Kindness of history for Manmohan?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    The prime minister, Manmohan Singh, believes that history will judge him better than the way contemporaries have done. There will be two questions that future historians will inevitably ask and try and answer on the basis of available facts. One is, what happened to Mr Singh between his two terms as prime minister? And the other will be: who did Mr Singh bat for during his second term, India, the Congress, Sonia Gandhi or himself? The two questions are not entirely unrelated. Mr Singh came to power in the most unusual circumstances, when Ms Gandhi denied herself the job that was rightfully hers. But Mr Singh came to the top job with a tremendous amount of goodwill behind him because of his integrity and because of his achievements as a finance minister under P.V. Narasimha Rao. That first term was an important one, marked as it was by the Indo-US nuclear deal. It was the momentum of the first term that brought the United Progressive Alliance to power for a second term. And since then it was downhill all the way. The prime minister lost his decision-making capacity; his government became embroiled in sordid corruption cases; and Mr Singh fell more and more silent. His goodwill plummeted but he did nothing to rescue it. He gave the impression that he was a prisoner of circumstances.

    Yet, Mr Singh remained the prime minister. If he was a prisoner, he appeared to be a willing one. The growing impression was that he had given up on running the country. Unable to run the country or not allowed to run the country, he withdrew into the realm of foreign policy and took a stab at making a success of it. Even in his own special field of expertise, the economy, he failed to make a mark as growth fell and inflation rose. He lost his zeal for reforms as he watched the Congress president imposing schemes that the exchequer could hardly bear. It was difficult to believe that Mr Singh was the same man as the finance minister in the early 1990s and the prime minister under the first UPA government. It was never clear during his second term who he was serving.

    Mr Singh’s two terms as prime minister will never be free from the shadow of Ms Gandhi. The impression endures that she was always looking over his shoulder. This made a cautious man over cautious, and a beholden man inactive lest his actions be misconstrued as disloyalty. Through the trapdoor of this unnatural division of power and responsibility, the credibility of the UPA fell as if into a bottomless pit. Mr Singh watched as a man more sinned against than sinning. The context could become an alibi for his miserable showing as a prime minister in his second term. But it will never provide a full answer as to why Mr Singh did not assert himself more, and why, in his second term, he allowed his loyalty to an individual to override his responsibility to the job he held.

    kindness of history


    Manmohanji's case history reminds me of the book - Prisoner of Zenda, with due adaptation to the travails of Manmohan's destiny.

    The rightful leader 'imprisoned' to the false idol - populism - dictated to him by the Supreme Leader and her son, knowing fully well the chaos that it will create veering the Nation from the rightful path chalked by the very man under PV Narashima Rao.

    It is indeed a mystery as to how a man of the integrity and knowledge on economics as Manmohan Singh was reduced to be a lamentable footnote of Indian history.

    His departure will not even be mourned by the Nation and not even his own political party which is catapulting with delight that the real Crown Prince is ascending the throne!

    A sad state to be in for Manmohan Singh.
  3. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2009
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    MMS is just another politician, I have never seen him talking on economic issues but doing blah blah against the opposition parties, he shamelessly supports Rahul for PM who has proved to be a good for nothing. In short MMS is just a Congressi !!
  4. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

    Apr 5, 2010
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    Kolkata, India.
    Few of my observations on Man Mohan Singh...

    1) MMS is master in passing buck, he will blame all except himself. He will go on into a self imposed silence “Maun Brat” to save his face…

    2) MMS lacks the leadership capabilities required to direct sustained economic growth rate for the country. He has a good academic record no doubt but that that does not translate into a good leader…

    3) MMS failed miserably to contain corruption in the government... He failed to establish a tight control and authority over the his own ministers. He simply could not withstand the pressure put upon him from the Sonia Gandhi family…
    A chauhan, parijataka and TrueSpirit1 like this.
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    He has proved to be the archetypal Babu, who will not use his brains but obey whatever the Minister says and keep his gaddi safe.

    The no initiative, no leadership, but dash good for Ji Hazoori and status quo - the bane of Indian governance and administration.


    You all did love him once, not without cause:
    What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.....

