This is the English translation of the Dr Subramanian Swamy’s interview on “Kya Kehta Hai India” – a special show on Zee News. The show was telecast on Zee News on 09 Feb 2020 and has been uploaded on Youtube as well.
Narrator: Namaskar, I am constitution of Zee news. You are all welcome to this special show – Kya Kehta Hai India on Zee News. Our guest today is Dr Subramanian Swamy.
Dr Subramanian Swamy needs no introduction, presently he is a member of parliament. In the year 1990-91 he was the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Law and Justice as a Central minister and later on even the Chairman of the Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade, from the year 1994 to 1996 he played a significant role in India’s Labour Standards and the WTO Framework. Author of around 25 books, Dr Subramanian Swamy is going to answer your questions.
Our topic today is CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh which have taken the form of jihad. It appears that article 370 which is abrogated in Kashmir has come into effect in Shaheen Bagh. Other than a few people, nobody is permitted to go there. But why is it like that? Why is there so much of hatred in part of the country’s capital because of one law? Even when the government clarified in the parliament that CAA will not harm any of the citizens.
Since Kya Kehta Hai India is a show FOR the citizens and OF the citizens, Dr Subramanian Swamy will be answering the questions of the public first.
You can ask the questions one by one on the topic.
- First and foremost thing is there is no awareness among people. and many times people are even given the wrong information.
- These people don’t know anything. The people who are in Shaheen Bagh don’t even know, what exactly they are protesting for.
- The myth that is spread around here among people, especially our fellow Muslim brothers, is that they might be chased out of here.
- The first thing is Muslims don’t have anything to fear. This is for the troubled people from our neighbouring countries. There is no need for Indian Muslims to worry. Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) does not affect them.
NRC was conceptualised during Rajiv Gandhi‘s time, so why is the BJP government being blamed?
Q: There are people sitting in Shaheen Bagh for past sixty days for something that doesn’t exist at all and that has been clarified by the PM too. How do you bring awareness among them, and for how long will this go on? It is very unfortunate that skilled/talented people are wasting their capabilities and getting carried away by freebies.
Dr Swamy: The protests have not reached a stage where we can take the protestors away and keep them somewhere. According to me the general public getting averse to them or starting to hate them is better. They are trying to give a message to the public, but if the public is not ready to listen, nothing can be better than that.
In a democracy, the government cannot suppress protests and if they try to, the matter is likely to go even more out of control. Therefore, we have given them the freedom to protest. We don’t have to do anything. Eventually, they will get tired. One by one people who have a job or some other responsibilities will leave. In many places, such protest fizzled out on its own.
Q: One child lost his life in this protest his mother has called him a martyr. The child’s father was a mere autorickshaw driver. It is inhuman to call that child a martyr. On what basis are they doing all these things which they call jihad?
Dr Swamy: I wonder how many people would get influenced by this? We win or lose elections depending on the purport. The protests conducted by Jaiprakash Narayan were different. They were about fundamental rights, they were against corruption. but there is no such concern here. Most of the times they don’t even know what exactly are they fighting for. It appears that many people want to break India. I think these kinds of protests without any solid basis won’t last long. We need to exercise some restraint.
Q: On one end, there are mothers who send their sons, there are wives who send their husbands to the border to protect the nation, and on the other hand there a people within the country who want break the country into pieces be it popular front of India or JNU or anybody for that matter because according to me no person or personality is bigger than the country. What is wrong if a country passes a law for the betterment of its people, why are there no stringent laws to punish the insurgent?
Dr Swamy: I understand your feelings. But I want you to understand our history as well. The British were responsible for the partition of our country. After which everywhere in the world, it was predicted that India will be broken into pieces. “India will be fragmented in 20 pieces” – American president Nixon had said then. Churchill said that in three months time Indians will plead the Britishers to come back. But our country stayed intact. A powerful country like the Soviet Union got divided into 16 countries. There is no Soviet Union now, instead, there is Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine etc. Yugoslavia got fragmented into 4 countries. Pakistan got divided into 2 countries, there is scope for four more… Nobody has been able to further divide our country since it came in our hands, on 15th August 1947. So we are not worried about tukdetukde gang. We just publicise that such people exist.
We have enough measures or stringent laws like section 124 in IPC and many such sections whereby these people can be jailed. But we can do that only when the society at large is ready/prepared. The moment we take such stringent actions people go against it and media supports them. There are people who have been placed in influential positions over the past 70 years to prevent such actions.
