“We miss your quiet work!”: Birthday wishes pour in for Manmohan Singh

Interestingly, many Twitter users regretted how they criticised Singh on social media when he was the Prime Minister

Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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Ashutosh Sharma

Birthday wishes have been pouring in for former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who celebrates his 85th birthday on Tuesday. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi—who greeted his predecessor and wished him a long and healthy life—to people from all walks of life, including Union ministers, political leaders, Bollywood personalities and the public at large have been greeting the former Prime Minister.

“Dr Manmohan Singh always listens and seldom speaks, only sharing wisdom when he does. Wishing him many more birthdays!”, Indian National Congress tweeted.

Born into a family of modest means in Gah village of Jhelum district, now a part of Pakistan’s Punjab province in 1932, Singh was the Prime Minister during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime between 2004 and 2014. Earlier, he had served as Chief Economic Advisor to Government of India, Finance Secretary, Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission and the Union Finance Minister.

Singh was appointed as the country’s Finance Minister under late Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in 1991, which marked the beginning of his political carrier. In the same year, the era of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation was ushered in

On social media, the netizens appreciated governance under his prime ministership besides lauding him as a flag bearer of economic reforms. They recalled the puranay din (old days) and tweeted out that history would be kinder to Singh as they hailed his humility, simplicity, decency and dignity. “Not only his prediction on GDP came true, but also his prediction on himself: ‘History will be kinder to me.’ Happy B'Day, Dr #ManmohanSingh,” film maker Shirish Kunder‏ tweeted.

Sharing a few videos in which Singh made some significant predictions as Prime Minister and later as member of Rajya Sabha, several twitter users commented that most of his forewarnings have largely come true. In one such video, Singh foresees that it would be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. In another clip, he can be heard criticising the policy of demonetisation, calling it an “organised loot and legalised plunder of the economy. In the same speech, he had pointed out that demonetisation would hit GDP by 2 per cent.

nterestingly, many twitter users regretted how they criticised Singh on social media when he was the Prime Minister. They regretted their past social media behaviour and made amends. Others wished him good health and long life. “A very happy birthday to Dr Manmohan Singh. We miss your quiet work. Sardarji tussi wapas aao. Humsey bhool ho gayi. Your India,” wrote senior advocate Sanjay Hegde on twitter.

“No rich parents, no influential uncles, no wealth, no inheritance, no one to pull strings and ‘put in a word’ – it was always his merit, his hard work, his honesty, his intelligence and, above all, his deep love for India that energised him. Every young Indian should feel inspired by the life of Manmohan Singh,” posted Rajiv Tyagi, a former fighter pilot in Indian Air Force, on Facebook.

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