Friday, July 13, 2012
The Time Magazine has dubbed Man Mohan Singh as an ‘under achiever‘ in its July 16th Asia Edition as a full cover story creating ripples in both political and Media circles in India. There have been harsher comments against Sri Singh by various Newspapers and T.V.Channels here especially when the Government backed out from opening retail sector to the foreign investors upon a threatening stand taken by an ally of U P A. But the Time report has been singled out to criticize.
The term’ under achiever’ for Dr. Manmohan Singh, India's Prime Minister, simply means that he has not achieved what was expected of him by the voters who re elected him in the last election and conversely, it also means that he has the potential to achieve more. And in that sense it is no insult at all.
Before the last election Dr.Singh exhibited exceptional courage in pushing the India-U S Nuclear pact to its logical conclusion against all odds with a political will never before seen. The reason for the reelection was also based on Prime Minister's determination in the matter. The people naturally expect the same determined action from him. The Time’s report is only a reflection of voters’ views or need only be taken that way.
However the report created quite a stir in India.
The Time Magazine is rated highly in India both among the general public and in Media circles. A full cover report on any Indian issue is widely discussed here. As such Dr.Singh's reference was a front page news in all newspapers and the people in all walks of life including the Union Ministers and opposition leaders remarked for or against the report. If the coverage and counter arguments the report received in India are taken, it is actually a treat for the Time Magazine.
The comments appearing in foreign publications are read in India with a special interest as it imparts an insight in to how people outside the country view India. The book “Freedom at Midnight” written by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre was a widely read and criticised book in India. The book gave a rare outsider view of Indian freedom Movement and the India- Pakistan Partition woes. An Indian writer is not capable of getting a foreigner's views and perspectives and as such the book would remain fresh for an Indian reader.
But in the case of Time Magazine the reports are usually written by people of Indian origin or expatriate Indians and its merit is that the Time editors including those of foreign nationals edit the script before it is published. However the reports maintain a style distinct from the Indian Media.
On the flip side,the present criticism against Sri Manmohan Singh also tells how ephemeral the Media evaluations are. A couple of years back Time Magazine included Sri Singh in the 100 most important personalities in the world and now it terms him as an underachiever though both citations may have their own reasons.