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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Is Indian Prime Minister 'Manmohan Singh' A 'Tragic Figure'

Now The Washington Post calls PM Manmohan Singh a 'tragic figure'
New Delhi: Not many days after Timemagazine called him an underachiever, another widely respected publication has been critical of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA, saying his image is one of a "dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government".
This time it is American daily The Washington Post that has critiqued Dr Singh's performance as India's Prime Minister and served a less than flattering report card. The New Delhi-datelined article titled, "India's 'silent' prime minister becomes a tragic figure," credits Dr Singh with once being the major force behind the growing closeness between the US and says his friendship with the Obama administration is "a valued and publicised achievement". 
But, it quotes critics to say that the PM - who it describes as "a shy, soft-spoken 79-year-old" - is in danger of going down in history as a "failure". "He has become a tragic figure in our history," the Post quotes historian Ramchandra Guha, also the author of "India after Gandhi", as saying. Mr Guha is quoted as describing Dr Singh as "fatally handicapped by his timidity, complacency and intellectual dishonesty". 
Last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has long been lauded for his pivotal role in liberalising the Indian economy, was dubbed as an "underachiever" by Time magazine in its Asia edition. In an article titled 'A Man in Shadow', the magazine said he appears "unwilling to stick his neck out" on reforms that will put the country back on growth path. The opposition BJP had latched on to that story, saying that Time had reiterated what it had been saying all along. The Congress had to put its best ministers and spokespersons up to defend the PM at that time.
UK daily the Independent too had carried a critique of the Prime Minister calling him, as Time magazine suggested, 'the underachiever'.
And in June this year, global rating agency Standard and Poor's was critical of the Prime Minister as well. Its report said, "Moreover, paramount political power rests with the leader of the Congress, Sonia Gandhi, who holds no Cabinet position, while the government is led by an unelected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who lacks a political base of his own."
The Prime Minister has for some time now been facing severe criticism for allowing the economy to slide by not taking politically tough reform decisions. Many allegations of corruption and scams in the government have not helped his cause either. The latest is the coal allocation issue; the national auditor or CAG has alleged that private firms were shown undue favours, allowing them windfall gains of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore Two Congress MPs, one of them a minister in the Union cabinet, are already facing public and political indictment and one of them has been booked by the CBI. 

The opposition BJP has not allowed Parliament to function at all in the current Monsoon session, demanding the PM's resignation, since he was the coal minister at the time the national auditor alleges the scam happened.

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Edited By Cen Fox Post Team

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