Friday, December 2, 2011

Unimaginative Dr Manmohan Singh

Dr Manmohan Singh was a giant even before he became the Prime Minister. Having had an illustrious career as an economist he had even more illustrious assignment when in the Prime Minister Chandrashekhar's time he, as the then Finance Minister, handled the scary economic crisis both with ease and panache. When Sonia Gandhi refused to accept the Prime Minister's chair, and sagaciously dissipated a crisis that could have been very gigantic, her choice fell upon him for the top political post of India. It was a curious but uncontroversial choice and thankfully we got few years of time where that august chair was not the focus of fighting. At the present moment we are living through another crisis-whether foreign direct investment should be allowed in the retail sector or not. In other words whether big foreign fishes should be allowed to eat the small desi fishes. Dr Manmohan Singh feels that FDI in retail sector will be beneficial for the country. Well that is how a capitalist will argue, no? And who said that Dr Manmohan Singh is a socialist, Marxist, communist? But this still leaves a gaping whole in our feelings for Dr Singh. Is the task of an academician, politician, economic wizard is just to replicate the western experience in India? If that is the case then choice of Dr Singh is not very ingenuous. Any run of the mill economist with capitalist bent of brain would have done that. The trick is to imbibe the best of the west without getting swept by their tide.