Shri. Manmohan Singh’s speech at Oxford University

This speech by our Prime Minister Shri. Manmohan Singh is another jewel in the necklace of great speeches by our Prime Ministers. Shri. Manmohan Singh’s challenge in this speech is to tread a fine line between his desire to express his sincere gratitude for his much substantial life, which would not have been possible without the great minds assembled by Oxford in it’s quest to impart quality education, and the restraint in perfect measure of this gratitude which he needed to impose, as the chosen representative of the spirit of a billion people, against it’s former masters.

As is the case in all great speeches, even in this one, Shri. Manmohan Singh invokes anecdotes and quotations from some of the best minds of his previous generation with finesse. His invocation of the anecdote between Mahatma Gandhi and A.D. Lindsay succeeds in cementing the idea he wishes to convey by using it at the perfect section of his speech.

Despite the fine balance which he achieves, this speech was responsible for some heated debate within our political and other intellectual circles on whether Shri. Manmohan Singh failed in this effort by bowing his head further than was needed. Whether that charge holds water or not is something you can only find out by reading the speech yourself.


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