Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WHAT A FALL WAS THERE, MY COUNTRYMEN

B.RAMAN

Dear Mr.Prime Minister,


Like millions of ordinary Indians, I too watched from the beginning till the end your televised interaction with selected journalists from the electronic media on February 16,2011.

You had never spoken to us, the ordinary people of India, on the various scams which have rocked the country one after another since August last year. Our only source of information has been the media.

As the citizens of this country who put your party in power, we had a right to expect that you will talk to us and explain to us what is the truth and how you intend arresting and reversing the rot that has set in and the continuing decline in the credibility and image of India as a result of the stories of these scams .

These stories---whether correct wholly or only partly--- have brought out one thing loud and clear--- the ineptitude and incompetence of your Government, the poor supervision which seems to prevail in many Ministries and offices, including the Prime Minister's Office, and the insensitivity of many senior members of your Cabinet to public concerns over these alleged scams.

Corruption is nothing new, but the magnitude of it as seen since you came to power has been highly disturbing . What is new is the ineptitude, the incompetence and the lack of supervision which seem to prevail since you came to power--- the like of which one had not seen under any other Prime Minister of India since we became independent in 1947.

You try to blame your difficulties and embarrassments on your having to run a coalition. You are not the first Prime Minister having to run the country at the head of a coalition. V.P.Singh, Chandrasekhar, Deve Gowda, Inder Gujral and Atal Behari Vajpayee headed coalitions too. Despite this, they gave us a government which worked as a team and which did not pull in different directions. I can't recall any instance under the previous coalitions where a Minister repeatedly circumvented the instructions of the Prime Minister, without fearing the consequences of his action.

All the previous Prime Ministers, who headed coalition Cabinets, made it clear to their political associates who the boss was and who would take important decisions. They never tolerated anyone who sought to circumvent their instructions. They never let their political allies dictate terms to them.

This is the first time we are seeing a Prime Minister, who tries to earn not the confidence of the people by projecting himself as a strong leader who will not tolerate any nonsense from his coalition partners, but the pity of the people by projecting himself as a helpless leader, who has nothing but to do what his coalition partners ask him to do.

We watched in utter amazement for one hour on February 16 not the rallying cry of a leader, who has realised the magnitude of the rot and who is determined to set it right whatever be the consequences to his position as the Prime Minister, but an exercise in self-pity of a leader who is at the mercy of his coalition partners and does not have the courage to call them to order.

This was the first time we had an opportunity of listening to you on the State of the country in the light of these scams. We were looking forward not to excuses and pretexts to explain away the sins of commission and omission of your government, but to a bold re-assertion of your leadership as the Prime Minister of this great country, who has the courage to face the people of this country in their eyes and reassure them: Thus far and no further.

I have no doubt in my mind that many right-thinking people of India, like me,must have felt ashamed and enraged as they saw the Prime Minister of this country giving out one excuse after another for not being able to govern effectively and for not being able to prevent blatantly wrong decisions and corruption.

You let us down badly, Mr.Prime Minister. You let us down badly.

Warm regards,

Yours sincerely,

B.Raman, Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi

43 comments:

bharat said...

Mahatma Manmohan Singh has proved to have feet of clay.If has even one iota of honesty he should RESIGN as he has himself admitted that he has no control over the government of India! His loyalty is to Sonia Gandhi and family and not to the people of India.He comes across as subordinate of Sonia Gandhi and PM SINGH HAS DEVALUED OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA.

If he is a patriot he must RESIGN immediately.

Usha Pisharody said...

Well said Sir!

Vijay said...

Ramanji,

This sspineless wonder, whom we have the misfortune of having as our PM, has been at the helm of one of the biggest scams of recent times, the biggest diplomatic blunder in memory (S-E-S), the highest inflation figures causing the most discomfort to people and now has the cheek to come on national TV to beg like a helpless person. This person is beyond all redemption and hope. After corrupting every single institution in the country, he is now telling us that its not his fault and the fault is with the media and the coalition partners. Shame Shame Shame!!

The only solution is to dethrone him in the election and give a resounding majority to a strong, wilful leader who will correct the rot.

