Corruption is the biggest threat to our national, but Dr Manmohan Singh must stay and continue to punish guilty

Corruption is the biggest threat to our national, but Dr Manmohan Singh must stay and continue to punish guilty

by March 1, 2012 0 comments

Dr. Subramanian Swamy is an outstanding intellectual, a well known Economist, a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, an acknowledged China expert and a relentless fighter for freedom and human rights. He was a Member of Indian Parliament for 5 times, was the Cabinet Minister for Commerce, Law & Justice, was a Member of Planning Commission, was the Cabinet Ministerial ranked Chairman of the Commission on Labor Standards and International Trade.

Our Editor Prashant Tewari caught up with him at P V Narsimha Rao death anniversary function at Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi to talk on the wide ranging issues. Dr SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY says he was motivated to continue his investigation in the 2G spectrum allotment case after he heard influential people say that this might constitute the instance of the “most monumental corruption” in world history. Dr Swamy tells in this interview that those who made the money will stand to gain politically if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is forced to resign.

Q. You are a Internationally renowned Economist from Harvard and was a Professor of Economics in IIT What made you to take up politics?

A: I went to address Jana Sangh Parliamentary Party meeting to advocate the economic feasibility of the atom bomb as also to espouse my Swadeshi Plan. Mrs. Gandhi and the pro Soviet Communists intellectuals like KN Raj and Amartya Sen saw this as a dangerous development for them, so they got me dismissed from my post of Professor of Economics at IIT Delhi. I was later re- instated 22 years later but I was Commerce Minister then and so had to resign from the post. I had to choose when I was dismissed whether to live in India without a job or return to Harvard in USA for a job. I chose the first and thus entered politics to fight pro Soviet socialism. I succeeded in 1991 as Union Minister to get rid of Soviet socialism and help Narasimha Rao bring in economic reform.

Q. What all are the Internal threats faced by our Nation now?

A: Apart from corruption, Our main internal threat is a lack of identity. We should make everyone accept that being Indian does not mean just holding an Indian Passport. Indians should also accept that we are either Hindus or descendants of Hindus which Indian Muslims and Christians are. Hence India is Hindustan. All other threats come from the lack of identity. We should foster development Sanskrit as our national language since every Indian language has a large number of Sanskrit words.

Q.Can you elaborate on your association with Sangh Pariwar on various National Issues? Your take on the Ram Sethu and Ayodhya issue.

A: Although I am not a formal member of RSS I have worked very closely with RSS, especially with the good wishes of Guruji, Madhav Rao Mulay, Nanaji Deshmukh, Dattopant Thengadi, and recently Sudharshanji. From the very beginning I believed Hindutva is the only cement with which we can build a modern strong India. Even when I was campaigning against Vajpayee I worked for reopening of Kailash & Manasarovar, making the Session Judge Pande, who ordered the locks of the former Babri masjid to be opened to allow puja inside, as High Court judge, and also worked to finding a solution as Law Minister to the Ram temple issue. So Ram Setu etc is just continuation of same thinking.

Q. Being a Former Law Minister, Have you ever thought of introducing common civil code and scrapping Article 370?

A: I did and prepared the papers, but our government fell in 1991. When Jayalalitha proposed my name for Minister in Vajpayee’s government I was planning to complete the process, but Vajpayee refused to induct me so it remains incomplete.

Q. Your Public Interest Litigation concerning the 2G spectrum allotment has led to the resignation and jail to the telecommunications minister, A. Raja, and is still reverberating in the political sphere. What alerted you to the possibility that the 2G case needed investigation?

A. I went back to Harvard in 2008. I often go there in the summer to teach. In the course of a gathering of prominent people it was being said that the 2G spectrum allotment in India (2007-’08) might be the case of the most monumental corruption in world history. They were saying this might be the beginning of the end for India. The scenario was compounded on account of the earlier Satyam scam. After what I heard, I wrote a book Satyam, Spectrum, Sundaram. The “Sundaram” in the title spelt for me hope and what’s good with India.

Q. Someone called Niira Radia, who heads Vaishnavi Communication and represents top politicians and top business entities like the Tatas and Mukesh Ambani, is allegedly instrumental in some of the activities you were looking at. Were you in touch?

A. For three years Niira Radia was the defacto wife of an Opposition leader from south India. relationship. I wrote in November 2008 asking for sanction to prosecute Mr Raja. There was no reply. I knew that he won’t be able to rock the boat. He is decent, upright, and I have great regard for him. So, I said let me build a case as I had to go to court. Each time I got new material, I’ll send a letter. In March 2010, I gave an ultimatum saying that if you don’t reply by March 21, I’ll go to court. This was the fourth communication.

Q. Presumably your last. What did you say in letters two and three?

A. No, it wasn’t the last. He (the PM) sent me a letter on March 19 through the secretary of the department of personnel saying that it was “premature” to give permission (to prosecute the telecommunications minister). So I filed a case in the Delhi high court on March 21. After I went to court, they said you can give more documents.

So I sent the PM another letter on June 10, with complete documents -about 100 pages. It predated the Comptroller and Auditor General material and what the media may have got. This was the last letter. When I came back in August from Harvard, my petition came up. It also asked that the 2G licenses allotted be cancelled, and challenged the first come first served principle under which the spectrum was given out.

In another matter -in the case of a company called S Tel the high court held that the advancing of the cut off date from October 1 to September 25 by Mr Raja was wrong. Then I thought I am ready and went to the Supreme Court. You asked about my second and third letter. In those I gave the PM more documents, including details of the company called Genex (with which the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is allegedly associated). He knew all that already, and I was happy to note that he knew that I too knew.

Q. Why do you think the PM didn’t act against Mr Raja or any others at that stage? If he had, the issue of the PM’s resignation would not be thrown up at all.

A. This (the fact that the PM did not take any action) still cannot be a case for his resignation. He didn’t make any money or seek any money. He made feeble attempts to rectify matters, wrote to Mr Raja, tried to see that he didn’t get the telecom portfolio again (in United Progressive Alliance 2).

Q. So, what was driving matters? Push from the DMK in a coalition situation?

A. Certainly the top Congress leadership. They may have got 40 percent of the money which has been made. In the recent core group meeting of the Congress (when the storm broke), four were on one side and the PM on the other. But he got Mr Raja to resign. This is why I don’t want him to resign.

Q. I heard you say on television that it was easy to crack the case. All that was needed was to go to the Americans.

A. Sure. The Americans are monitoring all financial flows in the world bank transfers and others. This is part of their own anti-terrorism and money laundering effort. There is also a UN money-laundering resolution to which we are a party. We should get in touch with the US on this.

Q. Do you believe the Congress-DDMK alliance can continue if it can be publicly shown that any of the tainted money in the 2G affair has reached the top boys in the DMK? That is what the soccalled Genex deal is meant to be about. After all, the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections are hardly months away. And what happens to UPA 2 in the worst case scenario?

A. How do I care? The DMK lot may have got 30 per cent of 60,000 crore. The Raja kanimozhi DB reality nexus has proved it beyond any doubt.

Q. But there is still a good chance that the Left and the Right Opposition can still ask for the Prime Minister to resign. This suits them politically and will precipitate a political crisis.

A. I can tell you, Bharatiya Janata Party won’t ask for Dr Singh’s resignation. The reason is the resignation will politically strengthen those who got the money and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishva Hindu Parishad understand this.

 – Opinion Express Exclusive

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