The Statesman India Needs But Doesnt Want

Posted by WAIZ AZAM
April 15, 2017

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Dubbed the ”Silent Prime Minister” by his opponents ,the former prime minister Manmohan Singh once again showed his statesmanship in uniting his party members to help the government pass all four GST bills in Rajya Sabha.

The motto of Mr Singh has always been to let his work speak .It was during his tenure as finance minister of India under the P.V.Narashima Rao government that India averted an economic crisis and moved became liberalised.Landmark key legislations were executed under his premiership including RTI Act,Rural Health Mission,Rural Employment Guarantee.Contrary to perception he was not averse to take strong decisions  if he deemed it to be interest of the nation.In 2008,despite there being a threat to the stability of his government with the withdrawal of support from the Left Front  he went ahead with the civil nuclear agreement with the United States of America .The Stock Exchange often seen as an important parameter while judging the economic progress of the nation jumped almost 20,000 points under his tenure .

After the attack at Taj Hotel in Mumbai and despite there being clear provocation from Pakistan Mr Singh used his political acumen to put international pressure on Pakistan which led to the arrrest of the main conspirator Hafiz Saeed.That he soon walked out of jail is a different matter.

The current goverment’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyan drive towards a clean India was first started by the UPA 1 goverment under its Nirmal Bharat Mission.India became a polio free country in 2011 due to the Immunization  programmes of the UPA .With increased spending in the Midday meal and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan through education cess the country witnessed a great increase in Gross Enrollment Ratio between 2004-2009.Altogether around 44 new Central Universities came up including 10 NITs,5 IITs,6 Law Universities came up.

The Smart cities which seem a pet project of the current prime minister are actually a continuation of the 2005 JNNURM scheme of the Manmohan Singh government with testimonials from AP,Karnatka,Mahasrashtra which implemented this well. 

The present goverment’s initiative towards a Digital India would not have been possible without the unprecedented growth in telecom services which saw India in the 2nd place in mobile penetration and closing in on the gap in China.This leap in telecom services was possible only after it was opened for private participation in 2005 -2006 by the UPA government.

A major weapon of the present goverment’s drive towards a cashless economy is the AADHAR  technology which was initiated by Mr Singh’s government.Infact  two days back Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM -AADHAR Pay app.

 It was mainly the performance of his first government which had helped the UPA get the mandate it did in 2009. 

The PR faux pas arising out of the “theek hai” ,along with his controversial scam ridden second tenure and his silence on important issues led to the  perception that he lacked sincerity which was expected from a prime minister.

However with his cameo in passing the four GST  Bills once again proved that he is indeed the Statesman which India needs though perhaps not the Statesman India wants.

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