TITLE: THE FIRST SIKH PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
AUTHOR: Prof. Pritam Singh Grewal
ABSTRACT: Prof. Pritam Singh Grewal is a former lecturer
and Public School Principal from Punjab, India
and served as a member of the City of Kitchener's
Ethno-Cultural Advisory Committee.
is the fourteenth prime minister
In the history of independent
India, he is the first Sikh as well
as a minority representative who
was sworn in on May 22, 2004
to occupy this august position.
Dr. Singh was born in 1932 to
Mr. Gurmukh Singh
and Mrs. Amrit Kaur
in village Gah (West Punjab),
now in Pakistan.
He did his elementary schooling there.
The villagers of Gah were thrilled to know
about his elevation as India's prime
minister. He is married to Mrs. Gursharan
Kaur and they have three daughters.
Pakistan's prime minister has recently
declared Dr. Manmohan Singh's birthplace
Gah as a model village and also decided
to name the school where he studied as
"Manmohan Singh Government Primary
Educated at Universities of Punjab,
Cambridge and Oxford, he holds the
degrees of M.A., D.Phil (Oxford) and D.Litt.
(Honoris Causa). He has the distinction of
winning the prestigious Adam Smith Prize
from the University of Cambridge in 1956.
He stood first in Punjab University M.A.
(Economics) 1954 examination.
Dr. Singh has also received several
honorary degrees including
Doctor of Laws from University of Alberta,
Professionally, he distinguished himself
as a Professor at Delhi School of
Economics and as a Civil Servant in
many national and international institutions.
He also worked as the Governor of
Reserve Bank of India from 1982 to1985.
Dr. Singh's popularly termed
"Manmohanomics" rescued India from
the edge of bankruptcy, with foreign
exchange reserves to last only two weeks,
when he was called upon to work as
Finance Minister (1991-96).
His liberalization policy brought India
among the world's attractive investment
The subsequent governments pursued
the path shown by this economist-turned
-politician as architect of India's economic
His successful stint as governor at Asian
Development Bank, with International
Monetary Fund and many important
international organizations won him
Dr. Singh authored a book entitled
"India's Export Trends and Prospects for
Self-Sustained Growth",Clarendon Press,
Oxford University, 1964. He has also
published a large number of articles in
various economic journals.
The news of Dr. Singh's election as
India's Prime Minister, attracted special
attention of global media, partly because
India now has a Sikh prime minister, a
Muslim President and an Italian-born
Roman Catholic President of the ruling
Very honest, highly
intelligent but modest
Manmohan Singh's job is
not easy as he is heading a
coalition government, his
own party being in minority.
Sikhs, especially the
diaspora community, feel
happy on the elevation of a
turbaned Sikh to the position
of India's Prime Minister as it
will add to their image and
This article was originally published in Cross Cultures Magazine in Volume 10 - Issue 1 - 2004. Unauthorized copying, distribution or other usage without express written permission of the publisher is prohibited.