Raju Narayanaswamy is a 1991 batch IAS Officer and a Computer Science Graduate from IIT Madras. He stood first in Class 10 Examination SSLC (1983), pre-degree Examination (MGU-1985), Graduation at IIT Madras (1990) and GATE, and topped UPSC with all-India first rank in 1991. He is the first Bureaucrat to complete all the 10 courses conducted by the National Institute of Disaster Management New Delhi. However, he is more known for his strict stand against Corrupt Politicians and other officials.
He held several posts including District Collector and Commissioner in Civil Supplies Department of Kerala before being removed allegedly for trying to expose corruption.
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.
On passing from IIT Madras, Raju Narayanaswamy was offered scholarship by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology , USA, but he refused.
He secured the first rank in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), conducted for admission to postgraduate engineering courses by IITs 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.
In his district it was a practice to collect crores of rupees for earthen bunds meant for poor farmers, but which were never constructed. A bill for rupees 8 crores came up before Narayanaswamy. He inspected the bund. He found it very weak and said that he will pass the bill after the rainy season to ensure that the bund served the purpose. As expected the earthen bund was too weak to stand the rain and it disappeared in the rain. But he created a lot of enemies for saving 8 crores public money.
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”, says Raju. This even led to the 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. He was called from his Service at United Nations to assume the Charge of Collector of Idukki district of Kerala.
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.