A leader who boldly went where others feared to tread

New facts on how Dr. Swamy opened relations with China, Israel and his spiritual guru Sri Chandrsekhara Saraswati.

New facts on how Dr. Swamy opened relations with China, Israel and his spiritual guru Sri Chandrsekhara Saraswati.
New facts on how Dr. Swamy opened relations with China, Israel and his spiritual guru Sri Chandrsekhara Saraswati.

Here are some of the exciting events from Dr Swamy’s inexhaustible experiences.

Subramanian Swamy passed through London forecasting improvement in UK-India relations post-Brexit and sharing the values of Dharma. Between appointments, the titan of Indian politics afforded me a chat. Previously Swamy has related many political events during his exciting career, but the length and breadth of his experience are inexhaustible.

Seated elegantly in a pale rose kurta and black socks with pink spots, he says Swamy is actually his first name, his father’s name was Subramanian and the family name is Iyer. During the Emergency, Gandhi persuaded people to give up their last names as it represented caste, in this case, Shaivite Brahmins. His name Swamy was chosen because it was shorter than the traditional Tamil names; since his Harvard days when his Professor asked what to call him as he was listed as S. Swamy and the reply was Subramanian, he has been the inimitable Subramanian Swamy ever since.

Swamy proposed that various journalists accompany him, but they could not afford the round trip from Delhi to Mumbai to get their visas stamped in their passports.

Swamy and his mother adored each other; it wasn’t long before she appreciated his talents and rebel instincts. A friend tells me that as a child he was a wonderful cartoonist and singer. At a Christian school in Delhi, he learnt nothing of Hinduism; during the Emergency there was plenty of time to study religion; the houses of the folks he hung out with were filled with wonderful books, so his knowledge is self-taught.

The greatest influence in his political life was Mahaperiyava Chandrashekarendra Saraswati the late Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. Swamy says his turning point came in 1977 while he was campaigning for the Janata Party in a remote village in Tamil Nadu; he was curious about a posse of parked fancy cars and Swamy wanted to see who was gathering such a large crowd. The Shankaracharya was then in his 80’s, people were bringing their problems to him, Swamy listened, then the Swamigal turned and entered a small cottage and closed the door, Swamy began to walk to his car but a priest came to call him back. On entering the cottage, the Shankaracharya asked him “How did you leave without my permission?” and gave him a newspaper cutting featuring his photograph and the question “Is Subramanian Swamy a Tamilian?”, then Swamy was informed he could depart. Swamy continued his campaign and at the end of the day returned to the cottage to ask the Shankaracharya “Why?”. Mahaperiyava advised that the Soviet Union would begin to unravel in five years and that Swamy should cultivate other relationships, with China and Israel, Swamy was doubtful but the Sage insisted he follow his advice. At the time Israel was persona non-grata with India and her allies, and after the Indo-China war of 1962, the atmosphere in 1977 was that any notion of friendliness towards China was treasonous. The Shankaracharya also offered another piece of advice “Never go after a post, whenever it is necessary a post will come after you”. Destiny stepped in and Morarji Desai was elected as PM and Swamy became an MP. Morarji admired Swamy and wanted to support him following his apparent refusal of the position of MoS of Finance, in fact, Vajpayee, not liking the competition had misled Morarji, saying Swamy would be General Secretary of Janata Party. Morarji and Swamy got on like a house on fire, they had 6 AM meetings in the mornings to share ideas and insights. Morarji blessed Swamy’s overtures to China and Israel.

Swamy telephoned the Chinese Embassy and proposed meeting up; he received a royal treatment and was invited to the October 1st Celebrations of the PRC, the China connection was successfully established. In 1978 Morarji had asked Swamy’s advice on what to do about the territories of Arunachal and Kashmir, Swamy explained that the Chinese psychology values support when at a low ebb, he suggested to the PM that if India gave China support over the disputed sovereignty of Chenbaodao Island in the Ussuri River, China would never forget it. At the time the Soviet Union had amassed troops there and China was weak pre the US détente, USSR invoked Indira Gandhi’s Indo-Soviet Treaty and requested to put troops on the Indo-Tibet border via India. Swamy advised Morarji not to allow this and the PM wrote a letter of support that Swamy presented during India’s first official visit to China since 1964, preparing the ground for Vajpayee’s 1979 visit, Swamy recalls the delight of his hosts and says they have never forgotten this gesture of solidarity.

