Pratibha Patil-A President I shall not be able to respect

It was a great thing for the nation to have a woman President for the first time, though many women even in our neighbouring countries with more conservative traditions have already held the top position. However, I will not be able to respect Pratibha Patil even when she becomes President for many reasons.

She doesn’t fall in line with the great men who have occupied the President House after independence starting from Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Radhakrishanan, Dr. Jakir Hussain, and even the incumbent Dr. Kalam. Dr. Kalam became perhaps the best President because of his unique personality and programme of inspiring the nation to become developed by 2020, and through his contacts with the student community. I wish the media carried out a poll.

It is unfortunate that the politicians, who matter, have decided to have only persons with political background as President of the country. The decision is criminal. It is denying the rest of the excellently qualified nationalist individual intellectuals a democracy’s opportunity that must not make any discrimination.

I don’t like the choice of Pratibha Patil as her name came as a candidate after Sonia Gandhi could not sell her pet and loyal Shivraj Patil to communists. Sonia Gandhi did neither select Shivraj nor Pratibha by a democratic process through her party forum such as CWC or Parliamentary Board. Perhaps both the names must have come up first in her kitchen cabinet or coterie. The whole of my family including myself have been with Congress all along. But making Congress a family business is hardly digestible. Unfortunately for long the Congress became a party of sycophants not that other party are not. I find almost all selection to the posts of significance going to those loyal to the family.

I don’t like Pratibha Patil as she was associated with a co-operative bank in Maharashtra that is reputed for all sorts of scams. Even without going into the specific bank with which Pratibha was attached, it makes one skeptical about her clean image. Cooperative banks, sugar mills, and professional educational institutions in Maharashtra are owned effectively by politicians and have been the dens of unscrupulous business and scams.

I expected Pratibha Patil to come out in media and clear all charges against her forcefully. She has been silent and moving around in public holding the hand of Sonia Gandhi and her sycophant subordinates.

I don’t remember any other candidate of the President position in past have been charged in the way Pratibha Patil is being done. After all what can be the interest of many journalists of repute who have raised questions about her suitability to the highest position of the nation? In Business Standard today TN Ninan has an article where he writes, ‘Though it has lost time, it is still not too late for the UPA to call an emergency meeting and, with Ms Patil out of the way, decide on a new candidate.’

L.K. Advani’s
appeal to change the candidate itself is proof enough that even the independent candidate Shekhawat is not the best choice. The Congress would have taken this opportunity and should have listened to its own people at large and not some sycophants. It would have shown its magnanimity to get a consensus candidate on its own. Congress might have lost its face but the nation would have been immensely benefited and got a confidence to face such national crisis (as I call it).

But why wouldn’t Pratibha Patil herself have withdrawn after so much of mud slinging in media? Is she showing her hardcore strength against even her conscience? Is it the way a Gandhian behave? This is another reason I don’t like Pratibha Patil.

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