Sunday, August 03, 2008

Singh Is Kinng!

Manmohan Singh has been a reluctant prime minister from the very beginning. He has never been a politician, in fact he has never won a popular election in his life. But he is an economist with vision. When he joined the Indian government in the nineties, the Indian economy was one of the worst performing in South Asia. It was under his stint as Finance Minister that India's economy started slowly breathing new life. And today, if Indians are enjoying the economic fruits of globalisation, thanks are partly due to the course that he had charted for India, then. He was thrust into the role of Prime Minister when it became clear that Sonia Gandhi would not be acceptable as Prime Minister to the Indian political establishment and would lead to agitations across the country. And it was clear that he was just a caretaker and who was actually doing the backseat driving.

History will remember ManMohan Singh not as the caretaker Prime Minister, but as the steward of the India-US nuclear deal. Because, nuclear energy is going to be vital for India's economic progress and he had the vision to realise that. He put his own and convinced his party to put its fortunes on the line and face a trust vote in parliament. To visualize beyond momentary political considerations and rise to the occasion when needed, is what makes your place in history.

The icing on the cake would be if India actually is able to gain advantage from the deal without compromising its strategic long-term interests, as is being alleged by the Left parties.

India should be treated as it is and it is a Nuclear Weapon State, whether anyone likes that or not. After clearing the IAEA hurdle, Indian negotiators are now hopeful of getting past the NSG with an unconditional waiver, which shall bring the Indo-US pact nearer to its conclusion.

In a few decades time, when nuclear energy infrastructure is developed in India and it is established as a reliable source of India's ever growing energy requirements, the nation will look back and appreciate ManMohan Singh for his contribution in ensuring India's progress.

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