Manmohan Singh’s interaction with the top ‘select’ editors was disappointing. He did not say anything that was not expected of a prime minister.
He blamed the opposition, and the media, for painting a false picture that he is heading “the most corrupt government.” He called corruption an‘aberrations.’ He wants us to believe that. If memory serves me well, just a couple of months ago, he expressed concern about corruption, assuring zero tolerance against it.
While he blames others for painting a sorry picture, he seems to be painting a wrong picture.
"The notion that I am a lame-duck prime minister is a baseless one, a complete figment of the imagination," he said. While at the same time says that he will step down the moment party high command asks him to make way for 41 years old baba, Rahul Gandhi. He is holding the position of Prime Minister at the whims of someone else and still insists he is not ‘lame duck.’
He is political lightweight, to the extent that he is described as 'economist' prime minister. That is why he does not know, or does not want to acknowledge if he knows that the position of prime ministers is where the centre of gravity of the polity rests. That is not the case here. A high office like that of prime minister is deviod political stature, leadership and weight that comes with it.
The fact that he is an economist does not seem to help as the soaring inflation is entering the third year unabated, income disparities are growing and there is consistent and substantial rise in the prices of essential commodities like food, oil; he has a pro-corporate approach and his economic measures, or sometimes absence of them like to correct of mismanagement of food economy, is anti-people.
Let us face this: there is a crisis of leadership. Prime minister is the leader of the country. This position cannot run like a stopgap arrangement.
He wants us to believe this: there was no ‘tension’ between him and Sonia Gandhi. And that she has never interfered in government. Further that her being the ‘remote control’ was a myth perpetuated by the media.
This is interesting. Media suffers from a ‘kind of cynicism' and they are spreading it nation wide. But he also admits that lots remained to be achieved. So, cynicism is not baseless, especially when a trillion dollars of loot is stashed in foreign banks, corruption is become the popular culture. He tries to sell this strange idea of a clean prime minister is heading a corrupt government. Why clean prime minister allows ministers to dirty their hands? Does it not again a point to the leadership crisis?
Prime minister was seen giving spin to issues, which I think, is only the job of editors. There is a partial acknowledgement that there is a crisis. Unless there is an acknowledgement, in full, effective remedial measures cannot be taken. It is not an argument to be won. The actions of the prime minister effects the real life of a billion people.
The present arrangement between Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh is a classic case of divorce between authority and responsibility.