The accidental ex-Prime Minister turns 85 today. Let’s have a quick dekko at his journey entailed so far
Born in 1932 in Gah, current day Pakistan, his family migrated to India during partition in 1947 and he was raised by his grandmother. Though the current Prime Minister is a “people’s person” who accepts media and public attention with open arms, the ex-Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh likes to keep things quiet and allows his work to do the talking. Here are few things which you must know about the economist:
- An economist at heart right from the beginning, Singh did his graduation and post- graduation from Panjab University. After completing his Economic Tripos from theUniversity of Cambridge he did his D.Phil from Oxford University.
- He has donned various hats ranging from being an educator to a policymaker to a politician- you name it and he has done it. He taught International Trade at theUniversity of Delhi and was appointed as an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Trade by Lalit Narayan Misra during 1970s. He also headed the University Grants Commission in 1991.
- His entry into the political arena in 1991 was completely unprecedented since he took off a lickety-split into P.V.Narsimha Rao’s cabinet and paved way for economic reforms which no successive government has looked back.
- His induction as the Prime Minister of India by Sonia Gandhi in 2004 came as a huge surprise but he was backed by amajority of the members because of the probity title which he carried throughout his career.
- Singh is the first Sikh Prime Minister of the country and the sole minister who has served five consecutive terms after PM Jawaharlal Nehru. .
- Singh’s government took several steps to become the torch bearer of transparency and ensured that more employment can be generated – it was under his tenure that the RTI Act was implemented along with NREGA.
- During his party rule that the GDP accelerated to 9% for the first time ever.
- Though a man of few words, he got into a duel with SushmaSwaraj back in 2013 in the parliament where he ended up quoting MirzaGhalib’sSher “HumkohaiunseWafakiumeed, jonahijaantewafakyahai”. It’s also learnt that his speeches in Hindi are written in Urdu since he can’t read Hindi.
- However, in the second half of his tenure, the government’s image was riddled with several scams and a low GDP growth which eventually led to its downfall however his integrity has always been kept as clean as a slate.
One interesting point which cannot be missed here is the landmark statement made by Dr. Manmohan Singh during the fag end of his 10-year-old term where he addressed the media and pressed the fact that “History would be kinder to me than the media”. Indeed, not only his predictions for the future but also for himself are verily.
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