Lauded Abroad, Indian Leader Is Besieged at Home Read more: http://www.post-gazette.

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by JayATL, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. JayATL

    JayATL Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11019/1118997-82.stm

    By JIM YARDLEY, The New York Times

    NEW DELHI -- Few leaders are more respected globally than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. President Obama has described him as a historic figure, close friend and valued adviser. (So, for that matter, did President George W. Bush.) When Newsweek ranked world leaders, Mr. Singh ranked first, winning praise for his modesty and incorruptibility. He was described as the "leader that other leaders love."

    But if he is lauded overseas, Mr. Singh is now under attack at home, as critics blame his administration for indecision and inaction. His government is besieged by corruption scandals, runaway inflation and bickering among senior ministers. Amid the clamor, Mr. Singh has often seemed silent or aloof, even as his political enemies have portrayed him as the weak captain of a rudderless administration.

    The loud criticism of Mr. Singh, who sits atop the coalition government led by the Indian National Congress Party, is partly the white noise of India's raucous democracy, and partly a reprise of old complaints. But the public perception of disarray is one reason the prime minister is expected to reshuffle his cabinet as early as Wednesday.

    Many analysts say Mr. Singh must recharge his administration to tackle major issues like food security, power supply and infrastructure, as well as to push through reforms on land and governance. More than that, they say, he must seize the moment to address larger, systemic failures in governing that foster corruption and could eventually undermine India's aspirations to become a global power.

    For now, India's economy is sizzling, growing at roughly 9 percent a year. Many economists are forecasting a long boom that, if handled properly, could transform the nation. Many Indian entrepreneurs have learned to thrive despite governmental dysfunction, but few analysts believe India can thrive long term if the government maintains the status quo.

    "There are so many uncertainties over the next four or five years that if you don't fix things while the going is good, it is going to be that much harder, later," said Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research, a leading independent research institute in New Delhi. "Given the historic opportunity that India has, they are frittering away precious time."

    Mr. Singh, now 78, usually floats above the rancor of India's daily politics. Trained as an economist, he is considered a father of the economic reforms credited for setting off India's current boom. As finance minister, beginning in 1991, he dismantled socialist-era restraints and oversaw India's transition to a more open, market-based economy. By 2004, after Sonia Gandhi had guided the Congress Party back to power, she made Mr. Singh her surprise choice for prime minister.

    Indeed, Mr. Singh's critics have long disparaged him as a caretaker prime minister beholden to Mrs. Gandhi, the Congress Party president, and to her son, Rahul Gandhi, the party's heir apparent as prime minister. Yet Mr. Singh proved otherwise, especially when Congress Party leaders and coalition allies wavered on a landmark civilian nuclear agreement with the United States. Mr. Singh threatened to resign if the Congress Party did not back him on the deal -- which it promptly did.

    In the 2009 elections, opposition leaders in the Bharatiya Janata Party, or B.J.P., depicted Mr. Singh as India's weakest prime minister, but voters re-elected his Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government. When the new government took office, public expectations were high.

    Now, 20 months later, the Congress Party has suffered setbacks in elections in the state of Bihar and is wounded by corruption scandals linked to the Commonwealth Games, the government's allotment of 2G telecommunications spectrum and other cases of official malfeasance.

    Mr. Singh must no doubt operate at the mercy of the imperfections of India's coalition politics. But his cabinet has witnessed periodic infighting, while the prime minister himself has seemed slow to respond to certain crises, his critics say.

    When Kashmir erupted in violence and demonstrations last summer, Mr. Singh waited for months before strongly intervening. And though he has not been personally linked to any scandals, he has been criticized for his inability, or unwillingness, to crack the whip on corruption and push through reforms.

    "In spite of a clean personal image," said Nirmala Sitharaman, a B.J.P. spokeswoman, "he is heading a government that is responsible for unbelievable amounts of treasury loss."

    Sanjaya Baru, a former spokesman for the prime minister, said the scandals had come as Mr. Singh's political influence already seemed diminished. He was forced to make a public reversal after making an overture to Pakistan that apparently exceeded the dictates of other Congress Party leaders. His signature achievement -- the nuclear deal -- was passed with a liability clause that may prevent many foreign nuclear suppliers from building power plants in India.

