Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Swamy on Himself and Samuelson: What The Hindu Left Out

Two versions of Subramanyam Swamy's article on the late professor Paul Samuelson are available, one in the Business Standard and the second in The Hindu. Some of the talk is Swamy's self praise (like claiming that he was 'already a bit of a sensation' before enrolling in a PhD program) but The Hindu left out the part where he attacks Amartya Sen and other leftist economists for denying him the professorship at the Delhi School of Economics as well as the part where the professor supported India's economic reforms begun in the 1990s. No surprise there but here is the excerpt from the Business Standard:

In 1968, Amartya Sen invited me to join the Delhi School of Economics as a full professor, stating in a hand-written letter that my “gaddi was being dusted”. I, therefore, spent three months in the summer of 1968 at the Delhi School of Economics as visiting professor, before returning to Harvard with the intention of winding up and joining as professor of economics at the Delhi School. But I did not realise then that the Left triumvirate of Sen, KN Raj and S Chakravarty had in the three months discovered that I was neither ideologically neutral nor soft like Jagdish Bhagwati, but hard anti-Left and wanted to dismantle the Soviet planning system in India, besides producing the atom bomb. So, when I arrived in India in late 1969, this triumvirate scuttled my ascending the dusted gaddi.

...In the 1990s, after India ushered in reforms, Samuelson wrote me a letter expressing happiness that “at last, India has discovered economic growth”.


Kaushik said...

That is indeed despicable. Are they allowed to do it, I mean I should think Swamy would be writing as a guest-writer & not as a Chindu journo for them to edit out stuff right?

Pilid said...


Not sure but I would think that the Chief Editor has authority to edit articles written by guest writers too. If the Editor decides who gets to write for the paper, he probably also decides what to chop off.

kuttychathan said...

Pilid... I have a doubt. Ram is free to delete portions from what his staff correspondents write. But Swamy is not one. He is an eminent politician & academic who sent an article for publication in the chindu. I think the ethics of journalism - about which Ram sermonize a lot, but never practice - requires that Ram atleast inform Swamy beforehand that he was going to leave out those portions you have reproduced. I wonder whether Ram has done that.

Pilid said...


My guess is that the Chief Editor would have told Swamy about these changes and the latter probably went along with them.

Kaushik said...

I've tweeted about this to Mr.Subramaniam Swamy himself, let's hope he replies and clears the air on this one.

Xinhua Ram said...

But wait... P Sainath says it is shameful to misguide people. If only he tells LiC