An easy target
The economist Jagdish Bhagwati used to tell the story of chancing upon the application of a good friend's daughter to the highly competitive graduate programme at Columbia University, where he has taught for decades.
Professor Bhagwati was surprised as the friend had not even mentioned that his daughter was applying.
The friend was Manmohan Singh.
Of all the stories about Manmohan Singh's weaknesses as prime minister, there are just as many about his innate decency and self-effacing nature. Both virtues are handicaps in the snakes and ladders that is Indian politics today, but that is more an indictment of the political system and of India.
That Dr Singh did not wield the real power in the Congress must come as a surprise only to those who have amnesia about the history of that dynastic party from 1971 onwards. Stop the presses: they will be discovering the world is round next.
Dr Singh is an easy target - but how many professional CEOs are given a free hand in family-owned companies in India?
In this country of Olympian sycophancy, how exactly does a professional manager impose himself on an organisation when the real power rests with the owners?
Over the past decade, the comings and goings of professional CEOs at Jet Airways, Ranbaxy, SRF and Britannia suggest this transition is difficult.
Text: Rahul Jacob, Business Standard
Cartoon: Satish Acharya