Subramanian Swamy (born 15 September 1939) is an Indian economist, statistician and politician who serves as a Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. He was the President of the Janata Party until it merged with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Swamy has served as a member of the Planning Commission of India and was a Cabinet Minister in the Chandra Shekhar government.
Sitaraman Subramanian was an officer in the Indian Statistical Service who served as the director of the Central Statistical Institute in Delhi, and was a statistical adviser to the Government of India.
The family, which hailed from Madurai in Tamil Nadu, moved to New Delhi when Swamy was only six months old. Due to his father's job and the family's Tamil roots, major national leaders like K. Kamaraj, C. Rajagopalachari and S. Satyamurti often visited Sitaraman.
Swamy attended Hindu College, University of Delhi, from where he earned his Bachelors Honours degree in Mathematics. He then took his master's degree in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He was later recommended by Hendrik S. Houthakker and went to study at Harvard University on a full Rockefeller scholarship,where he received a PhD in Economics in 1965. His thesis adviser was Nobel Laureate Simon Kuznets.In 1963, while he was a doctoral student at Harvard, Swamy worked at the United Nations Secretariat in New York City as an Assistant Economics Affairs Officer. He subsequently worked as a resident tutor at Lowell House at Harvard University.
Swamy's career started with his involvement in the Sarvodaya movement, which was an apolitical movement but which formed the foundation of the creation of Janata Party later.Swamy during this time described Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalithaa and Mayawati as "three great ladies" and compared them with Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga respectively.The real turn in his political career came after his sacking from IIT. Liberal economic policies put forward by him didn't go well with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who discredited him as 'Santa Claus with unrealistic ideas'. He was later expelled from Indian Institute of Technology. This marked the beginning of his active political career. Staunch opponent of Indira Gandhi and right wing political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh sent him to Rajya Sabha – the upper house of Indian Parliament.He was elected Member of Parliament 5 times between 1974 and 1999. He has twice represented the city of Mumbai North East during 1977 and 1980, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the Parliament.
During the period of the Emergency, he fled to the United States, seeking haven with an Indian businessman in Michigan who had become the spokesperson of the opposition in the United States. In 1976, when the Emergency was still in force and an arrest warrant had been issued in his name, Swamy came to Parliament to attend the session and managed to escape India after the session was adjourned. This act of defiance was well received in the eyes of opposition parties.Swamy was one of the founding members of the Janata Party and served as its president till 2013.
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