At the time India had a Trade Council for Israel in Mumbai, but diplomatic relations were non-existent. Swamy decided that Indo-Israeli relations need the touch of a more Hindutva type, different from the approach of the anglicised elites. He arranged a secret meeting in August 1977 for an incognito Morarji with the Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. In 1982 Swamy was invited by Menachem Begin to Israel. Swamy proposed that various journalists accompany him, but they could not afford the round trip from Delhi to Mumbai to get their visas stamped in their passports. Swamy turned his official residence into an ad-hoc Israeli Consulate, including flying the Israeli Flag of Zion, everyone made the trip and Swamy was feted as a national hero.

Swamy expected UK-India bilaterals to improve after Brexit, emphasising innovation in AI, tech, health and education are what matters not geographical landmass; he said in the past 200 years advancement has not come from labour and capital investment but from ideas.

Throughout life’s journey, Swamy and the Shankaracharya talked, Mahaperiyava only spoke politics to Swamy. One difficulty Swamy sought advice about was when the LTTE leader announced he and Rajiv Gandhi would be killed. The Swamigal replied, “Why don’t you kill him?” Again, destiny intervened and Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa cornered Prabhakaran at Mullaitivu and was looking for clearance to “bump him off”. Swamy met Manmohan Singh at a wedding and because of the years of friendship between them MMS agreed and Sri Lanka’s government forces moved in.

On the Ram Mandir he said the core issue is waiting for the Supreme Court to give a decision on the property, he said it was possible the mediation process will accept his written submission that was invited by the committee. Later in Westminster, he acknowledged a historic case in the UK that had provided some evidence for one element of his petition.

Swamy says it would not take long to deliver double-digit growth to India’s economy, apparently only two weeks. If the indirect tax system was simplified, new notes were printed to pay for workers on large scale infrastructure projects and farmers were enabled to export, he said the people would be thrilled with this.

In Westminster at an event organised by Bob Blackman MP in the House of Commons Swamy recalled sitting in Parliament Square as a fugitive from the Emergency, he looked at the edifice of UK’s democracy and had the idea to return to India and give a speech and disappear, that turbaned escapade is now a legend. The legend in his own lifetime continued to say he expected UK-India bilaterals to improve after Brexit, emphasising innovation in AI, tech, health and education are what matters not geographical landmass; he said in the past 200 years advancement has not come from labour and capital investment but from ideas.

Dr Swamy is shaking hands with UK Conservative MP Bob Blackman.
The person in the front is Pandit Satish Sharma
Dr Subramanian Swamy speaking at Edinburgh, Scotland

Swamy shared his understanding of the definition and degrees of Dharma and the cerebral benefits of learning Sanskrit Shlokas, it seems you can take Swamy out of India but you can never take India out of Swamy.

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Antonia Filmer is a former British Vogue Fashion Editor and Design Director of Laura Ashley; Antonia was a freelance contributor to Harpers and World of Interiors, she produced summer Garden Operas for 10 years to benefit a children’s charity. In 2012 Antonia wrote produced, directed and edited a documentary “The Last Maharaja”. Antonia is currently the London correspondent for The Sunday Guardian- India.
Antonia Filmer


  1. Dr.Swamy Subramanian is a fearless pursuer of truth and does not rest till he unravels it. He is a gem and my HERO. May God give him a long life to strengthen the culture and the idea of a great India.

