With all due respect Dr. Manmohan Singh, you have lost all respect whatsoever you gained due to your stature as reformist/economist. As a Prime Minister of this country for past 7 years, I am really sorry to say this but, you have not done your job as Prime Minister of India. You had several opportunities to act wisely, prudently but never did, ever once. Unfortunately you never fought any public election in past 10 years, so I cant blame the people of this country for having elected a wrong man.
Please watch these videos or read this article and analyse the address to prominent Editors by our PM earlier this year. While PM wants to take credit for growth, not falling Indian economy despite global recession but he forgets that not much credit goes to government for all this. Indeed we could have done much better if the government would have taken strong, innovative and timely actions. The PM appeals to media to not to focus overtly on negative news, but has not given many reasons to celebrate either. 5 months after this speech, all other things which PM spoke about, which were looking comparatively ok (security, more scams) at that time went wrong.
In the UPA agenda Mr.PM, you have highlighted Inclusive growth as your main focus. Lets look at what we have achieved as on this aspect -
- As per estimates, almost 200,000 farmers have committed suicide in past 10 years (of which 7 years belong to you, now dont come and argue that during your 7 year tenure as PM only, 60% of these suicides took place, while 40% took place during 3 years of BJP, so you are better on suicides/year statistics. We know your background, but unfortunately we are human being and cant give you credit for lesser no. of suicides/year or YoY decline by 2% in suicide rates etc, please)
Your government simply chose to avoid reading reports such as these which was published way back in 2006. Nothing substantial was done to ensure crop failures do not happen due to lack of water supply. Even worse, nothing was done to ensure that poor farmers witnessing crop failures, do not fall prey to loan sharks in rural areas. Providing technical education and counselling are distant dreams to expect from this government, but not enough was done to disburse funds, forgive loans and take measures to prevent suicides.
To make matters worse, or perhaps to divert attention of public, you left everything for private sector to make money out of this situation. Fortunately/unfortunately companies like SKS microfinance, Basix and several other public sector and private for profit Institutes, NGOs, NBFCs started operating at the bottom of the pyramid without much guidelines, rules and regulations.
What happened next, absolute lack of governance, bureaucracy, greed and lust for money prompted people to make money out of poor people. Scams after scams kept on bursting in 2010 and 2011. Microfinance industry which has done good job in our neighbourhood in Bangaldesh and Africa, became a new hotspot for scams, due to complete absence of policy framework.
I hope you do get some time to read newspapers, or watch TV channels to know what your Cabinet Ministers are upto, because I am pretty sure you do not have the courage and conviction to question any/all of your ministers and stop them from doing wrong, beyond tolerance. On one hand people were dying of hunger all these years and on other Food Grain was wasted not just one year but every year after tear.
Despite so many crop failures, natural calamities affecting farmers, Nothing has been done to develop supply chain and storage network to transfer foodgrains from areas which has abundance to areas which were facing acute shortage. I think your ministers in agriculture, planning are completely unaware of the fact that India unfortunately tops the World hunger chart.
I am sure you and your good offices will give reason, that its all attributed to bad monsoon, a conspiracy by opposition along with god Indra to ensure low rainfalls in Congress ruled states! But dear Sir, unfortunately the simple data is available all over the internet which anybody can read. To make matters worse, we witnessed unprecedented food inflation in past 2 years. 64 years after independence ( 50 years of Congress led government) and we still dont have a plan B against Drought !!
I hope you and the PMO office has access to internet and knows how to click hyperlinks. But I doubt, so let me put the link easily over here -
Please click on the link below and see for yourself the scams over and above the recent 2G, Adarsh, Common Wealth, Bellary Mines your government has nourished over the years. Your office will come out with lame excuses such as NDA government made Mr. Kalmadi head of CWG committee, but what the hell was your government in Centre and State was doing for 6 years after that. Why you waited for things to go completely out of control and bring national shame!
Its a shame on you and your whole cabinet to not react to a comment like - Delhi is crime capital of India! I am pretty sure your Congress spokesperson will attribute crimes in Delhi to BJP government in power some 15 years ago or to people migrating from all states on daily basis.
After unfortunate "recent" terror attacks on Mumbai, our honourable Home Minister denied any Intelligence Failure ! You are right Mr. Home Minister, because ' we are all sitting ducks' over here ! And you dont have to tell me this, I am sure our intelligence was clueless about these attacks. I am also pretty confident that one fine day you and your ministers will say that - its not possible to monitor people coming from across the borders, weapons coming from across the borders etc etc.
