For a Prime Minister whose greatest crime was not speaking at all, or at least that's what the media would have you believe, Dr Manmohn Singh has spoken and quite often, about a plethora of issues. We made a list of said times, just to have a reminder what that was like.
1. As early as November 2016, a few days after the demonetisation drive was announced, Manmohan Singh had predicted that there would be a sharp 2% drop in the GDP. And he was spot on.
Dr Manmohan Singh called #DemonetisationDisaster "organised loot and plunder" & said it would hit GDP by 2 percent. He was spot on.— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) August 31, 2017
So much maligned Dr Manmohan Singh was not quite wrong. 2 per cent plus negative impact on GDP growth post DeMo! #DeMo— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 31, 2017
2. In 1999, Dr Singh had warned that our economic growth should not be taken for granted. What he said at the time seems to be becoming our lived reality.
Great nations like the Soviet Union have perished. They have disappeared from the surface of the Earth. If the Indian polity is not well managed, I think we ought to recognize that a similar danger can overtake us too.
3. Just days after the demonetisation drive was announced, the former Prime Minister spoke in the parliament and said that those who were thinking of the long run must understand that in the long run, we are all dead.
4. He practically predicted the health crisis. During an interview with American journalist Charlie Rose in 2006, Dr Singh had said that his government's way of taking care of the poor would be by investing more in healthcare.
5. Last year, he also called out the Modi government on their poor economic management which resulted in an economic slowdown. He laid down a three-step plan that needed to be implemented immediately to stem the damage from the pandemic as well.
6. At a time, when religious tensions were high, he made his government's stand very clear on the subject.
Unity and secularism will be the motto of the government. We can't afford divisive polity in India.
7. Dr Singh is in fact, one of the few Indian Prime Ministers who have openly admitted and acknowledged the problem of casteism in this country that is widely prevalent to this day.
Dalits have faced a unique discrimination in our society that is fundamentally different from the problems of minority groups in general. The only parallel to the practice of "untouchability" was Apartheid.
8. After the nation went into collective shock following the 2012 gang rape in Delhi, the Prime Minister addressed the nation, assuring justice.
9. After the Modi government claimed that no Chinese troops had intruded into Indian territory, Dr Singh had called out the PM and said that disinformation was no substitute for diplomacy.
10. He also spoke about the Modi government ripping off a lot of his socio-economic schemes and had called the PM a better salesman than him.
I have to acknowledge that my successor has been a more adept salesman, event manager and communicator than me.
11. And following the government's astouding failure to manage or control the second wave of COVID-19, Dr Singh wrote a letter to PM Modi suggesting five measures to battle the pandemic.
Sad life! Kbai.