IF a clear majority is not got by someone of the like of Narendra Modi, i hope Rahul Gandhi becomes PM. Let moork MMS be replaced by maha moorkh Rahul baba and let us end this suffering. Let Rahul baba push us over the edge and let us start afresh and rebuild the country with a clean slate.

psudo said...

Mr Raman, you are talking to a dead person.

Esoteric said...

Ive been a critic of MMS,but found him sincere and forthright yesterday.

The essence of his arguement was that he wants to clean up the Govt but there are two reasons for his tolerance.

1) Coalitions have hemmed him in to an extent.This excuse is no longer there...

2) Congress leadership of SG,PC,FM have over-ruled his objections to Raja's 2G policies,JPC and other contentious issues.

In other words,it was always a PM-SG rift thats stopped PM from acting as we want him to.Somehow,this hasnt been reported enough in the media.

The presser also shows that when PM is personally targetted as he is now through the ISRO deal and BJP mounts an attack on him,he will come out fighting.

BP continues to target him in connivance with SG-FM.SG on her part a few weeks back had threatened to ban BJP and others if they didnt take back an article written by a RSS ex-supremo.Action in Gujarat case has to be seen as SG's bargaining chip with BJP vis-a-vis PM.

PM had the last word when he said the guilty will be punished and no will be spared,'this time'.If opposition had any good intent,they would start targetting the party rather than the PM..as they cant blame him of being lame duck and still hold him responsible...if he is lame duck..then he isnt the duck to target.

anurag shukla said...

nice summing up sir....

ambi said...

dear Esoteric bhayya, space ministry directly comes under chairman Maomohan which is alleged to ve done biggest scam to date in India. Gandhi family always pick up such inconpetants n put them on such envious positions. These guys know they ve no abilities to reach those positions of their own. hence the loyalty to family. Gandhis are our biggest problem. Dont ask for his resignation, his replacement ll be worst. fall of govt is our only salvation.

No Mist said...

we are by now pretty much convinced of the ineptitude of this government. much of this incompetence stems from the PM himself. what is not clear is his reasons for doing so.

the big question is - Why is Manmohan Singh the prime minster and nobody else ? What makes him the chosen one ? Inspite of allround criticism, what makes him go ? and on a side note, what are his personal ambitions, personal reasons for becoming the PM, as opposed to whatever be the reasons from outside ?

I think we ought to know the truth. It is in my opinion a stark failure of Indian democracy (and i mean the public, not the system) that such a pathetic person is our PM.

Narayan said...

Hope you had no intention of continuing in office after you retired & no motivation as such to criticize the way you have mentioned about Dr.MS. Person like him who being outsider could survive without any threads/ropes must be given credit & people generally in totality does not vote for same person & hindsight determine that we voted because of x y z reason, we all do thinking about having faith in an individual party who can give credit worthy leader to lead government which you all ready aware of,While writing to you also ,i have no ambition of hidden agenda but conviction to see PM at par with yourself as you & he as person who said what is being said,that's it & nothing more.
We have not witnessed any extra ordinary person with super power from god to change scenario as each of us wished so far in history of India.

No Mist said...

i think LK Advani would be having the last laugh today. i dont think even LKA's epithet of "the weakest PM" does justice to MMS.

if at all, MMS compares (infavorably) to the weakestest of all time viz, Nawab Wajid-Ali Shah or Bahadur-Shah Zafar. these two at least had the redemption of having artistic taste and of being good poets. what talents does MMS have ?

probably even the most pliable puppet despots of Middle east of the nineteenth and twentieth century controlled by Britain had more credibility, ability, competence and dignity than MMS

Gopi said...

Sirji,
Why blame him? Blame yourself for putting this life-long loyal serf n opportunist on such a high pedestal.

prs said...

