S. Gurumurthy

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Swaminathan Gurumurthy (Tamil: சுவாமிநாதன் குருமூர்த்தி) is a renowned journalist and a successful chartered accountant in India. He is the co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, an organization for promoting awareness of the Swadeshi Movement, an Indian tradition well-known in the pre-Independence era.[1]

He is a strong proponent of the traditional Indian economic wisdom that is a part of every home and village model.[citation needed] He is a leading member of the think-tank of the Sangh Parivar.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Gurumurthy was born in Panampet, a small village 160 kilometres south of Chennai. He had his schooling locally and would pursue his higher education at the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College in Chennai. Unable to realize his dream to study law, he chose instead to become a chartered accountant. After completing the course in 1972, he joined an auditing firm and was allotted the job of maintaining the books of some of the companies of "press baron" Ramnath Goenka.

He was drawn towards the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh during his college days and continues his affiliation with the organisation, where has had an important role in many of their assignments.

War with Reliance[edit]

He was unhappy with the aggressive empire building by Dhirubhai Ambani and believed Ambani's business practices were unhealthy for the nation. Goenka entrusted Gurumurthy with fighting what he considered the Goliath of Reliance. His articles in The Indian Express created stirs in the corporate world, which exposed the conglomerate and troubled Reliance.[4] All his articles were based on extensive study. The articles meticulously pointed out many of the irregularities in the Reliance Group of Companies . One of his articles, co-authored with Arun Shourie, claimed that Reliance was operating an entire plant with machines that were actually imported as spare parts, paying lower customs duty and doubling its production.[5]

Views[edit]

After this, Gurumurthy wrote on the Bofors issue and later regarding the Swadeshi Movement.

Later, many of his articles in The New Indian Express were beginning to highlight the disadvantages of globalization.[6] His articles espoused the cause of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the concept of a united India.[7]

The mole controversy[edit]

He came to the limelight again when he publicly accused two then-senior Indian bureaucrats of being American moles. He indirectly named them in the New Indian Express article titled, "US plots Gujral-Sharif show" dated 20-09-1997.[8] Later, in his article "Not one mole, Mr Prime Minister and Mr Jaswant, but Two!" dated 27-07-2006, he explicitly named Dr. V S Arunachalam and Naresh Chandra Saxena as the two moles.[9]

Corporate roles[edit]

Gurumurthy is known to have played a pivotal mediating role to resolve the feud between Bajaj Auto Ltd Chairman Rahul Bajaj and his younger brother Shishir who controls Bajaj Hindustan Ltd and has a stake in Bajaj Auto and other group firms.[10] However, he did not involve himself when the Reliance Empire was divided between the brothers in feud.

He also played a major role in the transfer of L&T's cement division to Aditya Birla Group.[11] In 2004 Gurumurthy also ended another corporate stalemate when he persuaded non-resident Indian investor C Sivasankaran to divest his 33 per cent holding in the Tuticorin-based Tamilnad Mercantile Bank for Rs 130 crore (Rs 1.3 billion)

Political career[edit]

Gurumurthy has never contested any election. His spiritual guru Mahaswami Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, the Jagadguru of Kanchi Peetham, was a saint who lived for one hundred years. The Jagadguru had blessed him to work in public-life while specifically instructing him not to participate in electoral or "power" politics- Gurumurthy's Twitter handle mentions this. All Gurumurthy's friends, and even his unknown admirers, knew about this.[citation needed] But in the 2014 General Election another person, a namesake of Gurumurthy who spelled his name differently ("S Gurumoorthy") was chosen by the Bharatiya Janata Party as its candidate in the Nilgiris parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu.

As Gurumurthy was among the more well-known names in Tamil Nadu, many television news channels thought it was Gurumurthy and carried Gurumurthy's name and photographs as the candidate. This created national interest in the constituency and Gurumurthy was tormented by calls and mails from all over the world from his friends and admirers.[citation needed] Gurumurthy clarified by sending repeated tweets that he was not the candidate. Yet the news had spread so far and wide that such clarifications could not contain the mistaken impression that had already spread. To make matters worse, the Nilgiri candidate's nomination was rejected on the grounds that he had not filed the nomination forms properly. Mocking news and tweets followed asserting that Gurumurthy, regarded as an ace investigative journalist and intellectual, was incapable of filing his nomination properly.

Again, Gurumurthy denied that he was the candidate in Nilgiris through tweets and interviews. The 4 September 2014 issue of The Hindu carried a news item titled, "Baffled by the unexpected spotlight," [12] in which it said "First his friends called to congratulate him for contesting from Nilgiris Lok Sabha Constituency. Even as he explained that he was not in the fray, another round of calls came on Monday from many who wondered why his nomination papers were rejected. Gurumurthy, Chartered Accountant and columnist, was baffled when his photo was flashed in some television channels which claimed that he was the BJP's candidate in the Nilgiris constituency."[13] The New Indian Express on 8 April 2014 published a clarification, [13] "1 Name, 2 Persons, Too Many Queries", for various news channel's faux pas in mentioning chartered accountant, S Gurumurthy as the candidate who was disqualified from Nilgiris. No one noticed[citation needed] that Gurumurthy was never a member of the BJP and moreover belongs to the Brahmin community and cannot contest from Nilgiris, which is a reserved constituency. Many news channels and journalists were unaware of such a blatant mistake. But thanks to the misinformation that had spread far and wide, even today some think that it was Gurumurthy who was the candidate for Nilgiris Parliamentary constituency and his nomination was only rejected.

Black money row[edit]

He was the convenor of the task force to assess black money illegally deposited by Indian politicians and businessmen in foreign banks.[14] He has criticized the UPA government for its alleged failure in recovering black money back to India.[15]

Swadeshi Jagran Manch[edit]

He is a staunch proponent of the Swadeshi model of economic development and is a leading light[citation needed] of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), which is currently spearheading the agitation against the evils of modern economic policies.[citation needed]

His role on Reliance issues was adapted for a feature film. R. Madhavan played his role as Shyam Saxena in the movie Guru; however, in reality Gurumurthy has never met or spoken with Dhirubhai Ambani.[citation needed] On 5 November 2012, he presented his investigation report about Nitin Gadkari to BJP.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Bhatt vs Gujarat govt: Hacked email vs email". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  2. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/lifting-of-ban-on-rss-was-unconditional/article5237922.ece
  3. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/india-needs-no-investment-from-abroad-says-economist-gurumurthy/article4841335.ece
  4. ^ Hamish McDonald (1999). The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86448-468-7. 
  5. ^ "The two faces of Dhirubhai Ambani". Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  6. ^ "A Debate On GATT". 1994-01-15. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  7. ^ "S. GURUMURTHY". Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  8. ^ "US plots Gujral-Sharif show". 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  9. ^ "Not one mole, Mr Prime Minister and Mr Jaswant, but Two!". 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  10. ^ "How Gurumurthy resolved the Bajaj feud". 2003-06-17. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  11. ^ "S Gurumurthy is the man behind L&T deal". 2003-06-19. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  12. ^ "Baffled by the unexpected spotlight". The Hindu. 8 Apr 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Express News Service (8 April 2014). "1 Name, 2 Persons, Too Many Queries". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  14. ^ http://epaper.expressbuzz.com/NE/NE/2011/02/20/ArticleHtmls/20_02_2011_001_081.shtml?Mode=1
  15. ^ http://www.rediff.com/business/report/bjps-23-point-charter-to-get-back-black-money/20110205.htm

External links[edit]