Change not Reshuffle Cabinet

I once considered all the three ministers mentioned below as very efficient and effective. SM Krishna did a wonderful job as chief minister of Karnataka. Chidambaram is very impressive if one hears him. He is effective as home monster too but perhaps he lacks humility that must come with power. I had very hopes with Manmohan Singh, but he is not brave and even though he denies he is just a lame duck prime minister. I don’t understand how he can be called democratically elected, when everyone knows that he is there as Sonia put him there. The stories below will certainly make one doubt why should these men be there still.

• During a debate in the 15-member Council on security and development, Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna read out the Portuguese delegate’s speech, instead of India’s for about three minutes before India’s envoy to the UN came forward and pointed to the Indian speech in a stack of papers in front of Krishna. Further, with mikes on, Krishna whispered to his ambassador, ‘Should I read it from the beginning?’ The ambassador said, “Yes, you can start again”.

• A person whose name figured in the list of 50 most wanted Indian fugitives in Pakistan that was given to Pakistan was found to be living in a suburb of Mumbai. And the home minister P Chidambaram sought to play down the goof-up. “I did not prepare the list. It was prepared months ago. Just one name… whether it is the same person or two persons of same name, we have to see. “Be that as it may. If you prepare a list of 50 people, one name, assuming that we are wrong in one name, 49 are right. I don’t think we should make a big issue of it. It is possible there could be an error or there could be two people with the same name. I will go back and check,” Can any sane person take his argument? And still he is one of the best ministers.

• Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his meeting with the media last week made an ‘off-the-record’ comment by about “25% of Bangladeshis being anti-India” and influenced by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)’. Can you tell a neighbor a thief even if he is one? Is Manmohan showing his age? How can a great nation bear with it?

According to a reshuffle buzz, Manmohan may drop S M Krishna. I will again impress on him to bring some from private sector. Why should not he approach NR Narayana Murthy or Sam Pitroda and Krishnamurthy or Subodh Bhargava or Shreedharan to be in his team? There may be many more and better persons known to Manmohan.

And more than that let there be a re-engineering, structural change. Create a ministry of manufacturing and drop many that are not required.

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