I don’t know the right word that I should use for Manmohan Singh. I want to add the word as prefix of ‘shameless’ or ‘pitiable’. I didn’t hold a post as high as he holds. But in my professional life of almost39 years, and that too in private companies, whenever I felt that I was not effective, I didn’t cling and left the job.
How can a person of Manmohan’s background keep sticking to this high a position when he is not in effective control and when this sort of situation is harming the nation? He is neither elected nor does he control his party. How can his conscience permit him to continue, as Sonia for her own strategic reason can’t tell him to go? As one journalist summarized, “Warding off corruption scams, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seems besieged. Ministerial rivalries appear uncontainable. Congress’s electoral health in major states is critical and UPA II’s contract with the middle class is cracking.”
I was going through a news report in Hindustan Times early morning today. It made me feel miserable and I can just have pity for Manmohan. How could he keep on hearing Congress’ member after member accusing him of the mess that his government created in handling of Anna as well as Ramdev? And all that happened when Sonia, his mentor was sitting and listening and didn’t ask any of her sycophants to stop accusing the government. And finally instead of putting up his papers, Manmohan accepted his responsibility: “As the head of the government, I take full responsibility of all the decisions taken for dealing with the civil society,” Can any respectable person reacts like this and cling to his post?
Even the media is getting almost restless about Manmohan. Many of the columnists who were having so high opinion about Manmohan Singh few years ago as hero of 1991 with impeccable record of honesty and integrity, have started questioning if all that is good enough today.
Manas Chakravarty wrote an article ‘Lost but not found’ in Hindustan Times and expresses his anguish. “Who is the guy at 7 Race Course Road? Opinion is divided about him being a robot or a double.”
T N Ninan in Business Standard wrote with a caption, ‘PM-in-hiding’. His government seems to be ‘paralyzed by inaction, and tarred with the corruption brush. It is because Dr Singh has not been true to his instincts, and too timid.’ How can a country at this moment afford such a prime minister?
After many years Swaminathan Aiyar reminds Indians to give Narshimha Rao the due credit of the 1991 reform that has wrongly but totally gone to Manmohan Singh. If Manmohan could perform then, why couldn’t he do in last 7 years? Who stops him from making just one railway station of the capital of a world class standard in last 7 years? How can the people of India keep Manmohan excusing for not finding a solution from farmers’ suicides even after rich harvest because there is no one to buy it because of the government policies? How can the people allow the government to sleep while the growth rate slips away?
And the columnists have started providing the alternatives. One asks, ‘Will Pranab-da finally become PM?’ As reported in Times of India, ‘last Sunday, Digvijay Singh dropped a clear hint that the top job could now return to a Gandhi scion.’ And this Singh is supposed to be close to Rahul and Sonia, though I don’t know the reason for it. Is he the best in the Congress party? He has been given the freedom to make any statement about any person or party on behalf of Congress. Does he do all that without a silent consent from Sonia? Many a times it appears that these columns are being planted and paid to make Manmohan read and react, and oblige someone by friendly exit. Manmohan is not the best choice for Congress today to save itself.
How can a senior minister such as Chidambaram say that Manmohan would have spoken on Lokpal Bill? How can Pranab realize after going to meet Ramdev on PM’s instruction that he wouldn’t have done it?
Manmhoan must exhibit his statesmanship and get the esteem of the people back by taking an honourable exit.