BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: “There is no problem that India is not capable of solving” stated Dr. Subramanian Swamy, President of Janata Party, Former Union Law Minister, Former professor at Harvard University. Dr. Swamy was addressing the Roundtable Luncheon attended by nearly 200 members of the Diaspora, hosted by India Awareness Foundation (IAF) on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Taste of India restaurant, Alpharetta, GA.
Following the lighting of the lamp at the request of the MC, Manhar Valand (Chinmaya Mission), Dr. Swamy was given a rousing welcome by Dhiru Shah, president of IAF. Describing Dr. Swamy as a dedicated, honest and fearless leader, Shah impressed upon the fact that the guest of honor is fighting against some of the most powerful politicians involved in corruption and criminalization of politics, and urged the public support for him with all available resources.
Malla Reddy, Ekal Vidyalaya volunteer, introduced Dr. Swamy as an honest and dedicated Indian national leader with an impressive scholarly academic career at Harvard and IIT. He said that Dr. Swamy, a former Union Law minister, has written extensively on foreign affairs dealing with China, Pakistan and Israel and has been working tirelessly on anti corruption crusades and transparency in Government.
Dr. Swamy has been in the forefront in successfully fighting corruption cases in the Indian courts that have led to conviction of some of the powerful politicians aligned with the Congress party in the present UPA government. He touched upon various issues including black money, corruption, terrorism and the forthcoming election in 2014 in India.
“There are five trends the county is currently witnessing – Corruption, Conversion/Inflitration/Terrorism, Globalization, Young Native Intelligence, and Deepening Democracy” Dr. Swamy noted. Elaborating on corruption, Dr. Swamy said that as per the prevention of Corruption Act in India, corruption is defined as making personal gains using the political and government office. He talked about the recent corruption scandals including 2G scam in which billions of dollars bribes were taken by some of the current central and state ministers while allocating the 2G spectrum. Dr. Swamy said that he has filed several legal cases in the Supreme Court of India against the corrupt ministers, businessmen and officials. Some of them have already been sent to the prison and many more will follow shortly.
Dr. Swamy explained how black money generated by such massive corruption scams is siphoned off to foreign countries by way of ‘Hawala’ transactions involving some times terrorists and criminal elements. He estimates that nearly $1.3 trillion of India’s wealth is hidden in tax heaven countries within secret bank accounts and if these funds were brought back to India, the country could become one of the most powerful countries in the world. He further commented that most of the black money circulating within India is spent on financing luxury goods for the rich and powerful at the cost of depriving the economic necessities to millions of down trodden people, adding that large amount black money is being used in buying land which has resulted in skyrocketing inflation in property.
Dr. Swamy lashed out at those who have been criticizing India for the so-called ‘Hindu’ growth rate of 2-3% P.A. during the first three decades after independence. Dr. Swamy said that if corruption was eliminated coupled with good governance, it is possible for India to achieve a consistent GDP growth rate of 12% per year.
Dr. Swamy explained that during the last two years India’s economic growth rate has come down considerably because of corruption, terrorism and wrong economic policies. The India Rupee is depreciating at a rapid rate and it could touch to the level of one US dollar to Rs. 75 soon if the government does not act to reduce its deficits, eliminate corruption and follow infra-structure based growth policies, he noted.
Speaking of globalization, he said that India cannot imitate what happened in the west. He observed that it was important to nurture spiritual growth along with capital expansion. Speaking about Youth, He noted that India had a huge advantage over many other countries with regards to its Youth population. He opined that their energies must be channelized in the right direction and that they must be encouraged to take risks. He appealed to young Indians to take some calculated entrepreneurial risk instead of craving for secured jobs in order to utilize their talents for building economically powerful India.
Speaking of Deepening Democracy, he said “Fresh blood induction into politics” was important. He believes more people must be encouraged to get into politics. He noted that the leaders in the west, were generally well educated and that is something we can bring into the Indian political system.
In order that young Indians join politics, Dr. Swamy declared that he is promoting an idea of starting a university to train future politicians. He believes this will bring in young, honest and nationalist Indians into political arena resulting in elimination of corruption and criminalization of the Indian politics.
Speaking about the upcoming elections in 2014, Dr. Swamy felt that with Narendra Modi being appointed as the head of the BJP election committee, it is possible for BJP/NDA to win the next election with a clear majority. He opined that Modi is the most suitable leader to become the next prime minister of India because of honesty, charisma and proven track record of good governance in Gujarat.
Dr. Swamy said NRIs can play an important and positive role in helping NDA win the next election by using their resources including social media.
Dr. Swamy received a standing ovation for his lucid articulation.
During the Q & A session conducted by Dr. Basant Tariyal, Dr. Swamy answered many questions related to Indo-China relations, deteriorating Indian economy, Maoist and Islamic terrorism and the prospect of Mr. Modi becoming the next prime minister of India. In his opinion, India is likely to overtake China economically in the near future, as the average age in India is much less than in China. He felt that the time has come to remove the corrupt and criminal government and bring in a new government which looks after the needs of all sections of the society and which fights the terrorism effectively and forcefully.
IAF recognized two out of many outstanding leaders of Atlanta community with awards presented by Dr. Swamy. Swadesh Katoch, head of the Seva International, Atlanta for his young dedicated leadership in serving the community at large; Mahadev Desai for his fair and objective journalist reporting on Indian American issues and Indo-American affairs.
Dr. Prasad thanked Ashwin Patel, Shiv Aggarwal, Taste of India restaurant, Gwinnett Heart Specialists, Naresh Duggal, representatives of media and numerous volunteers who helped making the event a great success. Vasav Mehta covered the event on the video, which will be released on youtube soon.
Dr. Swamy was in Atlanta for about 42 hours packed with action. He attended a dinner hosted by Ashwin Patel at his residence for the Atlanta community leaders on Friday, June 14h. and interacted with prominent community leaders on various issues of NRI community interest during the Dinner. Next morning, he gave a talk on ‘Hindu Identity’ at Sai Temple.