06 August, 2021

Politically Challenged

Manmohan sees only the big picture—and his place in it. He's people-proof.

Sandeep Adhwaryu
Politically Challenged
The humble footsoldier in politics has always been circumspect about two types of leaders—those who obsess over their own public image, and those who aspire to have history celebrate them. And now he is becoming wary of a third kind: the suave technocrat who is drafted as a leader, but who hasn't been weaned on the support of people, and doesn't have a career to nurture in politics. These three types, the footsoldier fears, tend to place their own interests above those of the party.

As the hubbub over the nuclear deal raises the prospect of an early election in these times of galloping inflation, the harried footsoldier of the Congress will in a whisper tell you that he isn't shocked to find Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indulge in brinkmanship. And because you look nonplussed, the footsoldier will explain that Manmohan combines in his amiable personality the three types of politicians usually looked askance at. Yes, he is acutely conscious of his image, wants an exalted place in history, and is a technocrat who has a life beyond politics....

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