Brushing under his earlier secular avatar
By Faraz Ahmad
Ever since Subramanian Swamy a one-time Harvard returned poster boy of the Sangh in 1960s and 70s, returned to the parivar fold like a prodigal son, he has progressively attempted to portray himself as the most aggressive and strident face of Hindutva, surpassing even VHP general secretary Praveen Togadia, proposing to declare Muslims (presumably including his son-in-law) as infidels deserving to be declared “Tadipar” to echo Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)’s late international president Ashok Singhal, demanding not just immediate construction of the much debated Ram Mandir on the site of the demolished Babri Masjid but announcing further programme of doing the same in Mathura and Kashi as well, with the accompanied threat in his tweet” “We Hindus offer Lord Krishna’s package to Muslims–give us 3 temples and keep 39,997 masjids. I hope Muslim leaders don’t become Duryodhans.”
In the latest outburst against the Muslims he has invoked Mahabharta reminding the Muslims the fate of its legendary prince Duryodhana who was defeated and killed by his cousin Arjun, with the support of Lord Krishna implying that if the Muslims do not give up claims over these three mosques they will meet the fate of Duryodhana. It seems that having failed to get anything in the current dispensation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he, like his bête noire Ram Jethmalani, is out to embarrass the present BJP government.
Swamy, one time stormy petrel of the RSS, given to a lot of theatrics, had abandoned the Sangh over the dual membership issue when other Sanghis in the Janata Party like Atal, Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani, Nanaji Deshmukh etc.obeyed the Sarsanghchalak diktat to sacrifice their ministerial berths rather than severe links with their alma mater.
But Swamy stayed back with the Janata Party and continued to hold its franchise till 2013 long after the party had in effect ceased to exist as a political entity. Having the sole selling right over the non-existent Janata Party for 25 years he finally pushed open the BJP gate in August 2013, and L K Adavani admitted him, ignoring strong reservations and apprehensions of the likes of Arun Jaitley. But soon as it became evident that Modi and not Advani will be the Sangh’s mascot for the general elections, he dumped Advani and hitched on to Modi almost certain that finally his ambition of becoming the Finance Minister of India will be realised. Since the formation of this government he has not spared any occasion to poke his elbow into Jaitley’s ribs and to prove to the parivar that unlike Jaitley he is no softy. Therefore on all contentious issues he is more vocal and strident than the RSS, starting with targeting the Sangh parivar’s bête noire the Nehru Gandhi family’s current members Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to demanding disenfranchisement of Muslims to reviving the Ram Mandir issue, all to demonstrate to the RSS how he, a Harvard returned, could serve their purpose far better than that desi angrez Jaitley.
But those who know Swamy also know how he changes his political ideology quicker than men change their under clothes. So the one time show boy of the RSS, suddenly became secular after dumping the Sangh and used the choicest epithets against this Alma Mater. He carried on in this mode till as late as the year 2000 and much later. In 2000 he published a book titled “The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi; Unanswered Questions and Unasked Queries.”
It is relevant to mention this book in the current context only to recall what all Swamy had to say in print about the RSS/VHP and how contemptuous and derisive he was of their attempt to demolish Babri Masjid and build a Ram temple there way back in 1990 when he was briefly the country’s law minister in Chandra Shekhar’s premiership.
He wrote thus about those events: “At Chandrashekhar’s suggestion I had met two BJP activists in late November 1990, who were hard core RSS products and whom I had personally known in the seventies when they were college boys. I told them to tell their high command that the call for kar seva was likely to destabilize our government and therefore we would respond to this threat. Hence they must call of their kar seva. One of them asked me how specifically we were going to respond and I replied that I would recommend to the Prime Minister that the RSS be declared a terrorist organization, banned and its principal leaders be arrested and taken to some far away prison such as in Lakshadweep. And I added: ‘You know and I know how the RSS leaders had behaved in the Emergency. Most, including Vajpayeeji wrote pathetic apology letters to Mrs Gandhi (Indira).” I don’t know what effect my harsh warning had on them or whether Chandrashekhar’s more conciliatory talks with them had more effect but the VHP-RSS called off the kar seva unconditionally two days later…” (Page 56).
On the earlier page 55 Swamy also proudly announced how Chandrashekhar utilized the services of that international trickster tantric Chandraswamy to split the Sadhu Samaj to isolate the VHP brand of Sadhus crying hoarse for demolishing the Babri Masjid (Babri Masjid was demolished two years later on December 6, 1992).
Swamy a bosom pal of Chandraswamy wrote: “Two of the most convoluted problems appeared within striking distance of a permanent solution. The first was the Ayodhya tangle in which Chandrashekhar had used the services of Sri Chandraswami in December 1990 to split the holy city’s Sadhu Samaj (fraternity of holy man) between moderates and extremists for which the RSS never forgave “Jagadacharya”, as Chandraswami is called by his disciples. The RSS and BJP are pursuing him even today for that…”
Subramanian Swamy who till then was an avowed enemy of the RSS and claimed to be a personal confidant of Sonia’s late husband Rajiv Gandhi, blamed the Sangh for running a disinformation campaign to bring down Rajiv Gandhi because it was unnerved by Rajiv Gandhi’s growing popularity. He wrote on page 13 of the book: “The forces ranged against Mr Rajiv Gandhi were by now formidable. But the most sinister and invisible was undoubtedly the RSS. They were organising his downfall by disinformation at which they are experts…”
Swamy who is currently professing to expose the Congress and Sonia Gandhi’s corruption accused the RSS of the same in the year 2000. He wrote on page 176 of the book of the fall of Vajpayee’s 13-month government: “Given my two-decade long ‘war’ with the RSS, I became busy on a project to help formation of a secular alternative government by toppling the BJP-led government. This naturally upset and concerned the RSS, which for the first time in its 75-year history was basking in centre-stage legitimacy, while being positioned to penetrate the woodwork of the government, and to collect funds with impunity. They did not therefore want to allow me to upset the applecart or derail the “gravy train.”