Dr.Swamy’s encounter with Mrs. Gandhi
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]ree Iyer: Hello and welcome to the PGurus channel this is Sree Iyer your host and I am with Dr Subramanian Swamy. Dr Swamy –welcome to the PGuru’s channel it’s a privilege and honour to have you here with us. Today we are going to go down memory lane and Dr Swamy will share with us some of his experiences with the Prime Ministers of India and the ones with whom he had the opportunity to interact with.Dr Swamy why don’t you start with Mrs Indira Gandhi.
Mrs.Gandhi had many complaints and she was very apprehensive about some girl with whom her son was going and she wanted me to go across to London on that
Dr Swamy: Well, I first met Mrs Gandhi when she was just a minister in Lal Bahadur Shastri government and I was at that time had become Assistant Professor at Harvard having just finished my PhD. In those days during the early 60s, a great thing to have an Asian as a professor and you know- that too at the most prestigious department at Harvard- that is economics department and so, for everybody I was the talk of the town. I was also favorite of both Paul Samuelson and Simon Kuznets, both greatest economists of the last century.
So when Mrs Gandhi arrived to address a meeting in Brandeis University she invited me for tea and I went and met her. She had many complaints and she was very apprehensive about some girl with whom her son was going and she wanted me to go across to London on that. I didn’t know much of Gandhi personally but she knew my father and he was in government service. She also knew others because we had very strong Congress connections. For example, through my father’s side Satyamurthy, was a relative and so Mr Kamaraj used to come and stay in our house. She knew it very well that I was connected with Congress family so she was very open and requested me to go to London and speak to Rajiv as a professor and explain to him why it is important to study and so on. But then I let it go and later on only realised why she was unhappy.
Then she became PM and I had an interaction with her on non-proliferation treaty. I was a very strong bomb hawk. She was in favor of signing this and it happened that I was flying from Delhi after a vacation in Delhi with my family and I was returning back to Harvard to teach and it so happened that she was in the same plane. Those days we didn’t have separate planes like 747, she was in first class-of course all seats were taken up by her- her principal secretary was, in fact, Mr Banerjee and he was in same class as I was and he got to speaking to me and he realized who I was and he went and told her and she asked me to see her.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap] went to the first class cabin and sat next to her and started talking to her about this thing. She said we are under great pressure to sign, you know and so on. It will help our research and so I told her something she got very angry with me, I said to her just when I was getting up “Madam Prime Minister you know that what your father signed in Tibet and how it has been so costly for us” She said sit down and asked what did u say. I said “your father made a blunder to sign an agreement to write off Tibet without any conditions and this nuclear agreement will be treated the same way” and she said alright and you can go, but it had the impact. Fortunately, the cabinet did not allow. it was Morarji Desai one of the bomb-haters, I mean he had one of the ferocious dislikes for the bomb but he took the stand, he said future generation must not be tied up. He seems to have said “maybe I am against and would like to sign this but future generation may think differently so you would not close the option” It didn’t go through.
I got up in Parliament and asked, Is it a fact Mrs Gandhi that your daughter-in-law is an insurance agent for nationalized insurance company and she is insuring all the members of your staff in the Prime Minister’s office, this is all conflict of interest, this is corruption.
When I returned back to India to become a professor at IIT my article became very famous. I wrote an article on all economic aspects using most modern techniques of matrix analysis, input-output analysis and so on. It was published in Economic and political weekly and the parliamentary committee on atomic energy circulated that and Mrs Gandhi was chairman of that and so it became front page news. I became overnight famous. In 1974 as a parliamentary member I was a member of Atomic energy panel and she was the chairman. We started sparring matches and she seemed to like it because basically she was sort of convent girl and she needed someone to talk to the same type of English unlike usual Madam etc.
She in a sense was influenced by my arguments and ultimately in May of 1974, she exploded an atomic bomb in Pokharan. I was also exposing her daughter-in-law’s corruption. The first was on November 19th her birthday. I got up in Parliament and asked, Is it a fact Mrs Gandhi that your daughter-in-law is an insurance agent for nationalized insurance company and she is insuring all the members of your staff in the Prime Minister’s office, this is all conflict of interest, this is corruption. There was pandemonium in Parliament. I said if you don’t rectify this, I am going to police station and filing a criminal complaint. Next day she came- her face was all red and said, yesterday a member of Jan Sangh-all haters of my family– raised this issue and by way of abundant precaution and knowing the capability of mischief that Dr Swamy is capable of I am asking my Daughter-In-Law to resign from Oriental Insurance company and therefore the matter should be closed. I said, well this is the first time so I am letting it go but let this not happen again.
Sree Iyer: So during those days also there was cult-like status
Dr Swamy: Yeah
Sree Iyer: Like for example, I can recount today’s 2016-17 and when Dr Swamy even mentions the name (whose name we shall not mention) the entire posse of congressmen stand up and start shouting random stuff. Come on guys, you are making a spectacle of yourself. The whole world watches Rajya Sabha proceedings. I am telling you it is really sad.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]D[/dropcap]r Swamy: Then, you know the emergency came. Although they issued a warrant against my name and I had gone underground, they made not very hectic efforts to find me and then one day I suddenly emerged in London and so there was consternation. The high commissioner was BK Nehru her cousin and very well disposed to me. He has written good things about me in his book which is titled “Nice People finish second” so, in that he had mentioned the interaction with me. I went to London, called him up and said you know, now I am a member of Parliament, so I am just telling you, I am in town.
