Virendra Kapoor/ Free Press Journal
New Delhi, Oct 10: Remember Subramaniam Swamy, that old gadfly of Indian politics? Well, after spending several years on the margins of mainstream politics, the maverick at long last might be on his way back to the BJP. The return of the prodigal, as it were, has the blessings of the RSS boss, K S Sudarshan.
Even though a couple of second rung leaders are rather apprehensive of their own place in the party should Swamy be allowed to stage a comeback, L K Advani is not opposed to his return. Former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, known to keep his own counsel in these matters, however, cannot be too pleased at the prospect of one of his more trenchant critics being allowed admittance in the BJP.
On his part, Swamy has been wooing the RSS leadership for sometime now, clearly with an eye on making himself relevant yet again in the national polity. Having come a cropper as the head of his own one-man Janata Party, this cerebrally-inclined, but highly negative, former Harvard don has taken up causes dear to the pro- Hindu outfit. Along with S Gurumurthy of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Swamy alone, among all well-known pro-Hindutva protagonists, defended the Kanchi Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, when the then Jayalalithaa government in Tamil Nadu had locked up the latter in prison in connection with the murder of one of his former aides.
Last week, at a well-attended function in the capital’s India International Centre, both Sudarshan and Sri Saraswathi were on hand to release Swamy’s latest book. The theme of the book was most apposite for the two dignitaries present. Hindus Under Siege: The Way Out, by Dr Subramanian Swamy is a well-argued case, backed by the author’s acknowledged capacity for original research and thinking. He argues that Hindus need to acquire a new mindset without which they run the risk of “perishing like the ancient Greeks, Egyptians or Babylonians. ”
A most remarkable feature of the book release function was that though it was held at the height of the international furore over the Regensburg University address of Pope Benedict XVI, neither Sudarshan nor Saraswathi endorsed his controversial remarks. Indeed, they did not touch upon them, with the RSS chief choosing, instead, to harp on his pet theme of conversions and the threat posed by the Christian missionaries in this regard.