In hindsight, liberalisation seems to be Independent India's best idea yet. PM Narasimha Rao was a genius to pluck a non-politician in Manmohan Singh for the Finance Minister's post.
Yet that is not what this government is known for.
When Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid dome came down, Home Minister Shankarrao Chavan said in a press conference, "Is it so?" feigning ignorance. And you thought Shivaraj Patil was bad!
Then came the Harshad Mehta scam, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha bribery case, the St Kitt's forgery case, the Lakhubhai Pathak allegations...
They all overshadowed the government's achievements in the economy, national security and foreign affairs.
What followed from 1996-98 was the third failed Janata experiment and two of the most insignificant PMs in Deve Gowda and IK Gujral.
Image: P V Narasimha Rao is escorted by a military guard as he arrives at Parliament in New Delhi.
(Photograph copyright AFP. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited)