Sunday, March 6, 2011

Remembered for What?

Veteran Congress leader, former Union Minister and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Arjun Singh passed away two days back and messages of condolence for his near and dear ones have been flying in from across the political spectrum.

But let me be honest: I hated Arjun Singh. I detested him. I think he caused irreparable damage to the social fabric of this nation and harmed educational institutions to such an extent that we would feel its effects for decades. In short, I have nothing to say about him that even mildly please his near and dear ones.

What will Arjun Singh be remembered for? Two things mainly.

First, as Madhya Pradesh CM when the Bhopal Gas Tragedy took place, he allowed Warren Anderson to flee India under his watch. He has gone to the extent of laying suspicion on Rajiv Gandhi (which could be very true as well) to save himself, earning some strong rebuke from The Family.

Second, the OBC Reservation Bill. As HRD Minister, he conceptualized the bill, saw it through Parliament and even got it through the Supreme Court. And once all that was done, he coolly said that the Congress would gain electorally from the move. It was his Ministry that decided to double the number of seats in all education institutions, completely ignoring quality for electoral gains.

What will Arjun Singh be remembered for? He will be remembered for being a short-sighted leader whose decisions would haunt the nation forever.

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