You can make her President…

But you can’t make us respect her!

Let’s be blunt. The choice of Pratibha Patil as the presidential candidate is the latest and the most brazen act of cynicism that the UPA government has inflicted on the citizens of this nation. Forget the comments she made about Emergency-era population policies during the Emergency. People can change. It would even be excusable if she was person of inconsequence, the other objection that has been made to her candidature.

But there is no way, absolutely no way, you can ignore the unethical, corrupt and perhaps criminal way in which she presided over the affairs of her co-operative bank, her sugar mill and her engineering college. She does not deserve to be president. Not under a shadow of doubt that is this dark. Not without answering the charges that have been made against her. Instead of making this point, The Indian Express has found it expedient to put a gloss of “candidates’ history is no longer beyond public scrutiny” over the issue. Perhaps it has reckoned that given the manner in which the president is elected, there is little to be had in antagonising the future Supreme Commander.

Since it came to power in 2004, the UPA government has done much to rob Indians of hope. Now, by foisting a candidate like Pratibha Patil, it is robbing them of something more.

20 Responses to You can make her President…

  1. barbadkatte 26th June 2007 at 16:46 #

    From when did being worthy of respect become a necessary attribute for a President of India. We have had all kinds of presidents. Just because the current president is a good one, it does not mean that the hapless citizens of India can start demanding good presidents all the time!

  2. Srirangan 26th June 2007 at 17:50 #

    Actually.. we have very low expectations from Congress (2), but that shouldn’t mean mediocrity is to be tolerated in India (2). Take out (1) from (2) and the problem is solved. Congress is the continuation of British Raj in India, we need our freedom.

    – Sri

  3. prasanna 26th June 2007 at 19:15 #


    Its omnious portends – the eerie silence of media.The only honorable exception is CNN-IBN that too reluctantly carrying on the crusade.

    That Yossarin can quickly dig in to electronic archives and come up with such damaging revelations highlights the abysmal failure of media .They could easily do much more with all resources and machinery at their its disposal

    The Indian Express editorial that you linked is clearest proof as yet of how Shekhar Gupta has managed to ‘discredit’ it and reduce it to establishment mouthpiece.The same paper haddemanded resignation of ministers in the previous regime for transgression that pale in comparison with the kind of accusation that are currently surfacing against Smt Pratibha

    Its perfectly legtimate for leading lights of Indian media to hold the view that NDA is pernicious influence on Indian Polity .But it appears that they are ready to condone even serious charges of corruption and gross constitutional improperity, committed by the ruling party by viewing it through the idelogical prism of anti-BJPism

  4. anonymous coward 26th June 2007 at 19:29 #

    Nitin, you Sir are a the perfect example of a bloody Male Indian chauvinist, who is unwilling to allow a Bharatiya Naari to become “Rashtrapatni”. While I am at it … you are also anti-Marathi, pro-BJP communal, fascist, Hinduvadi, fundamentalist, rascist, casteist and any other *ist that you can think of [:P]!

  5. realitycheck 26th June 2007 at 20:11 #


    If you ask Abishek Singhvi, his response would be, “No one asked you to respect her, she has the respect of the people”.

    1. We are not dealing with mediocrity here, we are talking about serious allegations of financial fraud.

    2. Even though the president is a rubber stamp, he/she has enormous morale implications for the armymen as the Supreme Commander of our Armed Forces.

    3. There are powerful immunities (under Art 361 – see blog) that she is going to enjoy as president. We are going to drag the Supreme Court through another minefield – if some prosecuting agency or aggrieved party decides to bring forward a civil or criminal complaint against her.

    4. The mainstream media is going slow on this (CNN-IBN has almost stopped).

    5. Even though there is no whip, every person in the electoral college is going to vote like a bunch of sheep along party lines.

  6. Nanda Kishore 27th June 2007 at 08:12 #

    Great points, realitycheck. The mind boggles at all this. The allegations are not of minor misdemeanors, the charges are fraud (more like robbery) and obstruction of a murder investigation. I agree with Shourie, this is quite the master stroke by Sonia loyalists; she will have the CBI sword dangled whenever she tries to get ahead of herself. But why should she? No doubt she’s shamelessly looking forward to enjoying her stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan, along with her extended family of robber barons and murderers. What a lovely bunch!

  7. Nanda Kishore 27th June 2007 at 08:13 #

    Shekhar Gupta doesn’t even pretend anymore. How long before we see him in dhoti-kurta-topi? The man disgusts me no end.

  8. Atanu Dey 27th June 2007 at 09:58 #

    Leadership is endogenous. The Head of the State has to reflect the state of the heads of the people.

    What else did you expect?.

  9. Sriram 27th June 2007 at 11:06 #

    Guys read Arun Shourie’s “Parliamentary system…”

  10. barbadkatte 27th June 2007 at 11:23 #

    Shibu Soren set a record by being the first cabinet minister to be on the run. May be we are destined for some more illustrious records of this nature.
    Question 1: If Art 361’s blanket immunities stand the test of law, Should we not expect more criminals to become predidents? After all would not Dawood Ibrahim love to be President for life where he cannot be proscuted :).
    Question 2: If 361 immunities do not stand the test of law, is there a concept of “leave” for the president. i.e can he/she apply for leave and dissappear for a few days when the police coming calling ? ( like how the Orissa cop Mohanty keeps doing).

  11. RC 27th June 2007 at 11:56 #


    >> i.e can he/she apply for leave and dissappear for a few days when the police coming calling ? ( like how the Orissa cop Mohanty keeps doing)>>

    Nope, the police cannot just “come calling” for the president. Art 361(3) “No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the President, or the Governor of a State, shall issue from any court during his term of office.”

    It is quite clear that no court can issue arrest orders against the president, not even the Supreme Court.

    The real problem is that Art 361 also has some caveats (about 2 months notice). Our founding fathers would probably never have envisioned that there would come a stage where this would be tested. Just like the width afforded to the “definition of social and educational backwardness” – they expected prudent and reasonable behaviour from the political class. Even a basic vetting exercise would have been sufficient here.

    The best hope is that the main parties; viz the murdered mans kin, the victims (depositors, employees) of the bank closure, and the creditors of the sugar mill – do not press charges against her. They can restrict their claims to her brother or other family members. At the very minimum the Congress party has to ensure this by making peace with these people.

    We really dont want the Supreme Court dragged into another constitutional showdown.

  12. prakash 27th June 2007 at 20:16 #

    this is a strategy of prakash karat – to stress on women candidate to keep his long term foe somnath chatterji out of presidents race.
    prathiba is a hindutva believer and she will keep on giving googly-ees to sonia gandhi once she is elected. for example, her comments – “purdha system came in india after the invasion of mughals”, “she believes in reincarnation, as she has seen the bhramakumari baba”, also the first person she met was bal

  13. Prudent Indian 28th June 2007 at 15:20 #

    O God!Please save this country from vultures.I see no future for India and Indians if this UPA (Unethical Perverts Association) last a minute longer.

  14. Sabarish Sasidharan 29th June 2007 at 23:13 #

    Congress is not going to back out whatever people say. But Left can be made to back out if the issue is projected accordingly. Swindling crores of rupees is not an issue to the Left, but at the same time if the media projects that a 100 labourers were affected because of this, then Left won’t be silent. Again, in the case of the cooperative bank, what should be projected is how many poor women were robbed off a chance to secure easier loans, some stories about the plight of women affected etc would probably make the Left nod disapprovingly.


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