Posts Tagged ‘P.M. Manmohan Singh’
Almost twelve hours after P.M. Manmohan Singh addressed a ‘rare’ press conference in New Delhi, I felt uneasy on reading the headline of the WSJ article, “Singh Seeks To Fix Pakistan ‘Trust Deficit.’” My first reaction was that WSJ had got it wrong. I logged on to the website of the Prime Minister’s Office to read the transcript of P.M. Singh’s press conference. Surprisingly, the P.M.’s responses to all questions relating to Pakistan did give an impression that the onus for improving bilateral relations was on India.
Manmohan Singh is re-defining official accountability during his second term as India’s Prime Minister. In a unique move, P.M. Singh has requested his ministers to submit a performance report detailing their specific operations during the past six months. In the Parliamentary system of India, where MPs are use to facing the electorate every five years, this mechanism of intra-institutional review is indeed welcome.
However doubts remain over whether the Ministers will oblige the P.M. and what options does the P.M. have in reprimanding non performing Ministers? Will the performance reports be made public?
Though the move is commendable, it requires streamlining to move beyond political rhetoric into emerging as a genuine tool of official accountability.
If the logic of peace as the supreme national ideal leads to absurdity, then it must be a grave error to think and to say that peace is the supreme end. For national ideals should not express amiable but unconsidered sentiments. They should express serious purposes of the nation and the vice of the pacifist ideal is that it conceals the true end of foreign policy. The true end is to provide for the security of the nation in peace and war.
Walter Lippmann, U.S. Foreign Policy – Shield of the Republic.
It is imperative for the Government of India to realize the wisdom of the above statement. Aspiration for peace does not fully serve the national interests of nations. The charges of the opposition and adverse public opinion notwithstanding, the Sharm el Sheikh episode has proved to be a failure of Indian diplomacy. Click to continue…
Evaluating P.M. Manmohan Singh
According to Swapan DasGupta, P.M. Singh was “in office but never in power”; Tarun Tejpal calls him the ‘Shadow Warrior” and Meghnad Desai compares him to India’s Deng Xiao Ping. He has been criticized as being an ‘unelected P.M.’ since he is a member of the Rajya Sabha rather than the popularly elected Lok Sabha. In the words of L.K. Advani, Manmohan Singh has been the weakest Prime Minister. Whether it was the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal or the reopening of the Nathula Pass, P.M. Singh undertook bold initiatives in redefining India’s foreign relations. P.M. displayed his political skills at managing coalition pressures when he refused to be cornered by the CPI-M. Few would realize that this architect of India’s economic reform programme also managed to avert a near war situation with Pakistan after the Mumbai terror strikes. India had come forward with its first Climate Change Plan under P.M. Singh in 2008 and also enacted the much debated Right to Information Act in 2005.
After five years in power his promise of ‘reforms with a human face’ is open to criticism, especially when child malnutrition rates are the highest in the Country. Reports of slowing down of economic activity have challenged P.M. Singh’s economic insights. His failure to break the Congress-PDP deadlock in Jammu and Kashmir was widely criticized as was his inability to deal with the issue of Tamil civilian deaths during the recent phase of the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis. The menace of terrorism continues to threaten the country with the LeT warning of more strikes in near future.
The Prime Ministership of Manmohan Singh has been marked by highs and lows; flattered and condemned, praised and criticized. What according to you is the best and worst decisions of P.M. Manmohan Singh? How do you rate Manmohan Singh as India’s P.M.? And most importantly, do you consider P.M. Singh as worthy of a second term in office?