Former Indian Prime Minister V P Singh, 77, Passes Away

November 27, 2008
Aaman Lamba

In a dark reminder of the juxtaposition of sacred and profane tragedies, former Indian prime minister V P Singh died at the age of 77 in Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. He had been battling blood cancer since 1991 and renal failure for a while.

Vishwanath Pratap Singh held the office of Prime Minister for less than a year from December 2, 1989 to November 10, 1990, and yet it was a polarizing year in Indian history. From the Babri Masjid attacks to the implementation of the Mandal Commission report, this former Raja who battled against numerous challenges through his political career left his mark on history. As Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he cracked down on the banditry problem and later as Prime Minister he went head to head with Dhirubhai Ambani and Amitabh Bachchan on alleged tax evasion.

He contributed in some ways to the future terror issues faced by India and the world when his government buckled to terrorist threats and released key militants in exchange for the daughter of Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.

Post his Prime Ministership, he initially retired from active politics until he recreated his caste-based political grouping, the Jan Morcha. and later protested against the Dadri land acquisition by Reliance Industries.

Aaman Lamba is the Publisher of, a Blogcritics network site. He also blogs, more infrequently nowadays, at Audit Trails Of Self
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November 27, 2008
02:23 PM

Now hell will get OBC quota

Amitabh Mitra
November 27, 2008
03:08 PM

A talented Artist, he gave shows of his work in London and New York. He remarked once that he knows now how fulfilling Art can be.

November 27, 2008
06:12 PM

I don't normally feel so strongly about people, but I honestly believe that VP Singh singlehandedly pulled India back a couple of decades.

Religion and caste were on the path to becoming less relevant in education and employment, meritocracy was coming into play. The Mandal commission implementation brought it all back onto the forefront and paved the way for the current clamour for quotas from every section.

November 27, 2008
06:38 PM

In my political awakening, V.P. Singh has the distinct credit for giving rise to feelings of cynicism and disappointment about politicians for the first time. So in a way, he gets credit for me facing reality about politics and doing a bit of growing up as a teenager.

November 27, 2008
06:47 PM

why do all the good, sincere people die? or does everyone in the end die? i met him a few times and came away very impressed by his distinctively non-politician like demeanor. rest in peace.

November 28, 2008
07:38 AM

the dude picked an absolutely wrong time to kick the bucket.. his obituary is but a footnote in today's papers..

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