Friday, January 18, 2008

Weakest Prime Minister Is Leader Of The Year

Awards are subjective. But the choice of the jury has to be reasonable. It need not be the perfect choice because there can be no such thing as the perfect choice. But when the award is bestowed on a person who in no way deserves it, the award and the award-presenters become nothing more than a bad joke. Such was the fate of the NDTV Leader of the Year award and NDTV when they said Manmohan Singh was their choice for the Leader Of the Year.

Since the time our weakest Prime Minister Dr. Singh took over, he has hardly come to be seen as a leader not just by the people but even by his own partymen and allies. Time and again they have undermined him and his office. A very senior Congress leader Natwar Singh openly mocked at how Dr. Singh has set a world record by being the only PM who has not been elected. Remember, Dr. Singh has never won a Lok Sabha election. How many times Arjun Singh - the 'secular', 'progressive' education minister - has eroded Prime Minster's authority is best left uncounted. At the very beginning of this farcical coalition in power, there was public humiliation of Dr. Singh by Karunanidhi when he used his numerical strength in the Government to overturn the decision of the cabinet regarding disinvestment of Neyveli Lignite Corporation. Dr. Singh blindly accepted it as 'coalition dharma' without a word of protest. In 2007 alone, when he secretly tried to seal a deal with US, the Left threatened to pull down his Government. Singh considered this deal as a very personal 'achievement'. He and his party said that those who oppose the deal are 'anti-development'. He even dared the left to pull down the Government. But later, he was snubbed by his own partymen and allies on this issue when the Left became serious about withdrawing support. Left had its way. Though the PM's credibility was severely dented, he shamelessly carried on.

Rahul Gandhi ordered him to extend the rural employment guarantee scheme to all districts. It was the Prime Minister's office which had earlier decided against this move since there were problems in its implementation. But when Rahul says our PM has to agree. The PM meekly bowed to Rahul's orders. How subservient a Prime Minister he is to the Gandhis is very evident by the way our weak Prime Minster walks, sits, talks and conducts himself when he is beside Sonia Gandhi. It's a disgrace to even talk about.

When such a person is honoured as the Leader Of the Year, one can only laugh at the awardee, awarder and those who glorify such awards. It's just another credibility blow to channels like NDTV who are yet to recover from the shock of Gujarat. By the way, there was one more leader in 2007 who won an election based on his strong leadership, his Government's performance, his integrity. And that too a re-election. He too was, and is, an Indian. He lives somewhere in Ahmedabad.

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