October 30, 2020
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'Manmohan Singh Is Not Corrupt, But He Is Definitely Guilty'

'Manmohan Singh Is Not Corrupt, But He Is Definitely Guilty'

The Prime Minister's former media advisor Harish Khare in the Hindu: Guilty on many counts, not corrupt:

Manmohan Singh, and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, are guilty of making a virtue of seeking reconciliation to the extent of avoiding confrontation; a luxury, statecraft does not permit a prime minister. Not being a politician or a lawyer or a policeman or a revenue officer or a businessman, Manmohan Singh happily assumes attributes of reasonableness, fair play and decency in everyone else. That is precisely his fault — and his undoing...

Manmohan Singh is guilty of making the grievously erroneous assessment that Mob Anna was just a bunch of well-meaning civil society busybodies; he is guilty of not seeing through their incurable political agenda. And, he is definitely guilty of underestimating Mob Anna's cunning ability to manipulate the media's penchant to promote and project anyone masquerading as a modern-day Savonarola...

He is guilty of not being ruthless enough to crack open the Nira Radia tape case, a rogue operation carried by unscrupulous corporate elements...

Manmohan Singh may be charged with having led the country on a path of development which could only produce a greedy and rapacious capitalism with all its attendant aberrations of inequity and injustices. He is certainly guilty of not going after the corporate charlatans who have used and exploited the very openness of the democratic system to weaken the legitimate state so that their thuggery goes undetected and unpunished...

Manmohan Singh is guilty of not marshalling the intellectual and policy arguments to tell the nation that Vinod Rai's maximalist interpretation of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)'s mandate has dangerously undermined the constitutional structure of equilibrium.

Above all, Manmohan Singh is guilty of pursuing the noble quest for reconciliation at the expense of another maxim of statecraft: those who spurn the public authority's hand of reconciliation must be made to learn the cost of confrontation. He is guilty of not learning the lesson from the mid-1970s and early 1990s when mobs were allowed to overwhelm the democratic institutions and their liberal ethos. A king who chooses to ignore the first principle of statecraft that the royal staff must be tapped — and, tapped hard — once in a while should be prepared to be called corrupt.

Read the full piece at the  Hindu: Guilty on many counts, not corrupt:

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