The accidental ex-PM Dr Manmohan Singh turns 90 today. Let’s have a quick look at his journey entailed so far
- An economist at heart right from the beginning
- From educator to a policymaker to a politician
- A fan of Mirza Ghalib
- Scroll for more…
Born in 1932 in Gah, current day Pakistan, his family migrated to India during the partition in 1947, and his grandmother raised him. 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 a 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 the University of Cambridge, he did his DPhil from Oxford University.
- He has donned various hats ranging from being an educator to a policymaker to a politician- you name it, he has done it. He taught International Trade at the University of Delhi and was appointed as an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Trade by Lalit Narayan Misra during the 1970s. He also headed the University Grants Commission in 1991.
- His entry into the political arena in 1991 was unprecedented since he took off a lickety-split into P.V. Narsimha Rao’s cabinet and paved the way for economic reforms that no successive government has looked back on.
- His induction as the Prime Minister of India by Sonia Gandhi in 2004 came as a huge surprise. Most members backed him because of his probity title 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 could be generated – it was under his tenure the RTI Act was implemented along with NREGA.
- During his party rule, the GDP accelerated to 9% for the first time.
- Though a man of few words, he got into a duel with Sushma Swaraj back in 2013 in the parliament, where he ended up quoting Mirza Ghalib’s Sher “Hum ko Hai unse Wafaa ki umeed, jo nahi Jante Wafaa kyai Hai”. 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 low GDP growth, eventually leading 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, his predictions for the future and himself.
Happy Birthday to a PM whose actions always spoke way louder than his words!
Edited By Ayushi Mittal
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