It can be hardly believed that a polite, soft most courteous and ambitious academician Dr. Man Mohan Singh should have ever thought of becoming Prime Minister of Indian Republic. Here is an outstanding example of how just like cricket; politics is also game of uncertainties. In spite of a comfortable majority of the coalition led by congress party which had also emerged as the single largest party in the parliament and uncontested unanimous election of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi as leader of coalition Mrs. Sonia Gandhi sacrificed her well deserved claim for Prime Minister ship and instead offered the highest chair of the largest democracy of the world to Dr. Man Mohan Singh.
Dr. Man Mohan Singh, an academician to the highest core is more an economist and much less a politician. He was born on September 26, 1932 in village Gah of Peshawar (now in Pakistan) in an ordinary Sikh family which had to migrate into India after partition of the country. His parents Sardar Gur Mukh Singh and Smt. Amrit Kaur had settled in Amritsar where they hired a small house in a very narrow and dingy lane and started the business of dry fruits. Poverty of the family could not mar the education of this little genius. He received his primary education from Ashram School and passed matriculation examination of Punjab Education Board in 1948 and was placed in the first division. He passed his intermediate examination from Punjab University in 1950 and was again placed in first class degree in economics (Honours). He received his post graduation degree from the same university in 1954 and was again placed in first division. In 1954 he got his D.Phil degree from Oxford University.
Man Mohan Singh was the first “Role of Honour” of the famous Hindu Sabha Collage of Amritsar. He was awarded this honour for three consecutive years. He won Uttam Chand Medal for topping the list of successful candidates in M.A (Economics) of Punjab University, Chandigarh in the year 1954. In the year1956 he was awarded Adam Committee Reward by University of Cambrige which had also awarded him Right’s medal for his excellent performance in the field of education in St. John Collage. From 1957 to 1971 he was professor of Economics in Delhi School of Economics.
He was Honorary Professor in Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1976 and in Delhi School of Economics in 1996. He was awarded Honorary Fellowship of Indian Institute of Bankers in 1982. In the same year he was appointed Honorary Fellow in St. John College, London. In 1985 he was elected president of Indian Economics Association followed by this appointment as National Fellow of National Institute of Education (N.C.E.R.T.). In 1967 he received the title of Padma Vibhushan. In 1994 he was awarded Honorary Fellowship of Indian Management Association.
In 1993 he was announced Finance Minister of the year and was awarded Asia Money Reward. From April 1980 to September 1982 he was member of the planning Commission of India. From January 15, 1985 to July 31, 1987 he was Deputy Chairman of planning Commission of India. From August 1987 to November 1990 he has Secretary General to the South Asia Commission. From 10th December 1990 to March 1991, he was Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of India. From 15th March 1991 to June 26, 1991 he was Chairman of the University Grants Commission.
Man Mohan Singh’s first stinct in politics was in June 1991 when he becomes the Finance Minister of P.V. Narasingh Rao Government when he introduced the idea of economic reforms. He is the architect of these reforms. From March 21, 1998 till now he was leader of the opposition in our parliament. In view of the existing circumstances political and otherwise, there can not be a better choice for this highest post in the country. Those conversant with the realities of land depth of problems India faces today and in view of the problems of liberalisation and internationalization which stare the country on the face Dr. Man Mohan Singh is the fittest person.
With his cool mind, progressive thinking, foresightedness and wide experience he should be able to lead the nation to achieve the goal of eradication of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. Apart from being financial expert Dr. Singh is a serious, dutiful, honest and devoted worker. He is widely known as a voice of sanity, good sense and moderation in a period when Indian planners and policy makers followed the policies of import substitution and public sector domination. He is a man of living conscience. When the joint parliament committees enquire into the securities scandal indicated the NarSingh Rao Govt. Dr. Singh tendered his resignation without delay or fuss.
Dr. Man Mohan Singh is a non-controversial personality; even his opponents have word of praise for him. As Finance Minister he had successfully faced and encountered the critics of economic reforms. Indeed Dr. Singh ha become a part of economic policy as early as 1971 when he was economic adviser in the ministry of foreign trade and later as chief economic adviser in the ministry of finance. He is probably the only person who has held so many important positions in the economic and civil services, hierarchy in India including Secretary, Economic Affaires in the Ministry of Finance, and Governor Reserve Bank of India, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Finance Minister and now Prime Minister of India.
But as Prime Minister how he meets this challenge is to be seen, more so because the said critics of economic reforms are now seated with him. This question has its relevance because the leftists are trying to push their agenda from the very first day. The problem before him is that communists, who have a different view about economic reforms are indispensable for the stability of the government.
The problem is further aggravated by the fact that the fact that the said parties are giving outside support and have not joined the Gov. These parties are in a better position to pressurize and force their viewpoints. Appeasement of the constituents of the coalition would be a serious problem for a straightforward person like Dr. Singh who has hardly ever believed in diplomatic moves or underhand policies. Problems might arise when his views differ and he could be forced to take decisions against his conscience.
Whatever be the future but for the there cannot be a better alternative than Dr. Man Mohan Singh and we can hope rather believe that the future and dignity of the country is safe in his worthy hands. Let us wish him all success.