ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
Members Only
lock close icon

Mallikarjun Kharge Pens Letter to Manmohan Singh as He Retires From Rajya Sabha

"We live in times that are largely shaped by you," wrote the Congress party president.

Published
Opinion
4 min read
story-hero-img
i
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large
Hindi Female

(Here is the full text of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge's letter to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose retirement from the Rajya Sabha was announced yesterday.)

As you retire today from the Rajya Sabha after having served for more than three decades, an era comes to an end. Very few people can say they have served our nation with more dedication and more devotion than you. Very few people have accomplished as much as you for the nation and its people.

Personally, it has been a privilege for me to have been a part of your cabinet. Over the last 10 years, while I have been the leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, you have always been a source of wisdom and someone whose advice I valued. Over the last few years, you have made it a point to be available for the Congress party despite personal inconveniences. For this, the party and I will always remain grateful.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

You have shown that it is possible to pursue economic policies that are equally beneficial to large industries, young entrepreneurs, small businesses, the salaried class and the poor. It was you who showed that even the poor can participate in the nation's growth and be lifted out of poverty.

Thanks to your policies, India was able to lift 27 crore people, the highest number of poor people out of poverty in the world while you were the Prime Minister. The MGNREGA scheme launched under your government continues to provide relief to rural workers during times of crisis. The nation and particularly the rural poor will always remember you for ensuring that they can earn a living and live with self-respect through this scheme.

The patriotic legacy of the Congress party and its spirit of sacrifice was ably demonstrated by you when you decided to pursue the Indo-US Nuclear Deal even if it meant putting your government at risk for the sake of the nation's security. This was a historic moment when you led India to take her rightful place in the world and you showed your strength as an uncompromising negotiator. The respect and regard that the Presidents of the United States and other world leaders had for you made this possible. Their respect for you further increased during the Global Financial Crisis. I remember President Obama mentioning to you that "Whenever the Indian Prime Minister speaks, the whole world listens to him." These are only a few instances that I am mentioning out of your many contributions to the nation.

0

We live in times that are largely shaped by you. The economic prosperity and stability that we enjoy today are built on the foundations laid by you along with our former Prime Minister, Bharat Ratna, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao. The current set of leaders who have reaped the benefits of your work are reluctant to credit you due to political biases.

In fact, they seem to go out of their way to speak ill about you and make personal attacks against you. However, we also know that you are large-hearted enough not to hold that against anyone.

Whatever little reforms done by the current government have their seeds in the work initiated in the UPA government headed by you. The work initiated by your government to ensure the direct transfer of benefits to individual beneficiaries by creating zero balance accounts, and unique identification of the beneficiary through Aadhaar was hijacked by the succeeding government without giving you credit. In some cases, the good work initiated by you seems to be slowly undone. The difficult work of deregulation of petrol and diesel prices done by you seems to have been completely undone by the current government. The current government is levying high taxes on the common man, while oil companies are enjoying the benefits of low oil prices. Yet another area where the government has regressed is the increasing economic inequality and a growing number of people who are forced to seek subsistence from the government.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

The nation misses the quiet yet strong dignity that you brought to the office of the Prime Minister. The Parliament will now miss your wisdom and experience. Your dignified, measured, soft-spoken yet statesman-like words are in contrast to the loud voices filled with lies that signify the current politics. The current political situation is such that unscrupulousness is being equated with astute leadership. I still recall your speech on demonetisation which you termed a "monumental management failure" and "an organised loot and legalised plunder", which has proved to be a grim reality.

You showed it is possible to criticise without getting personal. The nation and the people will soon see through the lies of the current government. Just like how the sun and the moon can never be hidden, the truth can also never be hidden. People will realise the importance of your words soon.

You will always remain a hero to the middle class and the aspirational youth, a leader and guide to the industrialists and entrepreneurs, and a benefactor to all those poor who were able to climb out of poverty due to your economic policies.

Even as you retire from active politics, I hope that you will continue to be the voice of wisdom and moral compass to the nation by speaking to the citizens of our country as often as possible. I wish you peace, health and happiness.

[Note: The text has been lightly edited as per The Quint's stylesheet.]

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from opinion

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
×
×