Monday, April 13, 2009


From the time the pitch of the general elections is raised, one issue has been raised incessantly by all the opposition parties against our ruling prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Opposition never misses a chance to attack him saying, he is a weak or puppet prime minister. As far as I have seen, different people have different opinion on all the issues, but their perception of our PM remains more or less the same, which I find very intriguing.

That is because I don't believe he has been a weak leader or PM. The fact is that he is among the most qualified person available in politics. As finance minister he has seen India through the tough times of financial crisis in 1991. As opposition leader he has provided good leadership to his party and constructive opposition during NDA rule. And when he was needed, he skillfully provided the country with his leadership as our Prime Minister. During his tenure he has constantly provided good leadership in shaping our financial and foreign policies, which have boosted India's image as a serious world player significantly. His regime saw many of the people friendly policies taking shape and become effective at the same time. His unflinching stance on nuclear deal was clear show of his mettle especially when his government and his chair were on the line. And finally his and his government’s handling of Mumbai terror attacks has been very effective. For the first time Pakistan found itself without any support and had to bow to the continuous pressure built upon her and she had to accept the truth. Of course we have not seen any affirmative action yet, but that will also come along if we continue to pressurize them and cut their support lines more fervently. It's the tried and tested strategy of blockade which has always been effective.

Then what calls for his image as a weak prime minister, I ask? Then I get the answer that it's because of only two reasons. First and the most important one is the lack of public speaking skills of our president. The problem is, no matter how efficient he is and how dedicated he is to his responsibilities, his PR skills are not good enough to project that image of his. History has seen that most effective leaders have most impressive oratory skills. They have the power to move the people to their support and agree to them just by an impressive speech. And this is where our Prime Minister lacks significantly. In fact we hardly hear him speaking publicly, perhaps because he tries to keep away from making speeches or that media doesn’t find it worth showcasing on their prime times. Consequently people don’t get to see and hear their leader address them on various issues, which they really want to. Second problem is that, our opposition has leaders with good oratory skills; we can’t deny that Mr. Advani and Mr. Modi are good speakers and they don’t miss a single chance to use it to project the weak and negative image of our prime minister to the public. So the common public starts to believe, as anyway they are far away from the facts and figures. All they get is lot of spicy & juicy speeches squeezed into the dramatic prime time news of Indian Television.

So, I feel if our PM has to break away from the stereotype created for him, he will have to work hard on his PR and oratory skills.


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