Let me start with one of Oscar Wilde’s famous quotes ” Everything popular is wrong” and would like to challenge the popular belief that Dr Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India is a “very honest man”.
I have been struggling with this concept of someone being honest, but with all kinds of dishonest acts and deeds being committed all around. Yesterday, Sonia Gandhi quoted, “the PM to be an embodiment of sobriety, dignity and integrity”, how is this possible while everyone around him is looting the country and he remains a silent observer.
Of late, many have been questioning the conjecture that our PM is a very honest man. Chetan Bhagat recently tweeted “Prime Minister being personally honest is irrelvant. A crocodile infested pond with a lotus is still a crocodile infested pond.” There have been a couple of articles recently that challenge the status quo on his honesty. Shekhar Kapur tweeted along the same lines “How can the PM sleep while 50% of India’s kids r malnourished n 1 minister steals $40 billion from under his nose” he also reminded the Prime Minister in another “M’s 1st loyalty is to ppl of India n nt 2 d Party. His grtst legacy will be to spk d truth to d ppl her serves”. The big question ? Is he listening ? or he continues wait for clues from the family.
Madhu Kishwar in her article, “Honestly Speaking”, questions, “I fail to understand why almost every commentator, every TV anchor, every editorial writer feels compelled to pay ritual obeisance to the “personal honesty and integrity” of Dr Manmohan Singh”. She adds, “Corruption is not only about personally accepting monetary bribes and stacking them away in hidden bank accounts overseas, buying benami properties or accepting diamond sets for your wife. Corruption can come in insidious avatars, such as knowingly turning a blind eye to the misuse the entire machinery of governance to serve private ends of a few individuals, even to the point of endangering national security.”
Atanu Dey blogs “We need a Paradigm Shift regarding Dr Manmohan Singh”, I cannot disagree with any of his observations: Dr Singh, the unimaginative bureaucrat that he was (and is), did as he was told. So essentially the liberalization of the Indian economy was PVNR’s idea, not Dr MM Singh’s. A master of brown-nosery, he dedicated “National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme” to being “Sonia Gandhi’s gift to the country.” His politics of divisiveness is a continuation of the British strategy to conquer and control India, and post independence Congress tradition of divide and rule along religious and caste lines. Why else would he address the nation not as “My dear fellow Indians” but as “My dear Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians” etc.
Santosh Desai also highlights that the notion of integrity is not just about personal probity, it involves being true to the responsibilities of the office and that certainly does not include overlooking the obvious infractions committed by a ministerial colleague because of the compulsions of coalition politics. By continuing to describe him exclusively in these terms along with a few references to his scholarship and erudition, what the Congress is essentially telling us is that we should be grateful that we have as our leader someone who looks the part and that Dr Singh’s intrinsic qualities are good enough, and that his actual performance does not matter.
I have always taken the contra position, Manmohan Singh is a truly despicably dishonest man, but there are many idiots who believe the contrary. Many times people start attacking me when I question how MMS can be called honest with dishonesty flourishing all around. I have pardoned all these idiots when someone enlightened with a old chinese proverb “”When the finger points to the moon, the idiot points to the finger”.