Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been described as "a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government" by a leading US daily.
In an article "India's 'silent' prime minister becomes a tragic figure", the daily said Manmohan Singh helped set India on the path to modernity, prosperity and power, but critics say the shy, soft-spoken 79-year-old is in "danger of going down in history as a failure".
The architect of India's economic reforms, Singh was a major force behind his country's rapprochement with the United States and is a respected figure on the world stage.
"But the image of the scrupulously honorable, humble and intellectual technocrat has slowly given way to a completely different one: a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government," it said.
The daily said that for the past two weeks everyday, the Indian parliament has been adjourned as the opposition demands Singh's resignation over allegations of waste and corruption in the allocation of coal-mining concessions.
"The story of Singh's dramatic fall from grace in his second term in office and the slow but steady tarnishing of his reputation has played out in parallel with his country's decline on his watch.
"As India's economy has slowed and as its reputation for rampant corruption has reasserted itself, the idea that the country was on an inexorable road to becoming a global power has increasingly come into question," said the daily.