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I am in politics by accident, says PM

Manmohan says so in a function to mark the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of LSR College in N Delhi on Monday.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2006 16:08 IST

Academics, not politics, is the cup of tea of Dr Manmohan Singh, who has already been in the prime ministerial saddle for over two years.

"I have strayed into politics by sheer accident. And it always pleases me to come back to academic institutions which have done so well and to see so many young bright faces that thrill my heart because I see in them the future of our country," Dr Singh said, addressing a function to mark the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College in New Delhi on Monday.

The stocks of Dr Singh as a political leader have been on the upswing since he made a forceful speech in Parliament to defend the July 18 nuclear deal with the US, but he himself never loses any opportunity to express his love for academics.

The brilliant economist, who studied at the Cambridge and taught at the Delhi School of Economics, has always taken pride in his credentials as a teacher before he joined politics.

"...I am basically a teacher," he told the students of the college while emphasising the need for a new social reform movement for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Not surprisingly then, the prime minister showered accolades on late Sir Shri Ram and his generation of patriotic Indians who had the vision to create LSR, describing it as "a great institution of learning and women's empowerment."

He also complimented Dr Bharat Ram and his associates for building on the vision of the founding fathers to create an institution of learning par excellence and committed to "the emancipation of our women".

Dr Singh also fondly remembered his days when he was in the University of Delhi, and was nominated on the governing body of "this college and I also recall having participated in the selection of some teachers in Economics."

"I have been told that yours is the only all-women's college to be listed among the top ten colleges in India. This is creditable but you have to aspire to do more and I endorse the vision of your principal that Lady Sriram College must aspire to become a full-fledged University devoted to the education of women," he added.