The most apt, yet, modest description of Ex-PM Manmohan Singh was made by his successor, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha, when he said: “No one knows the art of bathing with a raincoat on, better than Doctor Saheb.”
If anything else, most fittingly illustrates Dr. Manmohan Singh and his integrity, it is this quote of Mark Twain: “Give a man a reputation as an early riser, and he can sleep until noon.” In his case, give the man a reputation of honesty, and he can rob the country with impunity.
The overrated economist and an underrated politician, Dr. Singh in his own words: ‘History will judge him kindly’. To understand this apprehension, I recall his legacy in this piece.
Sonia Gandhi, waited for 7 years before taking over the reins of the Congress party in 1998 and another 6 years to enjoy the power to rule India. In her quest to assume ultimate power to rule and corrupt India, without any accountability or responsibility, she found the weakest personality in the congress coterie in Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Dr. Singh never won a single election in his life, yet was the Executive Head of India and presided over a cabinet that barely extended beyond Lutyen’s Delhi.
THE ECONOMY REFORMER:
We all know that Indira Gandhi’s evil LicenseRaj was dismantled in commerce ministry held by pm PV Narsimha Rao and not by Dr. Singh who was just an obedient clerk. India has done gross injustice to PVNR by crediting lame MMS for path-breaking reforms of 1991.
The engine of Economy has huge inertia/momentum and the Systemic reforms show results after 3-4 years. Dr. Singh had Atal Bihari Vajpayee as his predecessor and the growth he harvested was because of ABV Govt’s reforms. Dr. Singh’s contribution is turning a healthy inherited economy sick in his tenure.
His legend of economics led India to an economic debacle, a decade of decay. Never voiced his opinion or idea about his Govt’s policies – nor did he take any interest in statecraft or possessed any imperial ambitions.
He was such a blunder that he affected both the looter and the looted.
The Bofors kickback story is well known, and it was the first case where kickbacks in a defense deal were confirmed establishing a trail between middlemen, high flying ‘foreign’ connections and the Nehru- Gandhi Family. It was also the first case that the Indian media pursued in depth, and with tremendous enthusiasm.
The CBI could not pin Quattrocchi for lack of evidence, although it was available in plenty. His accounts in London were frozen, but the Indian government under Dr. Singh sat on it and deliberately let the reminders lapse. And as a result, the money was then withdrawn by Quattrocchi immediately. When Argentina arrested him under an Interpol notice issued under the Bofors case, on instructions from the de-facto PM, the Manmohan Singh govt ensured that the case was botched up and Quattrocchi was able to walk out free.
In his tenure, instead of being an economic superpower, India became a Banana Republic. Do you remember how UP CM Ms. Mayawati by scrapping the Taj Corridor probe? Even the Fodder Scam probe was put in cold storage, in which ex-Bihar CM Lalu Yadav was eventually convicted.
Our country was being held up to ridicule. The world witnessed with a grin how the Government of India will bend our laws and institutions to help the worst sorts of criminals and their associates, exactly as banana republics do.
These were shameful deeds and a gross violation of the law, under oath. PM Manmohan Singh does make a penchant for honesty, but never explained those murky developments.
Manmohan Singh’s cabinet was a coterie of pirs and miracle workers like Kapil Sibal who invented the ‘ZERO Loss Theory’ and Digvijay Singh, who could blame RSS for every ill that India faced during that decade of decay. It also had several crooked bunch of balconey farmers like P Chidambaram.
Every other day one would hear a mega scam defeating the previous one. Not one but scores of mega scams went unnoticed by him. Corruption was so rampant in India under his “leadership,” Prime Minister-ship that made people immune to scams. No next multi-billion dollar scam evoke any shock or the mildest surprise.
PERSONALLY HONEST MAN:
What wonders me most is the claim that Dr. Singh was ‘personally honest’.
Do you know that ater Chandra Shekhar had already resigned as PM, Dr. Singh asked him to sign in back-date his appointment as UGC boss.
Do you know, it was Dr. Singh’s decree that ex-PMs will not have to pay for Power bills?
He procured back-dated ration card, fudged rent receipts for proving himself an ‘‘ordinary resident’’ of Assam for the Rajya Sabha nomination.