    But yesterday the word of Caesar might
    Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
    And none so poor to do him reverence.
    O masters, if I were disposed to stir
    Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, ......If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
    You all do know this mantle: I remember
    The first time ever Caesar put it on;
    'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent,
    That day he overcame the Nervii:
    Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through:
    See what a rent the envious Casca made:
    Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;
    And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
    Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it,
    As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
    If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;
    For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel:
    Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
    This was the most unkindest cut of all;
    For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
    Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
    Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;
    And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
    Even at the base of Pompey's statua,
    Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
    O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
    Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
    Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
    O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
    The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.
    Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
    Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here,
    Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
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  6. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

    Dec 19, 2011
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    A puppet is only as good as the puppeteers. If I were in Manmohan's position, I would have flipped middle fingers on both hands (and middle toes on both feet for added effect), walked out backwards from a press conference slowly and written a set of tell-all memoirs on the inner functioning of the UPA.
    TrueSpirit1 likes this.
  7. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

    Sep 12, 2013
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    maybe his brains just fried out..........he was a better and different man in the 1990s. The role he played in containing the economic crisis, for that he might be remembered kindly...........but as a PM, sadly he will be remembered as a silent spectator and a puppet.........
  8. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

    May 29, 2009
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    The history will remember Manmohan Singh as a weak leader who presided over the decline of a booming economy, and who brought despair; where there was hope when he took over - Tavleen Singh
  9. Eesh

    Eesh Regular Member

    Sep 9, 2013
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    New Delhi
    A favorable historical chapter on PM Manmohan Singh
    Published on January 3, 2014 by Pagal Patrakar

    Manmohan Singh today ruled out a third term for himself and hoped that historians will be kind to him when they write about his tenure as the Prime Minister of India. Faking News in-house historian Rum Guha has wrote this first draft of a favorable chapter to be included in future textbooks:

    Dr. Manmohan Singh was a renowned economist to have ruled India for 10 years between 2004 and 2014. The 10 years of Manmohan Rule is also known as the Golden Era of Indian economics and politics, for silence is golden.

    While the media of his time always suspected that he was not the real ruler, various biochemical tests on files in the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) later proved that Dr. Singh was the real ruler.

    Tests had revealed that 51% of finger marks on files were those belonging to Dr. Singh, while a paltry 49% of those were of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Further, the all the finger marks of Dr. Singh were on the cover of the files, while Sonia’s finger marks were on inside pages, proving that Dr. Singh was in control.
    Manmohan Singh

    Manmohan Singh gave a thumbs up to the first draft and hoped that other historians will do a much better job

    The biggest achievement of Dr. Manmohan Singh was when he became the Prime Minister. Everyone thought that Sonia Gandhi was going to become the Prime Minister but using his magic wand, which he could use only once as per the terms of use, Dr. Singh became the Prime Minister.

    Unfortunately, he couldn’t use this magic wand for the rest of his tenure, else there would have been no scams, no economic slowdown, no terror attacks, and no general messed up scenario in the country.

    However, even without the magic wand, Dr. Singh could achieve many things in his tenure, some of which were purely magical and unheard of – like apologizing for the Sikh massacre of 1984. The massacre took place when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister, but Rajiv Gandhi never apologized for it. Manmohan Singh apologized and every Sikh of India got justice.

    Dr. Singh’s ability of generating such magical effects with just one move was witnessed again towards the end of his first tenure as Prime Minister, when he signed the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. Manmohan Singh always maintained that it was his biggest achievement, which made India a superpower and brought India and US closer.

    Some historians dispute this by claiming that India and US never came closer because US insulted an Indian diplomat during the second tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. But they fail to see the fact that the insult took place during UPA-II while friendship happened during UPA-I. Manmohan Singh is known to make a clear distinction between the two tenures in such cases.

    Manmohan Singh’s first tenure, also known as UPA-I, saw India bravely condemn a series of terror attacks, which included the Mumbai attacks by Pakistan based terror groups. India didn’t play cricket with Pakistan for several years, which later helped India win the World Cup during the UPA-II.

    UPA-I also saw many scams, but only the UPA-I saw those during the UPA-I. The common man and the media saw those during the UPA-II (Manmohan Singh’s second tenure), and Manmohan Singh was unfairly blamed for letting the scams happen.

