India has had 15 prime minsters since independence. 6 have served a full term or more. I wanted to reflect and assess their performance, especially with respect to their impact on the economy.
Unless I am missing somebody, here the fifteen:
Jawaharlal Nehru, Guljarilal Nanda, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Morarjee Desai, Charan Singh, Rajeev Gandhi, VP Singh, Chandra Sekhar, Narasimhan Rao, Deve Gowda, IP Gujral, Atal Bihar Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi.
Nanda, Shastri, Morarjee, Charan Singh, VP Singh, Chandrasekhar, Deve Gowda and IP Gujral served two years or less. Modi is a work in progress. So I just want to rate the six who had a chance to impact the lives of the people. I want to rate them on an absolute scale of 1 to 10 and also rate them Best to worst.
Here are my ratings:
Vajapayee 10 Best
Narasimhan Rao 9
Manmohan 1 Worst
Here are my reasons. Vajpayee was a phenomenal reformer. Liberalization of Telecom Sector, Finance Sector, Automobile Sector, Golden Quadrilateral Highway system,Pradhan Mantri’s Gram Sadak Yojna, Disinvestments come to mind at first blush.
Narasimhan Rao set India on path to liberalization and broke the old mold!
Nehru nurtured core institutions. His economic policies were disaster but he left working structure in place.
Rajeev started the early computer revolution. A wasted generational change opportunity.
Indira was an all out disaster on the economic front.
Manmohan turned out to be Nikamma (a do-nothing), as Advani had called him. wasted 19 years and dragged back to the policies of Indira.
I am sure this is going to be controversial, but I want to get a debate started.