Saturday, July 21, 2007

India elects a new President

It can be safely said now - that no matter how currupt you are, no matter if skeletons keep popping out of your closets, you can even become the president of the largest democracy on earth if you can pull the right strings and know the right people.

If this is not a sham - I dont know what is. Had there been a popular vote, Dr. Abdul Kalam would have won hands down - but that's not how the president of India is elected. S/he is elected by the elected member of parliament (both state and federal). In these times when most governments in India are coalition with plenty of give and take and grand bargains, the role of the president becomes important as s/he is the person inviting head of various parties to form the government. In that case, it would have been imprudent to keep Dr. Kalam, a rocket scientist and a well reputed man, but favored by the opposition in today's government.

So in comes Mrs Pratibha Patil. Her only qualification - she has been a loyal poodle to the Congress party - the party in power, for well over 40 years. (In hindi we would call her a chamcha - चमचा ) . She has a number of corruption and even criminal cases against her - but who gives a damn about that in India.

The only bright spot - she is a woman - well - that's great PR all over the world. How many women presidents are there in the world?
Now the USA should follow what India has achieved - if you ask me though, that's highly unlikely. I would not put my money on that bet.
Read more: BBC Link


Raoul said...

I can live with Pratibha Patil being dishonest and corrupt. I guess, one learns to expect that from a politician, especially in India. What really gets my goat though are remarks like 'Dadi ke sharir mein baba aaye' and 'Astrology should be taught in Universities'. If this is the representation of women in India, then their lot is indeed a sad one.

Having said that, I don't think the president should be elected by the electorate. It's hard to justify the expenditure involved in campaigning and polling for what is merely a ceremonial post. The responsibility must lie with the legislative. And surely the legislative could have done better than Mrs. Patil.

akv said...

Hi Raoul,
I am not saying that they should be elected by the electorate - but the fact remains..

I have concluded, after much thought, that anything the congress party does now, is inevitably bad for India.