Dr. Raju Narayana Swamy
Dr. Raju Narayana Swamy is an IAS officer highly known for his staunch stand against corruption. His relentless fight against illegal land dealings, real-estate businessmen and political bureaucrats comes from his ‘stubborn’ nature, as he likes to put it, when things turn ‘unjustifiable’. His career may be marked with political controversies, but he has found immense support from the common man. His online anti-corruption campaigns have seen unprecedented rise in his fan following. Currently, he is presiding as the Chairman of the Coconut Development Board in Kochi, Kerala. In 2018, IIT Kanpur conferred upon him the prestigious Satyendra K Dubey Memorial Award for maintaining highest professional integrity and honesty while serving his duty.
Born into a middle-class family in Ulloor, Thiruvananthapuram in 1968, Mr. Swamy grew up in an academic environment with both his parents as professors. With no lack of inspiration at home and heightened interest in academics, he excelled in studies throughout his school days and received many accolades. In 1989, he obtained a B.Tech. in Computer Science from IIT Madras and ranked first. Despite a full scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he decided to build a career in Civil Services. He opted for mathematics and physics, two of his favorite subjects, for Civil Services, “a dangerous combination”. He topped the examination and joined the Kerala Cadre in 1991. In an interview, he said, “I didn’t study for the sake of an examination. I studied because I felt passionate about the subjects. If you believe that there is an easy way to achieve success that will be the beginning of your fall. The only aspect I give thrust to is managing time. If you can do it effectively, nothing is impossible.”
In his administrative career, he has held several key portfolios including the Agriculture Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary (Agriculture), Kerala Government; Director of Fisheries and of Collegiate Education; Managing Director of Marketing Federation; and Commissioner in the Civil Supplies Department. Due to his uncompromising stand against corruption, he has earned the wrath of bureaucrats and politicians. In his 27 years of service, he has faced at least 22 transfers. “I’m fully aware that I’m only a drop in an ocean and a cog in the hierarchy, but millions of drops do make an ocean.” His anti-corruption drives have earned him many accords, for instance, he was felicitated with the Fourth IRDS award from the Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS), a Lucknow based civil society.
Mr. Swamy had a difficult career marked with political controversies and transfers. In those tumultuous times, he found his solace in writing. Reading and writing provided him the much-needed creative outlet and he went on to publish more than 26 books. His writings are as powerful as his image and are rooted in certain values. In these days when it is fashionable not to speak in the Indian languages let alone in one’s mother tongue, his works are all in Malayalam. His most popular one being Nano Muthal Nakshatram Vare. He won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for his travelogue Santhimantram Muzhangunna Thazvarayil. For children’s literature, he was awarded the Bhim Gold Medal and Kunhunni Awards.
Mr. Swamy has a quest for knowledge and treats learning as a game. He holds a post-graduate diploma in IPR from the National Law School, Bengaluru; a professional diploma in Public Procurement from the World Bank; an honorary doctorate degree from the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (2011); and Homi Bhabha Fellowship to study Cyber law. He is also the first ever civil servant to complete all the ten courses conducted by the National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi.