Sri Lanka too needs a Dr. Subramaniam Swamy!

Dr. Subramaniam Swamy

Do we have a politician as clean as Dr. Swamy? Sadly, we do not. Have we a politician that has challenged Prime Ministers, Chief Ministers and other high ranking officials? Sadly, we do not. Do we have politicians of the calibre of Dr. Swamy who have got elected to office without coming through the backdoor as the one’s we have carrying policies detrimental to Sri Lanka’s identity? We do not. What is wonderful about Dr. Swamy and a thing that Sri Lanka’s politicians should envy is that Dr. Swamy is undoubtedly a Mr. Clean – no one in government or outside has yet found anything to charge him with any offence, let alone file a case against him in a court. We wish we had one like him in Sri Lanka.

Indian academician, politician, economist and legal activist while not been a lawyer is just a handful of names associated with Dr. Swamy. He certainly adds color to any debate and enthrals any listener. The people in Sri Lanka perhaps know him and admire him more than those in India. Our admiration for Dr. Swamy is strengthened by the fact that we see in him a person we hope we can aspire to have in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the question remains do we have a Dr. Subramaniam Swamy like politician-cum public interest advocate amongst us who does not slander opposition with accusations of corruption but actually takes legal action against them.

Entering politics in 1970, Dr. Swamy created a national stir by challenging Indira Gandhi’s Soviet influenced socialist planning. Dr. Swamy first argued in a court of law in 1982 when Ram Jethmalani filed a criminal defamation against Dr. Swamy. Though not a lawyer, but married to a lawyer, Dr. Swamy went to argue his own case and won too. Jethmalani lost the 3 other defamation cases filed against Dr. Swamy

Dr. Swamy has faced several defamations over the years – one being a case filed by Ramkrishna Hegde, then Chief Minister of Karnataka who Dr. Swamy accused of appropriating land in Bangalore for the benefit of his son-in-law. Dr. Swamy has made the same allegation against Kejriwal who too filed a defamation against Dr. Swamy.

There are close to 100 defamation cases filed against Dr. Swamy by jailed Chief Minister Jayalalitha alone from 1992 to 1996. All the 100 cases were eventually withdrawn by Jayalalitha.

Dr. Swamy has also been involved several public interest litigation cases all of which he has won.

For a politician like Dr. Swamy to say that he got involved in public litigation being a politician because the people were losing faith in politicians and with politicians accusing the other of being corrupt and nothing was being done about it, is commendable. We have enough of spouses taking salaries as Secretaries but what is their productivity to the country, Dr. Swamy even has appeared as clerk of his lawyer wife and showed his passion for public litigation in the interest of the country.

Dr. Swamy functioned as a Law Minister and became one of the few distinguished perhaps only Law Minister without being a lawyer to be given a farewell by the Supreme Court of India! We blink to even think that our Ministers can make notes good enough for another to borrow them but the judges of the Indian Courts have even borrowed notes of Dr. Swamy! We have a handful of lawyers who take cases free of charge but most of them we know lack even the basic levels of integrity.

His straightforward talk is the envy of most politicians. Ask a question like ‘are you for uniform civil code’ his answer will be surely Yes with a clear explanation why. He would ask why a country should have 2 different laws when before the law all citizens should be treated equally.

Dr Subramanian Swamy exposed the Himalayan corruption of DMK Party nominated Union Telecom Minister A. Raja in the 2g spectrum allocation scam by furnishing irrefutable documentary evidence to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and sought the latter’s permission as prescribed under the rules to prosecute Minister A. Raja. – The Indian Prime Minister took no action.

Dr Subramanian Swamy has also taken on the self-appointed undisputed dictator of the Congress with the media blacking out the legal and legitimate political battles he has launched in several courts of law and allegations that she and her family used LTTE to smuggle Indian artefacts out of India and are being sold in Italy. These allegations highlighted for the national good of the country has been purposely drowned by the media of India and shows affinity with Sri Lanka’s own media that picks and chooses who they go after.

No sooner Jayalalitha’s sentence was given, Dr. Subramanian Swamy was to say that before Christmas Sonia and Rahul Gandhi should prepare to go to prison in connection with a case over the acquisition of the National Herald newspaper. A day in the court with Dr. Swamy behind one’s back would be anyone’s nightmare! Dr. Swamy is accusing Sonia, Rahul and other Congress leaders of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying Rs.50lakhs allowing Young Indian Ltd company to acquire the Associated Journals Ltd, publisher of the defunct National Herald newspaper. It emerges that the Young Indian was a sham to convert public money for personal use to acquire control of over Rs.2000 crore worth of assets. He has even accused her of contracting the LTTE to kill Rajiv Gnadhi and spoke of Bofors kickbacks going to Sonia’s family and not to Rajiv. Swamy had even provided Indira Gandhi documentary evidence of Sonia functioning as an insurance agent for Oriental Fire and General Insurance Company using the Prime Minister’s official residence forcing Indira to ask Sonia to give up ‘employment’. His diplomacy is such he became the first ruling party politician to travel to China and Israel and became the 1st Indian after 25years to go to Mount Kailash in Tibet in 1981.

There is not enough to write about Dr. Swamy. He is an enigma to even India. What is good for Sri Lanka’s own politicians to realize is that Dr. Swamy functions in the true interest of the people in a single handed effort to uncover the truth in an unaggressive manner a trait that our politicians lack. Such scholars we lack and the likelihood of them ever emerging in the present climate with which young leaders are groomed as politicians gives little hope either.  Even among the one’s we have clinging to power and unwilling to relinquish power unless members of their families are given leadership roles, shows that Sri Lanka lacks leaders with national interest coming  first. We have had the luck to have a handful of officials who have steered the war effort and with whom our trust is placed in, evidence of which is visibly available in the magnitude of changes that have taken place where post-war development is concerned. There is little need to name them for we all know who they are.

The corruption prevails as a result of coalition partners and the silence that is required to keep them part of the government. It is like a ransom held across the country and politicians need to seriously sit down and decide is this the way we are to progress into the future.

No Government which has to hopelessly depend upon its coalition partners, can carry out the desired reforms. To expose the corrupt only the uncorrupt can point fingers. Corruption at different levels does not help the country reach any milestones. Those that watch and allow corruption do so only to use that for their advantage at a later date.

One Subramanian Swamy is not enough for a country like India, but he has stood out and has become a beacon for all to follow. One Subramanian Swamy is ample for Sri Lanka and with such a large set of politicians in both government and opposition how many can measure up to the standard of Dr. Swamy. In Sri Lanka we may say not to trust an Indian, but Dr. Swamy has shown in no small way that he stands up for truth and in a world of lies and distortions truth must win the day.

The calibre of the personality of Dr. Subramanian Swamy should provide food for thought for all politicians in Sri Lanka – both Government and Opposition. None can boast of coming anywhere near his level of integrity.

Nation must come first. People’s interests must come next. Politicians are servants of the People and not the other way round. It is with the money of the taxpayer that all politicians enjoy their perks and they should know to return what they take by not ruining the nation.

– by Shenali D Waduge