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Manmohan on Rai remark: ‘I did my duty’

Daman Singh releases her book; kin, friends attend private event

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: September 15, 2014 1:01 am
Daman Singh presents copies of her book to her parents, in New Delhi on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Ravi Kanojia) Daman Singh presents copies of her book to her parents, in New Delhi on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Ravi Kanojia)

The book is titled Strictly Personal and is about a public figure with a reputation for being reticent and reserved. Befitting the title, the release of Daman Singh’s “affectionate and honest” account of the lives of her parents, Manmohan Singh and Gursharan Kaur, was a private affair and the former PM kept his reputation despite being at the centre of a political controversy, triggered ironically by another book.

The release of Daman Singh’s book comes at a time when her father is facing attacks from his political adversaries in the wake of former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai’s observations about him in his book. But, neither Singh nor his family wanted to let the controversy affect Daman’s big moment. The  “strictly personal” event at Indian Habitat Centre comprised only of relatives and friends.

Publishers HarperCollins said Daman wanted it to be a “personal event”.

Perhaps for the first time, the three daughters of Singh  — Upinder, Daman, Amrit were together at a public event along with Singh and Gursharan.

The only political face present was former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor. Also present was Montek Singh Ahluwalia and his wife
Isher Judge Ahluwalia. The former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman is a close family friend of Singh.

Singh, on his part, evaded questions from the media about Rai’s scathing observations. “I, indeed, did my duty. Well, I do not want to comment on other people (or) what they have written,” Singh said when asked about Rai’s remarks.

Daman said it was a tough job to chronicle her parents’ lives from the 1930s to 2004, the year Singh assumed the office of the Prime Minister which he went on to occupy for a decade. “When it comes to family, it is really hard to be impartial,  to be unbiased. So I  had a very tough job on my hands. It took me a long time to figure out how to go about this job… I decided that my book would be both affectionate — and I make no bones about it, it is an affectionate book — but also be honest. And it would be as honest as possible,” Daman said.

Like Singh, Daman too evaded controversial topics. Asked about the controversy triggered by Rai, she said, “Actually, I do not know anything about that. I have not heard what they have said. So, there is no point in saying anything.”

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  1. I
    Sep 15, 2014 at 5:05 am
    And the country paid a price for that
    1. A
      Sep 15, 2014 at 5:10 am
      No body is clean, money swindled was huge.
      1. A
        Anurag Srivastava
        Sep 15, 2014 at 7:38 am
        Some person should carry out a study whether Shri Vinod Rai as Secretary, Financial Services had squeezed the Nationalized Bank to what an extent. SBI please.
        1. A
          Agrippa -
          Sep 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm
          The Prime Minister takes an oath to serve and to Protect (keep harm away from) the country. If there is proof of what CAG and Kamal Nath are saying, the State of India should prosecute the Prime Minister for negligence of duty.The Prime Minister, by looking away, harmed the country's interest.If the the Attorney General did this, it would be called witch hunting by the current political dispensation.The bottom of this affair has to be scratched clean lest it happens again!These were 10 wasted years in the life of millions of poor Indians.I would start a PIL, unfortunately I do not live in the country.
          1. A
            Atul Sharma
            Sep 15, 2014 at 3:56 am
            He was made a dumb PM right from the beginning. Everything was controlled by Ms. SG from the back. Hence we understand his position. He was made a scapegoat. It is matter of shame for INC & Co, & not MMS alone.
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