By T S Sudhir
So Dr Manmohan Singh has shared never-told-before secrets. Six hours of sleep in a 24-hour cycle. No weekly off. No vacation either. Makes one wonder if all work and no play has made Jack an MMS.
Another politician who used to boast about working for 18 hours was Chandrababu Naidu, when he was chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. The people gave him rest in 2004. Out of power for seven years, Naidu is now working overtime to protect his Telugu Desam citadel against political poachers.
But let me not digress. What was the point that the PM was trying to make? That guys, I slog so much and yet you Brutuses, civil society, opposition and media alike, make it seem as if I am exclaiming `Thankgod it is Friday’ at 7, RCR. Obviously the tag of “ineffective PM” is beginning to get under Manmohan Singh’s skin.
The question is how even with a vigilant Man in blue (turban) who is always at work, the likes of Raja and Daya managed to get many of their decisions past the PMO and the cabinet. Or was it because he was overworked that he overlooked the `work’ of the 2G Chennai Super Kings?
Time to put up a board : `Sorry for the inconvenience. Man is at work’ ?
I remember the mid-80s when Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister, he called his regime “a government that works”. The new broom worked for a while before he was sucked in by the cesspool of Indian politics and Congress power-brokers and finally the Bofors gun that blew away his first innings.
The biggest complaint against the PM is that he does not speak, does not communicate with the country. His critics do have a point. But then if he has to speak the truth, he will have to blame his party boss, Sonia Gandhi. Can he?
Manmohan Singh is accused of lording over a corrupt government. Yes, but when all the political power is vested in Sonia, could he have dared to drop Raja? And Kalmadi was the Congress strongman from Pune. Even on Maran, it is Sonia who will take a call, not MMS.
And as if the residents of 10 Janpath have a teflon coating, a significant section of the media seems to have only one agenda and question : “Will you step down in favour of Rahul Gandhi?” Almost as though this media is an extension of 24, Akbar Road, and is geared to ask leading questions to get `appropriate’ answers.
This fawning over the Amul baby is sickening. This taken-for-granted birthright to be PM of the country that is bestowed upon the Gandhi scion, makes me suspect that much of this media is actually part of the chorus that is building up to portray MMS as an ineffectual, good for nothing PM.
I get the feeling that Congress spindoctors are working on pliant friends in the media to make corruption the albatross around Dr Singh’s neck, just the way PV was hanged for not acting on 6th December 1992. If the Congress is going to treat MMS the same way it does PV, it will reflect more on the character of the party than Man himself.
Guys, he is 78. He has spent much of his life as a teacher, economist, bureaucrat. Don’t expect him to change his DNA and be a Farooq Abdullah. If the country can live with a UPA chairperson who never talks, it can also live with a PM who talks very little.
Alternately, vote in the NDA in 2014. You can then have L K Advani who will speak a lot, Venkaiah Naidu who will translate his punchlines into different languages and of course, Sushma Swaraj, who will also do a jig along with talking and tweeting. India khush huwa?
Don’t forget the PM’s political guru was PV, who despite knowing 16 languages, chose to keep silent most of the time. In Manmohan’s case, it is also Man-maun.