Portrait of a PM as a caricature of his former self

Manmohan blames allies for moral deficit in governance


Ajay Singh | February 16, 2011

History is never charitable to weak rulers. Prime minister Manmohan Singh’s interaction with TV editors today has reinforced his image of a ruler quite vulnerable to political machinations. During those 70 minutes when he fielded a volley of questions from the electronic media, Manmohan Singh emerged as a caricature of his former self and seemed to have lost the bearing on governance.

Remember the imagery of Manmohan Singh making a V sign before entering parliament to face the no-confidence motion on the India-US nuclear deal in 2009? That one image demolished the BJP’s carefully orchestrated campaign against him as a weak PM. Even within the BJP, there were murmurs against LK Advani for overemphasising the theme that proved counter-productive.

But today’s Manmohan Singh looked quite weak indeed. Ironically, his apparently candid remarks did not sound convincing. Can you expect a prime minister to explain corruption away on the pretext of coalition dharma? On all the questions related to corruption, Manmohan Singh ducked and referred to the “compulsions of coalition”. Similarly, on the issue of economic reforms, he accused the non-Congress regimes and the opposition, particularly the BJP, of non-cooperation.

In effect, the prime minister seemed to be interested only in defending himself. He sought to steer clear himself of the 2G scam by pointing out that he had no role to play once the spectrum allocation was cleared by the ministry of finance and the telecom ministry. He explained that he could not be faulted for the delay in charge-sheeting the CWG scam accused and the shoddy manner of the probe which let off all prime accused.

It was strange to see him acknowledge the fact that there was an impression of moral and ethical deficit within the government. But who is responsible for that? To this question, Manmohan Singh admitted that he was responsible for the functioning of the government. But his essential message was that he could not be faulted for making compromises on account of coalition politics.

Perhaps there is an uncanny resemblance in the defence put up by the prime minister with that of P J Thomas. The beleaguered CVC has been blaming everybody else for conspiring against him despite his impeccable career. But, unlike a bureaucrat, politicians are not supposed to shift the blame on slightest pretexts. In people’s perception, the prime minister is most powerful figure of the country and is not expected to show signs of weakness. There is ample reason to believe that the prime minister has been vulnerable to political machinations by the party leadership which is more beholden to 10 Janpath than 7 Race Course Road. That he is besieged by vested interests from all quarters is not a state secret. But can India afford to put up with such a head of government? This question will surely come up with more ferocity than the past after the PM’s interaction with the TV editors today.



Other News

Yoga Day has changed perceptions about it in ten years: PM

The expanding awareness of Yoga over the past ten years has changed perceptions associated with it, prime minister Narendra Modi said in Srinagar on Friday on the occasion of the International Day of Yoga.   “Yoga is now emerging beyond limited boundaries. The world is witnessing t

Listening to tomorrow: The imperative for youth-driven data in India

Over a decade and a half ago when I was still a student, millennials felt the burning need to break down the barriers of gatekeeping in traditional media. Young voices, brimming with ideas and opinions, were often sidelined, their perspectives deemed too marginal or unrefined for mainstream discourse. This

Israel-Palestine War: Lessons from Past Peace Efforts

Israel-Palestine War: Give Peace a Chance By Dr. Joseph K. Thomas IndiePress, 243 pages, Rs 399 T

How inner work helps subvert painful narratives

Unashamed By Neha Bhat HarperCollins, 240 pages, Rs 499   * How do I connect better with my partner? *&nbs

Heatwave spikes power demand: measures taken to ensure supply

The Northern Region has been experiencing high power demand conditions due to a prevailing heat wave since May 17. Despite these challenging conditions, the highest ever peak demand of 89 GW in the Northern Region was successfully met on June 17. This achievement was made possible by import

PM to release 17th installment of PM-KISAN at Varanasi on Tuesday

Prime minister Narendra Modi will release the 17th instalment of the PM-KISAN scheme on Tuesday at Varanasi and more than 9.26 crore farmers will receive the benefits amounting to over Rs.20,000 crore. The PM will also distribute the certificates to more than 30,000 SHGs trained as Krishi Sakhis to work as

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Current Issue


Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter