“History will be kinder to me than the media.”

The number of memes and jokes going around with former Indian Prime Minster Dr Manmohan Singh as the subject can’t take away the legacy that the great economist has left behind for generations to reap rewards from (not if moves like demonetisation are implemented every now and then that is).

There’s no denying the number of scams that plagued the country under Dr Singh’s 10-year tenure as the Indian PM. But we’re 40-plus months into Modi’s leadership and it’s not that huge scams (like the VYAPAM in Madhya Pradesh) haven’t rocked the BJP’s boat. Plus there are additional problems at the border, beef lynching incidents across the country, increased farmer suicides, invasion of privacy and a meteoric rise in fake news. 

So we make a fair analysis of the performances of the two men on the occasion of the Congress politician’s 85th birthday to answer the question: Was Manmohan Singh a better Prime Minister than Narendra Modi?

GDP & economy

Terming demonetisation ‘monumental mismanagement,’ Dr Singh, also a former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, had said in his Parliament speech that demonetisation will cause the GDP growth to fall by 2 percent. Not only dot he January-March quarter figures have a near 3 percent difference but the overall GDP has also fallen down by 1 percent point to 7.1. The less spoken about new jobs, agriculture and inflation, the better. On the other hand, average annual GDP growth in 2004-2013 (UPA), up to June 30, 2013, was 7.9 percent.

Kashmir situation

One of the biggest thorn in India’s flesh (security-wise) has been the Kashmir situation. Not only has it hampered the potential tourism revenue that can be generated from the state, but has also been a breeding ground for separatist movements and militancy. Dialogue had been taking place in the region and also with neighbours Pakistan under Dr Singh. However, it’s been one of the worst phases for the Kashmir situation and even BJP allies Shiv Sena have admitted that the situation has only gone downhill under the current government.

Transparency

In another two years, Narendra Modi may well enter the Guinness Book of Records for failing to hold a press conference. In that event, he will be the first Prime Minister of a democratic country who has avoided meeting the media at a large televised gathering (excluding his far and few between interview with the biased Arnab Goswami and the likes), stated a report.

(We all know about the power concentration in the hands of a chosen few even under the current government’s cabinet)

Often accused of being ‘silent,’ MMS sent out more than 1,600 press releases from his office and gave around a quarter of a dozen press conferences apart from meeting five editors and a group of television editors once each. 

Do you agree with our comparison? Let us know in the comments section.

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