  2. While Modi and the BJP run Govt. have failed in the area of Finance management leave alone the Big ticket item bungling committed by Modi Admin. such as – i) Demonetization, ii) GST implementation, iii) bringing back black money stashed abroad, iv) bringing the Top Corrupt to Jail in five years, that led to BJP’s struggle to come back, there are major gaping holes in the day today administration of the Finance Ministry. Look at problems encountered in the appointment of Top Secretaries in the FM, RBI Governors and the Board of Directors, management of SEBI, ED, CBI and related administration failures]. It is time to give REST to Arun Jaitely on health grounds and BRING in Dr. S. Swamy. Modi ought to recognize the talent in him and not ignore him. RSS HQ, current BJP Margdarshak team, the existing Cabinet Caucus members should bring on the due pressure on MODI to accommodate and recognize the contribution of his old pal from the Emergency time. Yes, Swamy may be autocratic and very outspoken but it is worth trying him and see where it goes for the good of India.

  3. The need of the hour is to strengthen the Governing capabilities on the whole and not think in terms of X in place of Y etc. The challenges confronting India are immense and it requires the contribution of every individual who has knowlwdge, skill and most importantly risk taking ability to find solutions to our complex problems.
    Viewed in this perspective Dr Swamy has all the necc credentials and our PM would do well to include Dr Swamy’s weight in whatever capacity or manner possible to lead this country to growth and well being.
    Knowing Dr Swamy’s animosity towards FM Jaitely it will require PM to act very nimble and ensure both Dr Swamy and Jaitely are able to contribute to the country…..

    • I feel a great talent like Dr Swamy, perhaps one of the rarest, has been wasted out especially in the last term of the BJP. India witnessed miraculous silent economic recovery under Dr Swamy and Mr Narsimha Rao. Wish Modi a second term with the same mandate and Dr Swamy being his finance minister. It will be, I suppose, a great combination.

  4. “Swamy out of India but you can never take India out of Swamy” most admired trait of shri SS.
    Wiseness, knowledge, integrity, empathetic, foresighted person should be at helm of realm .

    Shri Subramanian swamy’s life is a matter of admiration and inspirational.
    Many seek his ashram to soak and get gurukul shiksha, so that the values, courage, dedication, integrity towards “Bharatha Thatva” be inculcated and imparted upon.

  5. Paramacharya lord Shiva in the human attire , Jeevan Mukta embodied as Jagadguru Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi, identified his beloved Skanda of Politics in Dr. Swamy even before Economist Dr. Swamy could identify his role as a Lawyer amidst many a liers who were out there to finish the Indic / Dharmic Values of this society. It is MahaPeriava (as Paramacharya was fondly called by all his devotees) who sent him to file a case in supreme court on a matter which would have been dismissed in its jurisdiction by Madurai magistrate, a case which normally cannot be filed even in the High Court of Madras.
    Economist Dr. Swamy wouldn’t have dreamt of demolishing the evils designs of DMK usurping Chidambaram Temple which lawyer Dr. Swamy fought and won. We have it back in the hands of Thillai Vazh Andanars thanks to Kaliyuga Skanda.
    Kailash yatra was made possible thanks to this Kaliyuga Skanda.(India doled out kailash to China! without any concern for it being once in a lifetime sacred pilgrimage of Billions of Hindus (all sects))
    Kaliyuga Skanda made amends for not participating directly in the Ram Ravana Yuddham in spite of Lord Rama & Lakshmana being told the Skanda Jananam to Soorasamharam by Maharishi Vismatra, with the victory in supreme court to preserve RamSethu (BJP will do well to announce RamSethu as national monument)
    Dr. Swamy if left out of the cabinet the country loses, what about BJP, the party has done over so many mistakes (Primary supporting the activists against the devotees of Sabarimala Ayyappan till the judgement) the last five years had the taste of its misdemeanor at the hands of PDP, PrimeMinistersOffice(CBI VS CBI), FinanceMinistry (too many to list)… , will be difficult for Modi without Dr. Swamy. Although Dr Swamy too at times goes against the Indic faith (Initially he supported the activists against the devotees of Sabarimala). He will do well to resist his ImageIdentity(as GenderNeutral,etc he will do well to understand that its only body which has gender and not the soul! body by its very definition has differences, its unity in diversity and not brute force oneness which makes a peaceful world of co-existence) and work for Indic freedom from the colonial Babus and establishment.