What happens in China? There is no such thing as left. Muslims were captured and taken to a detention camp in Xinjiang and their children were put in hostels in Beijing and they don’t teach Islam there. But we are a democracy, we cannot take such a stringent measure. But when things are out of control we will take strict measure, you need not worry.
Narrator: Only a few exclusive journalists are allowed in Shaheen Bagh. The editor in chief of Zee news Sudhir Chaudhary was not allowed to go to Shaheen Bagh.
Q: They say every Muslim is not a terrorist, but why all terrorists are Muslims? Please throw some light on this as well as Popular front of India. So that we can give direction to society.
Dr Swamy: There are many Muslims in IB, RAW, Government of India. There have been Hindu terrorists as well like Tamils in SriLanka. The automatic feeling that comes is that of Muslims, but if this is how we look at it, Muslims will feel that we are seeing them with suspicion. I have seen this among common Muslims citizens that respect the law and always abide by it.
Q: Hi Sir, I am Harsh Srivastav, I am a student of journalism. What I want to know is, the opposition and the protestors repeatedly say that the government is altering the constitution. They say that the constitution will have to be protected from the people in power. What would you like to tell them?
Dr Swamy: I would want to know in detail as to in which article or section has been disrespected or harmed in the constitution.
Q: NRC was conceptualised during Rajiv Gandhi‘s time, so why is the BJP government being blamed?
Dr Swamy: When Rajiv Gandhi came to a settlement with the people of Assam and made an agreement for making such a law (NRC). Then the supreme court ordered the government to frame the law. When BJP came to power they said: “that if you don’t bring NRC now, we will file a case of contempt”. So that’s where it all began.
It will be surprising to know that there were more Hindus who were to be expelled. Then there was a big discussion that these Hindus are ones who were victims of genocide in Bangladesh, so the Supreme Court asked for another proposal. Then the demand arose that why only in Assam and not the entire country. Nothing is finalized on the issue, so we can’t really debate on it.
PFI was a small organization which nobody noticed. It was under the protection of successive Communist and Congress governments in Kerala.
Narrator: People protesting citizenship law have become violent. In Sukhdev Vihar area in Delhi, the reporters of Zee news were attacked. What does the general public have to say about such a protest?
Q: From past 60-70 days our entire country is engaged with issues related to CAA and NRC, which should not happen. We all know it. But giving that one person so much of the freedom that they can say anything to the person in power, to the person who holds that topmost position in front of the camera, in media, in universities and people are encouraging him, giving him publicity – the government should take some strict measures against such people. What, according to you, the people in power should do?
Dr Swamy: Article 19 (1)(a) in the constitution of India speaks about freedom of speech. But what does Article 19 (2) say, which was brought by Jawaharlal Nehru in the year 1951? A writer named Romesh Thapar wrote an article stating Jawaharlal Nehru is not eligible to be a prime minister, but there was no way to arrest him as per law. So Jawaharlal Nehru introduced article 19 (2) which say every fundamental right can be curbed. But it can be curbed by a reasonable restriction. Religion can also be applied with reasonable restriction. For example, if you say to get my promotion I will behead my son in front of Goddess Kali, it cannot be allowed. or say triple talaq, that too cannot be allowed. The religion is not so independent in our country that such acts cannot be curbed.
According to you, the matter has gone out of hands, but according to the entire world that is not so. Please tolerate our balancing act for some time, what you want will eventually happen.
Q: Two days ago, this news has come that ED has found a link between Popular Front of India and Shaheen Bagh protesters, and the link is connected to you as well. And the bullet that was fired too had some connection with you. The political propaganda is now known. What is your take on it?
Dr Swamy: I am determined to send Sonia Gandhi to jail in national herald case. Now she is out on bail, but in a few days, she will go back to jail. People say why is she still out. Chidambaram too was jailed. He went because of my case. But now he is out. As per our law, one can be bailed only after interrogation is completed. Now I am charging him with a new case and he will be jailed again.
So, this about the process. Everything that PFI does is known to us. Without our knowledge, they can’t use the washroom too. To find more links, to spread the trap even further they have been left. I am making it public, one year down the line you will congratulate me for destroying PFI.
Q: In the starting of the session you said that as per our constitution, people have the freedom to protest. The students were protesting peacefully in Jamia within their campus/university. But what happened to them…
Dr Swamy: You go and see inside their library…
Q: But Sir, they were attacked inside the library…
Dr Swamy: What happened before that, they destroyed the entire library. The computer centre in JNU, where students were applying for admissions was completely destroyed.
