Most politicians who take a public stage find it hard to be themselves.
Subramanian Swamy is that exceptional public figure who finds it hard to be anything but what he truly is – fiercely ideological, fiercely intelligent, and fiercely outspoken.
And at Algebra, Swamy gave a packed house a firsthand glimpse of why opponents have called him the most formidable face of the BJP. In a superbly-balanced conversation with Algebra’s Shoma he was, at once, ideologically rigid yet nuanced in his articulation.
From startling revelations (“Yogi Adityanath was not PM Modi’s choice for UP CM”), to brazen admission of revenge (“It was I who ensured Amartya Sen would not be chancellor of Nalanda University); from ideological obsession (“Hindus are being divided and minorities are being united. Through Hindutva, we have made everyone feel like they’re equal human beings”) to straight-up challenge of his own party (“I will not allow the GST bill to pass”), he was riveting, but also a sobering reminder that for India’s liberals, the fight against fanaticism will take far more compelling articulation if the seductive narrative of Hindu nationalism is to be combated.
Algebra, the Arts & Ideas Club brings together a fellowship of people who believe great cities are built not just on infrastructure but a life of the mind; who understand robust and liberal societies need the oxygen of great conversation and nuanced thinking.
At a time when we are increasingly surrounded by rage and noise, Algebra is a live and continuous space for people to come together for a genuine exchange of ideas and exposure to issues; where new seeds could be sparked, fresh perspectives formed, and intelligent connections made.
Algebra – the Arts and Ideas Club is designed to host almost 35 engagements over the year with topline thinkers and practitioners from almost every discipline that impacts human affairs: politics, economy, environment, spirituality, cinema, medicine, science, technology, music, media, literature, the arts, sports, people’s movements, et al.