Former prime minister Manmohan Singh suddenly spoke on Wednesday. He criticised the Narendra Modi government and defended himself against the allegations against him in the 2G scam. ['BJP diverting attention to non-issues']
He said the BJP was trying to deflect people's attention to non-issues and that he never tried to use public office to enrich himself or his kin or friends. ['Never used office to enrich myself, family or friends']
He also said the institutions of democracy are under threat.
The former PM is rattled by a number of factors
Singh, one suspects, is rattled by a number facts and hence he is going against his nature of keeping mum even when it is most required, as India has seen a number of times when his United Progressive Alliance government was in power between 2004 and 2014.
No one defends the forgotten PM now, so he himself speaks
One of those things is certainly the 2G scam. The recent allegations made by former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman have certainly hurt Singh and with nobody in the Congress really eager to care for his honour for the party is looking forward to a rejuvenated Rahul Gandhi, the old man decided to speak for himself.
This is something different from what it was during Singh's days as the premier. Congress leaders, ranging from chief Sonia Gandhi to smaller ones used to jump to his defence. But now with the post gone, Singh is a forgotten man now.
Modi is doing what Manmohan could never do abroad to connect with the diaspora
Another factor that has rattled Singh is perhaps PM Modi's growth as a statesman abroad. Singh himself was also a PM who loved the foreign policy domain and had made quite a few trips abroad.
The man always depended on the high command to speak for himself
But when he sees Modi expressing himself in front of the Indian diaspora in China saying he has kept his word by working overtime and did not take a single vacation during his first one year in office, he perhaps feels that he had missed a chance to project himself. He was too dependent on his party high command (Rahul Gandhi even humiliated his government publicly once) to defend him and never could really do it for himself.
Manmohan is trying to imitate his successor to say that he is also an honest person
He now tries to ape his successor who clarified that he never had the intention to use his position for his own benefit. Singh is now hopelessly trying to turn the clock back and make similar remarks. But not many will be ready to lend him ears now.
Democracy under threat: Ironical that Manmohan said this on Nehru's death anniversary
Also saying that the institutions of democracy are under threat also do much damage to Singh's image as a politician. It is ironical that the octogenarian former PM made this remark on the day that marked the 51st death anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Did Manmohan forget that his own party's Indira Gandhi did the democratic institutions more harm than a Modi?
India's first prime minister is given the credit for nurturing India's democratic institutions during his days of premiership and history is witness to the fact that his own daughter Indira Gandhi had systematically destroyed those institutions of pride just to make her own family the controller of India's fortunes. In the mid-1970s, Indira Gandhi had called an emergency which is still considered the blacked spot on an otherwise clean history of the world's biggest democracy.
As a leader of the same Congress, when Manmohan Singh says the Indian democracy has come under threat only now, it defies all logic.
Too little, too late Mr Singh, it's better to keep silent now
It is very late for the ex-PM to defend the UPA government today when the NDA government is just a year old in office. It is futile to expect that an anti-incumbency mood will threaten the Modi government just after a year and that the Indian electorate will go for an alternative at once. Singh's words are nothing more than a waste of time today for he has spoken too little too late when it had mattered the most.