I decided that I must teach her a lesson, so I devised this plan that I will go back in the parliament make a speech and disappear.
He was the High Commissioner and he said: “why don’t come and have a cup of tea and I said a cup of tea ?”. “Indian High Commission is Indian Territory. How do you expect me to come?” “ So I give you my word that you will not be arrested”. So I said Okay, I will take my chance, I did go and have tea with him which he describes in his book. The next thing I know is my passport is declared cancelled, although I didn’t hand him my passport, so in my passport, the stamp was not there. I refused to hand it to him and I went off to the United States. The United States had already become familiar to me, they knew I was a person who had taught at Harvard and this is a warrant, arrest without trial or the legal process. So the Americans admitted me in and I went to Harvard got back my old job. I started moving, about how we can re-organize, how we can organize a revolt. The RSS people were all over there, even in those days they were there in big numbers, as an example Jeetendra Kumar in Washington, so through him, I focused. Mahesh Mehta Hindu Parishad in the United States was another person. Mrs Gandhi then sent the Indian ambassador to meet the Dean of Harvard called Henry Rosovsky and say that It is a curse in giving the job back to Dr.Swamy as a professor. He is a criminal, he has got so many charges against him. He has been dismissed from IIT, so how can you make him a professor etc.
The Dean said “as far as his dismissal from being a professor is in the court, so till the court decides how we can believe. We don’t understand how a scholar like Swamy can be dismissed from professorship, it must be for non-academic reasons that we are not concerned with, we look at the academic record and we have given him. As far as his being criminal these are all cases because we are under the due process of the Constitution, you have suspended the Constitution, so we can’t take notice”
So Harvard stood firm, unlike, Harvard of today because of Arab money. Mrs Gandhi got angrier and angrier and then they even sent two people to abduct me but did not succeed. I decided that I must teach her a lesson, so I devised this plan that I will go back in the parliament make a speech and disappear.
Sree Iyer: so I would like to draw their attention of the viewers on this–So you went back to parliament because you had to sign in there, otherwise they could expel you.
Dr Swamy: No, No, that was a byproduct, the main thing is to shatter her complacency, the myth that she was in control of the country and to show the world she is not right.
Sree Iyer: But, Subsequently I think, I don’t know, how long it happened, did you get expelled from Rajya Sabha just because of this.
Dr Swamy: Yes because of that, I went in, signed the register of the clause, but that would have been destroyed and then they would have denied that I ever came, so I had to make a speech in parliament. So I went in and then raised this point of order about a listing, then I disappeared. They were so humiliated, they had to do something to me, so they picked up something I said in Canada in one of my visits that, Indian Parliament is a captive parliament.They said you have insulted Parliament.
Sree Iyer: I see that was the biggest reason, Next time congressmen, you accuse Dr Swamy or expel him from Rajya Sabha remember that it was a framed charge and you know about it. So I want you guys to know that the world is watching and we are not going to keep quiet, if you start using, you are wasting taxpayer’s Money, I am a taxpayer in India, I do pay taxes and I am not happy about the way you spend your time in the Parliament, especially in Rajyasabha. Thank you very much, Dr Swamy, I am sorry I keep going into that because I feel that time is not the being well spent in Rajya Sabha, let’s move on.
Dr.Swamy: Then, Mrs Gandhi Lost elections, she came back and then she wanted my help on China which I gave her, by then Rajiv had become very good friend of mine, she also began to be civil with me and she use to wish me, invite me for tea and of course the operation blue star was a place where she landed herself in the soup and her last meeting with me was in sometime in the end of August, when parliament session was getting over and then the elections were coming at the end of the year and she stopped me in the corridor and said, “you had warned me about the Sikhs, that they will come after me, if I do operation blue star and you have been proved right, I am sorry, I didn’t listen to you. But, is there anything that can be done now”. I said, “Now nothing can be done too much water has flown down the Ganga. I know you will not apologize for what you did, so there is no point in thinking about it. The Sikhs are not going to back off”
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]o, that was my conversation with her. Had she lived longer we would have become very good friends, because we used to converse quite a lot and she was a person who was grateful to the people who helped her out and I helped her out on China in a major way. Otherwise Chinese would have made a mess of Assam and I would also thank Deng Xiaoping that he responded.
He responded because of me, our Government had tried through the Ambassador and all, they would not give the time of the day and Chinese didn’t like Mrs Gandhi as they thought she was a Soviet-friendly. Since I was anti-Soviet, I became popular in China. That was Mrs Gandhi. I certainly think, she was a bad Prime Minister because she was insecure and she reduced the human being to dirt and certainly all thugs have respect for hardliners you see.
I was a hardliner and I was not amenable to all the normal temptations of Indian politicians. They can be framed in and blackmailed. She had admiration for me and of course her son who came after her.
Sree Iyer: The key take way was you were very good friends with her son and unfortunately he died. We will come and talk about that little later.