Q: With that, there is no difference between the protestors and the government.
Dr Swamy: The police will go only when the principal or the vice-chancellor asks them to.
Q: But the proof was out.
Dr Swamy: How? Through television? You have reached a conclusion based on information. I will go there and check for the evidence.
Q: Sir, so this also could also be a lie, that anti-government, anti-national slogans were raised.
Dr Swamy: That is what advocates are for. They go court and prove that no anti-national slogans were raised. But the police has the right to arrest someone based on their inspection and information. Letting them go can be decided by the court only.
Q: Shaheen Bagh was hardly known to anyone. I too got to know recently that there is a place called Shaheen Bagh in Delhi. It is surprising that nothing really happened when Article 370 was abrogated, or triple talaq bill was passed or Ram Mandir issue was resolved. Why such a ruckus was CAA?
Dr Swamy: What you are asking is why didn’t you take any action until now?
China had made a mistake in Tiananmen square where a lot of people had gathered to fight for democracy. China essentially is a communist country, they don’t understand Democracy so they took such an action that democracy movement was permanently finished. There are many parameters that need to be considered before taking such action. We are waiting for suitable circumstances. But as I told him, the action will be taken the way you want it. and very soon.
Q: What I want to know is who is supporting and funding protestors in Shaheen Bagh? How are they managing their day to day requirements?
Dr Swamy: How the whole thing is functioning is known, but for now, we cannot stop their food and drinks. All these things will form a base for the future. Now that the elections are also over, we have some free time to deal with this. If nothing has happened until now doesn’t mean that nothing will happen in the future too.
Q: Namaskar, my name is Vandana Shridhar. My question is regarding PFI’s fund that is seized. It is being said that in 15 mins 112 crores have been collected, out which there is no idea how much would have been in cash. Can’t that place be raided? In the end, the entire money is certainly going to be used against India.
Dr Swamy: Many places are raided in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, I am not sure if it is publicised but this is personally known to me as a member of parliament. PFI was a small organization which nobody noticed. It was under the protection of successive Communist and Congress governments in Kerala. Pakistan thought of bringing many such other small organizations together with PFI and that’s how it has a presence all over the country now by absorbing many such tiny organizations. We do not have enough information about their operations here. If we go to court without enough information our case will get dismissed. The first thing that the court will see is that we do not have any basis for the allegation.
The culprits are resorting to all kinds of tactics to delay justice for Nirbhaya case. Everyone knows who the culprit is; their punishment is also decided, they are resorting to all kinds of reliefs, they went to the supreme court, pleaded with the president to try and save themselves. The latest that is it is being discussed is to release the killers of Rajiv Gandhi since they have served in jail for 24 years. There are people like these too in our country. One needs to deal with sophistication in resolving such issues.
Everything is back to normal in Kashmir; the shops are opening, schools and offices are functioning, they are in captivity only because they are not promising us in writing that once they are out, they will not support or speak in favour of article 370 but instead they flared up. That’s because they have taken money from terrorists. We too made a mistake by coming into power in alliance with Mehbooba Mufti. She too had taken money from terrorists. We will release them the minute they give it in writing that they will not speak against the constitution. But they are not ready to do that, because the moment they are released they will be killed by a terrorist.
I would like to add that protestors wouldn’t add up to more than 25% of the total strength of these institutions.
Q: CAA is not a law which would take away the citizenship of Muslims, then what is the purpose of protests. Few influential Muslim leaders have given the protests against CAA the name of jihad. Why?
Dr Swamy: It was a promise made by the governments which were in power before us, it was Mahatma Gandhi’s and many other people’s incomplete work which we completed. Mahatma Gandhi had mentioned only Sikhs and Hindus and nobody else. Manmohan Singh also had mentioned only Sikhs and Hindus. Nobody has ever mentioned Muslims in these past seventy years. and there was no chance of a Muslim because they were not there in the list. Our list had approximately 31,313 people. out of which 25,000 were Hindus, 5000 Sikhs, 1000 Christians, 2 Buddhists and 2 Parsis/Zoroastrians. There was not a single Muslim.
Muslims have come to our country for other reasons but they later changed their minds went elsewhere as Tarek Fateh, who had come, we allowed him to stay, but out of fear of being attacked by neighbouring country of Pakistan, he preferred to go to Canada. Taslima Nasreen too had come but later she preferred to live in Sweden. She said I will keep coming to India but with a Swedish passport. Adnan Sami chose to live here. Now people are making a deal out of it telling that his father is Pakistani, and shouldn’t be allowed to live here! When we allow someone to live here, it is a problem, when we don’t, that too is a problem.
