Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scores a coup at G-20

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The US President,  Barack Obama, had a point when he said that the world listens when this economist-turned-politician speaks. Of course, it does have much to with his erudition in the subject at hand — the economic slowdown. It also has much to do with the way India has edged forward to the centre-stage of the world in the last two decades. So it is no wonder that Dr. Singh, who successfully steered India from the economic slowdown, was able to give food for thought to the world’s super economic powers at the G-20 meeting in Toronto.

If there are still skeptics out there who have doubts about India’s emerging role in the international stage, they just need to take a second look at the media reports on the G-20 summit. It was Dr. Manmohan Singh all the way. He went, he saw and he conquered. This is not some kind of parochial patriotic chest-thumping. The US President,  Barack Obama, had a point when he said that the world listens when this economist-turned-politician speaks. Of course, it does have much to do with his erudition in the subject at hand — the economic slowdown. It also has much to do with the way India has edged forward to the centre-stage of the world in the last two decades. So it is no wonder that Dr. Singh, who successfully steered India from the economic slowdown, was able to give food for thought to the world’s super economic powers at the G-20 meeting in Toronto. He warned the leaders (especially those who spoke in highly optimistic tones) that the world economic recovery was “still fragile” and time had not come for  the bugles to be brought out. It was too early for governments to step back since demand was still weak, he added. The only qualified economist among the G-20 leaders did not miss a beat while telling the superpowers that the world economy would be in trouble if all of them pulled in different directions. In the climate of uncertainty it would be best if the stimulus packages were continued, he added in his determined voice and the world listened. Perhaps this G-20 summit would come to be known as the one in which India came to the forefront and did not remain in the sidelines, courtesy Dr. Singh. Not only does he have a deep knowledge of economic issues, but has an economic vision too. And it is this economic vision that helped India to negotiate through the tricky swamp of recession, which sucked in many other countries. Dr. Singh has also emerged as a leader committed to global peace and prosperity. As  John Kirton, director of G-20 Research Group of the Toronto University, pointed out, Dr. Singh’s understanding of complex economic issues coupled with the country’s thriving democracy that has given India an edge at international economic summits these days. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Prime Minister has also played a key role in transforming G-20 into a premier forum for international economic cooperation rather than a club of super powers in which other countries played the role of glorified cheerleaders. He was instrumental in G-20 taking certain decisive actions to help the world deal effectively with the ongoing economic crisis. He also scored a diplomatic victory by persuading his Canadian counterpart,  Stephen Harper, to sign a civil nuclear deal with India, ending 36 years of sanctions. India will also receive uranium supplies from the country. So as Dr. Singh flies back home to grapple with a host of domestic troubles, he can do so with the confidence of having left the stamp of his country in the G-20 summit.

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

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