Subramanian Swamy (sometimes spelt Subramaniam Swamy; born 15 September 1939 in Chennai, India) is an Indian academician, politician, and economist. He is the President of the Janata Party of India.
Swamy has previously served as member of the Planning Commission of India and Cabinet Minister of India. He has written extensively on foreign affairs of India dealing largely with China, Pakistan and Israel. He is also a published author.
In November 1978, Swamy was member of the Group of Eminent persons called to Geneva to prepare a report of the United Nations (UNCTAD) on Economic Co-operation between Developing countries (ECDC).Swamy simplified trade procedures and formulated a new export strategy which became the forerunner of trade reform adopted subsequently. In 1994, Swamy was appointed as Chairman of the Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade by then Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao. This was perhaps for the first time that an Opposition Party member was given a Cabinet rank post by the ruling party. He also presently serves as chairman of the SCMS Board of Governors of the SCMS Group of Educational Institutions in Kerala.
Subramanian Swamy was born in Mylapore, Chennai, India. His father Sitaram Subramanian is from Madurai, Tamil Nadu who was an Indian Statistical Service officer and retired as Director of the Central Statistical Institute.His mother Padmavati Subramanian belongs to Kerala Iyer family from Trichur, Kerala.
He attended Hindu College, University of Delhi, from where he earned his Bachelor Honours degree in Mathematics. He studied for his Masters degree in Statistics at the Indian Statistical Institute. He then went to study at Harvard University on a full Rockefeller scholarship. He received a Ph.D. in Economics in 1965. His thesis adviser was Nobel Laureate Simon Kuznets.
For some time, while completing his dissertation in 1963, he worked at the United Nations Secretariat in New York as an Assistant Economics Affairs Officer. He subsequently worked as a resident tutor at Lowell House at Harvard university.
In 1964, Swamy joined the faculty of economics at Harvard and since then he has taught in the Department of Economics. He began as an assistant professor in July 1966 and in 1969 became an associate professor.
When he was associate professor, he was invited by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen for a reader’s chair on Chinese studies at Delhi School of Economics.He accepted the offer. However, when he arrived for the position at DSE, his appointment was cancelled due to his views on the nuclear capabilities for India and his market-friendly attitude.
Thereafter, he moved to the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and alongside his teaching duties, he took special interest in talking to the hostel students. From 1969 to 1991, he was a professor of mathematical economics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He was removed from the position by its board of governors in the early 1970s but was legally reinstated in the late 1990s by the Supreme Court of India. He continued in the position until 1991 when he resigned to become a cabinet minister. He served on the Board of Governors of the IIT, Delhi (1977–80) and on the Council of IITs (1980–82).
He taught economics courses in summer session at Harvard[ until 2011. In December 2011, the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences removed his course from the Harvard Summer School offerings in response to a controversial article he wrote, effectively ceasing his employment at Harvard. Swamy on a lecture tour of America met US President Barack Obama at a dinner at McLean, Virginia.
Swamy's career started with his involvement in Jayaprakash Narayan's Sarvodaya movement, which was an apolitical movement but which formed the foundation of the creation of Janta Party later. The real turn in his political career came after his sacking from IIT. Liberal economic policies put forward by him didn't go well with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who discredited him as 'Santa Claus with unrealistic ideas'. As a result he was expelled from Indian Institute of Technology. This marked the beginning of his active political career. Staunch opponent of Indira Gandhi and right wing political party Jansangh sent him to Rajya Sabha - the upper house of Indian Parliament.
He was elected Member of Parliament 5 times between 1974 and 1999. He has twice represented the city of Mumbai North East during 1977 and 1980, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the Parliament.
During the period of emergency, he fled to America, seeking safe haven with an Indian businessman in Michigan who had become the spokesperson of opposition in the US. In 1976 when emergency was still in force and an arrest warrant issued in his name, he came to parliament to attend the session and managed to escape India after attending the session. This act made him a hero in the eyes of opposition parties.
He was one of the founding members of the Janata Party and has been its president since 1990
In November 2008, Subramanian Swamy amongst others wrote the first of five letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking permission to prosecute A. Raja in regard to the 2G spectrum scam. However, Singh took no action, leading Swamy to file a case on his own in the Supreme Court of India regarding the matter, which then asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to produce a detailed report on it. He further called on the Indian government to re-auction the 2G spectrum without the involvement of Communications Minister Kapil Sibal.
Swamy has raised allegations that Sonia Gandhi's sisters Anushka and Nadia have received sixty percent of the kickbacks in the 2G spectrum scam, amounting to INR18,000 crore (US$3.28 billion) each On 15 April 2011, he filed a 206-page petition with PM Singh seeking permission to prosecute Gandhi. In the petition, he claimed to have strong evidence of corrupt acts committed by Gandhi as early as 1972; he also raised doubts regarding her acquisition of Indian citizenship. At a lecture on corruption given on 29 May 2011, Swamy repeated his allegation against Sonia Gandhi, saying she has Rs.1 lakh crore stashed abroad.
Swamy filed documents in the court to prosecute Minister of Home Affairs P. Chidambaram by including a January 15, 2008 letter written by Chidambaram to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Swamy also placed on record the certified copy of the minutes of a meeting between Chidambaram, Raja and the prime minister during the tenure of Raja as the MOC&IT. Since criminal charges were filed against the accused, but no evidence was given by Swamy or the CBI, all the respondents have got bail as of July 2012
He is the founder and chairperson of Action Committee Against Corruption in India (ACACI). ACACI's goal is to take specific action against corruption at very high places of government and Indian black money stashed abroad
Sonia Gandhi had submitted an affidavit to the Election Commission of India citing a false degree. In 2004, Subramanian Swamy filed a case in a High Court, which enabled the judges to stop others from filing similar cases. Swamy had clarified in the petition that his complaint against Ms. Gandhi was for imposing a penalty on her but not for disqualifying her from participating in the election. Sonia Gandhi admitted that it was a "mistake" and apologized, upon which the judge ordered closure of the case without penalty.
Subramanian claims that after he wrote to APJ Abdul Kalam to stop Sonia Gandhi from becoming PM, Kalam spoke to Sonia and persuaded her not to become PM. But since 2004, Kalam has been denying via press conferences and interviews that he never spoke to Subramanian Swamy about her Citizenship. Press Records of Rashtrapati Bhavan prove that the then president APJ Abdul Kalam never raised the issue of Citizenship with Sonia.
On 19 May 2004, Dr. Kalam's office issued a press release,"It has been reported in a section of the press that the President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had discussed the citizenship issue with Smt. Sonia Gandhi when she met him yesterday at Rashtrapati Bhavan. This is contrary to facts. It did not figure in the discussions at all." Press releases dating back to 2004 are unavailable on President of India's website. They were removed after the 2007 presidential elections. Press information Bureau's link is as credible as original source.
Media has provided interviews of APJ Abdul Kalam to make it clear. P M Nair, then secretary to the President in his book "The Kalam Effect: My years with the President" reflects the same. In 2012, media reported that Kalam in his book has said that he never spoke to Sonia Gandhi about her Citizenship, and never backtracked from his stand of 2004.,
Subramanian Swamy married Roxna Swamy (a Parsi) in June 1966 whom he met at Harvard. Then she had obtained Ph.D in Mathematics who is presently an advocate at the Supreme Court of India. They have two daughters, Dr. Gitanjali Swamy who is married to Sanjay Sarma, a professor at MIT and Suhasini Haider, a senior editor at CNN-IBN is married to Nadeem Haidar who is the son of Salman Haider, former foreign secretary and external affairs minister
The Election Commission has asked the Returning Officer of Amethi Lok Sabha constituency to probe allegations by Subramanian Swamy that Rahul Gandhi gave "wrong information" regarding his assets while filing nomination papers in the 2009 polls.
In a letter to Chief Electoral Officer on November 15, the Commission said Swamy has alleged that Gandhi had given "wrong information" relating to his assets and cited a June 2004 letter which said the Returning Officer is the competent authority to look into such complaints.
"Since the affidavit is filed before the Returning Officer, in view of the provisions of Section 195 of CrPC, it is the Returning Officer concerned, who is the competent authority to consider any complaint regarding false statement in the affidavit...," the EC letter said.
The letter written by Principal Secretary RK Srivastava also said if the Returning Officer is satisfied that the affidavit contained false statement, he can take appropriate follow up action.
The Commission directed the CEO to forward Swamy's complaint to the Returning Officer for appropriate action. "The Commission may be kept informed of the action taken in the matter," the letter said.
Swamy had earlier this month alleged that Gandhi did not show shares owned by him in Associated Journals which ran the now-defunct National Herald newspaper in the affidavit he filed during Lok Sabha elections in 2009.