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Strictly Personal- Manmohan & Gursharan

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s novelist daughter Daman Singh has written a biography on her father that sheds new light on him beyond his persona as a brilliant technocrat

10/1/2014 1:01:50 PM
written By : Shobha Tsering Bhalla Print

“It’s also about my mother,” she says softly, her eyescatchingmy gaze just long enough to emphasise the point. Like her famous father, India’s former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Daman Singh is a woman of few words and when she speaks they are measured.

She is talking about the book she has come to give me this morning before I depart for the hills of Ranikhet. Strictly Personal, a biography of her father, is the closest and most personal view anyone has offered of the man who led India for ten years until May this year.

I could have waited till I got back to Delhi from my hill retreat but when I mention to Daman over the phone that it would make a good travel companion but that I haven’t got the time to pick it up from her she readily offers to drop by the next morning to give it to me. We talk about how long she took to research the book and interview her parents – about three years she says. Although economical on details and restrained in voice, if one mines a little below the surface the book offers nuggets a-plenty on the intensely private former PM’s personality and life.

Manmohan Singh was an exemplary student right from his early days, but he was not above a little thievery, like the child Krishna: “Being sent to buy yoghurt from the local halwai was a special treat. His aunt had no idea that Mohan helped himself to the layer of cream before handing it over.” 

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