Now that he bows out, people want to remember him as the one who steered us towards a better economy. But their memory is clogged with the 10 years of bad governance’¦
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held his last cabinet on Tuesday. After heading the UPA government for 10 years, he received an standing ovation from the Prime Minister’s Office staff during the farewell.
Prime Minister thanks staff in South Block who bid farewell to him: You have served the Nation well. God bless you. pic.twitter.com/xoDXTFyH1a
— Dr Manmohan Singh (@PMOIndia) May 13, 2014
While UPA’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections is almost certain, and it should not be the time to judge PM Singh, the mind wavers towards the decade under him.
He was the architect of the 1991economic reforms in the country yet, when he bows out of office, the country is wrapped under economic slowdown, negative industrial output, sky-high inflation and the investment prospects of the country are in shambles.
However, it would be bad to say that this was the case all through his two terms. During UPA I, the economy grew at an average of 8.42 per cent (as per Planning Commission data) with 2006-07 seeing a record high of 9.57 per cent growth in GDP. It was his second term which gave us a gradual decline in growth to an average of 6.70 per cent and falling below 5 per cent in the last two years.
He may have been the darling of the staff and enjoyed popular support even in the aftermath of 2G spectrum scam, his ‘clean and clear’ image was tarnished when the Coal scam was unearthed. The strings of corruptions that were exposed during his government made the country dub him as a weak PM.
The disenchantment of corporate sector due to lack of industry-friendly policies and the moving away of foreign investors due to disastrous proposals such as the one on retrospective taxation may have costed the country. However, he was quite effective in addressing the needs of the urban and the rural poor with an extensive welfare agenda including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee programme, the Right to Food legislation, the Right to Education Act and laws on forest rights, land acquisition and disabilities.
The ineffectiveness in the terms of geo-strategic agendas with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was due to the weakness he showed in front of the regional interests. In case of Pakistan, the attempts of good relations were blown by the democratic movement in the neighbouring country which swept away its military ruler, General Musharraf, and with it the prospect of a good deal.
PM SIngh’s first term saw an unprecedented deepening of ties with the United States. Despite strains in recent years, those ties are on a firmer footing than ever before.
We could have given Pm Singh more concession given his lack of a political base, due to which he was bound to feel the pressures of running a government under the watch of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. But he probably reconciled himself too readily to the position of a powerless head.
Now that he bows out, people want to remember him as the one who steered us towards a better economy. But their memory is clogged with the 10 years of bad governance…
Meanwhile, mixed reactions on twitter:
— Abhijit Yewale (@abhijity30) May 13, 2014
#ThankYouDrManMohanSingh for keeping the coal-gate files zipped in your mouth ~ INC
— Jal Kukdi (@Jal_Kukdi) May 13, 2014
#ThankYouDrManMohanSingh your have Been game changer for our nation in many ways . Unfortunately whr controlled by the wrong ppl .
— Abhilash Sakhumalla (@abhi_sakhumalla) May 13, 2014
2G CWG Vadra Ji Unemployment Soldiers killed at border Price rise Corruption No foreign policy Dipping exports #ThankYouDrManMohanSingh
— Champ-u-terology (@BolshoyBooze) May 13, 2014
— Suresh En (@surnell) May 13, 2014
#ThankYouDrManMohanSingh When the world was reeling under two crises of 2008 and 2011, India was relatively unscathed.You saved India
— Paresh Bhatt (@_PareshBhatt) May 13, 2014
I agree its hard to remain personally incorruptible and yet head the most corrupt govt in history #ThankYouDrManMohanSingh
— Siddharth Mazumdar (@mazumdar_sid) May 13, 2014
You just can’t call Manmohan a man of integrity. If he had even an iota of that, he would have resigned long back #ThankYouDrManMohanSingh
— Abhishek Dwivedi (@oh_u_nevermind) May 13, 2014
#ThankYouDrManmohanSingh – He was introduced at the ASEAN Business Forum meeting as “the world’s most qualified Head of Government”.
— Thanks Hon. P.M. MMS (@dhruv520) May 13, 2014
#ThankYouDrManMohanSingh You are the first robot to ever become the Prime Minister of any country. Respect.
— Gautam Verma (@gautamverma23) May 13, 2014
#ThankYouDrManMohanSingh Respect & Salute 4 being dignified & maintaining ur stature even through d disrespectful opposition’s hatred.
— Hasiba Amin (@HasibaAmin) May 13, 2014
— Rohan Shah (@rohans84) May 13, 2014
— RAJ PADHIYAR (@iam_Raaj) May 14, 2014