This illusion of honesty evaporates?
From 2G to Commonwealth to Augusta Westland… the list goes on and on. On these topics never spoke. When he did once, he called it “compulsions of coalition politics.”
Remember when Mr. A Raja’s wrongdoings had been exposed, Mr. Singh had decided to use the opportunity of restructuring his team. But the Cabinet formation was delayed, apparently because Mr. Singh insisted on giving the telecom portfolio back to Kalaignar family and Mr. Dayanidhi Maran made a comeback after the pre-election patch-up.
If that wasn’t enough, the Prime Minister threatened the TRAI chairman Pradeep Baijal, saying: “Co-operate or face the consequences!” Mr. Baijal later confessed that it was Dr. Singh and the CBI which asked me to implicate TATA and Shourie in the 2G Scam.
Manmohan Singh was a despicably dishonest Prime Minister.
On missing Coal-Gate files he said: “I am not the custodian of files”. Unimaginable! When the CAG reports proved that the Government was favoring the crooks-politicians nexus in coal block allocations, all he had to say, was this:
“हज़ारों जवाबों से अच्छी है मेरी खामोशी, ना जाने कितने सवालों की आबरू रखे.”
If Dr. Manmohan Singh as the Indian Prime Minister of India knew nothing about these loots and scandals, he was shockingly inefficient and did not deserve to be the Prime Minister. If he did, wasn’t he a collaborator in crime?
THE SECULAR MAN:
Portraying his secular credentials, in his address at the 52nd meeting of the National Development Council, he said: “The Muslim Community must have the first claim on Govt resources.”
When the Atal Bihari Govt appointed the Nanavati Commission to probe 1984 Sikh pogrom, it submitted a report to Dr. Singh, the new PM in 2005. Dr. Singh, who elsewhere apologized for 1984 pogrom, defended his ‘indicted’ minister Jagdish Tytler on the floor of Parliament, who continued as minister.
Just days prior to the 2014 general elections, Dr. Singh’s cabinet took a decision and notifying through a secret note, gifted 123 government properties in prime locations of Delhi (belonging to DDA and LNDO) to Waqf Board.
In return, Sonia Gandhi allowed him to take Bose Speakers home on leave.
THE SPINELESS MAN:
PM Manmohan Singh was a disgrace to the Prime Minister’s chair of India, as he lacked pride. He is a sycophant, a trained Babu who only followed orders. He was never his own man even after being appointed the country’s top executive chair.
With the blessings almighty, he also saw nomination of dynasty’s revered son Rahul Gandhi to be Congress Party’s second in command. After the humiliation heaped on him by Rahul with his “total nonsense” remark, and despite his daughters urging him to quit, Dr. Singh endorsed that he is ready to work under Rahul’s leadership.
Would a person with even an iota of morality and self-respect continue to hang on to his position?
Before he was labeled “Underachiever” or “Poodle,” Manmohan Singh also had the mortification of being loosely referred to as “Joker.” And by none less than the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Reading such scathing reports about our ex-PM, how he willingly was controlled through a remote control by his Italian puppeteer, does not shock me. It pains.
Appointed precisely for his flexible morality and his ability to blindly follow orders, Dr. Singh kept on meekly doing whatever he was ordered to do. If our country had any PM who can be called a rubber stamp, it was Dr. Singh. Anyone else with even an iota of self-respect and integrity would long have quit that dishonorable position. But Dr. Singh did not, because he lacked the spine and is still pliable.
The Congress Party was very angry and outraged on PM Narendra Modi’s subtle “Raincoat” jibe. All of us know how the first family of Congress treated OUR Prime Minister, as a family servant. Today they talk of dignity?
When Congress was torn apart by the people of India into 44 small pieces for the conduct of his loathsome governance, yet he did not take refuge to hide. He also faced inquiry and was summoned by Indian Court as accused. But his case won’t be finalized like Bahadur Shah Zafar’s in 40 odd days because today’s government in charge is not headed by Hodson.
Even today, and contrary of mountains of evidence, some Indians believe and persist in their insistence that Dr. Singh was personally not a dishonest man. It reveals one of two things: they are morally blind or remarkably stupid.