Hyderabad: Dr. Shashi Tharoor, former Union Minister of State for Foreign affairs and Human resources development, said while Jawaharlal Nehru discovered India, PV Narasimha Rao reinvented India. The former prime minister combined his pragmatism with Nehru’s idealism. Delivering the eighth PV Narasimha Rao Memorial Lecture on ‘Foreign Policy Legacy of PV Narasimha Rao,’ Dr. Tharoor, the three-time MP from Tiruvanantapuram, said although PV was an accidental prime minister who had to take up the reins after the ghastly murder of the then Congress president Rajiv Gandhi, he proved his mettle of statesmanship both internally and externally. Referring to PV as a shrewd tactician, Shashi Tharoor compared him with Kautilya.
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Explaining PV’s relationship with his finance minister Manmohan Singh, Tharoor quoted the former prime minister as saying that ‘I bailed him out when Manmohan Singh was in political problems and Dr. Singh rescued me when I was in economic problems.’ Talking about PV’s contribution to foreign policy, he said the former prime minister laid strong foundation for peace through his initiatives in foreign policy with which he could strengthen the country’s defense.
PV maintained wonderful relations with China, US, Israel, Iran and Pakistan. His policy towards East also was commendable. His foreign policy initiatives proved to be useful for those who succeeded him in office. When PV became prime minister, the world was in economic problems and the country was in economic turmoil. Despite the adverse conditions faced by the country, he took a bold initiative to steer the country out of the economic mess and put in on a wonderful growth trajectory. Though he was a master of ten to seventeen languages, he preferred to be silent on many occasions.
The way PV Narasimha Rao brought peace back to Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab was commendable. The way he ran his minority government for the full term is a lesson in management, he said. Dr. Tharoor referred to Vinay Sitapati’s book on PV titled ‘Half Lion.’ Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu presided over the function while Dr. K. Ramachandra Murthy, who founded the series of lectures in 2012, welcomed the guests.