Man Mohan Singh, the Technocrat who Let India down and Presided over Biggest Corruption Scandals Ever
The Conscience of Man Mohan Singh
The Scholar who Turned Politician
Manmohan Singh is the prime minister of India. He is a scholar turned politician and now two decades down the line he is more the politician than the scholar. This must have hit him hard when some students at the IIT graduation ceremony refused to accept degrees from him to rewrite their support for Anna Hazare and his battle against corruption. In the popular mind here was an intellectual who had gone astray, a man who had presided over the greatest corruption scandals ever in India since the dawn of freedom.
The Awakening about Manmohan Singh
What was startling of these students who refused degrees? Nothing significant except that there is an awakening among the young as well and no longer can Manmohan Singh take refuge behind the fact that he is an intellectual. No longer can Manmohan Singh don the mantle of a philosopher while wearing the hat of the politician. The sad part is that in such a situation one is apt to lose both the hats, the philosopher and the politician.
Cynicism about Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh by his actions and acts of omission and commission has generated cynicism and this is manifest in the young boys refusing IIT degrees from him. Manmohan had to realize that he cannot wear both hats at the same time, he has to choose and by the looks of it he chose to be a politician. But it is here that he has floundered. Ill equipped and without a mass base and popular support he is subject to the pulls and pressures of a man who has no roots. Perhaps he must have realized that by just donning the crown of an intellectual is not enough, the people want something more.
Two great philosophers in Karl Manhelm and Jean-Paul Satre, no mean names in world history have stated that anybody not concerned with the filth and squalor of the real world cannot be termed an “Intellectual”. A few people may feel this is an isolated opinion, but the same is echoed by Edward Shills an American sociologist and dozens of men of letters. This is where again Manmohan Singh has tripped. More and more he seems to be going into an ivory tower. An example is his speech from the red fort on 15 August. Referring to Anna Hazare movement he said that ‘ some people want to derail our progress and all the good work done by extra constitutional means’ Here he was talking the language of Indira Gandhi and the emergency. Was the speech written by him or for him to be read out in an insipid manner? What ever way it was it alienated millions and when Hazare went on fast the groundswell of support overshadowed anything Manmohan said.
The Degeneration of Manmohan Singh
But just a couple of years back Manmohan Singh had it all good. He was a good boy in a bad world. He was the toast of the intellectuals. He was the shining knight who people thought would clean the Augean stables of corruption and India would march forward. But the stark reality is that Manmohan Singh failed. In all that he did he lacked conviction and his deference to the power center and others hit at the root cause of his credibility. He appeared more and more as a man in an ivory tower away from reality. The reality of a hungry India where 750 million people subsist on less than a dollar a day. As Satre has written Manmohan was oblivious to this poverty and that alone allowed his mantle of a philosopher -Politician to slip from him and he was more and more like the Emperor without clothes. The fairy tale I refer to brought the emperor back to realty when a child shouted ‘hey! The emperor has no clothes on, he is naked “.
What of the future? The art of leadership is a complex phenomenon. It involves charisma and the ability to take hard decisions. In both Manmohan Singh has fallen by the way side. One cannot be a leader and yet not take hard decisions. One wonders how he sat inactive when cabinet ministers looted the state of billions of dollars. Here were men who had been in politics for many years, hard-boiled man who had remained in power due to their wheeler-dealer antics, yet Manmohan allowed this to continue under his very nose.
To claim he did not know or was not aware has hollow ring and show Manmohan as man with legs on which he cannot stand. It shows that he bargained to remain the prime minster in return for overlooking what has turned out to be the biggest event in Indian history.
The Exposure of Manmohan Singh
It required an Anna Hazare to awaken the conscience of the nation, of the masses who have nothing to eat. Manmohan Singh did an unwise thing in allowing matters to drift even here. He could have quit office; surely an intellectual like him is not worried by loaves of office and trappings of power. But it is about time he looked in the mirror and realized that the nation and the soul of man are greater than everything. It is a sad that a man who was an intellectual with a PHD from Cambridge bartered his soul. It appears to be like the case of Dr Faustus who bartered his soul to the devil for the beautiful Helen; in this case it is the loaf of office.
The Coming Nemesis
The General election of 2014 is near and in the state of Delhi the congress has been torounced as a new man named Arvind Kejriwal has kindled hope among the masses. The 2014 election will throw Manmohan in the dustbin of history with just a foot note, for he is going to preside over the biggest rout of the Congress party