Baru's Book and Miscarriage of Issues
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 22-Apr-2014

Baru's Book and Miscarriage of Issues

I don't know why Sanjay Baru named the book "Accidental Prime minister" rather than naming it as "Shameless Prime minister". To substantiate my point, comments Sandeep Singh

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Mr Pulok Chatterjee was the biggest beneficiary of Sanjay Baru's book 'Accidental Prime Minister - The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh' followed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

I don't know why Sanjay Baru named the book "Accidental Prime minister" rather than naming it as "Shameless Prime minister". To substantiate my point

I will sight one of his statements "I have already made my mark with the economic reforms we launched in 1991. Even if I do not achieve anything as prime minister, I will still be remembered for what I did as finance minister."

and one of his acts: "declining to take a daily briefing from the intelligence chiefs. He (Manmohan Singh) was the first prime minister not to do so. The chiefs of both the IB and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) were told to report to the NSA instead. I didn’t think the intelligence chiefs would deliver their best if they reported to an intermediary instead of the prime minister himself, and repeatedly implored him to take a direct daily briefing from them".

Maybe this is why Sanjay Baru has not bothered to mention a single action of Manmohan Singh against terror activities; which have remained a weekly affair during Manmohan's tenure.

I can go on and on but anyway nightmare named Manmohan Singh is over. Here I want to raise 10 issues which were not raised by people who should have raised it based on the book, and this is what I call miscarriage of issues.

1. The games (Commonwealth Games ) fiasco was waiting to happen. ..At one point, he (Manmohan Singh) tried to get Rahul Gandhi interested, suggesting to him that just as his father, Rajiv, had acquired both administrative experience and a reputation for good organization when he took charge of the 1982 Asian Games, the younger Gandhi could also make good use of this opportunity. Rahul showed no interest.

And Congress wants to make Rahul Gandhi , Prime minister.

2. Sonia's Vindictiveness: "Later that evening I was told the Congress party had got Rao’s family to agree to fly his body out to Hyderabad by deploying Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy to persuade them to fall in line. The Congress party refused to allow Rao’s body to be brought into the party’s headquarters on its way to the airport, and Sonia chose not to be present at the Hyderabad cremation."

Manmohan allowed this to happen, when he himself admits that anything good if he has done in his life was as Finance Minister under Narasimha Rao. To top it Congress was busy advising BJP on how to treat elder polticians.

Narasimha Rao's episode reminds how Congress and Nehru-Gandhi family treated Sardar Patel's daughter. Verghese Kurien’s memoirs, I Too Had A Dream writes: "Maniben Patel,Sardar Patel’s daughter, was a woman of tremendous honesty and loyalty. She told me that when Sardar Patel passed way, she picked up a book and a bag that belonged to him and went to meet Jawaharlal Nehru in Delhi. She handed them to Nehru, telling him that her father had instructed her that when she died she should give these items to Nehru and no one else. The bag contained Rs 35 Lakh that belonged to the Congress Party and the book was the party’s book of accounts. Nehru took them and thanked her. Maniben waited expectantly, hoping he would say something more, but he did not, so she got up and left.

I asked her what she had expected Nehru to say to her. ‘I thought he might ask me how I would manage now, or atleast ask if there was anything he could do to help me. But he never asked.’ she explained. She was extremely disheartened and in a way the incident revealed the strain in the Nehru-Sardar Patel relationship. It was quite distressing to see that neither Nehru nor any of the other national leaders of the Congress ever bothered to find out what happened to Maniben after her father died.”

“After all the sacrifices that Sardar Patel made for the nation, it was very sad that the nation did nothing for his daughter. In her later years, when her eyesight weakened, she would walk unaided down the streets of Ahmedabad, often stumble and fall until some passerby helped her up. When she was dying, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Chimanbhai Patel, came to her bedside with a photographer. He stood behind her bed and instructed him to take a picture. The photograph was published in all the newspapers the next day. With a little effort, they could so easily have made her last years comfortable."

3. "As Sonia’s chosen courier, he acquired the power to influence decision-making in such matters till the very end. On one occasion, he arrived at 7 RCR just minutes before the PM’s letter to the President listing the names of MPs to be sworn in as ministers in a reshuffle was dispatched. Since the letter had been typed and signed and was ready to be delivered, and the President was waiting to receive it, it was decided that instead of wasting time retyping the letter, the new name being canvassed by Patel would be typed over an existing name, with that name being painted over with whitener. Thus was Andhra MP Subbirami Reddy accommodated into the council of ministers in January 2006, after white paint had been applied over the name of Harish Rawat, an MP from Uttarakhand, who is now the chief minister of that state."

Patel here stands for Ahmed Patel. Sanjay Baru has only mentioned him as Patel, may be Baru wanted to keep the book secular?

BJP never bothered to ask Harish Rawat about the humiliation?

