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The IAC street protests against mounting venality in the UPA Government received a boost with Dr. Manmohan Singh himself hitting the streets to show his solidarity with Kejriwal & Co in expressing disgust at his monumentally corrupt government.
The switchover occurred last Friday when Kejriwal and his merry band of activists tried to gherao the Prime Minister’s residence to press forth their demand for Khurshid’s resignation, pending a free and fair probe. The quick thinking Prime Minister slipped out his house’s backdoor and joined the protesters in their dharna.
“I am just as frustrated and disgusted with the system, yaar. So when I heard that Kejriji is leading a march to my house seeking Salman’s resignation, I decided to join him. I’ve also been making similar demands against tainted ministers ever since I became PM, you see,” said Dr. Singh, before raising his voice to chant slogans against Salman Khurshid.
Later, the soft-spoken economist turned Prime Minister was forcibly evicted along with other protectors and bundled off to Bawana Jail as a precautionary measure. When asked how his temporary incarceration felt, Dr. Singh replied that it was no different from being trapped inside the Prime Minister’s post. “Both are equally suffocating and stifling. With no freedom to pursue one’s beliefs, one is left to vegetate, shackled in a corner in either scenario,” he wryly noted, before reluctantly heading back to his office in North Block.
Dr. Singh will now double up as an IAC activist by night while going through the motions as the Prime Minister of India by day. “Getting a kick out of it, man. Such a refreshing change from mouthing theoretical gibberish while turning a blind eye to the crap around me,” Dr. Singh said about his new avocation. Incidentally, this will be Dr. Singh’s first tryst with street activism after a career as an academic turned bureaucrat turned politician. “I did have a chance to take part in the Quit India movement protests back in 1945 but gave it a pass to focus on my board exams. Anyway, better late than never,” he disclosed.
The Prime Minister also had words of praise for his new boss, Arvind Kejriwal. “He’s hands on, pays attention to detail, has no baggage and the icing on the cake is that he actually understands some of my prescriptions for fixing the economy. Would love to be Prime Minister of India under him also,” trailed off Dr. Singh.