Next President: Why Kalam Again?

Even when I am in New York, it is interesting that the Internet has kept us so near to my country. I watch the most reputed news channel on my i-Pad as I used to do in India while Yamuna would be watching her favourite serials on TV.

For some weeks, many names are appearing in media as the candidates for the most coveted post of the country. The country will soon elect its president. Mulayam and Lalu appear to be still important in the politics of the country. After winning UP assembly election, Mulayam has improved his political weightage. He is playing a double game of siding with Sonia as well as pretending to have independent view. He has tossed the name Kalam. He has kept on claiming that it was he who made Kalam a President last time. Mulayam wishes to find out the acceptance of Kalam and also please the community that has made him the king of UP.

Perhaps, Mulayam also expects someone to put forward his own name in the fray. After passing on the chiefministership of UP to his son and little chance of becoming Prime Minister, perhaps the next best option for aging Mulayam will certainly be to get into the president house. Some have already proposed his name.

Kalam still appears to be the most popular choice if we go by the media report and polls. However, I don’t think that he would go for the race without a consensus on his name. Moreover, it is shameful that a country of 1.2 billion has only one person good enough to be the president. I still like him, his Gandhian dream of PURA and his inspiring dialogues with the younger generations visiting all over the country. But I will prefer someone else this time.

Lalu has put his weight behind Ansari, the present Vice President, perhaps after getting a hint Sonia will also perhaps go for Ansari. The preference for Ansari is again to please the important minority community as additional factor.

It is unfortunate that none of the political party consults its legislators. It is the head of the party or the high command who decides. Others just vote based on whip in our democratic system.

Unfortunately, none of the two major political parties-Congress and BJP wishes to elect some apolitical person as president. However, many names are floating in the media. I myself and many would have preferred one from the apolitical lot.

My own preference will be for one from the three- Gopal Krishan Gandhi, the former governor of West Bengal, NR Narayana Murthy, and Sam Pitroda. All of them can command respect also from the international community. Besides these men, the distinguished former heads from judiciary or academic fields deserve considerations as the next president.

I am sure every one of the persons mentioned above will be better than the incumbent.

I wish a public debate could come out with a panel of five distinguished persons out of which the legislators could have elected one.

However, as it appears, in coming years the president of India will be only from the minority, Dalit or a woman. No one from so called upper caste even with all other qualifications and capability can get into Rastrapati Bhawan. Am I becoming caste-biased?

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