Monday, June 18, 2007

Presidential Comedy

Call it my political bias or my liking to political satire. But for me, the UPA government at the centre is a sort of comedy that unfolds everyday on the national stage. The battle for India's next President is an example of that. The ruling party put up some names on the 'Presidential candidates list'. Based on the loyalty to the Family, one name, that of Shivraj Patil remained, and it was announced by the party 'leadership' that he would be their candidate and all the others who want to vote should vote for him. But their own allies rejected his candidature, (apparently because he was communal since he did not oppose the installation of Veer Savarkar, who according to the secular zeitgeist was a lunatic-right-wing-divisive-sectarian-fanatic, statue at some point in the not too distant past). An embarassed Congress blinked.

In an earlier era, it would have probably passed a terse legislation saying "Shivraj Patil is our President". But now it called all the allies for a meeting. But this too failed to evolve a consensus on a 'strong secular' candidate who can take on the evil empire of communalism. That the President need not have to take up such a challenging albeit sacred job is another matter. Then the Party and its allies resorted to a brainstorming session where everyone called out a random name. Surprise, surprise, surprise. The name of a certain Pratibha Patil's sounded like that of a person with impeccable secular credentials. 'Who is she?' questioned some at the meeting. 'Whoever, but she sounds secular' came the reply. Media-men were waiting outside. Before announcing to the world this new found secular warhorse, one more test was pending. That was the loyalty-to-the-Family test. This too the new secular warrior passed. And a virtue was also made out of this choice that was a result of elimination and chaos. The world was informed that the UPA, in it's commitment to women empowerment, has decided to field an as yet unknown woman loyal to the Family as their Presidential nominee. And everyone was happy for the moment.

But brainstorming doesn't always work. Pratibha Patel, after becoming the person anointed to contest the Presidential race, made a statement, that said, “We had the concept of purdah to protect women from Mughal invaders. So, they stayed indoors and were veiled, ” Such a statement was anathema to secular thought. It was not at all befitting for a person of such unquestionable secular stature. But the Party and its allies would not admit so openly(which they would have surely done had it come from the communal camp) as she was after all their candidate. Now news reports say she is being asked to apologize and once again become purified enough to fight sectarian-communal forces. A Presidential candidate apologizing to please her political masters so that she can enjoy the pleasures of Raisina Hill isn't really a comedy that this nation can afford though.


Sneha Divakar said...

not every presidential candidate can be a harmless person or an intelligent scientist.
but this causes frustration more than sympathy for the poor candidate or like you say,comedy for the nation!
neevu yen ishtondu politics nalli interest toristidira? election ge nillo interest idiyeno...

Anonymous said...

Historians found Parda exists in India during Maurya Period. Pratibal Patel s statement shows either she doesnt have good knowledge of history or she is "communal " in her mind. In both cases she is not suitable candidate for presindent.

Arjun Sharma said...

Excellent. I didn't know Shivraj Patil didn't opppose the installation of the statue. I thought they were all of One Mind.

If Kalam refuses a third term, Shekhawat getting 'promoted' would not have been a bad idea. He has been totally ignored because he is from the NDA. Whereas when Narayanan succeeded Shankardayal Sharma, everybody was gung-ho.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

priya said...

on another blog i came across this very apt limerick:
As predicted by the spirit, through gran,
We've been given, by some Divine plan,
Our first lady Prez,
Whose resume says,
Under credentials, - "A Sonia fan!"

Zilli said...

Well written article.