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My Father Should Write His Autobiography: Daman Singh

New Delhi
File - Jitender Gupta/Outlook

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's daughter Daman Singh, who has penned her parent's biography, today said it was "upsetting" that the public opinion had turned against him towards the end of his 10-year rule.

Daman, whose book Strictly Personal: Manmohan and Gursharan will be published tomorrow, said that public opinion was "transient" and changes from time to time.

But asked specifically by Karan Thapar on his programme 'Nothing but the Truth' on Headlines Today, if she was upset, Daman said, "It was upsetting because he had worked so hard. He had worked... It was sad that the work that he did was not being appreciated".

Talking about his relationship with the media, she said that the former Prime Minister enjoyed talking to them when he was the Finance Minister but the media had changed since then.

"He has not changed. It is the media that has changed. I think in those days, the media was more interested in serious issues and I think it was also much more capable of understanding serious issues," she said when asked why he had changed.

Daman added that her father enjoys "intelligent conversations".

The book talks about the life of Manmohan Singh and his wife but keeps away from the last 10 years when he was the Prime Minister.

Asked how Manmohan Singh would have felt when Sonia Gandhi refused to take over and selected him to be the next Prime Minister, his daughter said it was a challenge.

"It was a massive, massive challenge. I think he saw it as an honour and a privilege to take on that challenge," she said.

Daman also wished that her father would write his autobiography but steered clear from a clear answer when asked if he was indeed doing so.

"I think he should. I am not sure if he is but I think he should because there is so much wisdom and knowledge and experience that I think it would be a service," she said. 

Asked again if Manmohan Singh was writing his memoirs, Daman smilingly said, "He might be. Everybody is writing a book these days. Why not him?"

Of the little that she talked about her father's innings as the Prime Minister, Daman said her mother was hurt by his criticism in the media during UPA 2.

"He has a tough skin. She does not wear a tough skin. She is very sensitive. She feels very hurt. She used to be deeply hurt... She went through a very tough time".

Asked if her mother hated the 10 years he spent as the Prime Minister, she said, "Hate is a very strong word. My parents don't use such language...It was difficult".

When asked specifically if her mother didn't enjoy it, she said, "Well, there were other aspects which she did enjoy".

She said that her mother sees her father more as a scholar than a politician.

Daman said it was "very hurtful" when BJP leader L K Advani called him the weakest Prime Minister.

"But when he went on and on saying it, it didn't really matter," she said.

Talking about his 1999 Lok Sabha bid, Daman said that Manmohan was badly shaken by his defeat and the whole family had to rally behind him to boost his morale.

Asked how he is spending his time, she said now that the "punishing schedule" has been left behind, he is reading and meeting people as he wishes to.

Daman said her father is proud of having been able to serve the nation for 50 years in various capacities.

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SECTION: Books
OUTLOOK 09 August, 2014
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