If you dig deep, you will find that whatever measures have been taken are taken with a lot of contemplation, we haven’t made any mistake that would blemish our society.
Q: Why has JNU, Jamia, AMU become hubs of anti-nationalism?
Dr Swamy: They are hubs but not 100%. There are many students who are genuinely interested in studying. The Vidya Parishad in JNU get many votes and many times wins too.
I was a professor of mathematical economics in IIT which was close by from JNU. I used to always take a stand against communism and socialism but not in the class. The classroom is not a place to discuss such theories. But students used to catch up with me in the dining hall of the hostel where I used to tell them about the situation in Russia, China etc. Discussion of such topics caused a lot of irritation to Indira Gandhi. Prior to IIT, I was a professor at Harvard and I was called to here, in India to teach. One day Indira Gandhi mentioned in the parliament that, one Mr Subramanian Swamy has come to teach at IIT and appears to be a part of RSS. I have never been part of RSS but my association with few of the RSS leaders’ is very old, but Indira Gandhi put this stamp on me that I am part of RSS. She said in the parliament that “he is a government employee, he is making a living from government expenses and opposing the government itself. How can a professor do that?” The next day at around 5 in the evening I got a relieving letter, that said you are dismissed from your duties as a professor from immediate effect.
This is not what is expected from institutions like IIT. I went to the director and he said that these are the orders from senior officials, you can file a case in the court. It took 22 years for me but I won the case. The court gave the verdict that the order was null and void. I went back as a professor for a day and then resigned as I was a cabinet minister by then. Then I asked for my salary which they didn’t give, again I filed a case in the court, after 22 years I got my entire salary with 1% interest. The other professors who were my colleagues said that it would have been better if we too would have got dismissed like you. We would have got more money.
All these used to happen but it was never publicised. But today the press is losing its control and hence the mood of the nation is also affected. JNU, AMU etc are protesting so much because they know that slowly they can break the unity of the nation the way a river can break the stone. I would like to add that protestors wouldn’t add up to more than 25% of the total strength of these institutions.
Q: Even today there is a picture of Jinnah adorning AMU.
Dr Swamy: Who got it to put? Jawaharlal Nehru himself. So can we remove it?
Q: If Jinnah is an inspiration to the students there what else can you expect?
Dr Swamy: He might be an inspiration but we cannot remove the picture… if we remove the picture everyone will condemn us and call us small-minded people. Jinnah has been General Secretary of Congress before he left India. Many people say that there are family ties between Jinnah and Nehru. Nobody says a word against Jinnah in congress. Why? Is he an inspiration to them? Ideally, I feel some student should go and remove it. Why should the government do it?
Q: My last question. The protest against CAA has been made into a drama by some Muslim leaders, have given it the name of jihad. Are the Muslims of the country being instigated? Who is instigating them?
Dr Swamy: They are certainly trying to provoke, but they can’t. They are merely engrossed in increasing their leadership. Let me tell you about Owaisi. I do not consider him as a traitor, but he is not a nationalist too. According to me, that Muslim is a nationalist who will say that my ancestor is a Hindu and I have proof to back it up. What is the proof? DNA – the journal of genetics. All the Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhist, Christians of India have the same DNA. Of course few of them would have come from outside. from centuries maximum DNA which is built is according to the tradition and have stayed with us. I tell Owaisi that you speak for the nation, but I will consider you nationalist only when you say that your DNA and my DNA is the same. He asked me how do I know it is the same? I said, let us go to Hyderabad’s famous microbiology lab, which is your house and I will prove it right there.
Indonesia’s currency has a picture of Lord Ganesh in it the name of Indonesian airline is Garuda Airline, all their names are in Sanskrit. On the main road in their capital Jakarta, there is a chariot from which Lord Krishna is giving a discourse to Arjuna. when I asked them, they said our religion has changed but our culture has not. This can happen in India as well, and in Hinduism, we do believe that SarvaDharma SamaaBhaav meaning we see all the religions with equanimity.
Narrator: What started out as a protest again CAA has transformed into jihad. You heard Dr Swamy’s and public opinion on this topic. It is an appeal to the citizens that they should not pay heed to rumours and while forming political opinions and take into consideration various social aspects. It is the responsibility of Zee news to create awareness of political rationality.
 ‘Kya Kehta Hai India’; A platform to voice concerns | February 09, 2020, Feb 10, 2020, YouTube.com