In the last week, Indian media has carried stories slyly blaming Dr.Manmohan Singh for the electoral problems of the Congress party. The thrust of the argument is that if only Dr. Manohan Singh had been more active and aggressive, then everything would have been different. The other whispers coming out of the Rahul Gandhi camp are that Dr.Manmohan Singh really did not put his heart in the second UPA government from 2009. The obvious inference is that though the Gandhi camp was aware of this flaccid performance they were generous and did not show the door to Dr.Manmohan Singh.
Dr. Manmohan Singh should have had many defenders who greatly benefited from his rise. A whole train-load of mediocre sycophants benefitted through him, using his emotional links to Chandigarh, his language and even his religion. But they are very hard to find, being very busy distancing themselves from him. Some of the more are ambitious enough to feel that they might have a future in the next dispensation.
Some of them even think that if they come out openly defending Dr.Manmohan Singh , maybe after 5 years, if the Congress comes back, they will have been branded as “ Manmohan people “. The mediocre make many such calculations since they are asters at survival tactics. The innumerable people who benefitted from Manmohan Singh have distanced themselves from him.
There is a huge Chandigarh club who are said to be close o him. The Chandigarh Club simply includes people from Chandigarh, or those linked with Dr.Manmohan Singh by language or even religion. It might be pure coincidence but it remains visible that such people had access and did get benefits. It is not an issue of whether they deserved it or not. It was just that such people were very visible and that there were many such people who fit into this description.
In any event, the Chandigarh club has become scarce when it comes to defending Dr.Manmohan Singh from the sly and malicious insinuations that he was responsible for the on-going electoral mess of the Congress. On the contrary, if one takes an objective view and his first term is any proof, Dr.Manmohan Singh might have saved the day if he was given a free hand during the UPA 2. One searches for former Ministers Ashwin Kumar and Pawan Bansal saying anything positive about Dr.Manmohan Singh. One looks around for Nandan Nilekani saying a few good words about Manmohan Singh. He is also strangely silent. There are a host of people keeping silent.
This only means that Dr. Manmohan Singh did not select his beneficiaries properly and such people abandoned him. But it does not justify the Congress party laying the blame at his door. Dr. Manmohan Singh keeps saying that history will be kind to him. But it only means that he admits that currently he does not enjoy a good record. The fact however remains that Dr.Manmohan Singh would never have got us into this economic mess. Others did it for him by insisting on “voodoo economics “and fiscal indiscipline.
While some blame might be laid at Dr. Manmohan Singh’s door, he is not the architect of the Congress failure. There are others who are not noble enough to take the blame.