Dear Raman,
I Have to say you have been unduly harsh on PM,I have been long time reader of your blog,feel surprised at your reaction. I wish to take you to your comments regarding wikileaks, where you said only those are surprised who wants to be surprised,because there are no surprises for people in the know of things,likewise people in the know of the things of Indian politics cannot be expected to be caught unaware,here everybody wants to have lucrative ministries(for the obvious reasons),most of the monies spent in election is unaccounted for(black money),It is only & only because of his ability as a Professional Leader he is able to run this difficult combination (politics & corruption) to take the country forward(not bogged down) towards excellent growth to making our country a developed state.People who criticize should realize that without black money we cannot have proper election as of now because our system does not have proper legitimate election fund.In specific terms nobody is above board take the case of telecom scandal DMK's Maran was then telecom minister in NDA goverment and these did not start after 2003 but were on from 1999-2000 onwards,does anybody remember that VSNL was sold to TATA for 1200cr then immediately TATA VSNL invested 1600cr in TATA group of companies!! What we are seeing here is a symptom lack of political development/reform which either government or opposition is not interested in.I strongly object to the use of phrase of "lame duck","spineless", other adjectives used to describe the PM,because no Indian has achieved so much "FOR" India in his few years of public service as this man has.

Sandy said...

MMS has finally got permission from the italian MAFIA to speak ...

rknshah said...

@prs VSNL was sold to TATA after public bidding. TATAs offered 92 crore more than RELIANCE. You can't blame govt they got less price.We may agree the sale shouldn't have happened but the sale was done in transparent way.

Paresh said...

Bravo! But remember my countrymen. Don't shoot the messenger. PM Manmohan Singh is just the place-holder until Yuvraj Rahul Gandhi come of age to inherit the throne. It is the awful Gandhi family that we have to direct our anger against. PM Manmohan Singh is just a smoke screen, a punching bag who will be thrown to the dustbin of history when the real shining India, the age of RAHUL GANDHI will dawn!

That is the long term big plan of the Congress and Gandhi Family.

I bet Rahul Gandhi will take over as PM (or atleast an important ministry) in 2013 and suddenly the Congress spin masters (with help from media, we know who) will deceive the public by ushering an illusion of great splendor until the 2014 elections. Hope India is not gullible to buy that illusion and trumps the UPA in the next elections.

ambi said...

I strongly object to the use of phrase of "lame duck","spineless", other adjectives used to describe the PM,because no Indian has achieved so much "FOR" India in his few years of public service as this man has.....

prs.

dear prs kindly enlighten us with his achievements, we really wish to know. rgds.

abhishek.03208 said...

What is weak PM? I remember after Gujrat riots ABV wished to fire NaMo but couldnt because of the pressure from his own party. Wasnt he weak? This is how politics works.
Somehow I donot buy this argument that all the congressmen are corrupts and all the honest people of India are in BJP. Think logically about this. I guess corruption is more of a cultural menace and has nothing to do with political parties.
But yes MMS should take direct responsibility this time or atleast promise time bound probe in all the scams.

Itsdifferent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Itsdifferent said...

It is really unfortunate that India has to get such a clue/powerless person at the helm, when we are supposed to be peaking on all fronts. The history will show, that a would (super) be power has been nipped in the bud by a so called economist, just because had been a stooge to the corrupt powers.

R S said...

The PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh's personal credentials, integrity and credibility are beyond doubt, we, the Aam Aadmis,are repeatedly told. But if he hides or supports thugs, daylight robbers and rapists of the country and us, the Aam Aadmis, through scams galore, what would you make of his 'nerves of steel and sinews of iron' as an adminstrator? If nurturing coalition dharma to be in power at all costs and shelter the thugs is the aim, he has demonstrted his integrity; for whom is the question.
He is totally loyal to a family in dynastic succession in power and a regent to put Rahul in PM gaddi, and their cohorts like the dynastic DMK, the CWG lords, the incompetent, but arrogant ministers as colleagues, etal, together sharing the vast spoils of scams, to be in power and absolute power. We should avoid being witness to the more than likely street battles with price rise and scams rise. Watch Egypt!
Wake up, Mr. PM, you have just to be true to your calling of an intellectual and an economist, and not to be an abettor of scams with closed eyes, chickening out strict action, which means at the least your gracefully resigning from being the PM, even if you cannot promise PMgiri to your most exalted Rahul Gandhi. Please retire and do not spoil your reputation of an economic reformer, close to your retirement.
We always thought that you were one us in temperament as an Aam Aadmi, but you have let us all down very very badly.

pinakapani said...

Inspite of the the press being soft to him in not asking him probing questions on 2G issues, MMS mumbled his way thro the conference reinforcing the view that he is a weak PM who has no control on his Govt. His desire to hold on to the chair is the only fact that emerged.

