the doors of the temple of justice to get the mother and son duo hauled, according to law. Fair enough!

The Hon’ble Judges questioned his locus in the lis. Dr Swamy tends to prove that he is more knowledgeable than Mr Raghuram Rajan, the former RBI Governor, and Mr Arvind Subramaniam, the Chief Economic Adviser to our respected Prime Minister, to understand public finance vis a vis corporate laws of the land. Poor Rajan had to leave his realm and Arvind to swallow the bitter pills of criticism. Should not the entire credit go to Dr Swamy! Poor Jaitley may try to learn the art of managing his Finance Ministry from a Harvard economist.

Dr Swamy is also a good adviser to erring Mehbooba, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, advising her to go back to the school to study the real object of Article 370 of the Constitution when she made a statement that the Article is the nation’s commitment to the people of J&K and should be honoured. I would suggest to Mehbooba to be an attentive pupil to the Harvard Professor.

But when the nation was approaching the last month of the year, ‘the Cold December’, a month when the ‘pious deed’ of the kar sevaks of 1992 was acclaimed as an achievement no less than the conquest of the Antartica, should Dr Swamy not shower his Nostradamusian prophesy as to when and where Ramlalas’ shrine will be built? After the wisdom of the Allahabad High Court to impart a verdict of share-cropping the disputed estate between the Sunni Wakf Board and Nirmohi Akhara on a two-third and one-third basis found an entry in the register of lis of the Apex Court, Dr Swamy had promptly shown his keen interest in impleading himself as the most pious Hindu of the country in that auspicious legal battle keeping far behind Shri Mohan Bhagwatji. As an astute lawyer Dr Swamy pleaded for a religious, not a legal, solution of the problem. He was, even before the Court sits for judgement, certain that they (the Hindus) are winning the case and will celebrate the next Diwali in October next at Ayodhya. Dr Swamy gives his verdict— that the Masjid can be built anywhere but not at Ayodhya. As a no-match historian Dr Swamy knows it for certain that the 40,000 temples (the list of such temples with location must be with him) that were demolished are not in his demand but lists only three, namely, Krishna’s Mathura, Ram’s Ayodhya and Kashi Viswanath at Varanasi. And Dr Swamy, before the Apex Court begins to hear the case on February 8, 2018, has given his edict: of shifting the Babri to the Ambedkar district where lots of Muslims live. Muslims in India must express their gratitude to Dr Swamy that he at least has given some place in India to get their Babri located. Thank God that it is not in Iran or Iraq or Saudi Arabia.

Dr Swamy’s colleague in the Ministry of External Affairs, if not the Hon’ble Narendra Bhai, ought to have lend her ears to his advice to shift the Indian Embassy to Jerusadem. After all, a parallel waivelength of understanding about Israel with Donald Trump, the American President, is seldom a perception as we find no Indian expert on international issues other than Dr Swamy.

Instances are galore to cite Dr Swamy’s excellence in multiple subjects. And simply for this reason I could not ignore my enthusiasm to recall a friend of mine in the Rajya Sabha long ago and regret what brand of stupid I was to have supported the motion to expel him from the House of Elders.

A practising senior advocate of the Calcutta High Court, the author is a leading figure in the West Bengal Congress. A former member of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in the seventies, he was the Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister.

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