He is a man who became the modern day synonym for integrity in the political circuit of India. Credited with making the crawling economy of our country move at a faster pace and making it come out of its self created cocoon of license raj, he made the world take notice of us. But all this was yesterday. Today he is mocked for his lack of initiative for resolving moments of crisis and inability to exhibit world class leadership when the whole nation stands in doubt.
Manmohan Singh would certainly be remembered as the only Prime Minister (of course apart from Mr. Nehru) of India who has democratically held the office for 2 consecutive terms by the people of my generation. The grey beard, black frame spectacles and light blue turban are not only the signature look of this economist but over the time have also symbolized his calm demeanor and level headed approach towards otherwise mudslinging politics of India. The recent pandemonium created over anti-corruption campaign spear headed by Anna Hazare threw very many questions at Manmohan Singh and his government. He was constantly tongue lashed by the opposition parties for inaction and instigated by the media to speak his mind on these issues.
While the aam junta understands and appreciates the fact that running a country of mammoth size is no child’s play, it also expects the government to listen to its woes and acknowledge them. Suresh Kalmadi and A. Raja led scandals are two most prominent cases of embezzlement which have tainted the clean slate of the ruling government. You may argue that a single person, no matter what power he has, cannot prevent the corrupt minds from carrying out the wrong deeds. But then the onus surely lies on him to free the tax payers’ money from the clutches of mercenary bureaucrats. Constant media write-ups about Manmohan Singh’s meek persona and questions about his freedom to call shots have dismayed the Indian citizens. The country no longer feels the same confidence and optimism which the results of 2004 general elections had accorded. Call it a sad state of affairs or power driven propaganda by the media and oppositions – things are just not the same.
His spotless career records and financial acumen are undeniably his most laudable forte but currently the question confronting the future of India is whether he is the leader our nation has been longing for? The nation will rejoice when we get to see the yester years’ Manmohan Singh whose grit and unflinching stand made India become a nuclear power even after the US bans. The man who introduced economic reforms and infused a sense of power in our nation. The man who made honesty a style statement amongst his political coterie. Till then this question would continue to daunt our nation.