SeshagiriRao said...

Yes sir. You are very right. Insipid spine less and morose TV show. Why cant our politicians be result oriented. They say that we want to do this and that but it takes along time doing it and most of the time it never gets done.
1. Our prime minister should address the nation on Radio and TV and give an account what he has done every month. Like the US president does.
2. He should follow up on his brief to the country and what he is going to do next one month.
3. We should also think about if the multi party government is useful in governing ourselves? I think we should have a national debate and reduce these parties. They are pulling the governance in all directions and this is leading to bad / lack of governance.
4. The oath the minister takes while assuming office is only words. This oath should contain if I fail and if any case or a scam is reported then I will resign forthwith. And if jailed even on a shred of evidence I will not able to contest for elections for a period of 10 years. This oath should be legally binding between the people he represents and himself. It can be produced and quoted against him in any court of law.
Let us tighten up on all fronts and see them perform.

Suresh said...

Well said.
Do you think there is anybody in the govt. who really care for the citizens of this country. Man Mohan Singh and the Congress has got a feeling that till the next elections are due nobody can touch them because of a fractured opposition.
In case he has got a little bit of patriotism left in his blood he should quit and go.
Suresh
Indore

Chandra said...

Dr.Manmohan Singh was Governor of RBI, an employee of GOI. He has worked his way up by efficiently carrying out what is required by his boss. He was a made Finance Minister because he was a capable man in that area and his boss (Shri PV Narasimha Rao0 was a capable man and gave instructions to Mr.Singh what he wanted and Mr.Singh efficiently carried on. Now he has been made a PM and takes instructions from everyone , as he is used to do that kind of work only. Really it is unfair to put a man in chair where he is not fit. You can not make an ordinary employee , the Chairman of a Bank and say Bank is not doing well. Why that person was chosen and who chose him is to be blamed. Sonia Gandhi chose him. Although Mr.Singh is not corrupt he just allowing everything and cries what can i do what can i do? He is not even having guts to quit. He can not tell Sonia I want to leave?

He is presiding over the collapse of Indian Nation. The worst. I will not be surprised that some State takes courage to say we shall not obey the Centre and may even say we are independent. See our CMs.

He is not Nero . He is just plain yunuch

Gopal said...

I was equally disappointed with the media both Indian/few foreign ones, asking mundane & non specific questions. Never before our nation has witnessed such a high value scams at such a short duration. I expected specific, sharp & penetrative questions on hot current matters but mostly it was a damp squib performance by the media corps. Arnab Goswami for a while thought that the PM was in his talk show and almost interrogated him which was corrected by the moderator. Hope this becomes a half yearly feature, to keep the checks and balances in democracy.

Swarnashula Swamy said...

Hello Mr.Raman, you have just reflected my thoughts expressed in my blog:
http://swarnashula-originalthinkers.blogspot.com

Ravishankar said...

Dear Mr Raman,
I fully agree with your analysis. But i would like to say that you are very soft on MMS.As the head of executive he has not shown guts in any one of his actions all these years as PM.Instead Sonia has been pulling the strings from behind without any accountability.Our countrys current plight is no different from our sufferrings under The British Raj.Now it is one woman Italian running the show without any accountability.We Indians are as help less as we were for 300 years. This is the biggest shame that we can heap on ourselves.
Hundreds of farmers are dying due to poverty and MMS is happy to safegaurd Sonia and DMK interest.As Bharathiyar has said we should all rise up and throw this corrupt government with no accountability whatsoever.
JPC probe is not enough. Can i ask what are the results of so many JPC probes in the past 60 years. Has the lost money came back to the Government.This may also be an eyewash.
I repeat CORRUPT POLITICIANS must not be allowed to participate in the elections.WE need more TN Seshans to put fear into the minds of these CORRUPT politicians.
If Egyptians can remove their dictator so can we remove this spineless and corrupt government. The money lost should be brought back to the govt coffers within 90 days with INTEREST.Our Judiciary should hand in the verdicts within 90 days.
Accountability and TIMELINESS is the essence of a vibrant democracy.

Col LK Anand Retd said...