    "He is damaged, he is quite damaged," said Mr. Baru, who is now editor of Business Standard, a financial newspaper. "In the last year, the feeling is that he has not been able to do what he would like to do. That he is not his own man. And he has to overcome that for his own legacy."

    For weeks, the political gossip mill in New Delhi was filled with speculation that Mr. Singh might be pushed out, though most analysts say such a situation was never likely, given Mr. Singh's global stature and his standing in the country.

    Mrs. Gandhi is widely perceived to be positioning her son as the party's prime ministerial candidate in 2014, but her commitment to Mr. Singh seems unshaken for the current term. Moreover, the prime minister's allies dispute any suggestion that he is a diminished figure.

    "Externally, he may appear to be weak," said Jairam Ramesh, the environment minister. "But internally, I can tell you, he is very clear in what he is doing."

    Harish Khare, the prime minister's spokesman, dismissed the criticism as "democratic noise" and noted that India's parliamentary system, as well as the traditions of the Congress Party, act to preclude any prime minister from acting with sole authority.

    "The decision making is a collective process," he said. "People expect the prime minister to be a president, of the United States presidential model. That's not Mr. Singh's style. His style is quiet leadership and delivering."

    Still, most analysts say Mr. Singh's government must restore its credibility with the public. On Monday, a group of corporate leaders and prominent citizens published an open letter calling on "our leaders" to confront corruption and institute reforms and accountability. Mr. Baru, the former spokesman, said reshuffling the cabinet could be a first step.

    "Right now, everybody is saying he is doing nothing," Mr. Baru said. "That is the real crisis. He needs a new team and a new agenda to establish that he is back in control."

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11019/1118997-82.stm#ixzz1BWRd8b8p
     
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  3. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    hmmmm india needs bit more respect for manmohan
    and china needs a bit more respect for macmohon
    i wonder if there is a common factor
     
  4. rcscwc

    rcscwc Tihar Jail Banned

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    No amount of clapping for him, in international fora, will help him if he is booted out. He has to win or lose a trust in OUR Lok Sabha, not US Senate.

    It looks like that he is on his way out. Not 2014, maybe in 2013 RG will ease him out. A case is being prepared against the oldies. Anyway MMS has said his expiry date is coming fast.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    The numerous scams and their cover ups are eroding the clean image of our PM. People on the street a few months ago were not ready to listen to anything negative about MMS, today they are not ready to defend him. Being a loyal party worker may be a desirable thing but being a party to the cover up of corruption cases is another thing.
     
  6. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Dr Singh's receding popularity at home is not so much a testimony of his lack of political integrity or questioning his personal involvement in many of the cases of graft and embezzlement that has rocked his govt and its key constituent.Many of the qualities which Dr Singh exudes,which has won him the worlds acclaim,have also been recognized here in India.Much of the disappointment in the prime minister stems from the fact that he has failed to live up to the most primary of leadership qualities,which is be a captain of the ship and not just for the sake of appearance.It certainly doesn't help his case when his own party's leadership has on more one occasion made it quite evident that Dr Singh was not by any means the captain of the ship.
     
    prahladh likes this.
  7. rcscwc

    rcscwc Tihar Jail Banned

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    Personally, even Dhritrashtra had a very clean public image. How is MMS different? Did D not know about Duryodhana's acts? Did MMS not know about Raja's or Pawar's acts? BOTH HAD TO KNOW and did know, pal. ELSE WHAT WERE/ARE THEY? Both had no control on the State affairs, ie both abdicated Rajadharma. Do you knowc Duryodhana was NEVER annointed as a Yuvaraja? But he still acted like that, just as RG does.
     
  8. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    During A.B Vajpayee years there was contsnat refarin from the opposition,esp the congress that shri Vajpayee was the right man in the wrong party.I think there might be some in the BJP who might want to return the taunt,Dr Singh is the right man but is in the wrong party.
     
  9. JayATL

    JayATL Senior Member Senior Member

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    I don't read any solutions here ( replies made)that balances corruption issues but keeps the strides in economic growth going? BJP would have not allowed the civil nuclear deals to go through nor are they absolved of corruption themselves.
     
  10. rcscwc

    rcscwc Tihar Jail Banned

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    In stead of appeasing partners shamelessly, ABV prefered a mid term election and won too. Can MMS do it? NOOOO. Now even he is saying he is not an astrologer!! Then what is he, what worth his PhD?

