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Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Who is Dr.Manmohan Singh?

As most of you may have already read and heard that Dr.Manmohan Singh is all set to be India's next Prime Minister. For readers outside India this is a relatively new name. To get you started I thought I'd put together some links and information to shed some light. Actually most Indians too are only familiar with his economic policies from the 91-96 administration. They are not too aware of his precise economic views and most definitely not of his personal political views. The latter will come out slowly and I'll try to share them with you as and when I learn them.

Dr.Singh's official parliamentary website is the best source to learn more about this tremendously accomplished man. Most memorably he is seen as the father of the modern Indian economic resurgence. It was under his leadership as the finance minister that in 1991 faced with difficult economic choices Dr.Singh led the charge to open the Indian economy. It was a bold move.

Last year when I met with him along with my Young India Board of Directors in his parliament office he was reflective about the reforms. Not regretful but aware how they had not touched millions. He was also concerned about the unexpected social ramifications of rampant consumerism. I expect him to propose policies that broaden the economic gameplan and at the same time sustain the growth that India has seen over the last decade.

His positions on HOT political issues are unknown. Atleast to me. What does he think about Kashmir? What are his views of the war in Iraq? How should the temple-issue in Ayodhya be resolved? What specific proposals does he have to improve primary and secondary education? The list goes on. I am conjecturing he is pretty much aligned with the official party positions of the Congress on these matters.

The man has unparalleled experience in public policy. India could not have asked for a better administrator. BUT... he lacks political capital and people are supporting him because of Sonia Gandhi. Atleast for now but I am confident that this man is so decent and sincere that he will create a following amongst all sections of Indian society. Gentlemen of such a breed are very rare.

All the best, Mr.Prime Minister. All the best, India.


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