4. ‘I have to name a new Planning Commission,’ he (Manmohan Singh) said. .. The one I was asked to sound out was Anu Aga, chairperson of Thermax. Her husband, Rohinton Aga, had been a contemporary of Dr Singh at college in England and she had distinguished herself as a corporate leader when she took charge of the family company after his death. When I called Anu, who was then in London, she asked for a day to consult her family. She called back the next day and accepted Dr Singh’s invitation to join the Planning Commission. But when I went back to him with her acceptance, the PM looked sheepish and informed me that he had already agreed to appoint Syeda Hameed, a Muslim writer and social activist, and so, I was told, there was no place left for Anu. Clearly, the ‘gender’ and ‘minority’ boxes had been filled up with Syeda’s appointment. I was left with the embarrassing task of explaining away the confusion to Anu.

What I obviously could not say to her was that the political benefits of rewarding a Muslim may well have trumped those of appointing a Parsi! To my dismay, even Dr Singh seemed to take this embarrassment lightly. For those who had served a lifetime in government, such slips seemed to be par for the course. Ironically, while it was Manmohan Singh who had been initially keen to find a niche for Anu, it was Sonia who finally provided one, by inducting her into her NAC in UPA-2.

I wonder, was this episode which made Anu Aga (Teesta Seetalvad of Corporate World) invest in Gujarat? Did She realised the benefits of secularism??

5. ‘I (Manmohan Singh) cannot take you (Sanjay Baru) back into the PMO. Why don’t you become a member of the Planning Commission for now? I will see later how to bring you back here.’

Above two examples (4 & 5) define not only the state of Planning Commission but state of Governance under Congress.

6. "Dr Singh lost that election by close to 30,000 votes to the BJP’s Vijay Kumar Malhotra, a considerably less distinguished political personality. His views on the massacre of some 3000 Sikhs in Delhi by Congress party activists and goons after Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 became a subject of controversy. While he condemned the killings unequivocally, the fact that he blamed both the Congress and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for them did not go down well with either. Nor was this argument appreciated by Sikh voters.

Delhi’s Sikh community had, in fact, been grateful to the RSS for protecting Sikh families from the wrath of mobs attacking them, often led by local Congressmen. Their anger was reserved wholly for the Congress. The Congress, on the other hand, was also upset with Dr Singh’s stance because it had pretended all along that the killing of Sikhs after Indira’s assassination was a spontaneous expression of popular anger rather than an organized pogrom."

I am really surprised as to why even RSS and BJP never talked about it since the release of book, more so when RSS is abused by every tom, dick and harry every day in some media or the other? The other day one of the secularist on a TV show said RSS was involved in 1984 riots along with Congress, and the so called right wingers on the show where quite? Everyone knows that Indian Media won't talk good of RSS. (If someone from BJP or RSS raised this point in Media, then I must have missed it)

7. "The seminar room at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in New Delhi had framed pages on its walls of the report of the Jain Enquiry Commission on Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, in which the DMK was named a conspirator."

Sonia didn't think twice to tieup with Karunanidhi. Indians will be fool to think that she will let a government under her take action against any country for any aggression or terror activity as long as it doesn't harms her individually.

8. Sonia's line of thinking had full support of Manmohan Singh. After all "On the eve of his becoming prime minister, in May 2004, Dr Singh told journalist Jonathan Power (Statesman, 20 May 2004) in an off-the-record conversation that Power published without his permission, ‘Short of secession, short of redrawing boundaries, the Indian establishment can live with anything. Meanwhile, we need soft borders—then borders are not so important.’

9. Though Congress runs the government and Left is not supporting it, the government in reality is run by communists. Baru's book gives ample example that even a childhood relationship with Left is a criteria to get recruited in PMO.

Perhaps Dr Singh’s mindfulness of the Left’s concerns over the India-US nuclear agreement may have led him to give up the idea of giving an extension to Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, who was handling the negotiations, and overlook the claims of over a dozen foreign service officials, to appoint Shivshankar Menon. On account of Shivshankar’s long-standing personal equations and family connections with Left leaders, the Left regarded him as a ‘friend’.

Everyone in PMO including Baru was there because of Communist Ideology. Shivshankar Menon, Mani Iyer, Pulok Chatterjee, T K Nair etc. were others who were in PMO because of their left leanings.

Manmohan Singh was OK with front stabbings of Leftists. "Many in the audience, including The Hindu’s chief editor N. Ram, walked up to Dr Singh and complimented him for his ‘visionary’ speech. However, a misreading of his speech by the London based Times of India reporter, who was not even present in Oxford, resulted in a front-page story accusing Dr Singh of ‘genuflecting before the Empire’. Both the BJP and the communists instantly attacked him. Since Ram had praised the PM, I urged him to write an editorial explaining why he thought the PM’s speech was ‘visionary’ and he agreed to do so. However, the next day he called to say that Irfan Habib, the Marxist historian, and Prabhat Patnaik, the Marxist economist, had penned a strong attack against the PM and it would be difficult for him to editorially defend him. Ram, like Irfan and Prabhat, was a member of the CPI(M)."

10. Times of India and Hindustan Times have no role in PMO.


Sandeep Singh is a writer, commentator and trainer. He is founder of SWASTIK, an initiative to connect with optimum number of institutions and individuals from various fields who want to research, learn, implement and spread the 'Indian Wisdom' of thousands of years.