Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dr. Subramanian Swamy: A Man to Emulate

The day that Dr. Subramanian Swamy left the United States, Gallop published a poll in which the American people said that ending corruption in government was their second most important issue after the economy and job creation.  Someone should have asked him to stay.  South Asia has long been known as a place where government corruption is so endemic, so tolerated that people just have to accept it.  I've personally confirmed massive corruption on India's eastern frontier, extending to all levels of government and having tentacles that reach into almost every area of life in the region.  In one investigation, we found we even found a position at virtually every police station, Dak Master, in charge of collecting graft.  People might remember when Pakistan had a prime minister nicknamed "Mr. Ten Percent" because of the kickbacks he demanded and received.  Or how President Barack Obama was laughed at when he told Afghan President Hamid Karzai that he had to end corruption in his country.

So it had to come as a shock when I arrived in India a couple years ago and found the country awash in open outrage about corruption, media attention about it, and legal cases against corrupt officials.  And it was all leading to successful actions.  What could possibly be behind such a sea change that no one thought possible a mere weeks earlier?  It is 72 year old, former cabinet minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy.  Known to many Indians as a "one man army," Dr. Swamy has never shrunk before a challenged or worried what others might think of him.  "I don't care," he kept repeating to me and others recently outside of Chicago when asked about the reactions of people from Harvard academics to India's strong-woman Sonia Gandhi.

Subramanian Swamy, a Harvard educated economist, has a long list of accomplishments that run from furthering relations between India and China to helping to revamp trade relations between developed and developing nations.  Although Swamy is known for his forthright and unequivocal positions on fighting the continued terror war against India and Islamist terrorism, few people remember that he went on a fast for more than a week in 1987 when Muslim youths were killed in police custody and eventually prosecuted the matter in court.

But in 2008, Swamy's attention turned to overcoming perhaps the nation's most formidable obstacle when he publicly took on corruption.  He filed petition after petition against high officials--having many ignored by the current Congress government--but refused to stop and eventually secured indictments against high officials.  He continues to pursue corruption cases against some of India's most powerful political individuals.

Swamy is able to do this not only because of his skills and intelligence (his is one of the most incisive minds I have ever encountered) but also because he refuses to back down from principle merely because of what others might think.  It is a rare quality among public figures (and is probably one reason why Swamy, though an influential politician, has steered clear of joining either of India's major parties).  It was also on view for two nights outside of Chicago last week.

Swamy was here to energize Hindus and strengthen their ties to their religious and cultural heritage--another issue which many people might despair of taking on.  But under Subramanian Swamy, it seems to be working.  Perhaps most impressive was the fact that Hindu youth (and I saw the same phenomenon in India) flocked to the septuagenarian and expressed tremendous admiration for his personal integrity and strength.

Let's see:  relations between the world's two largest nations; the system of international trade; corruption in South Asia; and strengthening Hindu heritage and intensity world wide.  What's next for this remarkable individual, stopping terror?

Perhaps as he is an outspoken leader in that effort despite threats and more.  And along those lines, in February this year, Dr. Swamy cut short a trip to Sri Lanka and flew back to New Delhi specially to be the principle speaker of my book launch.  The book, A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing: The Murder of Bangladesh's Hindus, documents the ongoing destruction of the Hindu community Bangladesh and the world's tacit approval of it through its silence and inaction.  It also makes the case for understanding this human rights travesty and moral failure on our part as an integral element in the spread of radical Islam.  Dr. Swamy has since complimented the book and me many times, and I appreciate his endorsement.  The book is available online for US, Indian, and other readers.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

These sre key factors of Mr. Swamy

"Swamy is able to do this not only because of his skills and intelligence (his is one of the most incisive minds I have ever encountered) but also because he refuses to back down from principle merely because of what others might think."

The need of the hour is Mr. SWAMY Needfs to be marketed in Rural & Urban India more aggressively, as he is already 70+ & time is not in our hands. But we hope & prey our Lord Grant him long life and good health.

8/03/2012 12:27 PM  
Blogger Naren said...

Hail Dr Subramanian swamy savior of hindus and india.

8/03/2012 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proud of dr swamy. Knowledge is power.

8/05/2012 10:32 AM  
Anonymous lalit said...

my ideal person...........
is there any book on autobiography of Dr. Swamy ?

send me information on lalit.ctae@gmail.com

8/07/2012 10:17 AM  
Blogger ram said...

Swamy speaks the truth. Most of the countries have a heritage or feeling of the people to tell that it is their country.Alas India though highly populated by Hindus and most of the people following other faiths do in culture similar to Hindu but fail to acknowledge it and call themselves as Hindus. What Dr.Swamy wants the people of different faiths here are the progeny of Hindus once. The main problem to solve corruption is segregated people in different faiths originated elsewhere. The inetelect of the country has to work out methods to bring about unity and to proudly call themselves as Virat Hindus.

8/07/2012 12:05 PM  
Blogger Love Confession said...

Vote for Most Corrupt Politician for year 2012. please let these guys feel ashamed of their dids.

12/21/2012 6:21 AM  
Blogger adesara said...

Kudos to him. A man with a mission. Clarity of thought and bold and unapologetic approach.

7/29/2013 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Sriram said...

Its real unfortunate that great minds like swamy is not respected enough in tamilnadu

8/03/2013 2:52 AM  
Blogger Fathima Savas said...


Swami Dev Prakash Maharaj ji is the symbol of simplicity and have a heart filled with mercy and affection for the poor and needy ones. He is a universal well wisher in true sense as his mercy and blessings showers alike on all human beings irrespective of religious path followed by the person.

9/04/2014 2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A collection of pearls of wisdom, by Bandhu Triputi Pujya Shri Jinchandraji Maharaj is a Jain monk and dynamic orator who travels throughout the world spreading the message of Jainism and the cultural heritage of India. Pujya Jinchandraji initiated monk-hood over 55 years ago at a tender age of 8 years along with his parents, two brothers, and sister.

9/10/2014 7:23 AM  

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