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“Wise, Thoughtful, And Scrupulously Honest”: Obama Showers Dr Singh With Praise In His Memoir

The 44th US President said he had developed a “warm and productive” relationship with Mr Singh, reminiscing the times on his first visit to India in 2010. 

Former US President Barack Obama, in the first of his two-part memoir, “A Promised Land”, speaks at length about his interest in India, Mahatma Gandhi’s life and his relationship with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh whom he calls a man of “uncommon wisdom and decency.”

The 44th US President said he had developed a “warm and productive” relationship with Mr Singh, reminiscing the times on his first visit to India in 2010.

“A gentle, soft-spoken economist in his seventies, with a white beard and a turban that were the marks of his Sikh faith but to the Western eye lent him the air of a holy man, he had been India’s finance minister in the 1990s, managing to lift millions of people from poverty. For the duration of his tenure as Prime Minister, I would find Singh to be wise, thoughtful, and scrupulously honest,” Mr Obama wrote.

“While he [Mr. Singh] could be cautious in foreign policy, unwilling to get out too far ahead of an Indian bureaucracy that was historically suspicious of U.S. intentions, our time together confirmed my initial impression of him as a man of uncommon wisdom and decency; and during my visit to the capital city of New Delhi, we reached agreements to strengthen U.S. cooperation on counterterrorism, global health, nuclear security, and trade,” the former President added.

While narrating his interaction with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Mr Obama says: Both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi sat at our dinner table that night. She was a striking woman in her sixties, dressed in a traditional sari, with dark, probing eyes and a quiet, regal presence.”

Mr Obama further says that Mrs Gandhi listened more than she spoke, attributing her power to “a shrewd and forceful intelligence.”

“As for Rahul, he seemed smart and earnest, his good looks resembling his mother’s. He offered up his thoughts on the future of progressive politics, occasionally pausing to probe me on the details of my 2008 campaign,” Mr Obama writes on his interaction with Mr Gandhi.

“But there was a nervous, unformed quality about him, as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject,” he added.

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