Manmohan Singh: The PM And Star Economist Who Donned Many Hats For India
Manhmohan Singh (b. September 1932) was the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014, serving the longest time as the country’s premier after Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. He is presently a member of the Rajya Sabha representing Rajasthan and a senior leader in the Congress party. He is a renowned economist who is known for his liberalization reforms as finance minister 1991 in the PV Narsimha Rao cabinet when there was a severe economic crisis ongoing in India. He bgan his career in the bureaucracy as an adviser in the Ministry of Commerce in the 1970s.
Dr. Singh came from a background of poverty and was diplaced from his home in West Punjab after the Partition, but he never let that get in the way of his education. As opposed to the current PM’s jibe on ‘hard work vs. Harvard’, he is someone who has done both: put in the hard work, and has been felicitated by Harvard University.
He led the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for two terms at the Centre, during which he kept prices in control and led the country out of the financial crisis of 2008. He kept prices of petrol and diesel under control even as crude oil prices touched $146 per barrel. He represented the country with the image of a well-educated, sombre, and dignified man, earning respect without pomp.
Before his stint as the Prime Minister, he also served as the Chief Economic Advisor (1972–1976), governor of the Reserve Bank (1982–1985) and head of the Planning Commission (1985–1987).
Although he was criticized for supposedly ‘encouraging corruption’ in his Cabinet, and perceived as a ‘weak’ Prime Minister, even being labelled as ‘Maun-Mohan Singh’, he only responded by saying that history will be the judge of his work.