Friday, September 21, 2012

Manmohan Singh - the Myth of a Man

Our media channels have been living in a delusion all this while. They love to deny certain facts (though it is difficult to say why). Manmohan Singh, a doctor in economics, is always looked up to as someone who has been the original reforms man, and who can be the only one who can promise reform. However, there is more to the story than what the eye can see.

Most people tend to forget that Manmohan Singh was the governor of the Reserve Bank of India during the Prime Ministership of Rajiv Gandhi, where a certain Pranab Mukherjee was the finance minister. Prior to that, he was in the IMF and was also on the Planning Commission.  The crisis of 1991 was precipitated by decision making during that decade (with the Left and Right doing no good either). It was a group of people, including P V Narsimha Rao, Dr. Subramaniam Swamy and N Govindarajan, all of whom were given Cabinet Minister level ranks by Rao, the unsung hero of India, who steered the economy around from a position of national bankruptcy that was brought about by the disastrous socialist leanings of the Nehru Gandhi dynasty (which went to the extent of inserting the idea of socialism in our Constitution through an Amendment). Manmohan Singh, clearly, never had the political mandate to even advocate reforms, forget bringing them in, unless his hand was strengthened. We are pretty much at the same position as 1991, where, despite denials, this country is facing another bankruptcy, thanks to the white elephant money siphons devised by the extra constitutional National Advisory Council (NAC) led by an unaccounted for power centre (read them as NRHM, MNREGS and the now proposed Food Security Act). Moreover, allowing the high level of losses to the country by avoiding auction of national resources, we have seen that a man who can just stand aside and watch without any emotion while Rome burns. Letting the government to spend beyond its means in attempting to provide First World welfare schemes on borrowed money just shows that he was never really the boss here.

One thing that he should certainly be credited for is the politician that he is. Having survived the spate of scams and still being supported by people who talk about the laughable ideas of secularism shows just how smart a man he is. Moreover, the manner in which he staked the UPA's power throne to get across his favorite Nuclear Deal just goes to show that he can also play the brass tacks when it comes to his own prestige. That there are so many people who can jump to his defense any time is testimony to the careful image cultivation that he has undertaken over these years, that enable him to get away with almost anything that could possibly lay on his doorstep.

Overall, let us stop idolizing Manmohan Singh as a man of reform. He can only do things that can help him survive in the political arena. He can be the Man Friday to sell ideas at the best, but to expect him to run on borrowed crutches when he can barely walk is absolute fallacy.

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