Dear Mr Raman,

I have taken the liberty of posting your letter received through some of my colleague,on my blog "India of My Dreams" at www.indiamydreamland.blogspot.com. I have posted some comments on your post in my blog. I would like to invite you to visit my blog to get an idea of my thinking, and also become a follower of my blog.

Best wishes

Col LK Anand Retd

Frustrations Amalgamated said...

MM Singh is CORRUPT. May not be in the sense commonly understood, but intellectually I cannot find someone more corrupt. He became a PM knowing fully well that it was a castrated position. He is only a front for Sonia and is there at her whim and fancy. He lost the only election he fought.
So, I wonder why people are pouring out their anguish on this sap of a human being.
Someone has said that the PM office has been devalued. Well, others before, like deve gowda or charan singh have done it before. Indian politics and dignity do not go hand in hand.
Manmohan resigning solves nothing. Will Sonia then become the PM ? Or will she take the chance of ever making P Chidambaram the PM? Unlikely. She will need to keep finding fall guys till she thinks her son can formally inherit the kingdom.

kunja said...

.Sir,
Thank you very much or the letter addressed to our PM. I was also one of the person watched his interaction with media people. I was totally disappointed. Even the media people did not ask any good question. There was a failure on their part also.
wiyth warm regards,
Bala TV

bharath said...

I fully endorse the views of Mr.Raman on this subject. In fact I felt let down and felt I should stop trusting the prime minister to take care of the governance and also stop taking him at face value. God save our nation.

Sivaraman

TJ said...

Dear Mr Raman
you have reflected the thoughts of millions of Indian intellectuals with limited eloquence to express.Poor MMS was a trembling mouse in the press meet! Least he may do now is to apologise to the nation for damages done already by being callously unaccountable to people of India and quit. drtjpollo

ambi said...

Some time back i was reading Saba Naqvi's article in Outlookonline n its chilling, CON's want Sonia or Rahul to be more active! What does that mean? Are either one of them going to replace MMS? what ll we do then? I m really worried. I beg all of u not to ask MMS resignation. He ll be replaced by the worst.

blokesablogin said...

Well, looks like a lot of you commentors are wondering about the "choice" of MMS- read this interesting book called "The Confessions of an Economic Hitman" and then you will understand the "connection" between MMS, Oxford, World Bank or UN (in his case it was UNCTAD), IMF. You will find the next Economic hitman in our darling Chidambaram. All of them will have the same "trend"- American or UK university educated, politically "neutral" (initially), "smart" (intellectually sharp), by their very "nature" cna appeal to the "common sense" and "logic" of their arguments presented in a neutral manner. They will be picked and "tested" in Asia and Africa (for some other countries it would be Latin and South America) via UN or WB or IMF to implement programs.

Then they will be placed in positions of "power"- as finance ministers or in MMS case, PM or presidents.

Do read this wonderful book. Egypt, Tunisia- owing to their skewed logic (they are led by their heart and not head) wanted out sooner than agree to this economic hitman manipulations.

Bottomline- the so called "India shining/ rising" is all about debt creation in the name of wealth creation. Filling our middle class homes with electronic and electric junk at the expense of carbon footprints is no growth- but then who is to tell the emperor that he is naked.

ambi said...

blokesblogin damn good point yaar. Well said. 'Economic Hit Man' Ha Ha Ha. Before 09 jen elect. Chidam agreed to new (6 or 7) pay commission for govt employees, thus appeasing n securing their votes. For this n NAREGA n many other schemes govt is unnecessarily printing lots of money, causin inflation.

Suman said...

To blame the prime minister is no doubt a natural reaction. He is the polar opposite of a dictator. In the last election to Loksabha, Congress had emerged as the strongest party. It could have capitalised on its strength and reined in the allies. Instead, it tried to placate them with minsterial berths perhaps in a bid to continue the alliance for the next elections. Mr Singh is thorough gentleman and given his background, he is fit for Planning Commission or at best to be the Finance Minister. He is lost in the quagmire of Indian Democracy. When none of his cabinet colleagues listened to him, he had to surrender to the whims of his party high command. It is time to rally behind him and not to push him further against the wall.

ambi said...

