Consistency and credibility have never really been Subramaniam Swamy's virtues. He has accused Sonia Gandhi of smuggling antiques, Harkishan Singh Surjeet of corruption, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Congress leader Arjun Singh of conspiring to derail the Rajiv Gandhi assassination trial, Vajpayee of getting drunk at an official function, and much more, without ever proving these charges. Yet, Swamy is now in the news for digging up hard evidence exposing the sins of commission and omission of UPA ministers in the 2G spectrum allotment scandal.
Maverick for many, evil incarnate for his detractors, Swamy is the epitome of opportunism in public life.
Now he is a great friend of the Hindutva forces, an avowed soldier of the Sangh Parivar and a true ally of the BJP in his singleminded pursuit of the 2G scamsters. But not long ago, on March 29, 1999, he held a tea party at The Ashok in Delhi, where Sonia Gandhi was his guest of honour. The sole purpose of the party as Jayalalithaa described it then, was to bring down the first Sangh Parivar government at the Centre, which was not even a year old.
Vajpayee is a terribly consistent friend who never forgives his foes. He had fallen out with Swamy when they were together in the Jan Sangh during the Emergency, when Swamy's evasion of arrest gave him a hero's halo. Despite Swamy's Ph.D. from Harvard, his communication skills in English, Hindi and Tamil and his links abroad, the Sangh chose Vajpayee as foreign minister and L.K. Advani as information and broadcasting minister.
Now he wants to steal the voting rights of the minorities. But he has always been consistent in his opposition to the anti-Brahminical politics of Periyar in Tamil Nadu. When Jayalalithaa got the Kanchi Shankaracharya arrested for murder, Swamy defended the alleged murderer, which probably helped him build bridges with the RSS again. Right or wrong, reasonable or rabidly communal, Swamy always barges into the news rooms, grabbing eyeballs and headlines.
Rajesh Ramachandran in India Today. Here