WHEN CHETAN SHARMA MOVED TO BOWL FOR HIS HATRICK AGAINST NEWZEALAND IN THE WORLD CUP 1987, THE ENTIRE NATION WAS WITH HIM. THE NATION CELEBRATED THE HATRICK, LATER KAPIL, HARBHAJAN AND IRFAN PATHAN ALSO PERFORMED THE SAME FEAT AND WAS LAPPED UP BY THE PEOPLE OF INDIA. BUT WILL THE NATION CELEBRATE IF MANMOHAN SINGH ENTERS THE RACE COURSE FOR THE THIRD TIME?
Ravi Shankar Prasad, B.JP’s spokesperson never let go an opportunity to take potshots at his opponent and, especially when the situation is so inviting as Manmohan Singh’s ostensible indication to go for his hatrick, Prasad caustically dubbed the Prime minister’s wish as ‘audaciously ambitious’. Was Ravi Shankar Prasad justified in his comment? Or was it a cryptic remarks coming from an opposition leader in the wake of the exhibition of the requisite amount of the confidence on the part of the incumbent Prime minister, indeed deserves a careful examination in the backdrop of impending election in the 2014 and Manmohan Singh’s role as the Prime ministerial candidate given the fact that Rahul Gandhi is still in the process of testing the electoral water.
Let us begin with the election of 2009 and the victory of Congress party at the general election. The nation’s economy was in a good shape and Manmohan by and large was looked upon a respectable leader who, unlike his political colleagues, never meant politicking. Moreover, Manmohan Singh had demonstrated his deft political acumen by not bowing to the wish of Communist party as he had proceeded to sign the nuclear deal with U.S.A notwithstanding the protests from the Communist party against signing such a deal. Manmohan Singh’s audacious move to ignore the bluffs of his supporting partner who had propped up his government from outside had gone down well with the people of India who looked upon him as a sign of uncompromising leader who would not buckle under the coalition pressure when the greater and delicate task of nation’s foreign policy was concerned. The people of India celebrated this attitude of the Prime minister that he had renounced his attachment to the Prime ministerial chair for the sake of nation’s priority and sensitivity to the national cause.
In contrast to Manmohan Singh, the people viewed the BJP’’S Prime ministerial candidate, Lal Krishna Advani as a man inspired by his Prime ministerial ambitions whose primary concern was to become Prime minister and therefore the people of India gave a short shrift to Advani and his Party. This is not to say that Lal Krishna Advani was not competent or deserving candidate for this post. However, it was the public perception that favoured Manmohan over Advani in the 2009 general election. Even the people looked upon Manmohan as the one who could bring them the most elusive succor that the seasoned politicians were not capable of. People also remembered him as the architect of Economic liberalization ushered in the year 1991 when he was the finance minister which metamorphosed the Indian economy forever and galvanised the Indian youth to dream big like their European and American counterparts.
Alas, wishes were the horses; 2014 would be just like 2009, the people of India would have the same level of trusts and faith in Manmohan as they had in him in the year 2009. The country had seen the golden regime of Manmohan in 2009, whereas the country had witnessed the nightmarish eruption of hosts of corruptions and scams in the public life that could even induce the corpses to squirm in the coffins. The woes and sorrows of the common men and women of the country had increased thousand fold with the astronomical price rise of the essential commodities and the transport fare---the backbones of hoi polloi stands broken in the wake of this price rise and which even the Direct Cash Transfer to the bank account of the poor people cannot undo. The series of scams beginning with 2g and culminating in Coal blocks scam, had sullied and substantially dented the government’s image. Worse still, the Nirbhaya episode had completely wiped out whatever residual credibility of the government was left intact—the world community had come to recognize India as a medieval society where the girls are the most unsafe and unsecured. Even Prime minister’s weak and hapless statement that, he too is a father of a daughter—appeared unconvincing and too soft ---which of course, in the wake of the sinister crime, must have been strong and stentorian.
While the people of India suffocated under the seething heat of unbearable price rise, the kith and kin of those in power flourished. Robert Vadra , the son-in law of Gandhi family fabulously added to his wealth—his overall net worth increased to three hundred crores of Indian currency. While the honest officer who blew the whistle on Vadra, suffered the persecution of the government, the government under Manmohan Singh did all in his position to suppress the scandal of Vadra and DLF which had colluded with him in the scam. Gone was that Manmohan Singh who had risked the fall of his government in 2009 by refusing to kowtow to the wish of Communist who wanted him to refuse signing the nuclear deal, and emerged a new Manmohan who would go to any extent to save his chair—even if that meant mortgaging his own conscience to the power brokers and those stakeholders who would give him a new political lease of life.
Manmohan Singh was a find for the first family of the Congress Party as a stop gap arrangement till its’ Prince in the waiting, Rahul Gandhi matures to step into his shoes. And sensing all this, Manmohan Singh shrewdly calculated that his regime would inevitably come to an end in the year 214. However, the indecisiveness and vacillation of the CROWN Prince, Rahul Gandhi seems to have brought a fresh glimpse of hope to Manmohan Singh whose credibility seems to be an all- time low. Manmohan Singh knows that he still enjoys the trusts of Gandhi family and is still the confidante of Sonia Gandhi and in the event of lack of consensus for leadership, he would end up as the best choice of the Congress Party as its’ candidate for the next election. And therefore, he came out with his comments to enter into the Race course residence for the third time---creating a hatrick to be the occupant of the race course residence.
Alas, Manmohan Singh would have done a thorough introspection before mouthing or airing his ambition for entering the race course for the third time. He should have known that although he may still be an apple of Gandhi family but to the larger public, his name evokes a fear, a dread---the strings of corruptions that his current regime is being identified with, spontaneously come rushing to the minds of the electorate. Manmohan might revel and exult at the prospect of his entry into the race course and make hatrick, but his discredited regime is does not sooth the common mass of India. The people of India had shown their respects for Manmohan of 2009 who showed respect for people’s sensitivity over the prime ministerial chair, whereas, Manamohan of 2014 is considered as a Chief executive Officer of Gandhi family who would go to any extent to secure and salvage the tainted image of Gandhi family for the sake of Prime Ministerial chair. People wonder in disgust: ‘Where is that Manmohan who showed the mirror to his mentor Narshimha Rao by stating that person in power must be like Caesars wife much above any suspicion’. People still would covet Narshimha Rao’s regime despite several fallibilities, however, people would be in mood to condone Manmohan Singh for his acts and omissions. Hence, the people clapped and celebrated Chetan Sharma when he went for his hatrick in the world cup 1987, however, the people are even loath to hear Manmohan’s name for a hatrick in the Race course residence. And, Ravi Shankar Prasad was actually representing the common people’s mood when he dubbed Prime minister’s dream as ‘ audacious ambition’
By : Vivekanand Jha