Thursday, June 21, 2007

Presidential election in Democracy

What does president of India do? He is a figure head with minimal legislative powers, mostly representing spirit of country and acting as conscious keeper of constitution. We might argue that post of president is a legacy we borrowed from our system of democracy which was based on British system and is a redundant post. Who is this Pratibha Patil, the new presidential nominee of congress for president election! Just around till two weeks back not many in this country would have known who she is! Then why is she president candidate? Because she was hand picked by Sonia Gandhi! What are her qualifications! That she was some ex whatever minister and she was quite and calm and uncontroversial! Or is it that she is a woman and hence if elected, which she would be because she is nominated by party in power, would become first female president of India. As if it was really important to prove gender equality and female empowerment by electing a female president. Such symbolism means nothing. We are anyway a country replete with symbolism. So why would we need another one? I am not trying to say that she is not capable or eligible for post of president! . But if she is; then lots of else are also. Why not any ex minister! Why not any other woman!

The point is that nobody in this country would knew her just 2 weeks back and suddenly she is in limelight and has already put her foot in her mouth by commenting about veil and how it was enforced on women during Muslim rule. So she needs to get her history and PR right, and the moment there was limelight on her, she came out with controversial statement also! Why not choose Abdul Kalam for another term! He is popular, one of greatest Indians, is apolitical, is tremendoulsy knowledgeable and importantly has by and far topped all the media polls for popular choice as president! If we are a democracy then why not give second term to a highly popular president even if it is just for namesake! Why to elect a little known person just because she happens to be a pliable woman close to a certain family.

1 comment:

Prajith said...

over the years, presidency become a place where political parties can put somebody close to them. Abdul Kalam was an exceptional. He lived upto the expectations of this country's people and become the people president. Sir, We respect you for your vision and commitments. The young generation in India needs people of your stature as role models while growing.

I am sad that you are not got elected once again. Feel sorry about our democracy when it matters the most.