Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Manmohan Singh

The current Prime Minister of India is the first Sikh to hold the post, which he has done since May 2004; highly respected both in India and around the world for his intellect and erudition, Dr. Singh is both a formidable politician and statesman.

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India's vast working class and burgeoning middle class has obviously taken to him as the man best equipped to bring about some closure to inter-caste and sectarian strife that has often plagued the world's largest democracy throughout its sixty-year history.

His loyalty to the Congress Party may have also saved it from oblivion; when it turned to Sonia Gandhi (an Italian by birth) for leadership during one of its periodic crises there was much discord, and the rift in the party nearly tore it apart. Likewise, while the damage to the Golden Temple in Amritsar ordered by Indira Gandhi in 1984 as part of Operation Blue Star has been repaired, the Congress Party's relationship to Sikhs has not, and so his appointment can be seen as crucial to healing that wound as well.

While in office, Dr. Singh has fostered closer ties to the United States, diligently supported the peace process with Pakistan, and done much to foster economic growth in the disputed Kashmir region. India's economy during his administration is growing at 9% per annum without neglecting social programs or minority rights as in certain neighbouring countries I won't mention whose name rhymes with 'Dinah'.

He has also eschewed corruption, and been responsible for an increase in the transparency of government.
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