An Indian view on history, current affairs and politics

March 27, 2023

Good riddance Dr. Manmohan Singh!

Chairperson of the Congress-led UPA gove

If one had to sum up 10 years of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s tenure as Prime Minister, almost every adjective to define bad governance can be exhausted. He can very easily be credited with prompting the debate about worst PM ever. Announcement about today’s press conference had set media circles buzzing about possible important decisions. What turned out was stage used by PM to display his bitterness towards media and his possible nemesis Narendra Modi. A stone faced PM read a script as usual and went on to give unconvincing answers in his occasionally stuttering tone only to flare up when Modi was mentioned.

Dr. Manmohan Singh has headed the most corrupt and incompetent regime in Independent India. His apologists say he is an honest person of impeccable integrity. Well, I’m not so sure anymore. Ignoring corruption under your watch is corruption as well. Whether he is honest or not is something that future will tell us but it’d be no exaggeration to say he acted like a modern day Nero who looked the other way when India was being plundered by everyone who claimed to be part of his party or his government. The noble PM seems to be under a delusion that his record has been better than the current perception and somehow historians are going to judge him better. I think this one of the best examples of ostrich mentality.

While expecting historians and the country to see his bright side, he fails to see his failures himself. When questioned about his achievements, he could not go beyond Nuclear cooperation with US. Unfortunately even after 4 years of signing that bill, none of the parties have benefited from it. Relations with neighbors have hit rock bottom. National security has taken a hit with China regularly transgressing India’s  borders. Domestic security is at lowest with Maoist insurgency gaining ground. Innumerable bomb blasts have killed score of  people. Economy is has taken a nosedive and investors are running away like scared chicken. It may sound pessimistic but almost all critical areas of governance have been utter failure.

The hallmark of Manmohan Singh’s premiership is Silence. He has perfected the art of silence like a pro and has been a shining example of how to run a government without being answerable to people. His cabinet ministers have been jailed  and had to resign due to corruption accusations. The sheer scale of these scams have been mind boggling. With coalgate the taint of corruption has finally reached PM’s office. Be it decapitation of Indian soldiers by Pakistanis or Maoists, Nirbhaya incident, Anna movement, bomb blasts or many such issues of national importance, the PM just couldn’t muster enough courage to face the nation. Seeing him today, vociferously defending himself, was as ironical as seeing congress support AAP in fight against corruption.

Manmohan Singh was also part of an unprecedented governance model in India. Within days of UPA-1 coming into power, there was a new and powerful power center in shape of NAC setup. Sonia Gandhi, having failed to gain power directly, forced PMO to accede to authority of NAC. This NAC turned out to be an assortment of closet communists who churned out ill thought welfare schemes. While UPA-1 benefited from the schemes and policies of NDA government, the effects of chaos ushered by NAC became evident in UPA-2. Irony died a thousand deaths on seeing Manmohan Singh, father of India’s economic reforms implementing socialist agenda. India’s economy was being fed slow poison while the good doctor remained mute under gratitude of being made the PM.

Manmohan’s tolerance level to utter humiliation and disrespect is exemplary. The famous ordinance drama is a great example of how thick his skin is. Not many know Pawan Bansal and Ashwini Kumar were his confidantes placed in cabinet on his insistence. Everyone was surprised when the caged parrot CBI played a very active role in getting both implicated and removed from cabinet despite Dr. Singh’s reluctance. Given that the only one more powerful than Dr. Singh in government is Sonia Gandhi. it’s not hard to guess who spoilt PM’s party.

Despite the tall claims by congress and Dr. Singh himself, it’s a known fact he has led the most incompetent and corrupt government ever. Though there are 5 more months of his premiership left, the only good news from today’s press conference is that we won’t have to see him again as PM. No wonder a lot of Indians are saying good riddance Dr. Manmohan Singh.