30 July, 2021

Anybody In There?

When silence killed the economist star

Illustration by Sorit
Anybody In There?

There are many reasons why Manmohan Singh is not demitting office in a blaze of glory, but his failure as a communicator is probably the reason that will be remembered by most. It is true that he was saddled with a truly unenviable role—that of a leader without legitimacy and real power presiding over a motley group of ministers driven, quite frankly, by personal agendas. Compounding this was his own passivity that came out of a strange peace he had apparently made with the erasure of his personhood. He shrunk into less than his allotted space, and made no efforts to stem the rot that had set in his government, holding on to his personal integrity as a badge of redemption.

But it is the inability to communicate that made all his other failings coalesce into what is, unfortunately, nothing more than disdain for a man once much admired. Silence is sometimes a sign of a rarefied consciousness, and is the product of having risen above all things worldly. In Dr Singh’s case, the silence was the result of not rising to the minimum standard expected of a leader. In...

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