When being asked, why no Security cameras were installed in public places after 2008 Mumbai attacks, Our CM of Maharashtra Mr. Chavan said that ' money is not a problem, people are just afraid to take decisions ! I think he meant that it takes time to finalize deals, identify routes to launder money, because private sector in India has been installing security devices day in and out and with all those resources, we can always hire couple of international consultants to device a strategy and execute it as well ! We still remember Mr. PM that your party accepted the resignation of Mr. V. Deshmukh due to his inabilities to combat terrorism and ensure public safety. I think that was the only concrete step you would have taken, mainly because or pressure from media and opposition. He name was appearing in the recently bursted Adarsh Housing scam, but wait a minute. After accepting his resignation as CM of Maharashtra, you made him - Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Earth Science, probably because no other coalition partner demanded this position and though you were aware that he not worth much, but you gave upon his requests, perhaps because of some reasons which public is still unware of.
Last year, we saw your Minister of Human resource taking some populist measures to bring education reforms in India. While many more IITs, IIMs and Medical colleges were opened in past 3-4 years, no planning or strategy is in place to ensure Quality input and Quality output. Once again everything is left on fate. Nothing seems to be happening to ensure quality education is available at grass-root level or at advance/higher education levels.
We can understand that honourable minister was busy in past 6 months in planning and executing strategies to sabotage India Against Corruption movement and make sure that powerful Janlokpal bill is not introduced in the parliament, which will ensure that another spineless entity will be created over years, which will do nothing substantial except adding to the expenditures, committees and futile reports which nobody will bother to read.
In first place government is not doing anything to Prevent Corruption, secondly nothing has been done so far to Punish the culprits and recover the lost money and thirdly government is doing its best to make sure that a strong Jan Lokpal as proposed by IAS team is even presented in the parliament !!
Those who are already bored of reading my procrastination do watch these 2 videos to understand what Janlokpal Bill is all about.
In any other smaller (in size) democracies, the PM, the ruling party would have been thrown out several times by now for any one of the several issues, failures mentioned above. And what we have, we have all the above mentioned issues and the list keeps growing every month, week and day and yet nobody is doing anything about it.
My biggest concern - Leadership or the absence of it!! We can easily read from the gestures of Congress party leaders that Dr.Singh will not be the favourite choice the next time. He and the entire Congress party knows that he's just a stop gap arrangement, a dummy, a remote control car with low batteries. Very rare attempts were made in past 7 years by Congress party leaders to bolster the image of Dr. Singh, by giving very strong or supportive statements in public or by running PRO campaigns on TV, Internet highlighting his vast experience and intellect (for which I still respect him). I think this has to do with the fact that he himself has done very little to gain respect of his fellow party leaders in public! Unfortunately many bad events happened in the life of our nation in past 7 years, but we barely heard his concerns, his plan of action, his views etc etc. He perhaps is an excellent bureaucrat, a great economist and thinker as well, but as a leader, as a Prime Minister of this country he has failed the nation time and again.
Congress and even BJP for that matter and perhaps no political party has a leader who can at least be projected as a PM candidate, who will be widely accepted across the states, who will be having a deep understanding of not just economics but of this country, the lives a common man lives!! So, we have a huge void, a vacuum, an empty seat to run the affairs of this country. Now the presence of Mr.Singh gives Congress and even opposition parties a chance to dig and prepare fake election agendas. It has given Rahul Gandhi a space of 7 years and perhaps 10 years to prepare, to project himself as able, adept politician who might be elected by so called consensus within Congress next time around and not because of genealogy!!
But this nation cant wait for years and years altogether! The void actually existed for years, has been hidden behind Dr.Singh and things cant be like this! The presence of Dr.Singh prevents Congress, opposition and the nation as a whole from doing an introspection, searching for leaders ! Mr. Singh represents a lost opportunity and I strongly believe that if he wants this nation to thrive, if wants to be remembered as a person, as a Prime Minister who did something for this country, he must accept his inabilities, his failures and must step down IMMEDIATELY !!
Will his resignation solve the problems !! Perhaps not !! Will it make matters worse? Perhaps will !! Will it bring political instability and will bring the stock markets crashing down, perhaps will !! But unless we have a mass movement against what is happening, unless the nation comes out and support Anna Hazare, unless the anger of youth turns from an undercurrent to a large scale, nation wide movement, nothing will happen either. The Political and Corporate Mafia has grown so strong and so powerful that unless something drastic happens things wont improve much and resignation of Dr. Singh with an honest address to the nation can become the Tipping Point.
Image source- Reuters