Anupam Kher as Manmohan Singh in The Accidental Prime Minister | YouTube screengrab
Anupam Kher as Manmohan Singh in The Accidental Prime Minister | YouTube screengrab
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Nervous about their own poor performance, BJP is hoping that a cock and bull story will get it votes in 2019.

If Manmohan Singh was ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’, then I must say that it was a rather pleasant accident, a serendipity. In fact, his life offers great lessons and inspiration to the people of India, especially the youth.

Manmohan Singh’s early life is a story about a boy who lost his mother at a young age and whose family was displaced by Partition. He was perhaps the first member in his family to pursue higher education, he topped almost every exam that he wrote, secured a scholarship to study in Cambridge University where he won multiple prizes including the famous Adam Smith prize (past winners included the likes of J.M. Keynes). After securing a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, he went on to become one of the top economists of the modern era with a distinguished career spanning the globe.

Surely, this is far more inspirational for any young Indian today than apocryphal tales of exaggerated achievements that are being published by the BJP’s propaganda machine.


Also read: The double life of Anupam Kher: Hollywood’s favourite desi & BJP’s pin-up patriot


All his life, Singh never actively sought or craved for a position, the vanities and the accoutrements of a public office were never an attraction for him, but whenever his nation called upon him, the soft-spoken, erudite patriot was there for his motherland, always going beyond the call of duty. His contribution to Indian educational institutions, various advisory roles to government institutions, tenure as the Governor of the Reserve Bank all tell the story of an assiduous technocrat, who went about his duties diligently, observing the highest standards of probity.

With the Indian economy on the precipice and I.G. Patel having refused the poisoned chalice of the finance ministry, former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao turned to Singh to save the country from an economic debacle. Once at the helm of affairs in North Block, the new finance minister went about his task in the right earnest. The reforms that he initiated unleashed the animal spirits of the Indian economy. He was conscious of not leaving the task half done and used the opportunity presented by the balance of payment crisis to engineer an overhaul of the Indian economy, that propelled our nation to the glory and prosperity that we enjoy today.

As a Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh’s contribution has been exceptional too. The BJP’s recent statistical skullduggery cannot take away the fact that the growth witnessed by the Indian economy was far more inclusive than the pseudo ‘India Shining’ campaign of NDA-I era.

The transformative effects of MGNREGA, especially in terms of real wages and spending power in rural India, the breakthrough in US-India nuclear deal that ended India’s nuclear isolation, making telecom and aviation affordable to the commoner, elimination of long-standing scourges such as polio, the urban renewal schemes, creation of new IITs, IIMs and knowledge cities, drawing the blueprint of GST, retail and insurance reforms, and most importantly, introducing RTI to encourage citizen’s interface with the government and to increase transparency—these are all actual achievements and not mere sloganeering.

One would rather have an “accidental” Prime Minister who achieved impressive GDP growth rates and built institutions, than a whimsical Prime Minister who caused deliberate accidents such as demonetisation and blatantly undermines the country’s top institutions.


Also read: Manmohan Singh is talking, making sense, and India is listening


As the 2019 national elections come closer, the Narendra Modi government has rather tactlessly resorted to its old chestnut of targeting the Gandhi family again. In doing so, they have decided to back a film based on memoirs of a panjandrum who clearly had an exaggerated estimation of his own importance and low estimation of professional propriety.

One wonders if a media adviser, that too for barely four years in a total tenure of 10 years, is so influential as to be privy to PMO’s dealings in all matters. The grace and dignity with which Singh has disassociated himself from this controversy is quintessentially him and is a well-deserved snub for the author of the book and makers of the film.

One would assume that people learn from their mistakes, but that doesn’t appear to be true for the BJP. In the run-up to the 2004 elections, sections of the BJP initiated a visceral attack on Sonia Gandhi and questioned her right to be the Prime Minister of India, even when the UPA under her leadership had won a decisive mandate. But Sonia Gandhi’s decision to give up the top job in the country sent the BJP scurrying for cover. In nominating a man of accomplishment with impeccable credentials and pristine character, she had given the country a great leader. Nervous at their own poor performance in the last five years and the recent electoral setback, now the BJP is hoping that a cock and bull story will reap rich electoral dividends for them in the 2019 elections. Unfortunately for them, the Indian voter doesn’t base her voting preference on the basis of works of fiction.


Also read: Why The Accidental Prime Minister matters to ‘chowkidar’ Narendra Modi


The author is finance & planning minister, Punjab.

Separate fact from fiction, the real from the fake going viral on social media, on HoaXposed .


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19 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you, Mr Manpreet. Very well articulated. Our young have to learn to be positive and fight against adversity – manmade (read DeMon) or God given (droughts, earthquakes, floods and so on). The present regime of BJP, led by Mr Modi, cannot see any good in anyone else. He only talks about himself and lies in our face, twists facts and ideas – just to remain in power – while saying all the time that he is not interested in power. Mr Modi and BJP choice of words betrays them all the time. The man does seem to have the ability to see beyond himself.
    Dr Singh could have definitely done even more than what he and his team achieved during the 10-years. I expected him to focus even more on rural India, as that is where India has lived for centuries and even today lives. Urban migration in ‘hope’ of better life has created a situations where millions live in slums and have no hope. Urban real estate mafia, ably assisted by some in the government, ensures this all the time. I would have liked Dr Singh to fight that and now Congress to fight. BJP will not, as they blindly believe in private sector solutions all the problems that the country faces. In a poor country like our, I am aware that the WB calls us lower-middle income country, we need to provide opportunities where more and more people and benefit. The rich will take care of themselves. They have always been able to do that.

