Bangalore, July 8: Everybody talk about politicians aspiring to become the prime minister. It is considered to be the ultimate reward in the profession of politics. But while we speak about people who aspire to become the prime minister or those who could have become the fittest man for the post had his fate been more kind, we have forgotten the significance of the post in the current times, at least since 2004.
And mind it, we are not speaking about a prime minister of a fragile coalition government but of a party which has produced some of the strongest and impactful prime ministers in the history of India. Even the last Congress prime minister before Dr Manmohan Singh left an impact that had changed India's course of history, even as he was heading a minority government. That is what the legacy of the prime minister's chair should be.
But look at the woeful state of our current prime minister. Dr Singh, a man of great intellectual standards, has been found wanting in the role of the administrative head. While we see how a US President speaks when 12 firefighters get killed in a terrible blaze in Arizona, India's prime minister is found speaking not much except from the routine condolences (in case of a natural disaster) or condemnations (in case of a man-made disaster).
Doesn't leadership call for more than just deciding the degree of liberalisation of the Indian economy? Even then, the economist hasn't succeeded much in turning around the economy. Dr Singh has fared miserably even in leading his nation in terms of economic administration, let alone the political part, for he was never an expert in that.
On Sunday, PM Singh said in the wake of the Bodh Gaya attacks that such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated. Really, Mr Prime Minister? And terror attacks in a market or a city centre will be tolerated? Does vagueness have a limit?
Hearing the Indian prime minister's 'strong' condemnation, Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed would have certainly said: "Thik hain", a phrase which was made infamous by Dr Singh in th wake of the horrible Delhi gangrape case and its aftermath.