President Patil of Saudi Arabia

No Pratibha

Pratibha Patil appears to have forgotten that she is the head of state of the Indian republic, not the Saudi kingdom. For what else could she mean by calling for a girls only IIT to be set up in her former Lok Sabha constituency? Forget being apolitical, Mrs Patil is demonstrating both narrow-mindedness and insert-polite-synonym-for-stupidity. (link via Atanu Dey)

Narrow-minded because it plays to a particular mindset that sees women as protection through physical seclusion. And also pointless, because young women who can meet the IITs exacting admission requirements don’t really a need separate institution. It is tragic that the first woman to be elected head of state cannot stop condescending towards Indian women.

Shame on you Madam President!

17 thoughts on “President Patil of Saudi Arabia”

  1. While I generally agree with what you say, perhaps we need to look at it as a way to educating the girl child. If you compare female literacy rates compared to China we’re way behind (yes I understand, IIT is an institute of higher learning) but more professionally qualified girls we have the better for our country.


  2. “…insert-polite-synonym-for-stupidity”

    I don’t think we need to insert polite synonym for that statement. However, if you still insist how about stupidity -> inanity?

  3. Leave alone the sheer absurdity of the proposal which is not suprising given that crooked politicans keep coming up with these kinds of ludicrous demands .Pratibha Patil epitmoised this this political breed before a combination of favourable factors including unstinted loyalty to the first family ,exemplary culinary skills and communist certification of her ‘probity’ catapulted here in to this position.And she has said things far more stupid than this

    However the real danger lies in the proposal being accepted
    given the suggestion that IIT named after Indira Gandhi.Arjun Singh will be excited .State of the art airport in Amaravati and Indira Gandhi institute of Technology will surely solve the Vidharbha’s agrarian distress

    And expect the likes of Barkha Dutt to take up the cudgels on behalf of Pratibhata.I remember her accusation of a smear campaign against Pratibhata when skeletons were tumbling out of Madam ‘s cupboard

  4. Ashameful indeed. Infact,until now, I have found all her speeches to be dry and boring. She is the worse president India has ever had.

  5. President of Saudi Arabia, good one. This is an addition to the list of Pratibhisms made by Patil since she bcame prez.

  6. Ms Patil issues decrees. Like fatwas but different. Let’s call them “Patwas”. Pronounced to rhyme with “bakwas”.

  7. because young women who can meet the IITs exacting admission requirements don’t really a separate institution.


  8. Sriram,

    It was not deliberate but now that you mention it, it’s clever. The sentence needs need. Am reminded of ncle Sam. (Uncle Sam needs U)

    Anyway, it’s been fixed.

  9. What an embarrassment this woman is becoming. Just hope no state heads down the “President’s Rule” road and have this twit preside.

  10. Nitin,

    I have noticed that few, if any (for e.g. Shivani in this post?), girls or women seem to comment on this blog. Following the back-steps of President Patil, will you please consider a women only Acorn for your disenfranchised fans 🙂

  11. I don’t see what the fuss is about. There are plenty of womens colleges in the country. While I agree that intelligent girls (or any girl) don’t need a closet and that there is much to be gained from interaction between the two genders, especially for the guys (stereotyping here), as long as there is no dumbing down of standard a small IIT for women would be just fine.

    What’s next? Unless all hostels are co-ed, we are going down the talibani path?

    It’s another matter if an IIT for women is needed in the first place (because there is no overt or covert gender discrimination during IIT exam or while on campus). Based the title, I assume that’s not the thrust…

  12. Patil seems to follow Nehru’s idea that higher ed is the way – just ignore primary education. Eventhough the evidence suggests nations get a bigger bang for the buck by ensuring primary and secondary education for girls.

  13. Granted the lady is unworthy of the high office she occupies but let’s play fair and square. I do not think Patil’s intent was so much to enforce a purdah as to demand a quota of sorts for girls, number one, and number two, use position of power to cement her base on home turf. (Our ex-petroleum minister wanted an ONGC regional office in Myladithurai, of all places.) IITs for Muslims were demanded too, so in that sense the narrowmindedness of our president (ouch, president, yes, ouch again) is not one routed in social conservatism but in the usual congress-style identity politics. Not very distinct from BJP’s regressive enthusiasm for women’s quota in legislatures.

  14. Carrying Patil’s thought further, every ‘under-represented’ group needs its own special university.

    In fact, a pertinent question here is – why should every conceivable ‘under-representation’ be ‘rectified’? Just because women form half the population, why is it that women should ideally constitute half our engineers?

    This applies not just to India, but also to places like the US, where this idiotic notion of ‘workplace diversity’ is quite popular.

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