Good try Suman ji! Madam ji n chairman Maomohan are happy. Promotion is guranteed. Party kab de rahe ho? Hail our beloved supreme leader hail!

misterblue said...

well I can see the south south comments are harsh as usual and I being born a sikh will come in support of MMS(I am offering this reason because this is the first thing which will be pointed out that being a sikh I am supporting a sikh,so damned that I care !)
Anyway,this is the samee MMS all of you have been applauding till now....do remember that he is the SOLE reason for the India being the economic giant that it is and where other much advanced countries have fallen like ninepins,India has grown stronger and stronger without capitulating to the West's shenanigans....and here you would say that all this economic strength is not percolating to the nobodys,yes its true,but have you asked yourself what are YOU doing about it in whatever small way that you could.
And it is not being spineless and pitiful in confessing that he is helpless in a coalition but its calling a spade a spade and to make all of us barking at him to be aware of what compels him to carry on with his job.
Somebody has commented that he should resign and we elect somebody powerful to run this country with an iron hand,to them I say that you should go to Saudi Arabia or should have left much earlier for Libya or Egypt or Indonesia.
India needs a healing hand not an iron hand,we understand love better than harshness.
I could go on and on but remember dont wish for something that you dont fully understand because it just be a nightmare to get rid off

ambi said...

Misterblue to Basanti's mausiji: Toh mausiji mein yeah rishta pakka samjhu?

Basanti's mausiji to misterblue: Ek baat ki toh daad deti hu beta, bhalehi lakh kharabiyaan ho apne Manmohan mein, tumharey mooh se toh uske liye bas tareef hi nikalti hain.

Misterblue to Basanti's mausiji: Kya karu mausiji, mera dil hi kuch aisa hain.

Witty said...

Corruption has become rampant and pandemic, so much so that most of us have become accustomed to bearing it in some form or the other. Most of us seem to have accepted it as part of life, that part which cant be helped. Its true that What cant be cured must be endured!! But cant we combat corruption? Can the society be cured of this disease? I believe it can be, because it must be!
Its not just the PM who is guilty of inaction and complacency at the least, its most of us who have sworn allegiance to the constitution and are not actively involved in combating such a cancerous disease!! Is it enough to denounce corrupt practices without follow up action. No Minister or high ranking official can pursue corrupt agenda without explicit compliance of a plethora of junior level officials. So why just blame the PM!!? Yes the leader has to take most of the responsibility but certainly not all of it. Its every one of us who is blameworthy, to some extent atleast.
Corruption has many forms, not just cash gratification. And every type of it needs to be combated against.Its time to introspect and do our bit.....
Life is short, lets not wait for things to change. Instead......
.........LETS BE THE CHANGE THAT WE WANT.

abraham1 said...

With SG handling politics, MS has been freed to handle administration. This is a true blessing for the country. The limitations of coalition politics are the essential problems of a democracy. Democracy muddles through, but is the best system in history. A large number of scams have only come to light, because SG and MS have given investigation authorities a far more free hand. The scam amounts are large, because, under the guidance of MS, the economy has exploded upwards. Previous PMs have never dealt with such astronomical figures. Spare a kind word for MS!

Vibhu said...

This man needs to be excused because it is for the first time he was trying to speak directly to the audience without a doctored script.

He is only trained (and capable) of reading out of paper. Any paper, like the paper our dear SM Krishna read out at the UN.

The current leaders in India are a gang of bureaucrats who keep distributing credits and points among them, to enable only the best paper bureaucrats to rise to the zenith.

These paper bureaucrats occupy all the top positions within the system of governance.

It is our fault to expect any good governance form a system that consists of these........

Bharat said...

While witnessing the ongoing drama being enacted by Political parties,media,judiciary,defence,police,bureocacy,one can claim no single political partys'leaders at national or regional level earnestly want good of the common man not to talk of country.
In my view let regional parties be asked to run their respective regions,if sucessful in gtg majority there.Congess party should get rid of dynesty rulers and BJP of RSS. Both these parties irespective of their political differences should merge in one, kick out their bad elements once for all.I am sure this in combine and after throwing roughs out, will remain theonly largest party.Let it try its fate in all the regions against the regional parties.
Till Congress and BJP behave, regional parties inthe centre or states will have free hand and all the blame have to be born by one or the other,MMS or ABV.