The Tragedy of a Prime Minister by Ratan Bhattacharjee SignUp


In Focus

Photo Essays


Random Thoughts

Our Heritage


Society & Lifestyle


Creative Writings

Book Reviews
Literary Shelf
Analysis Share This Page
The Tragedy of a Prime Minister
by Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee Bookmark and Share
Being A ‘Magnificent Cipher’ in India

Can you guess whom I am talking about in this article? He occupies the same position as the King under the British Constitution. He would be a titular head, a mere figurehead in the executive pyramid and he would not exercise real power. He is ‘magnificent cipher’. He is never a functionary who can assert himself even at least on certain occasions.

No, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Dr. K.M Munshi and Alladi Krishnaswami have said all these about the post of President in India. But now everyone in India has started applying these words about the post of the Prime Minister. This is the tragedy of being Dr. Manmohan Singh. A Prime Minister has become a magnificent cipher and he has virtually nothing to do against any scam or scum.

At one time Silence was golden. But now the adage has lost its meaning after the people of India have seen a silent Prime Minister. This silence is anything but golden. He looks more like a President than a Prime Minister. Mamata Banerjee rightly proposed that Dr. Manmohan Singh should be the President of India.
The Coalgate scam has of late shaken the nation. But only one person looks unperturbed, and he is Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. The Prime Minister, maintains silence in the Parliament, outside the Parliament and keeps his silence even when he is very much expected to talk. Everyone expects him to be in action, but that seems to be next to impossible for the titular head. He is like a puppet pulled by the strings from behind.

Dr. Singh has long been lauded for his pivotal role in liberalising the Indian economy. But bygone are those days. His image is now one of a "dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat” presiding over a deeply corrupt government. The Time magazine has now started calling him ‘an underachiever’. UK daily The Independent has been critical of him and called him ‘silent Prime Minister’. The Washington Post has critiqued Dr. Singh's performance as India's Prime Minister and called him a ‘tragic figure’.

The Prime Minister has failed to carry the mass with him. The recent placing of the SC & ST Bill for Promotion in government jobs shows that the UPA Chief roused from passivity to over activity. It reminds us of Indira Gandhi who seemed to have a dentist’s policy of solving the insoluble problems. There was a dentist who used to extract a new tooth to make the patient oblivious of the existing pain in a tooth beside it.

Here also the new scam is more shameful and painful than the old one. The old scam overrides the new in its dimension and perspective of corruption. We just start criticizing the government for not taking action for one,and a newer one surfaces so that the older one is forgotten. Public memory is short and the government is taking advantage of that.
Recently another bill has been tabled to allow reservation in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs. BJP accuses the government of using this bill to divert attention from its demand that the Prime Minister resign on the coal allocation issue. The BJP is not opposed to the bill but is wary of being seen as helping the government. BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that his party will not give up its demand for the cancellation of the allocations of 142 coal blocks which it says is at the root of the "coal-gate" scam.

In spite of the triumph of the parliamentary system, the King in England can, at least in certain circumstances, assert himself by virtue of his residuary powers. Even the President of India is in a much stronger position. Conventions have not yet crystallised in order to circumscribe his authority. Furthermore, India’s constitutional history is quite different. The Constitution has granted him certain crucial powers which, if properly used, can even make him a potentate. In the time of hung parliament, the President can prove his power and so on. But our present Prime Minister is hell bent on remaining passive and silent at all costs.
Share This:
More by :  Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee
Views: 1213      Comments: 2

Comments on this Article

Comment I could not resist the temptation to post here something interesting I got in my mail from a mischievous friend -


Once upon a time in the kingdom of Heaven, God was missing for six
days. Eventually, Michael the archangel found him, resting on the
seventh day. He inquired of God. "Where have you been?"

God took a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards
through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made!" Archangel
Michael looked puzzled and said, "What is it?" "It's a planet,"
replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and
it's going to be a great place of balance."
"Balance?" inquired Michael, still confused.

God explained, pointing to different parts of the earth. "For example,
northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth while
southern Europe is going to be poor. Over there I've placed a
continent of white people and over there is a continent of black

God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be
extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."
The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a triangular
land mass and said, "What's that one?" "AAAAH," said God. "That's
India, the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful beaches,
mountains, streams, hills, desert, water falls and vineyards.
The people from India are going to be very beautiful, handsome,
modest, intelligent and humorous and they are going to be found
traveling the world holding good jobs.....

They will be extremely sociable, hardworking and high-achieving, and
they will be known throughout the world as diplomats and carriers of
peace, play cricket and win world test matches.

Even their Knowledge and wisdom will be appreciated and exported to far places." Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then proclaimed, "What about balance, God? You said there would be balance!"

God replied wisely, "Wait until you see the clowns that will run their government!!!."

09/07/2012 01:56 AM

Comment It is more a comedy than tragedy.

09/06/2012 19:03 PM

Name *
Email ID
 (will not be published)
Comment *
Verification Code*
Can't read? Reload
Please fill the above code for verification.
Top | Analysis

1999-2020 All Rights Reserved
No part of this Internet site may be reproduced without prior written permission of the copyright holder