Disclaimer: I am not a Congress fan and this is not coming up because of any BJP hatred. These are simple facts.
Dr. Manmohan Singh served as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014 and is inarguably the most hated one too. Like any politician, he had his fair share of achievements and failures but what makes him extra special to be called a complete failure? His key contributions include sustaining economic growth in the country even the whole world was suffering and his biggest failure was his inability to prevent some of the ill doings when he was in office.
You might have heard many philosophical quotes about how silence is golden and how you should always embrace it. “Let your work make the noise” must be the perfect one to fit here. Dr. Manmohan Singh is one such man who followed this idealistic past although his problem was that he took it to whole another level. He remained quiet even he wasn’t supposed to consider the position he was holding.
But in India, things don’t work the same way. People are mostly judged as intelligent or stupid based on how they present themselves in front of others. You could see a live example in our current PM Narendra Modi. I am not saying he hasn’t done anything, but it requires some really good skills to sweep off the elections in the manner he did. He managed to influence most of the citizens through his speeches be it right or wrong.
And it actually turns a lot in your favour. Being in such a managerial position, you need to be a diplomat and you need to have people skills and the skills to make your voice be heard and Dr. Singh clearly lacked in these. So you can ask the most basic question.
Why did he become the PM if he was not suited for it?
He is a good follower of orders, not the type to give them authoritatively. He was always the guy who comes second and never the first. He was pretty good at taking orders and doing the task well. Maybe that was why Sonia Gandhi chose him for the job, but Dr.Singh certainly should have figured it out over 10 years and quit well before his time. But he didn’t.
Now that we are actually talking in favour of him which no one does, let’s take a closer look at what his achievements:
First place in BA-Hons.Punjab University 1952.
2. First place in MA-Economics in Punjab university 1954.
3. Wright’s prize for Distinguished performance at St. Johns College Cambridge 1955.
4. Same in 1957.
5. DPhil (Oxford), D.Litt (Honoris causa) Ph.D. thesis on India’s Export competitiveness.
1. Sr lecturer Economics 1957 – 1959.
2. Reader Economics
1959 – 1963.
3. Prof Economics Punjab University 1963 – 1965.
4. Worked for U N from 1966 – 1969.
5. Prof International Trade Delhi School of Economics 1969 – 1971.
6. Economic Advisor 1972 – 1976.
7. Honorary prof Jawahar Lal Nehru University 1976.
8. Governor Reserve Bank of India 1982 – 1985.
9. Deputy chairman of planning commission 1985 – 1987.
10. Secretary General of South Commission Geneva Switzerland.
1987 – 1990.
11. Advisor to PM of India on Economic Affairs 1990 – 1991.
12. Finance Minister of India 1991 – 1996.
13. Leader Opposition in Rajya Sabha 1998 – 2004.
What did he do as the Prime Minister, though?
1. Rights-based laws enacted – Right to Information, Right to Education, MNREGA Employment Guarantee scheme.
2. Economic boom: India recorded over 9% GDP growth in first four years of UPA.
3. FDI in multi-brand retail: despite Trinamool Congress walking out of the coalition in 2012.
4. Infrastructure push -Metro Rails across cities, Airport modernization, Highways
These were some of it that could be counted as his major achievements.
But what let him down?
1. Large number of scams under his nose
2. He never acted as the PM. He was always being supervised.
3. His government couldn’t control inflation
4. He was silent and never spoke much to people. People need answers for their suffering, they want accountability and he failed to provide that.
This was the most important thing that cost him his place and repute. There is a reason why politics is always thought to be “dirty”. You need to wash your hands in it or you can’t survive. The same thing happened with Dr. Manmohan Singh as he couldn’t be a diplomat and represent the whole nation.
You could always hate him as a PM but can you hate him as a person?