A tete-a-tete between Guru Extraordinaire Paul Samuelson and his Genius Pupil, Dr. Swamy

A rare instance of a Shishya pointing out the error of the Guru and the Guru acknowledging it.

A tete-a-tete between Guru Extraordinaire Paul Samuelson and his Genius Pupil, Dr Swamy
A tete-a-tete between Guru Extraordinaire Paul Samuelson and his Genius Pupil, Dr Swamy
Red Book on Sale!

Rarely does one come across an instance when a Shishya points his Guru a mistake is the Guru’s work. Here is one such instance. Having beeng pointed the error, the Guru is gracious in accepting his error and thanks his Shishya for pointing it out.

Dr. Swamy the Shishya and Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson, the Guru

I recently came across a treasure trove of correspondences between Nobel Laureate – Paul Samuelson and his genius student – Dr Swamy. It paints a vivid memory of academic rigour and gentleness that existed amongst the elites of world economics. During the correspondences we can see that Paul Samuelson treats Dr. Swamy as his own, looks for his welfare during the emergency and advises him to hold on to the academic chair as politics is a chancey trade.

Their correspondences extend for the period of 1965-2003 and cover various topics of development in the field of Economics, Harvard, IndiaChina income measures, GDP measurements, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Indian elections etc.,

Amongst those correspondences, I found an interesting piece where Dr Swamy gets surprised by the claim made by his professor. (Ref, Mar 14, 1968, Harvard University, Department of Economics)

Caught by surprise, Paul Samuelson acknowledges Dr Swamy’s point and went to add on further and expresses that he is grateful for writing it to him.

Later in 1984, while writing on an economic journal, Paul Samuelson went to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Swamy made in 1976 to an economic journal on the same area – Ref – Second Thoughts on Analytical Income Comparisons – Paul A Samuelson – https://www.jstor.org/stable/2232349

Not to forget, Paul Samuelson got the Nobel Prize in 1970 and upon achieving the rare feat and co-authored paper with his favourite student – Dr Swamy in 1974, Invariable Economic Index Numbers and Canonical duality, which is quoted as the Authority in the fields of Monetary policy.

Mentorship is a lasting gift and it is fortunate that Dr. Swamy got it from Paul Samuelson and we are fortunate to get it from Dr. Swamy as well.

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


  1. Dr. Subramanian Swamy is one of those rare gifted minds who joined politics. He is accomplished in whichever field he entered – whether academia, politics, administration(as a minister), policy maker, visionary, lawyer, citizen. He is simultaneously (more than) suitable as a Finance minister, HRD minister, National Security & integrity=MEA/Defence/Home, etc., (and who knows what transformation he can bring if he can become PM), and not to forget as a teacher, researcher, and inspirational figure.

    I always wondered why he is not given Finance ministry despite his brilliance and calibre. Untill Jai-italy (I regret to speak about the dead but …) was around, it is understandable, though I couldnt fathom how Jai-italy could wield so much influence on Modi as he did when he was around. Now atleast Modi has to seriously bring him on board, else it will become another dynasty cult except that it will be about an individual (Modi) instead of a dynasty and surrounded by saffron Lutyens, so to say. CONgress on the other hand didnt bother any criticism from left and allowed=funded it which was mutually beneficial in the end. But this government vis-a-vis BJP for this very reason comes across a anti-intellectual. Despite being their proven staunch supporters, they didnt allow any criticism/sidelined who can talk independently in the sense of new perspective, guidance, concrete changes on the ground.

    I consider BJP’s greatest failures are in HRD and Finance ministries. Of all the BJP’s HRD ministers inspite of their Master or PhD degrees, Smriti Irani was the best and able administrator. I can tell this being in academia, having a PhD and being a faculty in one of those institutes that every +2 student wants to get in. She was sneered for her qualifications, but just when she (or rather as I saw her/ministry) starting to bring changes of the right kind (which is anyway on the ‘right’ side historically/factually) she was replaced (rather sacked in my opinion). And all the stumbling moments for BJP after 2014 happened with Jai-italy whether as FM/DM – demonitization, GST, Rafael deal, black money issue, or his overt influence on other institutions like ED, CBI, AG, etc in various cases involving corruption particularly PC,RaGa, SoGa,RV, etc.

    I only wish Dr. Swamy gets to do what he longs to do for which he is more than suitable, if not deserving (I personally thing saying Dr. Swamy ‘deserves’ something is an insult to his brilliance). And need of the hour is such a transformative energy/mind he wields. I also wish him long life/health untill that is realized. Although we wish for, rather need, 100s of Dr. Swamy’s or Rajiv Malhotra ji’s (or TrueIndology’s), unfortunately we have only one of each kind, and none of them (/us) can be around forever. That is the most saddening part to me.

