Our Prime Minister and the Peter Principle

Manmohan Singh created a history of a sort as the finance minister of India in 1990s with his boss Narsingha Rao. The lady luck smiled on him again in 2004 and Sonia, the Mother Sacrifice issued the appointment letter to Manmohan to work as the prime Minister of India. And the record tenure of almost two terms as prime minister has been just disgraceful. It’s not only Time and Washington Post but even a layman of the country will pass his judgment of Manmohan Singh as the worst Prime Minister even poorer than Devgowda. His two achievements: the first one on Nuclear Deal and the second one by the record allotments of coal blocks, for removing the main hurdle of power scarcity in the development of the country power have gone against him. Both of his strategies only created doubt about his wisdom, as the first one didn’t add much to the generation capacity of nuclear power, and the second one didn’t improve the GDP. The first one has invited the popular protests. The second one has become the biggest scam and the case example of the crony capitalism.

Manmohan couldn’t bridge the gap of policy and project announcements and implementation; neither could he make his ministers accountable enough for their performances.

Kapil Sibal announced Aakash, the tablet for the millions of school kids at $ 35 a piece but couldn’t get it through. Kamal Nath promised road construction speeding up to 20 kms a day but it could hardly happen. Chidamabaram in 2004 promised to get all the major water bodies renovated and establish a large number of it is, but one hardly see anything. Manmohan did also promised power for all by 2012. Power has still remained the biggest impediment for the GDP. The central universities and AIIMS are still the work in progress.

Manmohan Singh himself took the responsibility of finance after his finance minister moved to the President House, but perhaps very soon realized his mistake and decided to hand it over to Chidambaram.

Looking at the overall working of the government it appears only few ministers are carrying out the whole lot of its work. Younger ones from whom the country expected some great performance have hardly shown any potential. The older ones seem to be pulling on somehow without any goal to achieve.

The biggest example of nonperformance is the absence of the Twelfth Five Year Plan document though the plan has already started.

I had read of the Peter Principle in my professional management days: “employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.”

Manmohan was a good enough stuff up to the responsibility of the finance minister, but the responsibility of the position of the prime minister was too big for him with his weaknesses and limitations.

Was not his choice as the prime minister wrong? Did not the country him to go or get replaced?

But it couldn’t happen in our great democracy. Sonia, the head of the majority group didn’t want that even though it was in national interest. The inference of the Peter Principle is getting ignored. Manmohan Singh has reached his level of incompetence. Alternatively, it might have happened because of Sonia.

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