Change-It is a fashionable word these days. Obama steam-rollered into American and world consciousness with his clarion call for CHANGE. Most often, we perceive change happening only when it is accompanied by wave upon wave of public opinion, advertisement blitzkriegs, publicity and media overkill.
Just as wisdom does not come by chance, neither does change. In the history of the world there are a few handpicked individuals who have toiled hard for the progress of mankind. Yet, not all of them got or get their dues. Some rain makers are seen as mere shadows or side players lurking in the back ground of history’s unwinding.
India has undergone a metamorphosis during the past 18 years and indeed it has been a sea-change. A revolution of sorts. If we have to handpick a single individual for the greatest contribution, it will of course have to be Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Manmohan Singh, unlike Obama, does not rouse the people with charisma or eloquence. Yet, beneath his veneer of ordinariness and shyness, he has been the greatest architect of modern India. Here is a man who is incorruptible, humane, decent and secular to the core and extremely resourceful and determined when it comes to his clearly identified goals.
One of Manmohan’s greatest contributions has been his ability to float above pettiness, and bring about decency in politics. He taught his countrymen without speaking that it is possible for different cultures, religions and languages to live and thrive together without hatred. Above all, he nurtured and created the right climate for nation building – instilling a sense of pride and confidence in the minds of the citizens about the concept of India as a nation.
It has been India’s tryst with destiny that Narasimha Rao picked the most unlikely person -Dr. Manmohan Singh – to be the Finance Minister of our country in 1991. Then the sluice gates of controls and licences were opened, allowing for flow of fresh air in institutions riddled with corruption and favoritism.
As a Prime Minister, presiding over a booming economy for the best part of five years, getting the nuclear deal through – almost at the cost of sacrificing his government – and tackling terrorism with firmness are not the only changes you can credit this visionary with. He is farsighted enough to provide for decent outlays for education. Scientific and technological leaps culminating in the mission to the moon happened under his watch. And, Indians around the world are a respected lot these days.
It is a tribute to his courage, perseverence, readiness to dare and dream big – that despite his personal disinclination for petty politics and power plays – he has stayed on for 5 eventful years braving every storm that came his way, with poise and grace. He has been an example of calm and grace under pressure – an ideal he cherishes.
According to Jim Rohn, an influential thinker,
The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.
All of the above attributes reside in Manmohan Singh in good measure.
The changes brought about by him are changes we can believe in. It is there for everyone to see. Yet it has come without any fanfare or loud words. They came unannounced, softly, unsung, just like Manmohan, the man. Who will say the the gentle, incessant rain pattering on the leaves is any less majestic than the grandeur of the distant thunder or the roar of the seas? We are all prouder Indians because of Dr. Manmohan Singh.
May God Bless India!
By the way, scribes in our land are on the look out for the Indian Obama. Anyone want to venture a guess and help those poor, distressed souls?
- A Tale of Two Democracies
- Of Narayana Murthy, Obama and Capitalism
- L K Advani’s “Change” in India’s next General Election
- Will Manmohan Singh Win The Confidence Vote?
- Manmohan Singh Wins The Confidence Vote