    Dr. Singh tried his best to stop the scams, but a captain is as good as his players. As someone who is also a cricket historian, I want to remind readers that former Indian captain MS Dhoni also tried his best to stop one Ishant Sharma from giving away runs in a historical match. We don’t blame Dhoni for Ishant’s over, so let’s not blame Dr. Singh.

    Manmohan Singh was also the first visionary to find hidden talents in Rahul Gandhi, who later ruled India with help of many honest leaders representing the common man. Once Rahul Gandhi was the Prime Minister, many other historians, including the writer of this article, found the same talents in him.

    Among other things, Dr. Singh always wore a blue turban. This fascination with blue color is matched only by Facebook, and thus Dr. Singh is often credited to be the politician who connected with the youth in the best way. There were evil forces that tried to mislead the youth, but Dr. Singh’s leadership always showed them the right path.

    If India is way ahead of South Sudan today, we have to credit Dr. Manmohan Singh’s vision for it.

    A favorable historical chapter on PM Manmohan Singh | Faking News
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  10. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    Tons of promise, hardly any substance though!

    MMS will be best remembered as a PM who was remort controlled, and a yes madam that he became. Hope was immense for he was always portrayed as the man behind the 1990 economic liberalisation, though reality being India was forced to take the path, but contrary to all that, his successive governments hardly ever delivered on economics.

    These were going to be the 10 years based on which India in times to come would have taken off, in the end it pretty much ended as a waste opportunity. For Indians by and large it would be all okay, because yahan par sab chalta hai!
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  11. desicanuk

    desicanuk Regular Member

    Nov 7, 2011
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    Weakest prime minister since 1947.A follower not a leader who did nothing to stop Sonia Gandhi from undermining his authority as PM.Ten years of mismanagement of Indian economy,corruption ,lost opportunities etc etc.An epitaph well deserved!!
    A chauhan likes this.
  12. aditigir

    aditigir Regular Member

    May 20, 2013
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    Actually i am not say this is kindness, in his 10 years of period Manmohan singh only work for his own business, is it ok he is misusing his poper against Narendra Modi, if Modi is a popular leader why he making problems against him, he he is a kind man he has to support truth, and modi is truth.
    desicanuk likes this.
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Farewell to Manmohan Singh, India’s Puppet Prime Minister

    India’s Manmohan Singh announced he’s stepping down after elections this year. Why history will not judge him kindly.

    Manmohan Singh, India’s 81-year-old prime minister, is averse to meeting the press. In the decade since he entered India’s highest political office, he has participated in just three official interactions with reporters. The last of these occurred on Friday, where Singh, now nearing the end of his second term, announced that he won’t be seeking a third at the general elections later this year. In a way, the press conference amounted to a belated admission of Singh’s political lame-duckhood, which started a long while before he revealed his intentions to retire.

    Installed in office by Sonia Gandhi, the reigning head of the Nehru-Gandhi family, in 2004 as a placeholder for her son, Rahul, Singh never really commanded the obedience of his cabinet. “She is the queen,” a senior member of the Congress Party said of Sonia, the party boss, as Singh was sworn into the job. “She is appointing a regent to run some of the government’s business. But it is she who will be in charge.” This arrangement, by which Singh would steer the economy while Sonia handled the messy business of politics, was meant to place India on a steady path of progress. Instead, it shrunk the prime minister’s authority, gave rise to insubordination within the cabinet, and inaugurated an era of almost unfathomable levels of corruption.

    Graft has a hoary history in India. As early as 1964, a mere 17 years into India’s independence, the ministry of home affairs reported that corruption had “increased to such an extent that people have started losing faith in the integrity of public administration.” In the decades since, corruption has become a quotidian fact of life: in an ordinary citizen’s interaction with the state, there are few transactions unaccompanied by the demand of a bribe. India’s Soviet-inspired command economy served as a catalyst for malfeasance in the state’s high offices. It spawned a culture of patronage in which senior politicians and bureaucrats showered favoured individuals with lucrative business permits and licences.

