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The Rediff Special /

May 25, 2004

Saving the taxpayer's money

Dr Manmohan Singh was the finance minister of India.

I was an assistant director of commerce and economics at the Consulate General of India in New York.

Dr Singh was visiting the UN and I was posted as his protocol officer for three days.

All I can say is: Wow! What a great man.

Although he was accommodated at the UN Plaza Hotel, he never breakfasted there. He would walk with me to the doughnut shop every day and buy a coffee and a bagel.

When I asked him why he was not eating at the hotel, he told me, "Partha, I am spending the taxpayer's money. If I misuse it, God will never forgive me."

He would insist on travelling economy.

After having seen several people who love to spend the Government of India's money in every possible way, his behaviour thrilled me.

Before he left New York, Dr Singh called me and the driver thanked us personally. Even though he had been with us for just three days, he remembered our names.

He is a very simple and humble man.

When you work for the government, you don't see too many decent and gentle people like Dr Singh.

He is a great man and I am sure he will lead the country in a great manner.

Parthiban Shanmugam
Consultant (Legal & Marketing)
Medical Center of Boston International

An awesome teacher

I was Dr Manmohan Singh's student when he taught at the Delhi School of Economics in the early seventies.

The MA final year course then offered an optional subject, Monetary Theory of International Trade. The professor in charge of this subject was Dr Manmohan Singh. 

He was an excellent teacher and a very nice and humble person.

Despite his tremendous professional achievements, culminating in the post of the prime minister of India, he remains a simple, humble person.

He is not a typical politician. I really hope he becomes a successful prime minister.

Pradeep Bhatia
R K Puram
New Delhi


I remember the day I met Dr Manmohan Singh at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

I had just appeared for the written test of the Military Engineering Service examination in Jammu. Before returning home, I went to see the Golden Temple.

Early in the morning, at 8.00 am, Dr Manmohan Singh came to the temple for darshan [to worship].

I could not resist the opportunity of introducing myself.

He was kind enough to ask about me, where I was from, how I had performed in the MES exam and my plans for the future. We chatted for about five minutes.

At my request, he allowed me to pose with him for a picture.

I was, and continue to be, impressed by his simplicity, his down-to-earth approach and religious nature.

Rajesh Bhangale
PhD scholar
IIT, Madras

A man with vision

I had the opportunity of listening to Dr Manmohan Singh at an oration organised in Mangalore, Karnataka, some 10 years ago. 

I was deeply impressed with his views and vision for the country.

It gladdens my heart to know we have, at the country's helm, a person full of ideas; a person who has already shown he has the will and the capability, and now the power, to make them come true.

I wish him all the best.

Pratibha K
Chartered accountant
Jersey City, NJ

Dr Singh's autograph
'I have to give something back to society'
Dr Singh: Upright and conservative

Have you met Dr Manmohan Singh? Share your experience with us.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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