The Great Underachiever

The recent Time magazine cover dubs Manmohan Singh as an underachiever. It points to the delays in some of the key reforms, the recent economic stagnation and voters’ loss of confidence as indicators for its argument. It is not very clear whether they refer to government backtracking of the retail FDI. It might have been possible that the retail lobby might have had a hand in this essay. Perhaps the government might even use this as a stick to beat the FDI naysayers and bring them in line. Because what the West says, especially the US, is important to us and therefore this essay may expedite the reform processes.

We don’t need Time magazine to tell us that Manmohan Singh has been an underachiever. He has been one for more than five years. Time magazine’s cover story was like Vatican acknowledging Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in 2009, nearly 150 years after Darwin first proposed it!

Also, the term ‘underachiever’ is an understatement. Manmohan Singh has been underachiever in governance, growth, economy, etc., and overachiever in corruption, sycophancy, lawlessness and deterioration. In the past six years, Manmohan Singh’s government has proved itself to be the worst central government in the independent history.

How does it change the fact that several things in this government are wrong and they are not appearing to make even the tiniest of effort to improve the situation? Let’s face it, the growth doesn’t come from Retail FDI, but progress is achieved from good governance. We are not flagging the Modi brand here. Time celebrated Modi but we’re not here to glorify the champions of capitalism and corporate growth. India doesn’t need any more politicians wanting to rub shoulders with the Ambanis. We have enough of them.

So what is the point am I making here? Whilst it is good that there appears to be consensus on what crosses out our Prime Minister, in terms of performance, it appears that there’s consensus on the fact that he is indeed a failure. Even his bosses in the US seem to agree on this.