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Stop Hounding Manmmohan Singh

Monday, June 01, 2015
By Deepak Sahijwala

As far as “I am concerned, I can say in all humility that I have not used my public office to enrich myself, to enrich my family or my friends” says Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. So should you believe him?  Of course, atleast I and many of my business journalists colleagues, who had oft interacted with him from the early eighties as then RBI Governor. From there to becoming Finance Minister and then Prime minister of the country across two terms reflected no change in the man, whose humility and unparalleled integrity was never before doubted. Neither by politicians nor India Inc.

So when he painfully says “the BJP government keeps on harping on this theme of corruption because it wants to distract the attention of the people to non-issues”, it does touch a chord resonating with support for him. The man may have erred or misjudged or even overlooked serious flaws in the administration of his government, but even that too, is debatable. The positives that he brought in for the country through his foresight and acumen over the decades cannot be now ignored.

Not even in the face of the recent controversy that has erupted after former TRAI Chairman Pradip Baijal's allegations that Singh had warned him of harm if he did not cooperate on 2G telecom licenses. Baijal, who was probed for several years in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, also claimed that the CBI wanted him to "implicate" Arun Shourie and Ratan Tata in the case. If that was the case why did Baijal not raise the issue then. After all, if he believes the truth should prevail, it would have prevailed then, too. Here, I get the feeling that politics may be influencing his actions.

So said, it should also be looked from the view, that such controversial allegations, mostly baseless are demeaning the high  office of the Prime Minister. It’s not about individuals, past or present...it is about the high office whose sanctity should not be trampled upon.

Bottom line: For me believing Manmohan Singh to be corrupt would be akin to believing that hens lay square eggs.

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