In India, the post of the President is one of the most ineffective. The Indian Presidents have always been ineffective whenever it came down to take decisions against the incumbent governments and their policies since last many decades. The only time when the President had a spat with the government was in 1987 when Rajiv Gandhi came into a clash with Giani Zail Singh. The former President, APJ Abdul Kalam tried to sail against the tide by visiting Gujarat after the state sponsored riots during the time of BJP lead NDA government.
The recent tussle between the political parties on the issue of the next president seems to be turning out to be a fight for the supremacy between the Congress and the opposition. Various names have propped up for the top post, first the BJP came up with the name of former President Kalam and that claim was supported by Mamta Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav, as the Bengal Chief came up with the name of Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Congress President had her most favourite candidates in the names of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President, Hamid Ansari. And now when the wise Kalam has opted out from the Presidential race, BJP has its only hope left in P A Sangma, who is on the verge of losing the membership of his own party, NCP.
“Pranab da is indeed a good choice and a better nominee for the President’s post but he should have been reserved for the post of PM. Being a man of ideas and the main troubleshooter for the Congress and the government, he could have resisted the outside pressure and the pressure of the corporate class more aptly than Manmohan Singh.”
Amid all this brouhaha about the Presidential poll, one thing has become clear and that is, the grand old party of India, Congress has taken this race for the President as some sort of a fight for the next general election against the BJP and also to prove a point against the BJP and Sangh supported anti – corruption crusade of Ann Hazare and vice versa.
With very few exceptions, it has been a norm that generally, it’s the Vice President who becomes the President after stepping down of a President. This time around too it was the name of Hamid Ansari which was leading the carts but it remains a secret why Pranab da was given preference over Hamid Ansari?
A few commentators are of the view that Hamid Ansari was dumped just because the Congress’ massive drubbing in the UP elections. It’s the first time in the decades that the anger against the Congress has peaked such a high in the hearts and minds of the Muslims. The way Muslim youths are being detained illegally and unjustly on false terror charges is among the main reasons against such an anger against the Congress led UPA dispensation.
In Congress, Pranab Mukherjee is indeed a good candidate for the President‘s job, much better than the likes of Pratibha Patil, whose only reason behind her qualification was her slave like proximity with the Congress President. There were much better candidates than Pratibha Patil and it seems in the process of appointing Pranab da, Congress is doing a penance for its mistake of making Pratibha Patil as the President. It was during the tenure of Pratibha Patil that the office of the President came under the charge of shameful corruptions and economic irregularities.
Pranab da is indeed a good choice and a better nominee for the President’s post but he should have been reserved for the post of PM. Being a man of ideas and the main troubleshooter for the Congress and the government, he could have resisted the outside pressure and the pressure of the corporate class more aptly than Manmohan Singh. Being a highly respected and a tough leader, he could have become more vocal than Manmohan who prefers to maintain the painful silence. The way Manmohan Singh said ‘’ I Love you ‘’ to the warmongering American President George W Bush, hopefully could not have been expected from Pranab da if he had been the PM of India. He has been a Prime Ministerial candidate since the decade of the 80s after the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi. It’s just because of his respect, clean image (though Manmohan Singh too had a clean image which still persists now despite so many corruption cases under his watching eyes), which was the main reason behind Madame President denying him the post of PM and hence making Manmohan Sigh as the PM.
The president of India must be a person who can take a shot when there is a need to check the government. The President’s post is just not for performing at the swearing in ceremonies of the ministers and the MPs and cutting ribbons, while keeping silent when people are being killed in the name of religion under the watching eyes of the state. A President must speak against the selective targeting and witch hunting of the youths of a particular community on false terror charges. Indeed President Kalam did a courageous act by going to Gujarat and asking Modi to treat everyone equally. But, what about Pratibha Patil? She visited the same state of Gujarat with an entourage of 100 people at the expense of the public money? Kalam has been the only President who entered the Rashtrapati Bahwan with a suitcase in his hand and left it with the same. Only God knows what will Pratibha Patil have when she leaves the Raisina.
As Pranab Mukherjee emerges as the next President of India, let’s hope for a better future where the President is not biased in favour of a particular political party and ignoring all the acts of the same. Keeping his clear and upright image in our mind lets wish him a successful journey towards the top post and become the President of the republic of India rather than the President appointed by the Congress.
Wish you success Pranab Da!