Ummid Assistant

Direct link to CBSE Class 12 results. The results online now:

http://cbseresults.nic.in

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Views & Analysis

A President of India cannot come through 'reservation'

Thursday June 07, 2012 06:26:55 PM, Ranjana Khare, IANS

Come July and there will be a new occupant at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The journey seems more exciting than the destination itself.

Presidential elections have changed in recent years. Conventions like a vice president succeeding as president have been broken. It was never a healthy practice. India is not a monarchy where automatic succession takes place.

The general elections of 2014 will in all probability throw up another fractured mandate. The president will hold the key to government formation. Naturally, each political party wants a friendly president.

But the political class is subverting the constitution, which provides for the election of the president. The process of election is being replaced by selection, whereby a candidate is chosen by consensus. The election that follows is a formality. This was not what the constitution's founders intended. They knew that only through elections can the best possible candidate emerge.

The constitution lays down fairly simple rules of eligibility to contest the presidential election. Political parties have added factors like religion, gender, caste and region, making the otherwise more deserving ineligible for the post. Thus an unwritten reservation has crept into the office.

Many may argue this sort of symbolism is needed in a diverse country like India. They should bear in mind that the president symbolizes the nation and does not represent any section of society. The fact that he belongs to a particular section can only be incidental. Merit and impartiality should be the only criteria for choosing the president.

We should not to be prisoners of symbolism. Symbolism does not lead to empowerment. Our current president, Pratibha Patil, was chosen for her gender, beating other more deserving candidates. The same media which is criticizing her today was gung ho over her credentials and lauded that a woman had occupied the chair.

Politcal parties may not admit publicly but it is actually Vice President Hamid Ansari's minority status which they feel will fetch them electoral dividends in future. If representation of minorities or other sections of society is the criteria for the highest office, then there are other more neglected communities who might want to be represented.

Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's example is often pointed out to buttress the claim that a consensus candidate has added to the prestige of the office. What they fail to see is that Abdul Kalam's identity as a member of a minority community was submerged by his brilliance and integrity. If ever there was a direct election for presidency, he will win hands down on sheer merit and not because of any other factor.

The office of president should not be the preserve of the political class but extend to people of eminence in other fields. An apolitical person will serve better as he will not be partisan.

The president's role becomes all the more relevant today when a hung parliament is becoming the norm. The nation would certainly benefit if the office is occupied by the likes of Fali Nariman, J.S. Verma, J.M. Lyndogh, S.Y. Quraishi or Vinod Rai. They would any day be better than the names being proposed by political parties.

Instead of a consensus candidate, political parties should let genuine elections take place, refrain from issuing whips and elect the most suitable person on merit alone. The candidate thus elected will reflect the mandate of the whole parliament and not of any one formation.

We do not need Rashtrapati Bhavan to be reserved for a Dalit President, Tribal President, Woman President, Other Backward Class President but a President of the Republic of India.



(Ranjana Khare works with the Indian Council of Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi. She can be reached on rkhare@icrier.res.in)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

Home | Top of the Page

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

i

i

More Headlines

Manmohan Singh story has not been told: Salman Khurshid

Chidambaram now in dock for poll result; opposition demands resignation

120/18978: UPA Pre-Matric scholarship scorecard in Bhiwandi

Sun-powered plane flies non-stop for 20 hours

Sania Mirza-Mahesh Bhupathi in French Open final

Dimple may win unopposed; BJP cries foul over failure to file papers

CABE to form panel on teachers' training

Ex Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's health deteriorates in prison

India seeks China's support for SCO membership

Delhiites enthralled by century's last Venus transit

Court issues notice over taxing internet-based firms

Congress axes Pramod Tiwari as Uttar Pradesh CLP leader

i

 

 

 

Top Stories

Chidambaram now in dock for poll result; opposition demands resignation

In a setback for the minister, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court declined to dismiss the petition challenging his election in the 2009  

Chidambaram invokes Jesus to deny corruption charges

Parliament disrupted over Chidambaram's role in telecom deal

 

  Most Read

120/18978: UPA Pre-Matric scholarship scorecard in Bhiwandi

Raising serious questions over the implementation of the government schemes, a Bhiwandi based NGO on Wednesday claimed that despite thousands of students applying for the government 

Nearly 90 killed in Syria in yet another massacre: Report

Opposition activists and Syrian government forces clashed with each other in al-Qubayr village in the country's northern Hama province, leading to the death of at least 86 people, a media report said Thursday. 

UN mission in Syria finds 13 bodies with hands tied behind backs

 

  News Pick

Sania Mirza-Mahesh Bhupathi in French Open final

Mirza and Bhupathi outplayed Galina Voskoboeva and Danielle Bracciali 6-4, 6-2 to enter the mixed doubles final. They will face the Polish-Mexcian combine of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik 

Manmohan Singh story has not been told: Salman Khurshid

The Indian media has missed the story about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, says Union Law, Justice and Minorities Affairs Minister  

India seeks China's support for SCO membership

India Wednesday sought China's support for membership of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), dominated by Beijing and Moscow, and underlined that it will bring many strengths and  

 

Picture of the Day

The model of the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque presented to the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Centre for Arabic Language and Islamic Studies in Beijing by the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre. The 1:150 scale model is made of acrylic.

(Photo: Gulf News)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Science & Technology

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Health

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

Career

Education

     

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.