    He might start a Min of Astrology to help him see the future, since his economic prowess is not upto the mark.
     
  11. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Most Indians have always liked leaders who are soft spoken and have a clean image. Two names come to mind that of ABV and MMS and both have been loved a lot by the people of india and in turning the fortunes for both these political parties that these two represent has had a lot to do with the image of these two stalwarts. The common man in so many ways is easily able to associate with these two.

    But what happened in the last few months has a changed a lot of that for MMS. Is he still loved and respected as much? I have started having doubts, here was a man who could have stopped the country from being looted the way it was had he put his foot down but all he did was turn his back to it and let people walk away with all the loot money all at a time when he knew it was happening and now he is coming across as a person who is not ready to make public all the details of loot that happened over the years by not revealing the names and details of all those people who have swiss accounts no matter what the restrictions.

    Mr Singh needs to do a lot of soul searching, is he what he is doing now and what he did during the 2g scam right? Is he representing the right? Is he sure that he has not been used to take the country for a ride and is still being used the same way? What are the corrective measures he has initiated? Can he reign in the corrupt in his government? All the corrupt are still roaming free rather than be behind the bars which is where they should have been and then there are the corrupt and the non performers who were still retained even after the recent cabinet rejig then why even bother doing something which wont yield any results?

    What Mr Singh needs to realize is for the average Indian who associates with him, for that person he was never congress and congress was never him, for people thought of him over all the worldly dirty politics someone who would sincerely and at all costs save the country and guide the country to a better future, my only request to him would be, sir, please don’t erode the trust of that average Indian who so much loves and respects you any further and if it is getting very difficult then continuing as the PM is not the right job for you.

    One can only hope Mr Singh has it in him to take on all the nonsense around him and guide india through, otherwise he is too good a human being to go down the road with a bad name tagged along.
     
  12. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    The current shuffle in the Cabinet was an opportunity for the PM to axe some of the non performers and get some fresh blood in the ministry, but sadly this musical chairs exercise has further given confusing signals.
     
  13. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Indian express in today's Editorial had a rather strong message for the PM and UPA II

    Infra agenda

     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    He can be lauded abroad.

    It must be remembered that countries like to prop up those who are required to promote their ideals. Check the Nobel Laureates for Peace.

    A PM must be a LEADER. He cannot be what the Punjabis say - Good man, the Lalten.

    Every action of his is COMPROMISE.

    One cannot compromise and yet be a Leader. One has to take hard decisions!

    The country is besieged with scams, tainted people like the current CVC are forced into office inspite of opposition to it, and now, refusing to release names of the Swiss Bank account crooks and not being able to make any headway in the Hassan Ali Swiss Bank account!

    He is a good man, but a total failure as a Leader.

    To be fair to him, the meek man that he is, it is his Supreme Commander who calls the shots and he lies supine and accepts all the indignities because of the diktats of the Supreme Leader and hardly speaks of his being a man of his own!

    MMS is a good man. But he is no leader.

    Mrs G (the real Mrs G) was the only leader this country has had.
     
  15. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Dr Singh showed unprecedented economic vision and leadership,when he liberalized the Indian economy and set the pace of the subsequent economic reforms,despite receiving brickbats from virtually every quarter of the thinking society(esp when the resurgent socialist parties had made major headway in the previous elections).He stuck to his new economic Policy and was supported all the way By P.V Narasimha Rao,it probably helped that the criticism was softened by the economic crisis that the nation was undergoing,which made the nation receptive to any drastic economic course correction.Still leadership was quite evident.

    Those skills from the heady days have seemingly abandoned him,now he is no longer seen as a leader by his own right,non congress coalition partners of the UPA also apparently see him that way,otherwise what could explain the specter of various senior and non senior minsters making controversial statements which seemed to question Dr Singh's 's authority or and raised questions whether they were in fact accountable to the prime minister of India.
     
  16. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    Ray Sir, 100% in agrrement with your post!!

    However, untill today I never knew what the phrase "Good man, de lalten" meant, now its absolutely clear!! :D
     
  17. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    partial quote

    Ray-ji this last sentence is worth a thread - prap's you might consider starting one - based on your oinions and ideas - sh ould be an interesting deate with new information revealed perhaps ?
     

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