'Changing India' chronicling Manmohan Singh's public life set for release on Dec 18

INDIA-POLITICS-KARNATAKA Former Indian prime pinister Manmohan Singh | AFP

Amidst a flurry of political treatises, a much anticipated work is the one penned by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, which encapsulates his entire public life, including the economic liberalisation and the ten years of the United Progressive Alliance in power.

Titled 'Changing India', the five-volume book will be launched on December 18. Published by Oxford University Press, the book is being described as a definitive expression of the former prime minister's perspectives on a wide range of economic, social and political issues as they evolved under his long and eventful career.

The former prime minister, who has emerged as an authoritative voice critiquing the present dispensation's policies, especially on the economic front, and who has voiced his criticism of the Narendra Modi regime at several book release functions, is now coming out with his own book, chronicling the political and economic evolution of the country over the last few decades.

The first volume is titled 'India's Export Trends and the Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth', and the second volume 'Thoughts on Trade and Development'. The third volume is dedicated to 'The International Economic Order and the Quest for Equity in Development'.

The fourth volume focuses on 'Economic Reforms: 1991 and Beyond', and as the title suggests, it talks about India's economic liberalisation, with Singh, who was the then finance minister, considered to be the architect of the opening up of the country's economy.

The economist-turned-politician enjoyed a ten-year-long stint as prime minister, heading the UPA government at the Centre from 2004 to 2014. And the fifth volume, which is in two parts, deals with the prime ministerial years. This final part of the book is titled 'The Prime Minister Speaks'.

While the Manmohan Singh government is remembered for the country's economic growth rate staying on a high trajectory besides the coming into being of a rights-based legal framework, the fag end of the UPA's tenure saw a barrage of scams that are believed to be the undoing of the Congress-led regime.

As his government was mired in corruption scams and gripped by policy paralysis, Singh was criticised for not speaking up on the allegations, and his critics said he was a 'puppet prime minister', with the real power centre being the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He had, during his last days as prime minister, said he was confident that history would be kinder to him.

It will be interesting to see what Singh has to say about his years as prime minister, especially the not-so-glorious last years of UPA-II.