I am really bothered about the potential loss to India, if Dr Manmohan Singh were to resign abruptly tomorrow.
If I were him, I would be seriously considering the possibility of resignation though.
The credibility of the government is at an all-time low. All the scandals and the mis-steps in the governance have, unfortunately, occurred under the watch of Dr Singh.
Dr Singh is credited with an amazing position amongst world leaders, as a leader who other leaders admire, and aspire to be. Even the American President is awed by his stature on the world scene.
But the story within India could not be more different.
A series of embarrassing scandals has completely altered the political scene in India. People are wary of the scandals, which seemed to have siphoned off huge sums of money and caused huge losses to the government exchequer.
An inflation which has reached alarming proportions has further dented the government’s ability to manage affairs and control prices.
So, Corruption + Inflation, have together damaged the government and Dr Singh’s position in the government, the media and the country.
I do not think there is a credible alternative (no pun intended) to Dr Singh as of now. He is the leader who is liked by the world leaders and by the citizens in general. No one believes that he is corrupt, everyone thinks he is above board.
The only issue is his ability to control his cabinet members and take fast actions, when things get out of control. He apparently did not take quick action in the 2G telecom spectrum scandal, leading to an explosive situation which could damage the Congress party permanently.
So, the issue is one of strong, firm, articulate and credible leadership. Do we have that today in India ? Some ministers are arrogant, some are nonchalant, some are intelligent yet distant and arrogant, some do not care about anything at all……not in good overall shape.
The conclusion I reached is something that most people are grappling with anyway – there is just no immediate, credible alternative to Dr Manmohan Singh. We have to wait and see what happens.
6th February 2011