Monday, February 21, 2011

Manmohan's interview with TV News Editors

Everyone in India seems to be talking of Manmohan Singh's interview with major Indian TV news channels plus international ones like Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN . From all comments on various blogs I gathered that many ordinary folk seem to be disappointed with what he had to say. I watched it online and quite frankly, was impressed.

Remembering he is in a coalition government and is therefore beholden to other parties, I think he is a wonderfully stabling influence. His economic policies since Narasimha Rao's days (under whom he was finance minister), have helped more Indians prosper than any other person’s. His background, and therefore his strength, is finance.

Where corruption is concerned, I agree that he is weak, making excuses for not taking people in power to task, sometimes, even rewarding them with promotions. Every TV editor asked him what he was doing re corruption of some person in power or the other and his answers never said he'd be able to recover the lost revenues or make that person accountable by asking him or her to resign. To know someone is corrupt and not insisting on making that person accountable makes Manmohan as guilty as if he committed the crime himself. His answers were, to my mind, a bit helpless except when he declared that after the budget session (not now, but sometime in the future) there would be a reshuffle of his entire cabinet.

But here’s the problem – Manmohan’s policy on corruption might be weak but everyone is agreed he isn’t corrupt himself. His economic policies since Narasimha Rao's days have helped more Indians prosper than any other person’s. So many Indian politicians have been accused of corruption by the media; so many use strong arm tactics to subdue Indians who question them; who are communal by nature - which means they aren’t concerned about the well being of all Indians except the ones who belong to their own community; and too many whose economic policies have never been as strong as Manmohan’s.

Summing up,

So many comments I’ve read indicate that the Indian public isn’t impressed with Rahul Gandhi – the PM in waiting!

Secular Indians definitely don't want a communal minded party (only our community and damn the others) to come to power.

I feel Manmohan is
     . honest, astute and has sound economic policies. Those are the sum of his leadership skills.
     . He is weak on corruption
     . I'm really not sure what he plans to do about terrorism, inflation and the environment.
     . He blames the Congress coalition partners for compromises he has to make and for having to overlook corruption.
     . The public is wary. Nobody believes him.

What can we do to change the situation? Do we solely depend on our news reporters or can we, the public, do something? And if so, what, that would be effective?

Can we keep showing Manmohan that we are not going to let up our pressure on corrupt individuals in politics till he is forced to take action and not just mouth platitudes – that it is the public he is more accountable to rather than his coalition partners and his party members?

Do we have any other options besides waiting for a candidate who will open up the economy like Manmohan has, is perhaps stronger than him when dealing with corruption in his own party or in the coalition, and last, but not least, someone who deals strongly with terrorists and the environment?

Yes we do. We can protest in unity; make our presence felt. The key word is UNITY. It shouldn't be that as soon as there are threats to someone's life, property and loved ones, the rest of us quietly move away. It takes time to build such unity. How? We need a well thought out action plan.


The link to the interview with Manmohan was provided by Patrick French in his blog (blog link:



  1. Yes we can!
    Yes, we can bring about a change in the administration but first and foremost it is we the people who have to change. We have to shed the “Chalta hai, hota hai” (It happens) attitude.
    Yes, we voted for a Central Government which is strong, stable and upholds secular values. However, we are disappointed and feel that our elected representatives have failed us. They certainly don’t seem to be working “for the people” but instead are working for themselves, their families and their party. We expected A+ on their report card but what we see is an “F”.
    Yes, we are being tested by the administration for the limits of our endurance; but it only requires a last straw to break the camel’s back.
    Yes, we have the will to succeed, and slowly but surely the will of the people shall prevail.
    Let the Government not underestimate the Power of The People. It’s time for the Government to move out of it’s comfort zone and make amends before it is too late. All that we ask of our PM is to prove himself worthy of our vote.

  2. You are right Navroze, when you say "They (our elected representatives) certainly don’t seem to be working “for the people” but instead are working for themselves, their families and their party."

    We should ensure they are made accountable to us and not let up pressure on that issue.

    My words of caution are to check out the pluses and minuses of the alternatives to this regime before casting votes. What are the guarantees they won't work for themselves and not for "we, the people"? At least Manmohan is secular, honest himself and has sound Economic polilcies. Do his alternatives come anywhere close on these strengths? Are they equal to, or far worse on his weaknesses?

  3. Since April this year, "India Against Corruption" has burst on to the scene. It expalins why Indian politicians get away with corruption and siphoning off Indian funds. I have created a special page for this very important movement that has brought hope to the hearts of millions of Indians around the world. The link: