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5 Lesser-known Facts About Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. (Credit: Twitter)

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. (Credit: Twitter)

India’s economy changed forever in 1991 when Manmohan Singh introduced economic reforms — moving towards liberalisation and ending ‘license raj’.

Former Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh turns 88 today. Singh led the country for a decade, from 2004-2014. Manmohan Singh is also an economist who served as the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from 1982-1985 and was the Minister of Finance in PV Narasimha Rao’s government.

India’s economy changed forever in 1991 when Manmohan Singh introduced economic reforms — moving towards liberalisation and ending ‘license raj’. On his birthday, let us look at some of the lesser-known facts about Manmohan Singh.

Can’t read Hindi

Although Manmohan Singh can speak Hindi, he cannot read the script of the language. When he was leading the country, his speeches were written in Urdu because he is proficient in the same. At a time when many states from Southern India are speaking against Hindi imposition, it is interesting to know that a former Prime Minister from a North Indian state was also not fluent in the language.

Shy as a student

Looking at Manmohan Singh’s quiet demeanour today, one can believe that he was shy as a student. Even at the time when he was studying at the reputed Cambridge University, Manmohan was a quiet and reserved person. In an interview with BBC’s Mark Tully for Cambridge Alumni Magazine, he shared that when he was at the reputed Cambridge University, he used to wake up earlier and bathe with cold water at 4 am because he was shy to wash his long hair and needed privacy.

Lost his mother early

Manmohan Singh lost his mother when he was a child. He was raised by his grandmother, who took care of his needs and raised him. They lived in Gah, a village in Punjab which is now a part of Pakistan.

No electricity for first 12 years

He lived in the village Gah for the first twelve years of his life. The village did not have electricity, piped water and school. Manmohan Singh used to walk miles to attend his faraway school. As there was no electricity, he studied in the light of a lamp.

Migration to Amritsar

When the partition of British India happened in August 1947, Manmohan Singh was 14 years old. He migrated to India’s Amritsar along with his family where they started life from scratch.


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