It has been a rough month for Manmohan Singh. Everything that could have gone wrong did and still, somehow, he clings to the chair and continues to degrade the highest office in the land.
It started with the CBI director disclosing to the Supreme Court that he had been asked for and had shown the preliminary investigation report to the Law Minister and members of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This is a shocking revelation in more ways than one. First of all, the court had specifically ordered the CBI that the investigation report was not to be shown to anyone by the court. Secondly, the period being investigated was the time when Manmohan Singh held the Coal portfolio. So in effect, it was the government being investigated.
Another minister in his cabinet found himself in the middle of a scam. Pawan Kumar Bansal found himself embroiled in a scam involving his nephew accepting bribes to give people plum postings in the Railway ministry, which is run by his uncle. What made this especially embarrassing was the fact that Bansal is seen as close to the PM because of his Punjabi roots.
Now, the Punjabis are a hardworking, honest and brave people. Over the decades and centuries, they have shown themselves to be the only Indian people who can lay claim to the tag cool. But their history also consists of being victims of a planned pogrom in the 1980s, when two Sikhs shot and killed the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi, her son, went on to make the infamous comment, “When a giant tree falls, the earth below shakes”. It was his justification for the calculated and planned massacre of Sikhs in the capital of the country. This happened in 1984 and 29 years later, not one person has been called on to account for this shameful act.
Since that event, Manmohan Singh is the first Punjabi to step up to the PM’s chair. As PM, he could have done at least ensured that the investigation and trials of the accused was brought to a closure. But in the last month, we saw the prime accused walk away from court with not a speck of dirt attached to him. Now, it maybe that he is innocent. But how can 4000 citizens of this country be massacred in cold blood and not one person be held responsible for this barbaric act? Countries have gone to war on less.
Through all this, Manmohan Singh continues to cling to a chair he has no right to, as he has never gone to the people to ask if they wanted him as their representative.
Mr. Singh has not only done disservice to the Punjabi people, but to the people of this country as a whole.
As we hurtle towards the 2014 elections, I am sure we will get to see more examples of gentlemanly behavior from our tallest leader.