In an hour-long interview, Roxna Swamy, a well-regarded advocate at the Supreme Court, spoke about her husband, Subramanian Swamy. Excerpts from the conversation:
On their early days: I was studying mathematics at Harvard in the mid-1960s when I met Swamy. We got married in June 1966. It wasn’t an arranged marriage. There was opposition. During the Emergency, Swamy was underground. After attachment proceedings started, I got interested in law. It was a horrible time. The children (two daughters) grew up to be positive dislikers of government. I became anti-Left when it became an appendage of the Congress.
“It is because he’s so brilliant that people are looking to bring him down. Even now, he has the capacity to be prime minister.”
On Swamy: He has a great selection of friends across the political spectrum. He’s brilliant, no doubt about it. Because he’s so brilliant, people want to put him down. Even now he’s capable of being PM. He has the capacity. He’s the most relaxed person I know.
On the legal battles: There are people across the length and breadth of intelligentsia who give him support, they do. I have worked for years for a senior counsel. And Swamy is a natural senior counsel without even trying.
On being a judge: I was considered, but rejected. I would’ve made a dreadful judge, and am glad I didn’t succeed.
On the inflammatory article against Muslims: Swamy has the interest of the country at heart. Any patriotic Indian will endorse the view. You should have pride in your ancestry. These are all suggestions that have to be done through the law. These are ideas. Swamy genuinely feels India has to be a certain way. As an intellectual, you have to suggest. But it is for the country to decide.
“He genuinely feels that India has to be a certain way. Patriots will endorse that. The Muslims give him the benefit of the doubt.”
On the Harvard censure: I was shocked. Harvard had backed Swamy during the Emergency. They rammed the whole thing through. Have you seen how big it is online?
On Swamy’s worldview: I do not have religious feelings on the subject. As a Parsi, we were driven out of Iran by the Muslims. We do not want something like that. Yes, I have a Muslim nephew-in-law and son-in-law. If it comes up at dinner, you have an argument. Do you want India to become like Saudi Arabia? What solutions do you have to counter Islamic terrorism? Look at the way people are screaming about Salman Rushdie and (M.F.) Husain. Muslims give Swamy the benefit of the doubt, believe his views are those of a patriotic Indian.