Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kabhi Khushi Bahut Gham

Sanjaya Baru the journalist who was also PM Man Mohan Singh's Man Friday has published his tell-all book and it is damning in the extreme. His claims (if true) can be best illustrated by a (fictional) UPA-II theme song:

To summarize the claims: MMS was expected to just smile softly and shake a leg to the tune set by the Queen Bee while ignoring the thugs running away with the ATM in the background.

BTW this really was no surprise. The first family considers India to be a fully family owned and operated business (and so do an overwhelming number of Indian intellectuals as well as the entire foreign press and the Western diplomatic establishment). 
Entitled “The Accidental Prime Minister — The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh,” the book is by academic and journalist Sanjaya Baru, a former media advisor to the current prime minister, who left his post in 2008.

Traditionally, the president of India's ruling party is also premier. But Gandhi, who led Congress to power in 2004 and 2009, turned down the job, fearing her Italian birth would become an explosive political issue as Hindu nationalists said her foreign origin made her unfit to rule India.

She handpicked Singh for the job but Baru said Gandhi's much hailed “renunciation of power” was more a “political tactic than a response to a higher calling”.

Baru said Singh decided early on to “surrender” to Gandhi and quotes the premier as saying he had “to accept the party president (Gandhi) is the centre of power”.

Critics have long charged Gandhi held the reins of power in the Singh administration but Baru's book is the first by a close advisor to the prime minister to make that claim.

In a strong criticism of the soft-spoken premier, he said Singh “averted his eyes from corruption” to ensure his scandal-tainted government's “longevity”.

While Singh, 81, who retires after this election, maintained the “highest standards of probity in public life”, he “turned a blind eye to the misdeeds of his ministers”.

Singh thought he could choose cabinet ministers but “he was defanged” as “Sonia nipped that hope in the bud”.

Baru said Singh had little authority over his cabinet and a senior bureaucrat would seek Gandhi's “instructions on the important files to be cleared by the PM”.


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