For those who worship the Congress
Parkarsh Singh

Manmohan Singh, a Profile
by Satish Yadav. Hope India.
Pages 176. Rs 120.

Satish Yadav’s book on Manmohan Singh is like a mirage. The beginning promises to quench the thirst for insights into the mind of the Prime Minister, but trite facts and unimaginative writing rob the reader of a chance to know him better. In his quest to release the book on time, Satish Yadav has strung together information about the PM in a crude form that incites political rhetoric and digresses into a pro-Sonia campaign with every turn of the page.

In his effort to write a biography, the author ends up writing more than half the book on the UPA’s agenda and the Common Minimum Programme. The address of the Prime Minister and the President, occupying a prominent place in the text, throw the reader into extended slumber. Eight pages of banal photographs inflate the price and deflate visual appeal. A never-ending shower of repetitive praises on the old man and Sonia Gandhi show the author in a poor light. By failing to be objective and bright, the book is incongruous with the protagonist, who is known to be honest and sharp.

The absorbing information on Manmohan Singh that can be summarised in a couple of pages takes the shape of a book that’s replete with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. A couple of incidents that might arouse a glimmer of interest have been kept as footnotes. Being a social activist, Yadav includes an NGO perspective at the end to complete an uninspiring and lacklustre account of the Oxford graduate who started his life in a poor village in West Punjab (now in Pakistan). He lost his mother when he was 5 months. Nevertheless, his penchant for academics took him to Oxbridge. Soon, he had occupied all major positions in the Indian economic field, including Governor of RBl in 1985 and Finance Minister in 1991. His trysts with destiny came a full circle this year May 22, when he got the top job. This short account of Manmohan Singh’s life will appeal to those who believe in collecting facts and figures about Indian politics. It will neither appease nor inspire the general reader. The only good thing coming out of this book may be Manmohan Singh deciding to write an effective autobiography. Knowing the modest Man, he would rather deal with effectively running the country.