  2. its definitely unfortunate that swamy never got to be finance minister, as was his due. He is the senior most politician on the bjp side.
    If Swamy had concentrated on economics, he would have easily been a candidate for nobel prize after 1970’s.
    As a politician in the thankless indian political scenario, he has not done too well.

  3. A tete-a-tete between Guru Extraordinaire Paul Samuelson and his Genius Pupil, Dr. Swamy. Kudos for the post.

    After winning elections in May/June 2014 PM Modi did not publish white paper on the state of the Indian economy which was ran on black economy too.

    If I am not wrong during 2013-14 against UPA 1and 2 mega scams /corruption issues, “spontaneously” people from all over India marched along with Anna Hazare shaking the then Dumbo PM MMS and SG from deep slumber but policy paralysis continued.

    Similarly, such a spontaneous movement should be done now to bring back ancient Indian glory and to do course corrections in the Indian Economy. I am of the opinion that Dr.S.Swamy should resign from BJP and give up his RS membership and give a clarion call to fight with clueless government and 70% talent less minsters at present. There is no point expecting manna from heaven or expecting PM Modi doing a good job on the Economic front sooner than later. Neither Hindu rate of growth nor Chaiwala economics works in this country. People are confused whether we are heading towards a modern economics or Swadeshi economics!!

  4. Dr Subrahmanyam Swamy is a combination of == Sri Krishna+ Chanakya+ Bhishma pita maha. Indian Economy and Finance minister can be dealt by only that person …who has the knowledge and experience on(( Bharath Culture and about people living in diff diff areas and doing diff diff job professions in india and prakruthi agriculture farming )).Our Economy can be repeared and boosted by only one point , First have the knowledge , experience,wisdom of((( Bharath Culture=Adi Sanathana Hindu Dharmam,yoga, meditation, vedic scriptures (Ayurveda science , Vedas, …etc) ))). That person can only deal our Economy. All our past and running RBI governers and Finance ministers are educated about western culture , they almost don’t have bharath culture knowledge, after that they are dealing Eastern culture related indian economy.
    So, Dr. Subramanyam swamy and our Yogi Rishi’s and can “only” deal this. No other person on this can deal this. First Implement Adi Sanathana Hindu Dharmam as Bharath-Indian and world Constitution, Ram Mandir construction next our Economy can be cleared ,repeared, boosted v.v.v.easily.

  5. He should be a Finance Minister where he would bail us out of this very variable modi model of economy. Modi overall developmental economics is excellent however macro economics has taken some toil & this is where he needs Swami like brain. All Modi have to do is take him in to his cabinet where his dream of 5 Trillion economy would be full filled.

  6. But, Don’t u Think It is This “TRAGEDY”Since 1947,Because of which,the Ultimate Suffering is by the General/Innocent Public,Where as the “Cunning PoliticianS” Continue 2 Enjoy,I hope NaMo will take the “Course Correction” as HE IS KNOWN 2B,IN THE INTEREST OF “AAM AADMI” not Party

  7. In politics, people calling spade a spade are not liked by many within and outside the party. In politics they always expect to sugarcoat whatever you say. That is the easy way of fooling people and media and always appreciated as gentlemen approach.

  8. Not at all a bad idea to give him FM’s post.
    Especially when economy is in trouble and the government doesn’t have any expertise around.

    Have also known a bit about his background as a mathematician. Good math can help solve problems in many areas. Theory does not diverge from practice if it is applied correctly

  9. When Government isn`t allowing Swamy Ji to participate in policy making, its harming no one but the common mass. Swamy Ji will loose nothing. He is already a legend because of his services to the nation. We always have very high respects for him.

  10. Is it not surprising that in times like these in India,the Govt does not call on him to help turn around the economy!!

    Introducing Yoga day internationally is good for others-but then let go of your EGO and call on Swamyji to help with the economy!!!His genius will do it!

  11. An economist of repute and world acclaim is in our midst. But unfortunately because of his straight forwardness he is been left alone. If one is in a position to challenge a person like Paul Samuelson , ( A world A renokwned Economist) and the same being accepted by him is in itself a show case of Dr. Swamy’s in-depth understanding of Economics .
    I think either we do not understand economics or Dr. Swamy is in the wrong place. It is high time this talent of our country at least be given an opportunity to prove his credentials

  12. Dr Swamy is definitely a good Economist. He does not recognition he deserves in Bharat. However, it is debatable if his theoretical knowledge in economics will have any practical utility. His economics is long range and not day to day for running a Country.

  13. The master of economy and international politics must be acknowledged and given a chance to hold suitable position in govt.

  14. Dr Swamy is an all-rounder. He theoretically, literally & practically knows everything. Only that his time has not come & that is due anytime now. A good position for him means happy tidings for the people.


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