FIFTY YEARS after he graduated from Cambridge, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh revealed how deep his feelings for his alma mater ran. In his speech at the university's Senate House on Wednesday, he said: "The colour light blue is one of my favourites and is often seen on my head." Everyone in the audience knew what he meant. Singh always wears a light blue turban - and light blue is the colour of the university.
Singh graduated with a first class honours degree in economics from Cambridge in 1957. He returned to the campus on Wednesday to be honoured with a doctorate of law, before an audience of 450 odd invitees. In a moving speech, Singh acknowledged that Cambridge had "made" him.
A former student at St John's College, Singh also recalled his association at Cambridge with Pierro Srafa, Amartya Sen, Jagdish Bhagwati, Mehbub-ul-Haq and Rehman Shobhan, "all renowned economists from South Asia who became, and remained life-long friends."
Receiving the doctorate from Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and Chancellor of the university, Singh said: "I am deeply conscious of the honour that you have bestowed upon me.” The citation described him as a scholar and a public servant of great distinction.
“He is in the words of the Greek poet Simonides cool, calm, well aware of justice that serves the State, and a man of healing virtue,” it ran. This was Singh’s last engagement before he wrapped up his UK trip to move on to Helsinki for the EU-India Business Summit.