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After furnishing a robust defense of his conduct or the lack of it in what has been dubbed the #coalgate scam, Dr. Manmohan Singh today cited ancient religious texts to defend both the UPA Government and his own leadership style.
Following a daylong meeting spent huddling with his Cabinet colleagues and coalition partners, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced today that “the best bet for Indian people was to follow the dictum laid out in the Bhagavad Gita”. “Listen, just do your duty. And, give up all your expectations,” said Singh.
“This is the great truth that has been handed down to us over the ages,” adding that there was no point in trying to introduce new bills when “no one really cares about making anything work.”
When pressed for more details, Singh added, “If you love something, set it free. Don’t spend all your energy in trying to force something to work. Your government should be free to do its own thing. If it never comes back to thinking about you, perhaps we are not meant to be with each together.” The Prime Minister confirmed he’s “pretty sure” that his government will not get anything done for another two years and maybe even longer. However, he urged Indians to “keep their minds open to the possibility of a miracle.”
Singh also justified his leadership style, characterized by silence, inaction, and impassivity, by pointing out that it was grounded in the ancient Chinese-Daoist tradition of wuwei (roughly translated as ‘doing nothing’, ‘suspended animation’, ‘inaction) which requires “the Heaven’s Son (the ruler) to stand aloof, and with his authority unimpaired by legislative niceties and executive responsibilities, cultivate a state of impassivity. In doing so, the ruler then sets a moral example which creates a magnetic field, automatically orienting the polity to the path of righteousness. The field also draws the ablest and most upright of subjects into the emperor’s ambit of service. This in turn allows the emperor to slide further into passivity, secure in the knowledge that, with such paragons at the helm, order and stability would be guaranteed.
Dr. Singh hastened to add that he was not the emperor though, merely the regent, keeping the throne warm for the heir-apparent and reporting to the Dowager Empress. Such an arrangement has no scriptural sanction but strong historical precedent in China: In the past, dowager empresses have stepped in on many occassions to fill the void and ensure smooth dynastic succession.