Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Ex-Prime Minister, poet and painter,
is a Renaissance man. They tend to emerge as political figures
in changing times. Two of the most prominent in India’s
past are Jawaharlal Nehru and Winston Churchill. They were both
on different sides over the question of Indian independence.
Both, however, found themselves on the same side, during World
War II, committed to fighting Hitler’s fascism.
This tells us something about the men of destiny in politics
in our times and also about fascism. Such people have to carry
a broader vision with them than day-to-day politics require.
This broader vision is all the more necessary as ours is a period
of history with events going backwards and forwards in an upredictable
Also there are long periods when contending forces stand eyeball-to-eyeball,
posing a challenge to all who live through it. The enterprising
find avenues of success in them and the unenterprising, the fog
of confusion. At the same time they have to be firm in their
convictions so as to put up a determined fight for what they
believe in. V.P. Singh clearly belongs to this category.