Meet Raju Narayanaswamy, an IAS Officer victimised for exposing Corruption

The Case of Durga Shakti Nagpal might have gone viral, but there have been several cases of penalization of Honest Bureaucrats by the Political Bosses in past. The saga of Raju Narayanaswamy is one of them.

Raju Narayanaswamy is an 1991 batch IAS Officer and a Computer Science Graduate from IIT Madras. He held several posts including District Collector and Commissioner in Civil Supplies Department of Kerala before being removed allegedly for trying to expose corruption.

Raju Narayanaswamy Photos

Raju Narayanaswamy in his Office

He was born at Changanassery, Kottayam, Kerala on 24 May 1968 to a middle class Iyer family. His father was a mathematics teacher while his mother was a college professor. Swamy obtained his bachelors degree in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He also secured the first rank in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), conducted for admission to postgraduate engineering courses in India. In 1991, he obtained the first rank in Civil Services Examination and entered the Indian Administrative Service.

His Anti Corruption Campaign started from the very first day of his Service, which earned him flaks from Political Bosses and led to 20 transfers in last 22 years. He had to pay huge price for his War against Corruption.

He was made to go on forced leave as managing director of the state Marketing Federation (MARKETFED) after refusing to play ball with the chairman, a senior politician. He was shunted to sinecure assignments, even posted to work under junior officers.

When Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan wanted encroachers in Munnar driven out, Narayanaswamy was one of the CM’s three handpicked men. Even senior CPM leaders objected to his choice but VS stood his ground.

Once he refused permission to a real-estate businessman to fill up a large paddy farm — it would have deluged some 50 poor village homes nearby with waste from the adjacent government hospital. And when he refused to sanction payment for a badly built earthen bund costing several crores meant to help poor farmers — he was proved right when the bund dissolved and vanished in the rains.

To his honesty, he didn’t even spare his  Father in Law,who was a Contractor.  His Father in Law, wanted to block off a public road to a poor neighbourhood of Scheduled Castes to wall up land for himself. “I requested my father-in-law not to misuse my position as the local Sub-Collector, but he wouldn’t listen. I invoked the Criminal Procedure Code and served orders on him, called in the police and carried out the demolition”. This even led to his Divorce with his Wife

When  Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan wanted encroachers in Munnar driven out, Narayanaswamy was one of the CM’s three handpicked men. Even senior CPM leaders objected to his choice but VS stood his ground.

In 2007, Kerala Minister T U Kuruvilla was forced to resign following an Investigation by Raju Narayana Swamy. Kuruvilla’s children had taken Rs 6.5 crore from an NRI businessman promising to sell him some prime land, soon suspected to be encroached. The sale did not happen, the NRI went public while Kuruvila maintained everything was above board. Narayanaswamy probed the land the Minister’s children were to sell: he reported that a good part of the land they purveyed was government land, some suspectedly benami. Kuruvila could only agree to quit.He also proceeded against a former minister P. J. Joseph and his relatives regarding their alleged illegal landholdings

“In my service life I have always fought corruption. We could be sidelined but officers should not get demoralized.The public applause we get for taking strong stand on issues is what keeps us going’’ says Raju.

Since 2007 he has been shunted to various insignificant posts. Presently he is a Joint Secretary in the Sainik Kalyan Department, Kerala.

Swamy has 25 books to his credit. He won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for a travelogue, Santhimantram Muzhangunna Thazvarayil.  His other works include Niram Mangiya Vazhithara, which is a translation of The Road of Lost Innocence, the English version of the French memoirs by Somaly Mam.

He was one of the recipients of the fourth IRDS awards for public service, awarded by the Lucknow based Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS).  In August 2011, he was awarded a doctorate degree by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.