Dr. Manmohan Singh will be leaving the Office of the Prime Minister, of the largest democracy in the world in 48 hours from now. The Country has seen him as a great economist, a good politician and unfortunately as he retire from his political whirlwind, there is less that this country appreciated in him and more it hated. However, when the time came for him to bid adieu to 7, Race Course Road, New Delhi as India's first Sikh Prime Minister, a truly highly qualified politician in Indian diaspora, a balanced Libran born on 26th September 1932, my heart aches. As the world shouts at its peaks that we had a Silent Prime Minister, a dormant politician and a chamcha of the Gandhi family, the shadows of the scams and silence truly have covered the other side of this humble and honest man who ruled our country for long good 10 years.
Dr Singh is not a doctorate given by some university as a honor degree. He earned it with efforts at Oxford. He did not reach the seat of Prime Minister by luck or for fancy. He climbed the political ladder step by step. His experience in United Nations, in the Ministry of Foreign trade, being Chief economic advisor and also as RBI Governor and heading the planning commission before getting in the ministerial spectrum.
Thanks to then PM P.V. Narshimha Rao, another whirlwind politician and a shrewed decision maker, who took bolder decisions for the economic progress of this Nation. It is so sad that the present generation do not even know about the achievements of PVN period that brought in a boom of economic reliance and opened up gates for foreign investment which boosted our trade and industries. The combination of PVN and Dr Singh changed the country's fate during the severe financial crisis in early 90's. The liberal financial reforms changed the destiny of the Nation from being an agriculture based country to a technologically advanced country where the skills and competencies were given greater importance. From being a self-reliant country to a vastly export oriented Nation generating revenues from global markets transformed the growth of this Nation.
The Nation that was ravaged by the times of Mandal Commission, Reservation based riots and suicides of young Indians, got a relief when Dr Singh took over the reigns of the Nation as a Finance Minister in 1991 in PVN's Cabinet. Less would he have imagined that one day he would take over the hot seat and stay there under fire for 10 long years. After the strong opposition that set in against Sonia Gandhi becoming Prime Minister after UPA won in 2004 elections, Dr Singh became Sonia's choice.
Several reforms under his leadership took its wings and reached the common man. Amongst which RTI definitely needs a mention. UID, Rural Heath Care, Employment Guarantee and nuclear agreement with United States were surely his plus points during his tenure. However, his tenure saw the most traumatic conditions as well. The government was day in day out haunted by the scams in all the streams of governance. Corruption and Terrorism took different forms and sizes beyond control. Dr Singh from being a transforming leader was pushed to become a silent manager. From being an aggressive governing head, he was forced to silently withstand the turbulence within his own government and became a silent spectator.
Dr Singh dream of creating a role of active politics for betterment of human affairs. Thinking the unthinkable and making bold decisions keeping the larger growth of the country in mind, Dr Singh definitely made an impact on our economy. What ever the media may call him, how much ever Press may degrade him and the jokes on Internet create him as a joker, the truth is that he was a humble man, a honest person, a great academician, a wonderful thoughtful leader, pushed to be a selfish politician unfortunately and overall a great human being. For such a diversified Nation like India, it is not easy to manage several ups and downs and Dr. Singh did it with his own charisma
History may record him as a Silent Politician who was a mockery and a puppet in some one's hands. But the truth will also be realized sooner than later that he was an example of integrity, a man of tolerance, and a leader who had healthy relationships with world leaders and built a strong relationship of understanding and harmony with neighbouring Nations. Managing insurgencies on all sides, handled terrorism within the country, dealing with a long list of scams and still coming out clean is no easy task. The biggest mistake probably he had done would be to go silent and immune as the scandals shocked the Nation. The government would have collapsed many times costing the election commission exchequer further more losses effecting our economy had he gone on a mode of taking strict actions against his own ministers and parliamentarians who have tarnished the image of his government and him as a leader who has the competency to rule and a strong political power. Being aware of the irregularities and corruption charges and still staying quite was his draw back that made him called as the weakest Prime Minister India could have. However, despite all this, he quietly did his duties. He silently went ahead with his reforms and governance. He did not speak in favour or against of anyone. He remained calm and himself. Which is not a sign of a good leader but a great manager.
At the age of 81, his decision to retire from active politics and giving away for new generations to come in, we would surely miss the wisdom of a great leader. Every ruler will have his pros and cons. Dr Singh should be remembered for the best he has given to our country. Hope he will have a peaceful retired life. And also wish that the chaos towards the end of his political era should not haunt him in his old age. We should give him the due respects as some one who managed this Nation for a decade keeping the image of India strong, high, proud and in the growth trajectory in the world map for several causes and reforms .
May god give Dr Man Mohan Singh a peaceful retired life, good health and happiness. May his time give him an opportunity to write why he should not be called a weak prime minister so that we would know his thoughts and as his conscience speaks up the truth. May the wisdom he shared be appreciated and May he have a life with real internal strength and integral peace at least now that he is out of the hot seat. God Bless!