I am impressed by the scholarship of Dr. Subramanian Swamy, who quit from a position of faculty in Harvard to join active politics in India. I enjoy listening to him speak on various issues concerning India. What does bother me about him is his tendency to change sides. I wonder if it is because of his love for truth or something else! He once was completely against Jayalilitha (and was nearly killed for that) and then he became her personal confidant. He appears to be a Hindutva supporter but is against the BJP. He is a very unpredictable person which must be the reason that he is called the "Captain without a ship".
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Swamy's article on his association with Moraji Desai in which he questions the character of ex-prime minister A.B. Vajpayee. I wonder what truth there is to this. One thing is for certain, Dr. Swamy has no qualms in questioning someones character.
"From that day on wards, even if Morarji did nothing much for me politically, he was always on my side helping me where he could and I remained his friend till his last breath. When his Cabinet was formed, it was widely thought that I would be made a Cabinet Minister for my role in the Emergency, but Atal Behari Vajpayee, who had played a disgraceful role of writing an apology letter to Mrs.Gandhi during the Emergency - to come out on parole out of jail, - controlled 91 Jan Sangh MPs. Vajpayee was given to tremendous jealousy, and it is the root cause of the mess BJP is in today. He found my "Emergency Hero" status unbearable especially since he wanted to hide his own surrender shame. He therefore prevailed upon Morarji to offer me only a Minister of State with independent charge. Morarji also thought that at the age of 37, a Cabinet Ministership was too early."
"Morarji helped me to break the ice with China. Vajpayee as Foreign Minister blocked my visit for one year, but in 1978, Morarji saw that I went first to China. He accepted my view about China, and rejected Vajpayee's, who was keen to keep the Soviet Union pleased. Even on Israel, Morarji accepted my view and invited Moshe Dayan to visit India." - It must be mentioned that Vajpayee is credited with opening relations with China.
"Because of the factionalism in the Janata Party, during his tenure as PM, he could not make me a Cabinet Minister. Delhi was always abuzz with the rumour that he was about to induct me as Foreign Minister because he was fed up with Vajpayee's drinking habits whenever he went abroad or his indiscretion with women. But the 91 MPs of the Jan Sangh group was Vajpayee's strength, so Morarji kept postponing the date. Then there was the Raj Narain nuisance. However in June 1979, Raj Narain was expelled from the Janatha Party, and everything was under control-- or so it seemed. It was then I was confidently told by insiders that Morarji would bring me into the Cabinet in the September 1979 re-shuffle. That re-shuffle never came because Morarji quit office in July 1979. But the greatness of Morarji was exhibited in those trying moments when he was betrayed by colleague after colleague, each trying to become Prime Minister. Some got a bad name for it such as Charan Singh, but the real culprits were Vajpayee and Ramakrishna Hegde who pushed Morarji into a confrontation with Charan Singh, and then let Morarji down.
Provoked by what he mistakenly took as Morarji induced insults, Charan Singh broke the party, and the Janatha Party lost majority. Then Vajpayee and Hegde produced a list of 279 MPs of which 23 MPs signatures were forged. The President Mr.Sanjiva Reddy was alerted to it by the IB, and he made it public. Morarji gallantly took the blame and quit public life. It should have been Vajpayee and Hegde who should have quit, but they left Morarji holding the bag and owning responsibility! Such was their character."
I am a supporter of the BJP but at the same time I do realize that it is not a perfect party and has its shortcomings. Here is another of Swamy's retorts against the BJP.
"While the Bharatiya Janata Party demanded action by the UPA government regarding the KGB revelations against Congress leaders being bribed by the Russian spy agency, it had failed to take action when NDA was in power.
The party, in an aggressive mode lead by deputy leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, V K Malhotra, demanded that action be taken against Congress and CPI leaders who were allegedly on the KGB payroll, as revealed by agent Vasili Mitrokhin in a book.
However, the BJP failed to take action against Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and others who were reportedly being paid by the KGB. Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, who has been raising this issue, questions the silence of the BJP, when it was in power during Prime Minister A B Vajpayee era.
Jaswant Singh, the BJP leader in Rajya Sabha, admitted to Swamy in a letter that the issue was raised when he was the external affairs minister during the NDA regime. The MEA had approached the KGB through the Indian Embassy in Moscow to get the details. The KGB informed the Indian Embassy that it could only correspond with the Indian spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, under the Prime Ministers office.
According to Singh, the information was received by the RAW but expressed his inability to recall the outcome of the KGB information.
Interestingly, Swamy had informed the PMO, when Vajpayee was PM, through the proper channels. He wrote to MoS Vasundara Raje Scindia on March 3, 2001.
In his letter, Swamy mentioned how Sonia Gandhi appointed the managing director of Maruti Technical Services Private Limited in the presence of two shareholders Sanjay Gandhi and Maruti Heavy Vehicles Private Limited.
The KGB had said that it paid money to certain Congress leaders and a company funded by the Gandhi family.
According to a letter written by KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov, in 1992, to the Central Committee of Communist Party of Soviet Union, the family of Rajiv Gandhi had expressed gratitude for the help being received by them through commercial deals of an Indian firm controlled by them with Soviet foreign trade organisations.
He wrote, They (Mainos Sonias paternal family name) informed that a major part of these resources were used to support the party of Mr Rajiv Gandhi.
This information was available to Vajpayee and the PMO, who failed to take action. On Tuesday, the BJP general secretary demanded a thorough probe. An Intelligence Bureau official said the information was available to the Vajpayee regime but failed to take action.
However, Swamy, fighting a legal battle in the Delhi High Court, faced a hurdle from the NDA government when the court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to record a FIR in the case. However, the NDA government did not give permission to the CBI and the matter languished for four years.
On January 10, 2001, home minister L K Advani was appraised of the reported funding of the Congress leaders by KGB, but no action was taken, according to sources. Now the issue is in the Supreme Court and comes up for hearing on October 24, 2005.
The Congress and the CPI have rubbished the claims and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu said that the Americans had paid money to Indira Gandhi and the Congress to curb the communists in India. "