in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

A P J and the presidential elections

I was reading a cover story on the presidential elections, a recent hot-buzz in the country and surprised to note a few of darkest realities it connects to.

There has been news from sources close to government that Hon’ble Prez. Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam is believed to have been facing a strained relationship with the ruling party and cannot expect the government to field him for second term. There have been various controversies doing rounds in the media since few years whenever president spoke his vision of India at stage-speeches giving a damn to the rulers.

Kalam hit the bull’s eye, when he addressed a gathering of parliamentarians to mark the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence.

“Many challenges need to be responded to: the emergence of multi-party coalitions as a regular form of government, that need to rapidly evolve as a stable, two-party system,” he said.Reacting to this, a Leftist member quoted “This free-thinking would have been appropriate after he had demitted the office. On policy issues, he cannot take a view that is contrary to that of the government.”

But let me know, isn’t president of the largest democracy of the world, entitled to free-thinking?When I last studied the history of India, I haven’t seen anywhere, a ban against the freedom of speech.True, the statement has drawn the furor of the wicked politicians, after-all his single assertive statement against coalition governments, if implemented (god forbidden in India), would put an end to petty-politics of our politicians. And the very survival of 500-odd families of so-called-rulers of Indian Parliament will stand up to be a big question mark.

All the past presidents of Indian Democracy, who earned a living in Rashtrapati Bhawan, had not confronted the ruling government in their entire occupancy time, in any manifestation whatsoever. And how this one gentleman from south can try to change the way it had been running all these days! True, it is a sin, he makes people think. How on earth would a politician admit that?Here are few more famous quotes by ruling party’s member reacting to various stage speeches of Kalam ……

“He refused to sail with the government,” said a Congress general secretary. “He encroached upon others’ territories and failed to play the role of an honest arbiter in times of systemic conflicts. Remarked another Congress general secretary: “He’s one of his kind. This institution needs someone with a political background.”

True, a president who was seen jumping from school-to-school and college-to-college, tirelessly interacting with the students and sparking knowledge on masses, a president who had been adored by foreign nations, a president who has a mind on his own can never be one with a political background, as precisely told by our congress secretary,Yes Mr. Secretary, we definitely need one with a political background, in which case, it serves as an only infamous qualification, to turn down a remarkable icon of our lifetime, a national favorite.

Said Dasgupta: “The opinion polls suggesting a surge in support for Kalam represent a minuscule minority. The majority wouldn’t approve of his myriad actions. They have only stoked controversies.” Added a Congress general secretary: “He talked of e-governance by linking the Rashtrapati Bhawan to all the districts of the country. We are the fourth largest economy yet also the twentieth poorest country of the world. Which of these two Indias drools over Kalam?”

I really owe him a lot, for revealing a sound statistics of our nation, a higher rank among the poverty.Here is a piece of a Marxist leader’s grumpy justification – Kalam never let political correctness come in the way of his words and deeds. Not many people were therefore surprised when, after a visit to Chitrakoot,

he told a national workshop on “Vision 2020-India” on 2005: “Recently I visited Chitrakoot where I met Shri Nana Deshmukh and his team members belonging to Deendayal Research Institute. DRI is a unique institution developing and implementing a village development model which is most suited for India. DRI understands that people’s power is more potent, stable and enduring than political power… I understand that the 80 villages around Chitrakoot are almost litigation free. The villagers have unanimously decided that no dispute will find its way to court. The differences will be sorted out amicably in the village itself. The reason given by Nana Deshmukhji is that if the people fight among each other, they will have no time for development. This message has been understood by the society and they have decided not to embark on any fighting.”

Is it really wrong that he chose to speak his mind over the development of the villages? Is that mandatory that development should bud, only if it is approved by government and politicians?Another peevish comment from an unnamed member of congress –

How can a President have an opinion on all possible subjects ranging from missile technology to historiography? And, even if one has, how can one express them openly?”

However, it is the Office of Profit Bill issue, which has led to more visible stain on president-government relationship.Amidst this entire hullabaloo, importantly, the five super-powers who wield influence in the centre, share a common interest among themselves, to not have Kalam’s term renewed. Even though Kalam hails from the same town, as like one among the five highly influential super-powers of the current UPA government, he doesn’t have support from him for second term.

The congress and the left are very clear that they would see anyone earning the post but Kalam, while his term ends July.But expectedly, the president with his grace had already announced that he has no interest in standing for re-elections, if there is no unanimity about his nomination for a second term.

He would be best remembered for his choice, unlike his predecessors, of not sitting as a dummy in the president seat nodding head in favor of anything and everything done by a government. His term at office also passes a strong message to his successors, to leave mind at their homes, when they head off to their New Delhi residence.

It is rather a disappointing state of affairs that you won’t find him anymore here and that I won’t get to hear a piece of news, akin a president replying to letters himself , sent to Rashtrapati Bhawan by the citizens of even the lowest rung.


May 29, 2007 - Posted by | Issues, Politics, Regional


  1. Good post da.. Expecting more from u.. Cheers..

    Comment by Shahul | May 30, 2007 | Reply

  2. Yep the state that the politics of our country seems to have reached makes you kind of feel, right this is it it cannot possibly get any worser than this, but our dear politicians prove us wrong every time, they show us that in getting worse only sky is the limit. But then coming down to the current topic in consideration, i think having Dr.Kalam as the president or rather someone else replacing him isn’t going to matter much, because the way our constitution is designed, there is precious little that a president can possibly do. It is the politicians, who have got the so called ‘mandate’ from the people, who have the right to do all the damage. And in a sense they might be right, coz there ain’t nothing called free lunch you see, you wanna piece of the pie then you had better swim through the muck, shout a few expletives, murder a few people, get jailed before you make it to the biggest mafia convention of all in the hallowed halls of the Indian parliament. And what is Dr.kalam, he’s a Phd… ohh that’s a cardinal sin, you might have to go down to the church and pray for forgivance.. and ahem yes about the comments of the left parties and the divine congress party. I cant seem to deny they are right, the prez’s got no right nor reason to talk about e-governance, common how can he talk about e-governance when the good ol’ conventional government itself is not proper, he might have left the paan chewing parliamentarians in a tizzy, and things are gonna be even worse with our Harvard trained maran buddy not doing his rounds in the IT corridors of the ministries, there would be no one to turn to for advice on buying gadgets…. 🙂

    Comment by Ganapathy | May 31, 2007 | Reply

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