  2. I feel pity four this idiot editor congress is a landmark for poor internal and external defence moreover their portfolios of scam is innumerable.I am not in favour of Bjp but is sad that media column writers are happy to be a pimp of INA

  3. Such a commendable article. Surely he was a promising PM and would be. Sonia is a brave heart for India after Rajiv Gandhi assassination she has managed to manage the country as well as family where as people here struggle to manage family alone…Make Rahul PM soon TO REBUILD INDIA

  4. The author has very judiciously and wittingly given the account of Hon’ble Dr Manmohan Singh of whom every Indian should be proud of.He truly all the sublime Indian ethos of erudition,humility,honesty,selfless dedication to duty,which,the current prime minister is unfortunately lacks.We need many more such prime ministers whether they are accidental or regular.Wish Dr Manmohan Singh deserves our praise and appreciation.

  5. Let us agree that Dr.Singh was an honest bureaucrat with all its inherent strength and weaknesses. He was not a professional politician and or statesman. It is futile on our part to search and invent qualities peculiar to a modern day politician in him. True to his nature as a bureaucrat and manager he performed his duties as an efficient and faithful CEO of the central government appointed by the Congress party owned by the family. Earlier Bal Thakre of Shiva Sena successfully experimented with this arrangement/concept but, without being hypocritical , publicly admitted it. Unfortunately all the political parties ,( except perhaps CPI/CPM/BJP ) now a days are functioning like family owned concerns. Congress party was and is, no exception. It is beyond comprehension why they are reluctant to admit the fact like Thakre

  6. centre.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxLet us agree that Dr.Singh was an honest bureaucrat with all its inherent strength and weaknesses. He was not a professional politician and or statesman. It is futile on our part to search and invent qualities peculiar to a modern day politician in him. True to his nature as a bureaucrat and manager he performed his duties as an efficient and faithful CEO of the central government appointed by the Congress party owned by the family. Earlier Bal Thakre of Shiva Sena successfully experimented with this arrangement/concept but, without being hypocritical , publicly admitted it. Unfortunately all the political parties ,( except perhaps CPU/CPM/BJP ) now a days are functioning like family owned concerns. Congress party was and is, no exception. It is beyond comprehension why they are reluctant to admit the fact like Thakre

  7. Being a realist and a truly humble man, Dr Singh May blush at his hagiographic description in this column.In any case, he had announced in January 2014 that he would no longer be in the reckoning for public office. 2019 will be a referendum on the incumbent’s record in office, nothing more, nothing less.

  8. It is sad that you defend a party which laid the seeds of terrorism in Punjab and later was responsible for a genocide in Delhi. A song comes to my mind which was sung by self-respecting Punjabi’s before independence. These Punjabi’s were physically, mentally and spiritually strong and believed in the Guru’s path of simplicity, honesty and hardwork . Unlike the “khokla sardars” of today whose only passion is eating and drinking and ostentatious consumption. “Pagri Sambhal Jatta, Pagri Sambhal”!!

  9. whatever films they made, but these issues will always linger in our minds:
    1. First time in history of so-called corruption free India, crisis in highest institutions like supreme court, RBI, CBI occur under this ram rajya.
    2. What is the status of govt. run telecom sector like bnsl to favor private firms like reliance.
    3. How gau mata are put at high esteem at the cost of human lives.
    4. How antisocial elements got courage to act and talk whatever they like.
    5. Increase in number of unpublished lives of jawans and civilians being lost with iron-hand policies.
    6. How common people are suffering from extra taxes, how a poor person finds it hard to produce 1000 bucks to get cylinder refill forget about subsidy.

    And last but not the least recent true verdict in assembly election and that too in hindi heartland. People are realizing the truth now. Rest anyone can made any film, take out quotes from films, mock others, but people are understanding the true faces and thatz more than enough.

  10. wah re wah. whatever films made, these issues will always remain as clear as crystal:
    1. First time in history of so-called corruption free India, crisis in highest institutions like supreme court, RBI, CBI occur under this ram rajya.
    2. What is the status of govt. run telecom sector like bnsl to favor private firms like reliance.
    3. How gau mata are put at high esteem at the cost of human lives.
    4. How antisocial elements got courage to act and talk whatever they like.
    5. Increase in number of unpublished lives of jawans and civilians being lost with iron-hand policies.
    6. How common people are suffering from extra taxes, how a poor person finds it hard to produce 1000 bucks to get cylinder refill forget about subsidy. Feels like singing one song here:

    Ramchandra keh gaye siya se
    aisa kaljug aayega
    hans chugega daana dunka
    kauwa moti khayega

  11. LOLZ we know whats fictional and who is right for us and for our country and WE will vote accordingly this biased writing will not change anything !!

  12. Sadly for “Libturds”, Indians don’t vote based on fictional works like this article of yours!! Call it what you want!!

  13. He was an accidental weakest PM of independent India. We lost golden opportunity to create more jobs in manufacturing sector during world over growth period of 2003 to 2008. During that time we only had competition with few other countries including China in manufacturing sector, now we are competing with dozens of countries including Bangladesh. During those 10 years India could not increase/upgrade infrastructure be it road/rail/agriculture/health. We are at the same place where we were. Populism was imposed by National Advisory Council headed by Sonia, weakest PM had to approve this all.

  14. You try and try man but your writing won’t change like you already said movie not change pupil mind same your useless article won’t change educated indian minds but you keep try but mark it in your mind don’t take Indians as fools everybody know what congress did to this country (totally baised online portal maybe congress paying you good money enjoy)

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