On the auspicious day of 15 August, the Prime Minister addressed the nation from the Lal Qila (Red Fort ). Before the start of the address, people were expecting that the Prime Minister would answer all the questions which were in front of the nation or the questions which were being raised in front of him. The Opposition parties are not asking questions, the only ones questions being asked are by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. Their questions have the support of the public as well and the Prime Minister should have answered those questions from the Lal Qila.
The Prime Minister did not answer those questions perhaps because he felt that these questions are such that if no answer is given it would be much better hut he certainly gave an indication that the Government’s way of working would not change and as they have been working so far, it would continue doing so. For example, let us take the speech of the Prime Minister related to the provision of electricity. When Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister of the country, he had said that electricity would be made available in all the villages of the country and now he states that in the next five years, electricity would be available in each and every household of the country. He forgot to explain what he meant by availability of electricity, whether it meant fixing electric poles in villages or households, or fixing electric wires from a pole and then hanging a bulb from those wires, or did it mean increasing electricity generation so that it would be available round the clock in all the villages and households of the country. Statistics show that generation of electricity has not increased in the last 7 years, and the availability of electricity is continuously declining in the country. Actually electricity has never been a priority for the Government, and in the last 7 or 10 or 15 years, only a few out of all the agreements which have been signed during this period have been initiated the Government. On an average, only 30 per cent electricity is generated out of the total capacity of the plants, but the Government is not bothered by this. Perhaps the Government wants electricity generation to reach its lowest level so that they can have a valid reason for completing two of their jobs. First, to privatise the power sector and second, include nuclear industry in the power sector quickly, which would mean increasing the Nuclear Power Project construction.
Nuclear Power Plants around the world have reached the verge of closure because the Governments in those countries fear that this might be dangerous for the lives and property of their common people and therefore they want to sell their outdated techniques to our country. The foreign powers have planned to make our nation a godown for nuclear wastes.
Why can’t an economist like Manmohan Singh and his colleagues understand promptly how effective their economic policies for the country have been. In our country has food reached the stomachs of the people, have their hands been given work and employment, have the number of hospitals increased to combat diseases and has there been an increase in setting up more schools to fight illiteracy, has there been an increase in their quality?
Neither is there water in the country for drinking and neither is there water for irrigation purposes, neither are there schools and the ones which are there are running as if we are some poor African country. The Health Centres are just for the names sake. Costly education, costly treatment, with no means of employment, so for what are you the nation’s leader (neta), an economist and Prime Minister ? In a country where the Opposition has forgotten its duty, it is very important to have such a Prime Minister who without being prodded by the Opposition, wakes up on his own to his duty to the nation. But perhaps Manmohan Singh has taken an oath not to wake up and this is why his 15 August address from the Lal Qila was not able to leave any imprint on the nation.
Congress has produced Prime Minister’s like Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. When they used to speak from the Lal Qila, their entire year’s agenda would come before the common people of the country. A hope would be kindled in the minds of the common people that something good would be happening. But Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh are the two Prime Minister’s from the Congress whose address to the country evoked neither hope nor portrayed any dreams.
Manmohan Singh, as a Prime Minister might be given one more ignominy. All the Prime Ministers who came before Manmohan Singh used to listen to the democratic voices of the nation and answered them. People felt that if they said something about their problems, the Government would not make fun of them. But Manmohan Singh’s Government has done an amazing thing to make fun of the voices raised in a democratic manner by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. He has also tried to say that peaceful and democratic voices have no meaning for us. In other words, he literally wanted to give a message to the common people that if they stopped trains, set the streets on fire, then we would listen seriously to what you have to say and will assure fulfillment of your expectations. Along with this they also added that if they could kidnap an IAS officer, then their demands would be heard even more quickly. Such incidents did occur a while back. On both these types of incidents the Government responded but did not give any attention to what was being said by a peaceful movement. We know that Manmohan Singh will not like what we are saying. We also know that amongst the advisors who are hovering around Manmohan Singh, the majority are those who believe that attention should not be paid to what the media is saying, and instead they should buy the media and use them as a mouthpiece. Call the media and give them the message that if they focus primarily on questions related to crime, the Government would have no problem and the Government will stand by them. Perhaps this why the media does not give priority to the problems, concerns and sorrows of the common people. In fact, a group among the advisors have succeeded in explaining to Manmohan Singh that such newspapers and journalists, who write the correct things, should always be taken care of fully. This ‘full’ care means to monitor their phone calls, watch their movements as these persons are even more dangerous than those who indulge in corruption, who rob the country and are constantly trying to create a situation of looting and violence in the country.
Despite this, there is a desire to say to Manmohan Singh that if there is still a little bit of wish that the people of the country remember you as a good and active Prime Minister, then you will have to do something for 70 per cent of the population. The formula for this has been given by Mahatma Gandhi, which we would like to tell Manmohan Singh as we fully believe that perhaps Manmohan Singh has not read a single book of Mahatma Gandhi. To test a decision, Gandhiji said that whenever you make a decision, try to keep in mind that person whom you feel is the poorest and the last person in the line. If your decision benefits that person, then the decision is relatively right otherwise that decision is not worth making. If for once, Manmohan Singh tests his decisions by this yardstick, he would get to know how many decisions which he took were right and how many were wrong and how many he didn’t take. To be a part of history it is essential that it should not be written that that he became the Prime Minister by chance but it should be written that he is the country’s beloved Prime Minister.
In the absence of the Opposition, Manmohan Singh should tread carefully otherwise a false step will make the country head towards a state of hopelessness. The address of 15 August does not portray any picture of Manmohan Singh. If a picture is portrayed, it is the picture of an individual who became a Prime Minister by chance and not of a beloved Prime Minister. Our heartfelt desire is that Manmohan Singh becomes the country’s beloved Prime Minister.