Brief the Author: Sanjaya Baru
He was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Media Adviser and chief spokesperson from May 2004 until August 2008. In April 2014, Penguin India published The Accidental Prime Minister Baru’s tell-all memoir about his time at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
Let’s move on to the book………….
The book starts with the detailing of Manmohan singh as to how he started his career and ideation as why he was appointed as prime minister for 2 duration when the congress party was the ruling party. Manmohan an economics graduate who had returned from cambridge after his graduation , was working in Delhi School of Economics for a while. Then he went to become the secretary to the finance minister and he was encouraged to join the government by one of former student Mr Isher Montex. But as time flew by he became the Finance minister under the PM rule of Narasimha Rao. Manmohan singh was known as man of few words and his work loud enough to prove his talent and work. But there are lot twist and turns that happens in our life that makes that there enough Drama . Once Raul said to Singh when the latter was planning to return to India that “Sometimes in life it is wise to foolish”. But in think it wasn’t a wise decision to be foolish enough to become a puppeteer under the Sonia Gandhi. He is one of the best economist and Finance minister that the country, but not a strong leader who create huge impact among Indian citizens and does not fit the role of PM. First term of rule is credited to be a good one , but they spiraled downwards when they put tight spot in various corruption cases which are still impending in the court.
Sanjaya Baru the author was appointed as media advisor to PM by Manmohan Singh himself and therefore had direct and easy access to the PM. He handled dealing with issuing any statement regarding any issues, Resolving the controversies and thus the end to end process of handling the media and in the process handling the issues internally with the minister where his role played a important part. My understanding till now based on the reading , Manmohan singh was just face of the congress party. Every minister and politician were more concerned with impressing Sonia Gandhi , rather the PM itself. He never had the political authority that he was supposed have and final call for any decision on any policies laid in the hands of Sonia. Singh himself quote once that “He was accidental Prime Minister” which was true. Neither did he have the complete political authority or an extra effort taken to change things better policies. Despite his good work as economist, Finance Minister, and reformist,also known for his integrity was known as puppeteer due to the corruption under UPA-2 government. He was quite,did not respond to the media or did he take effective steps, just stayed away giving a bad impression.
Despite all his shortcoming he put a great fight, made an effort to bring out good policies, tired to prove he was independent and was not under the influence of Sonia. He was open to suggestion of people outside his government apart from his own which helped to improvise and implement them. He always related economic growth with the efficient implementation of foreign policies, making ourselves visible in the worked market and improving the relation with the borders and the trade between the countries as well. He was person behind the Indo-US deal and he had support of sanjaya Baru, Subramanyian and few other who understood the impact of the deal as the PM himself. He also did take initiatives to resolve issues with the Pakistan as well.
During the UPA-2 he lost complete power over anything. He did have the power to select his own cabinet ministers, lost control over the foreign policies, so on and so forth. He was quiet enough and was strong enough to take the measures or implement any policies as in the first term. He let Sonia do the job and made way for Rahul to take the leadership which didn’t happen though. He didn’t have any say in the corruption cases that came up during the period as well. This tarnished the reputation of the government as well himself. He was known for neo-liberal values, great intellect knowledge in foreign policies, economic reforms and great finance minister. He believed in liberalisation and he did bring in during his tenure as FM. Thus an accidental Prime Minister who happened to in wrong place and in right time for Sonia Gandhi
But I must praise the man for his intellect, knowledge that he had. he was probably one of few knowledgeable people that congress had. But due to play of politics he was placed in position that he was misfit for. He was not great leader nor politician, but more of a reformist who would have contributed where he could have efficiently displayed his skills
After reading the book it gave fair idea what went behind in PMO office and so much was revealed, so much politics was going on within political party. “Politics within politics”.Funny isn’t to see a reputed image of person get tarnished in the face of media as well the people of the country because he was an accidental Prime Minister. After reading the book , it gave me good brief of different politics that happens behind of what we see in reality.