Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pratibhatai in Rashtrapati Bhawan

The Congress has pulled out yet another of those rabbits from the hat – an unsuspecting Pratibha Patil finds herself catapulted into those rarefied spaces. What has the Sonia camp achieved in that long distance sprint for the next General elections?

Maharastra as a state, has all along felt it has not got the importance it deserves in Cabinet posts (but, that is a grouse which most of the States that do not fall in the ‘Cow belt’ or the BIMARU category always carry) therefore to have their person in the Rashtrapati Bhawan assures the Congress of a swing in their favour.

Najma Heptullah and Justice Fatima Beevi are names being bandied aboutby the Opposition. The latter’s inglorious exit from the gubernatorial post in Tamilnadu seems have gone to the ‘Trash Can’of public memory. None seems to remember that ignominous chapter in the life of a Chief Justice.

Now coming to the question of a woman as Head of State. The Asian nations have a history of woman Presidents: Sirimavo Bandarnaike - Sri Lanka, Benazir Bhutto-Pakistan, Begum(s) Hasina Wajid and Begum Khaleeda Zia in Bangladesh have led their countries through turbulence. So, a more seasoned democratic system like India should not really have a prolem with a Woman as Head of the State.

What one is left wondering is, whether Pratibhatai’s term as President would really translate into a meaningful and genuine step towards women’s empowerment. She comes with long years of experience working for women’s causes in Maharashtra but being a Congress worker and being the President of India are as different as chalk and cheese.

President Abdul Kalam has given a new face to the President, in a similar manner Pratibha Patil too can play a constructive role, but to say that things will start improving for the lot of women in the country because of the new incumbent is giving too simplistic an explanation for a rather complex issue.
One can’t help using the word used by Rajdeep Sardesai “Tokenism”, and nothing much would be achieved.

Pulling the wind out of the sails, in the case of the Presidential election has surely been achieved by the UPA (Or, Sonia Gandhi ?). Pratibha Patil is a staunch Congress woman, she has worked at various levels, is from Maharshtra a politically and economically important state for the country and she is a woman. The last acquires importance in a country where the Woman’s Reservation Bill has been continuously mired in controversies.

After the new President is firmly ensconced in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, we’ll have the stories that will dwell on ‘How Pratibha Patil became the UPA nominee?’ Till then we’ll have to take it as yet another Sonia stroke to get a puppet installed in the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If she gets elected...we can expect these..
"Inquilab was our instruction not have "those" into the post.. and it required the 'left parties to get a women to the highest post of this land otherwise submerged in dogmas of Hindu Facists...
we need a women head of state to to march to 'developed nation" status hand in hand with the great China....." Brinda Karat

1:54 AM  
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11:10 PM  

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