    But the scams of the time seem almost trivial in comparison to the scandals that erupted on Singh’s watch. One senior politician, Suresh Kalmadi, was placed in judicial custody at Delhi’s notorious Tihar prison on charges of pocketing millions in the run up to the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Another inmate at the same prison is former communications minister Andimuthu Raja, who stands accused of defrauding the national treasury of $40 billion by selling bandwidth spectrum at grossly undervalued rates. Having scrupulously built a cast-iron reputation for incorruptibility, Singh now has the distinction of presiding over the most corrupt cabinet in Indian history. Singh’s tragedy appears almost karmic when you consider that the avarice that characterizes today’s India would be unthinkable without the policies that he championed two decades ago.

    In 1991, when Singh was a little-known civil servant in charge of the university grants commission, India was a nation of 843 million citizens and five million telephone lines. A billion dollars separated it from bankruptcy. The Indian map had rarely looked so vulnerable to another cartographic revision. If the flames of separatism in Punjab seemed to be simmering, the secessionist strife in Kashmir was just peaking. Hindu nationalists, a fringe force in Indian politics a mere decade ago, now occupied the bulk of opposition seats in parliament, poised to banish the secularism that had been the foundational basis of Indian nationalism. Beyond its own imperilled borders, India’s guardian and lodestar, the USSR, was lurching toward disintegration. Moscow shielded India from international criticism for its repression in Kashmir, maintained a crucial $6 billion trade relationship, and supplied defence equipment in exchange for goods. For a generation of Indians, the Soviet Union’s demise upended the certitudes of a lifetime. Visiting India at the time, Ved Mehta felt “a sense of dread about the economic, political, and religious direction of the country which I don’t remember encountering in any of my other visits over the past 25 years.”

    The barren rhetoric of economic self-reliance and political nonalignment could no longer conceal India’s deep decay. Here was a colossus of a country that forced its enterprising citizens to make 50 trips to New Delhi and wait three years to import a computer, and where a telephone connection could take up to three years, the production of vacuum cleaners required a license, and the consumption of Coca-Cola was a criminal offense. Inducted into the cabinet as finance minister for his economic expertise, Singh pushed the government to devalue the rupee and embrace austerity. He devised a plan that would substantially deregulate industry, delicense the private sector, pull down the barriers to foreign investment, provide tax concessions to private corporations, slash subsidies to farmers and curb labour activism.

    The plan was so radical that members of Singh’s own party, Congress, rose up against it. The Herald, the party’s newspaper, said that his policies were designed to give “the middle-class Indian crispier cornflakes [and] fizzier aerated drinks.” “That,” the paper affirmed, “could never have been the vision of the founding fathers of our nation.” Left-wing members of parliament accused the government of foisting “anti-people” policies on the nation.

    But Singh’s policies appeared to be bearing fruit. By the end of 1995, India was attracting more foreign investment than it had managed in the previous four decades combined. Two-way trade with the U.S. alone had grown to $7.3 billion. There were 422 American companies with investments in India. CEOs of major companies streamed in and out of the country. Coca-Cola was back on the subcontinent after 20 years away. George Fernandes, the socialist who had banned Coca-Cola in 1977, stood in parliament and demanded an answer from Singh. “Do we really need Coke? Do we need Pepsi?”

    But India was by then already beginning to look like a different country. The middle class became more conspicuously consumptive than ever before. Between them, Indians now drank 2,880 million bottles of fizzy drinks and flew 10 million miles each year. The credit card industry, which barely had a presence in India before Singh’s economic reforms, expanded into a $64 million business by 1996. MasterCard alone grew by 106 percent in India—the highest growth it ever registered in Asia. The creed of this emerging “New India” was captured in the advertising slogans pasted on the billboards of major cities: “I. Me. Mine,” “It’s My Life,” “Keep Up Or Be Left Out,” “Zamana Badal Gaya Hai: Times Have Changed.” The Economic Times, an early supporter of Singh’s reforms, saw its circulation surpass 500,000 from less than a meager 100,000 just four years ago, making it the second-largest business paper in the world. “One of the psychological legacies of the… socialistic era was that the more affluent sections of the society were branded as being rather vulgar and spending money to live well was considered an even greater sin,” one commentator wrote. “Today, that stigma seems to have vanished for many.”

