Dear Dr Swamy,
I hope you would not allow yourself to get disheartened by all the noise that friends of the Finance Minister have managed to make in the media over your very simple and very legitimate demand that Arvind Subramanian be sacked as the government's Chief Economic Adviser. One newspaper even ebulliently called Arun Jaitley's formulation as "full-throated" support for the CEA. You are too much of a master of guerrilla tactics to get slowed down by, or even care for, the sniping in the media.
It is perhaps the tragedy of modern India that it is not appreciated that there is nothing personal in this for you. You are only performing your dharma, as becoming of a true nationalist. Your commitment to the nationalist cause and values is, unfortunately, sought to be rubbished as personal vendetta.
And, why should anyone quarrel with your innovative use of social media to make decisive interventions in our nation's affairs. Single-handedly you have given a jolt to the Modi regime which was becoming too complacent and too smug, especially after the Americans' false praise for the Prime Minister.
You have every right to give a fair warning that there are 27 other officials on your list who you think need to be "fixed". This is too modest a figure, for a vast and Byzantine bureaucracy. About time we had a comprehensive purge. A revolution was promised in 2014; the people of India gave a mandate to usher in a Hindu revolution and to transform India. It is time to understand that genuine transformation is not a gentlemanly affair. This, you will agree, has always been our historical civilisational weakness. A revolution is not a picnic. It can be business as usual -- not for the babus, not for the political class, and certainly not for the incompetent "entrepreneur" who has been merrily multiplying his wealth through this bogus mechanism called the "PPP". A paradigm shift has to take place, at the very least. You are right in asking how are the Rajans and the Arvinds (Subramanian and Panagariya) different from the Montek Singh Ahluwalias and the C Rangarajans of the UPA days.
You are too much of a master of guerrilla tactics to get slowed down by, or even care for, the sniping in the media.
Your intervention, first with Raghuram Rajan and now with Arvind Subramanian, was way overdue. Despite all the exertions and contortions in the pink pages, you have effectively knocked Arvind Subramanian out of the RBI governorship stakes. Quite a coup. You must keep up your vigil and ensure that a Rajan is not replaced by another Rajan.
We are all familiar with teachings of Lenin and Mao on the art of revolution, and more importantly, on the need for periodic blood-letting. When societies undertake genuine change, heads get broken, reputations and careers destroyed. Revolution is not for the queasy ones. No Queensberry Rules; in fact, no rules whatsoever if the glorious objective is the greater glory for Mother India.
And, again, there is nothing personal.
I am sure you must be puzzled at the mental deficiencies within the Modi establishment. What a collection of second-rate individuals. So many time-servers have clawed their way back to the centre of things. If the muffassils -- the Som Pals and the Hukum Singhs -- in western Uttar Pradesh can understand clearly "what is to be done" (and, mind you, that too without any familiarity with Lenin) and understand that you cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg -- or smashing a few heads -- why cannot this NRI crowd in Delhi get it?
It may perhaps be a slightly over-drawn parallel but do permit me to quote Clive James, the culture critic who once wrote, in a different context, that "culture is a matter not of credentials, but only of intensity, and sometimes you will find things out from fans and buffs that you won't from a tenured professor." I think people like the Som Pals and the Hukum Singhs have "intensity". You have intensity and authenticity. The "awakened" Hindu cannot be asked to undertake all the sacrifices and street fights only to hand over the policy-making baton to the smoothies in Delhi. And, they try to demonise you for showing the chutzpah to point out the mismatch between western UP and South Delhi.
This exaggerated commotion over your demand for the sacking of Arvind Subramanian only underlines the loneliness of your battle. And it is a long battle. Only the friends and patrons in the RSS and the VHP understand that you are a true nationalist, and that you are not easily taken in by the Bent and the Beautiful set that is slowly making a comeback in Delhi. The Jaitleys and the Ravi Shankar Prasads are good people, honourable men; but they are not interested in transforming India. They get easily unnerved at the thought of "too" much turmoil. They get paralysed at the thought of offending the "sensitivities" of the foreign investor.
The highest parliamentary forum is your stage. Make full use of it, perform, scintillate, and you will be heard around the land.
You, on the other hand, have nothing to fear. You now have six years in the Rajya Sabha. There is nothing they can do to take that away from you. They cannot banish you out of Delhi. The highest parliamentary forum is your stage. Make full use of it, perform, scintillate, and you will be heard around the land.
Moreover, you are honest and comfortable with your austerity and audacity. It is too late in the day for you to trade in your views and prejudices for the creature comforts to which many of your comrades in the 2014 "war room" have succumbed.
You have a historic duty.
The BJP is once again in danger of becoming a roly-poly party, a "cleaner" version of the Congress Party, open to all, hospitable to every bent businessman, accommodative of every turncoat masquerading as intellectual. And, all of them going through the motion of singing full-throatedly raag darbari in praise of Modi.
They are easy and comfortable, collaborating in Narendra Modi's authoritarian project. You, on the other hand, are too educated, too well-versed in history, too knowledgeable about the interplay of economic forces and geostrategic interests, to fall for these false posturings. Modi's authoritarianism cannot be just a personal project; it has to serve the "nationalist" cause.
I think time has come when you should be in the Cabinet. And, not just in the Cabinet, but also be a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security. Because, you alone have the masterly understanding of global and regional forces to help Mother India navigate its way to glory.
The nationalist day has to come and you have to be the helmsman.
Regards and salutations.
This piece is republished with permission from The Tribune.
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