I believe MMS is the best prime minister of India till date. He didn't lose a war against China, didn't clamp down emergency, wasn't sitting idle when a mosque was demolished and wasn't writing poetry when Gujarat was burning.
He has indeed alienated the middle class, his biggest supporter in India. The main reason for the alienation is his pandering to Congress main vote bank in India, the illiterate, poor and non thinking Indian. But still he is still the best India could ever get.
Akar Patel doesn't list any achievement of MMS, He only defends what Guha has writte.
If you look at two terms he got, there is not much to show. The so called human laws of RTI are actually forced upone him by NAC. Economy growth was more global phenomenon which is faltering now (If he takes credit of growth he should also take credit of runaway inflation and other miseries which he blames on Global environment). Only thing which can be counted as achievement is nuclear deal. There is no point about crying for lower number in LS, he himself doesn't contest for LS.
Rest of the Akar's blog talks about bad middle class which didn't elect this great man for LS, what happened to democracy rehoteric these guys were having against Anna. If you don't get votes you cannot rule and make laws as simple as that. If instead of talking to common man you talk to world economic forum thats your choice don't cry fould about why you didn't get vote. MMS is a failure no doubt about it. He should have not gone for second term as he doesn't have much to contribute any more.
Middle class media, blog writers will deplore what MMS has achieved for India. Their reasons are not based on his perfromance but rather on some social/religious factors. Rather than commenting on his policies they will point to sonia Gandhi being high command, as if we are living in a dicttatorship.( In a democracy, people will be the high command for any PM. Any leader has to take into effect how a policy will effect the party politically), some corruption scandals.. Some are even shamelessly compare MMS to the corrupt and inefficient regimes of vajapayee( Bangaru Laxman taking money on TV, Gujrat pogram, kargil scam and so on.) and PVN (JMM bribery, ) forgetting his economic achievement..
Middle class lives are not affected by Govt policies that much. To get the real picture, one should ask the poor and lower income groups and businees folks. Those are the ones who are directly affected. The impact RTI, Education laws and NREG schemes have made on the lives of poor in enormous.. Of course there is big scope for improvement in economic policies but MMS has done a good enough job till now and I hope he takes more bold decisions in the economic sphere in future.
The Indian Middle Class - Desi or Parvasi - does move on Herd Instinct on many issues. What all it needs is a Pied Piper to lead!
"Guha gives us the audience’s view of the stage."
And Patel an insider's 'embedded' view ?
"We haven’t discussed his achievements, and this may not be the place for it"
Does it require any space ?
Akar Patel has written an article only to boost the morale of those disillusioned dolts working for the Congress party. In any case a regular reader of the Mint would be aware of Patel’s ability to peddle large amounts of excreta as opinion.
He brings depression when he sits statuesque,he brings shame when he bends in front of Sonia,he lulls the nation to sleep when he mumbles and he surely looks ungrateful not to mention PVN at any stage.
"The herd has spoken."
I was wrong. There are herds who would be convinced by any lame excuse.
" "given the poor hand that Indian voters have dealt him, he has played well, even brilliantly":"
You know who else was dealt a poor hand by Indian voters? PV Narasimha Rao and Atal Behari Vajpayee. If Singh has played "brilliantly", especially in UPA-2 then we must find new superlatives to describe how PV and ABV played.
Ofcourse, PV and ABV did not have the millstone in the form of high command hanging round their necks. They only had allies to keep happy. They did not have to bow down to people with all power and no accoutability.
However, we're talking about leadership of a democracy here and not about the mileage of a car - gives 25 kmpl under standard conditions, but under city conditions can give only 10 kmpl.
"Some of Singh’s ministers are demonstrably corrupt. But it’s also true that they have been acted against."
But when have they been acted against? After considerable pressure was built up by the media and the people (especially the middle class). In Kalmadi's care Mani Shankar Aiyer had been writiing letters to the PMO for a long time alleging and sometines detailing the corruption in the organisation of CWG games. Was any action taken. Infact pressure built up after media started broadcasting images of collapsed brigdes and filthy toilets and unfinished stadiums.
In 2G case, the PM initially admitted that there was nothing wrong and then tried to pass it off as coalition compulsions and finally tried to blame the NDA Telecom policy.
As someone already poined out, the writer has not highlighted anything thet MMS did so that he may not be considered a failure.
And with the hand dealt to him, the dumbest undergraduate from a unkown university would have done a similar, if not a better job.
I am not sure till when our these so called intellect and paid journos will keep bailing out MMS, Congress and UPA?
Out own Shri VM saheb still do not forget to recall the bad, but very old, "India Shining" to neutralize anything against his favorites.
What about the mess under MMS/UPA (cash for vote, ghotalas, inflation, you name it):
"NO no no no (imagine Russell Peters' Indian accent); that is the bad bad middle class".
>> Aakar Patel (and the BLOGS) must be congratulated for going against the herd
Since when is going the herd the sole criterion deserving of praise? Jehadis who plant bombs are also going against the herd. Will you praise them too?
The herd has spoken.
Patel's article on MMS sounds like a pathetic lawyer presenting a case of a criminal. It is tough to convince himself with excuses he is coming up with. How is he going to convince others ?
What a lousy defence of an indefensible puppet!! Mr. Patel fails to articulate what hee sees in the "man" that most of the country, including industry barons, leading writers, the middle class and MMS himself cannot see.
MMS is not the first PM heading a coalition in the country. He has outpaced IK Gujral and Gowda on the hate chart. Rao and Vajpayee were at the helm under more challenging circumstances. The key difference was that they had the spine and courage to face the challenges instead to peddling lousy excuses like "I was not aware" or "Coalition compulsions". Vajpayee lost the stint by a margin of one fraud vote (Gamang-gate!!) but was never as shameless as Maunmoron to avoid facing the opposition or to buy votes for cash.
For all his qualities, PVN Rao did a great dis-service to the nation by off-loading this mumbling joker on this country. He should have let this man rot in the bureaucracy.
Aakar Patel (and the BLOGS) must be congratulated for going against the herd and taking a re-look. The trend for many of our writers is to join the chorus rather than make a hard assessment.