  6. It’s true that the Nation is Being protected along Cultural identity with inspirational speeches of great persons like Dr.SubrahamanyaSwamy

  7. Let Swamy b here, as an MP or as a minister. He speaks mostly truth n he is a staunch hindu whom v need in d ERs 2 come 2 save us from d centuries old invaders n anglicised elites. May God give him a happy n long lyf! Jai hind

  8. The 68th Kanchi Shankaracharya Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal advised Dr Subramanian Swamy “Never go after a post, whenever it is necessary a post will come after you”. He is strictly adhering to that noble advice. After 23/05/2019 LS Election results, even if BJP wins with more than 300 seats, it will be a GREAT DISASTER, I REPEAT IT WILL BE GREAT DISASTER for BJP to ignore Dr S Swamy’s talents, wisdom, experience, manifest competence and above all unimpeachable integrity and if BJP desists from including him in the next BJP Government, it will sound the deathknell of BJP. There should be no personal animosity in BJP in appointing an able & competent person like DR SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY as a Cabinet Minister. BJP is utterly lacking talents in the Govt, more specifically in key Economic Ministries Dr Swamy will fill the entire gap of talent deficit. BJP should SUMMARILY REJECT THE MUMBAI INDUSTRY LOBBY’s OPPOSITION TO DR SWAMY’s INCLUSION IN THE CABINET. RSS should keep a close watch on situation while BJP Govt is being formed after 23-05-2019. Another suggestion to PM Modi & would be PM Modi is that Ministries of Finance, Corporate & Commerce and make it as Ministry of Finance, Corporation & International Trade, for a clear co-ordinated policy formulation

    • JAYASANKAR, I support your views.
      2014 Mission 282 Sarkar of PM Modi just ignored Dr.Swami and lo and behold PM did not notice quarreling two CBI chiefs under his very PMO nose for two full years!!

      In fact Cong-I thugs ran one third of Modi government for full 5 years!! All mega scams cases were fought by Dr. Swamy alone not by Modi/BJP.

      In my humble opinion Dr.Swami as well as Nitin Gadkari should be made Deputy PMs to bring in Quality, speed and efficiency in decision making.

      If I am not wrong, entire Indian stock market is controlled by Chidambaram with his gang and Mukesh Ambani, we should not fear collapse of the stock market if Dr. Swamy is also included in the cabinet.

      PM Modi should understand that 60% of central govt employees do not work and less said the better about state government employees. BSNL should be privatized first. Judicial reforms are must.

      During his first term PM Modi simply ignored mega scams of UPA 1 & 2 government and wants us to walk along “vikas/development” only and in this scenario Dr.Swami as a deputy PM should oversee Home and Economy. Dr. Swamy is an asset.

  9. “During the Emergency, Gandhi persuaded people to give up their last name as it” – Spot the obvious mistake.

    • Was it not during the freedom movement that Congress members and others gave
      Up using their surnames that indicated caste deninations – like The then General secretary Shriman Narayan dropping his Agarwal surname
      And did this Gandhii (Indira) suggested this during th Emergency?
      Rather confusing

  10. Sadly, Swami is one of the most under-rated political minds in India. If Modi comes back to power once more, he should give Swami a ministerial berth. For God’s sakes, haven’t we had enough of the likes of Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitaraman at the expense of sidelining one of the most brilliant minds in the country. It’s a shame!

  11. Dr.swami can do many more but the problem is with BJP.. let’s hope the next govt will give him an opportunity

  12. This land BHARAT not only is gifted by MAHANS but also good people like SWAMY and MODIJI. Though i know not much of swamy i follow his cases intently and have found truth in his words. These are very difficult things in Indian Politicians God should give him a long life and he should witness INDIA going to great heights


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