    This was Singh’s India, a jubilant and hopeful place. But far away from it, there was another India. Its harrowing realities were captured in a report released by Oxfam. Rural poverty in the reform years had grown from 33 to 48 percent, and a disproportionate burden of Singh’s deficit reduction programme was borne by the poorest. Since the government’s tax concessions to the private sector made it impossible to increase revenues, it resorted to cutting public investment and social expenditure. At the same time more than a dozen of the country’s top 50 private corporations succeeded in avoiding taxes altogether.

    Whether Singh’s reforms helped or hurt India remains a matter for dispute. But this much is clear: Singh was an economist, not a politician, and the policies he advocated were enacted only because someone else was prepared to bear the political costs. In the general elections that followed, Congress suffered the worst defeat in its history. When the party returned to power in 2004, Singh was still an apolitical figure who—despite his experience in government—had never won an election in his life. Sonia Gandhi’s Italian origin threatened to become grist for the xenophobic opposition. So she turned to Singh. Since then, Singh has mumbled along inaudibly, knowing power only as a gift bestowed, not as a responsibility earned. His admirers have long claimed that Singh is indifferent to power, even that he brings some kind of dignity to the office of prime minister. If anything, the opposite is true: one has to love power desperately to accept a job merely to be proximate to it.

    Singh’s greatest accomplishment in office, the one act that can be described as affirmative, was the civil nuclear agreement he negotiated with the United States. His most abiding failure must be his handling of the terrorist siege of Mumbai in 2008. By avoiding confrontation with Pakistan for fear of inciting a war, Singh actually moved India closer than ever to a conflict with Pakistan. Where once Indians were willing to overlook the gravest acts of terror, today even the slightest transgression provokes a clamour for war. Had Singh demonstrated resolve and forced Pakistan to extradite the men who masterminded the attacks to stand trial in India, it would have diminished the appeal of hardliners in India. There was tremendous sympathy across the world for India’s cause. Singh did nothing to capitalise on it. The only beneficiaries of Singh’s self-wounding “peace initiative” with Pakistan are Hindu nationalists in India and Muslim militants in Pakistan.

    Consider the view from New Delhi as Singh prepares to exit office. Substantial portions of rural India are under the control of Maoist insurgents. Rural India remains a hellishly violent place. Urban India is a theater of hideous inequality. In the east, the Chinese army continues periodically to encroach on Indian territory. To the west, the men who masterminded the assault on Mumbai remain at liberty. Even India’s relationship with the U.S., so highly prized by Singh, has abruptly deteriorated over the last month. At home, Hindu nationalists stand poised to assume power in Delhi. “History will judge me kindly,” Singh said on Friday. It’s just as well that Indians are a notoriously ahistorical people. The best Singh can hope for is to be forgotten.

    Farewell to Manmohan Singh, India’s Puppet Prime Minister - The Daily Beast
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Or a charlatan?

    One has never felt so demoralised and disgraced as an Indian as during the second tenure of this 'honest' man!

    He was no Leader since he had no leadership qualities and maybe that is why he was pushed into the high office so that others could make hay while the sun shone and he in the bargain took the flak!

    Just imagine, the Congress is keen to pass some anti corruption laws, spearheaded by Rahull Gandhi, the Crown Prince throughout the tenure!

    Rahul Gandhi as the messiah of anti corruption?

    Where was he all this time?

    He could not even leash his own brother in law, Vadra, the husband of the beloved sister of his!

    Fraudulent posturing and heaping the blame indirectly on the hapless, clueless, made into a ridiculous icon of Premiership.

    Poor Sardar saheb!
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  15. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2011
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    Unfortunately one of the greatest men of Indian history has become such a sad spectacle. Maybe he shouldn't have become PM knowing what was at stake.

    The globalization of India in 1991 literally forged a new history for India. Sadly the man who started the revolution will be remembered for nothing. :sad:
  16. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

    Mar 10, 2013
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    History would have more influential people to evaluate rather than focusing on a non-entity like MMS.

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