Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Home Opinions In the winter of his public life, why can't Dr Manmohan Singh engage his...

In the winter of his public life, why can’t Dr Manmohan Singh engage his own staff rather than being petulant?

Dr Singh has practically come to an end to his public life. Neither his own men and women want him, nor does the ruling dispensation have an affinity for him.

The winter of public life is setting upon Dr Manmohan Singh.  By all accounts, it is doing no good to his feeble frame. Or self-esteem, never mind it wasn’t on the rack under the canopy of the Gandhis in the first place.

The 87-year-old former Prime Minister, twice over, is battling on many fronts and it isn’t just the aftereffects of multiple cardiac bypass surgeries he has had to endure on self. He seems to have been let down by his own women and men, or mother-son duo if you may, though the news doing public rounds is his anger the ruling dispensation of BJP at the Centre.

The latest bit is Dr Singh’s refusal to accept the trimmed numbers of his personal staff to five—two each personal assistants and peons and one lower-division clerk—against the 14 he perceives is his right. Dr Singh has been pretty dogged in pursuing the matter and given the number of letters he has shot across to PMO, one could only say that his one lower-division clerk is worth every single penny.

It’s a cry in the wilderness for nothing. A man who was used to 500 persons crowding PMO for a decade, is now left with just five. It’s a cut as drastic as the surgical strike he did on the state-command economy in the 90s. The setback is as much functional as psychological. You need translators and stenographers; Photostat operators and dispatch riders, drivers, carpenters and even cook!  There are weekly offs, one or two on leave due to marriage in the neighbourhood, and who pays for overtime in case the assistant is asked to stay back for the second shift?

There are bound to be letters and invitations to a man who once presided over the destiny of 1.30 billion people, even if by remote.  Phones must be ringing incessantly. Doorbells being pressed all so often. A posse of doctors and nurses pacing up and down the hall. Rent-a-quote journalists from The Indian Express and The Hindu spread on the couches of the living room. It’s a fair bit of nuisance.

A prime minister leaving his office is still worth the rank of a cabinet minister, says the rulebook. But it’s only for five years after he demits his office. It’s Modi’s second term now. Privileges aren’t for life, you see.

Can’t Dr Singh engage his own staff? But then he is no longer a Prime Minister drawing a salary of Rs 1.6 lakhs. He is no longer a Member of Parliament from Rajya Sabha too which is worth a lakh of rupees every month. (How he must be cursing the mother-son duo of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi who moved heavens to get an Ahmed Patel elected to Rajya Sabha but didn’t twitch an eyebrow in dumping Dr Singh’s candidature).

For many years, he drove Maruti 800. If Khushwant Singh’s book, “Absolute Khuswant” isn’t as fake as his Sikh history, Dr Singh once borrowed Rs 2 lakh from him to fight the 1991 Lok Sabha elections. Dr Singh’s progenies are academicians like him. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are saving for the rainy days. Besides, what could you expect from a man who publicly tore your policy papers in front of whirring cameras? Or a Congress who saw him fit for no role during the 2019 General Elections even though the party was fighting for its’ life?

Modi doesn’t look a man who would junk the rulebook. On his person too, Modi has cash of only Rs 38,750 even though the fixed deposit is Rs 1.27 crores (as per the details in his 2019 Poll affidavit). How could the present PM help an ex-PM? Could Dr Singh appeal to former vice-president Hamid Ansari and his Muslim brethren given how charitable he was in declaring Muslims to have the first right on India’s resources? Could Capt. Amrinder Singh listen to the wails of a fellow Sikh and override his seething anger against the High Command who have unleashed a barking Navjot Singh Sidhu on his coattails?

Dr Singh has practically come to an end to his public life. Neither his own men and women want him, nor does the ruling dispensation have an affinity for him. The public base for Dr Singh, in any case, was flimsy. He flourished on the benign grants of Congress’ aristocracy. The plank has now been pulled from under his feet. And he doesn’t even have a straw to clutch on to. But then when Lutyens Delhi has been kind to even its own deities?

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Ashish Shuklahttp://ashishshukla.net/
Author of "How United States Shot Humanity", Senior Journalist, TV Presenter

Related Articles

Trending now

‘Degenerate’ Imran Khan does it again, blames women for rising sexual violence in Pakistan

Pakistan PM Imran Khan held women's clothes responsible for the sexual violence committed against them

India secures milestone in Coronavirus vaccination drive, administers over 82 lakh doses in a single day: Details

CoWIN app showed that Madhya Pradesh administered a whopping 13,71,180 lakh vaccine doses alone on Monday.

Sister Lucy was dismissed from Church by the Vatican for writing poems, driving a car: Read the startling claims made

The Vatican was also miffed after Sister Lucy wrote a memoir, hinting at sexual abuse with the Church clergy.

Calcutta High Court rejects Mamata Banerjee govt plea, NHRC to investigate post-poll violence in state

West Bengal government had applied to the court to recall the order passed by the court while hearing a bunch of PILs alleging assault including sexual abuse during post-poll violence in the state.

Amarnath Yatra cancelled amid Chinese coronavirus pandemic, devotees can do darshan online

The Amarnath Yatra, holy pilgrimage for Hindus, has often been a target of terror attacks in the past.

International Yoga Day: How ‘a way of life’ argument is used to peddle ‘Yoga is not Hindu’ propaganda

On International Yoga Day, motivated individuals attempted to appropriate Yoga and disassociate it from Hinduism.

Recently Popular

How Venkatesh Prasad is winning hearts with his ‘Sanghi’ posts, one tweet at a time

Venkatesh Prasad demonstrated the Surya Namaskar for his followers, performed in deference to the Sun God.

Republic TV issues statement over Arnab Goswami’s disappearance from the news network: Here is what they said

Arnab Goswami was last seen on May 2 during a discussion on West Bengal assembly polls. He will make a return on Monday.

Fact Check: Is “Raam” with the photo of Lord Ram printed on it is the world’s most expensive currency

As Raam is not a legal tender issued by a sovereign state or a central bank, it is not a regular currency, it is actually a bearer bond

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren fails to meet Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi despite 4-days wait: Details

The Dialy Pioneer has cited quoting sources that the JMM chief is not happy over Rahul and Sonia ignoring him and instead meeting TN CM Stalin.

Who is Vishal Jood? An Indian national arrested for taking on Khalistani extremists in Australia

Vishal Jood, the 24 yar old from Haryana, has been languishing in a jail in the down in the country for two months now.

Bombay HC grants transit anticipatory bail to Rana Ayyub for spreading fake news in Ghaziabad incident after advocate argued ‘spine injury’

Propagandist Rana Ayyub has been granted 4 week of transit anticipatory bail by the Bombay High Court over the Ghaziabad incident.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,564FansLike
555,109FollowersFollow
24,400SubscribersSubscribe