In the shadow of a dynasty

We would have to wait for history books to see whether Manmohan Singh deserves a footnote or a full-page description

GN Bureau | May 17, 2014



On the morning of May 17, prime minister Manmohan Singh addressed the nation for the last time before handing his resignation to president Pranab Mukherjee.

While his brief farewell speech mentioned that he respected “the judgement that you [people] have delivered” and that “the just concluded elections have deepened the foundations of our democratic polity”, he said nothing about the allegations of his inefficiency, especially during the second term of UPA.

Given his reticence over last 10 years, though, this is not supremely surprising.

There are times for rebuttals and justifications, someone sympathetic to Singh could argue: that this was time for saying goodbye, to all that made and unmade Manmohan Singh the politician.

Here really was one occasion, however, when he could have cleared the airs – for we never know if he would ever again choose to speak about his rather long stint as the prime minister.

It’s clear that in the last few months all was not well between him and the Congress matron. That Sonia and Rahul called the shots in the government is an inane piece of information. Other things weren’t quite right, either: economy, especially during the UPA-II, has been in tatters; other allegations abound: scams, crony capitalism, inflation.

The public disenchantment during UPA-II was so high that the government failed to defend itself even from criticisms that had nothing to do with its performance: for all the public anger against, say for example, increasing oil prices, the truth is in last 10 years the price of oil in the international market has more than tripled (from approx 30$ to 100$ per barrel).  Many other indicators during the two terms of UPA, too – agriculture growth rate, decline in poverty (or the introduction of a legislation like RTI) – were better than that of the preceding NDA governments. So while Singh could be blamed for his inability to control the government, he is also to be blamed for not being able to convincingly defend the good things his tenure meant for the country.

What exactly, then, does this inane piece of farewell speech mean? Not much. Since the man has consciously evaded every opportunity to defend himself or attack the detractors, we really haven't an option but to wait for history books to see whether he deserves a “footnote” or a full-page description.

Comments

 

Other News

To understand Modi saga, look at the Vaghela story

Back in the early 1990s, Shankarsinh Vaghela was (or at least perceived to be) more popular of the two people running the BJP show in Gujarat. Today, the other man is the prime minister, and Vaghela is reduced to a footnote – albeit an important one – in the Narendra Modi saga. &n

‘Not just Muslims, everyone is in fear and awe of Yogi Adityanath’

At 70, Dr Aziz Ahmad, a well-known homeopath and politician now with Congress, still has a busy practice in Abu Bazaar, in old Gorakhpur. During working hours, the lane in which he has a clinic becomes jam-packed with patients and their vehicles. People speak of naming the lane after him.

Is poor quality food served on trains?

Is poor quality food served on trains?

Nod to strategic disinvestment of BEML

The government has given ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of BEML Ltd to the extent of 26% of government shareholding with transfer of management control to strategic buyer, minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre informed the  Lok Sabha on Friday. &nb

Holistic treatment of mentally ill patients

As many as 50 million people suffer from mental illnesses in India – only 10% people with common mental disorders and only 40%-50% people with serious disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; receive any form of health care.

Online payments, now a phone call away

A project worth Rs 1,000 crore by the department of post will serve as a shot in the arm for financial inclusion in the country. The department, say officials aware of the matter, has zeroed in on the US-based Hewlett Packard (HP) to set up the technology infrastructure for its countrywide rollout of a pay





Video

किरण बेदी को बनाया हिटलर

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter