16 January, 2013

Mr. Prime Minister, where art thou ??

(Pic courtesy : indianfunnypicture.com via Google)


I am beginning to wonder, as I'm sure are many other people.  I'm beginning to wonder where the Indian Prime Minister is.

With all due respect, Mr.Singh is a person I tremendously admire and respect.  He is, without doubt, an intellectual, a very shrewd finance person, a very valuable asset to the country in terms of being an economist  who had put into effect reforms (during the P.V.Narasimha Rao government reign) to pull India out of a severe economic crisis in 1991.  He has pretty much, single handedly, been credited with decisions that he took, with reforms that brought about, quite literally, an economic regeneration in the country.  He was an economist par excellence and am sure he is, even today.
However, issues since he took office as the Prime Minister of the country in 2004, have indeed been many.
There have been the Commonwealth Games which shone the spotlight on India in a way that has been most uncomplimentary, there was the telecom spectrum scam, there has been the Coalgate affair, there has been the gang rape in Delhi which left the country in a state of furore and uproar, there has recently been the issue with the Pakistani army having crossed the LOC.  Where is our  Prime Minister ?  Where has he been through all this ?    
His dismal record, his silence over important issues that have rocked / are rocking the country cannot however, be dismissed with just a wave of the hand and a goodwill gesture in saying “he’s a soft spoken man”.   He is indeed soft spoken, affable, has never been loud or the argumentative kind.  But then again, one does not necessarily have to be loud and argumentative to get ones point across. The important thing here being getting ones point across.  As a Prime Minister of a country, the onus definitely increases, the ante does get upped.   
A doctor who says “I cannot treat you because I cannot stand the sight of blood” is not likely to last very long in the medical profession.  A teacher who says “I cannot speak in front of other people, the cat gets my tongue” is sure as hell not going to last in the teaching profession.  Same logic applies to the Prime Minister’s job as well.  A Prime Minister is not really meant to just be standing by and watching, a Prime Minister is supposed to take action when the situation so demands.  A Prime Minister is not meant for soothing the ruffled feathers of a family that has long since viewed our country as their dynasty,  a Prime Minister is not meant to be a puppet in the hands of someone else pulling the strings.   A Prime Minister takes decisions and then makes a concerted effort to make sure that those decisions are followed upon and through. 
Nothing much seems to be going right in India today.  Mr. Singh is pretty much overseeing an administration that is totally mired and steeped in corruption.  He is quite literally presiding over what seems to be the most corrupt government in Indian history (though that is quite hard to quantify since corruption has always been a mainstay in the Indian government).  Sadly enough, he isn’t doing anything about it.  There was a lot of brouhaha in 2004 when Sonia Gandhi’s UPA won the elections in 2004 and she offered the PM’s post to Dr. Singh.  Now, as the general elections loom in 2014, Rahul Gandhi is being touted as the next in line Prime Minister of India.  One sincerely has to wonder if Sonia Gandhi merely used Dr. Singh as an interim “hold the post for my son” stand by. 
Given the way things were going, I, for one wish he had stepped down after one term instead of carrying on into a second term in office.  It has done nothing to salvage his reputation, which has been on a steady decline.  In his second term, it is not just his quiet demeanour that has come in for flak.  Sadly enough, the very thing that was his strong forte seems to be biting him as the country’s growth has quite visibly slumped.  Through his terms in office, he has come across as someone rather unwilling (for reasons best known to himself) to rock the boat – in this case the very boat or boats that have made it so difficult and have damaged the nation’s ability to provide its people with a decent education policy, health care or for that matter, public safety – as recent events have proven. 
In this respect, I cannot help but recall an article that I’d read during my school days about Vijay Merchant.  When he was then asked as to why he’d chosen to retire from cricket, he had said “It is better to retire when people ask “why” instead of “why not”.  This could well apply to Dr. Singh today.  (For that matter, there are sports people today who could take that leaf out of Vijay Merchant’s book.)
Dr. Singh has indeed been a very astute economist and Finance Minister but as a Prime Minister, there isn’t a lot he can really stake a claim to.  To cut a long story short, unless Dr. Singh does something to redeem his office (which now looks totally inadequate, weak and feeble) and himself as the Prime Minister, he could probably go down in the annals of India history as one of the most ineffectual Prime Ministers that India has ever had.      


1 voice(s) said so:

Just Like That said...

Sad, but true. :-(