Now days our electronic media is busy trying to find the name of our next President. Well, one would think as to what is the big deal about the Presidential election? The kind of frenzy which our TV channels have created on finding the name of our next President is unprecedented. Every news channel is giving a blow by blow account of the developments regarding the names of probable Presidential candidates. Why I am irritated by all this media frenzy is because of the following two reasons:
1. The office of the Indian President is largely ceremonial. The real powers are exercised by the PM and his council of ministers. Although it is a different matter altogether that our current PM is also ceremonial while Sonia Gandhi exercises the real power. Therefore when our President is just a figurative head of state then why is the media creating such hype? Every move of the government and its allies is being scrutinised by the channel editors as if a new government is going to be formed at the centre. Mamata Bannerjee and Mulayam Singh reduced the selection of Presidential candidate to an absolute farce by naming Dr.Manmohan Singh as one of their choices. The political class is using the Presidential elections to massage their monumental egos and trying to score brownie points in a theatrical game of one-upmanship.
2. It goes without saying that our country is facing problems on multiple fronts. The economy is in doldrums and we are staring at a potential downgrading of our investment ratings to the junk status. Inflation is extremely high and a general discontent among the people is palpable. Corruption has crossed all limits of tolerance and anti corruption activists are threatening another round of fasting which can again vitiate the general atmosphere in the country. To make matters worse, the PM is as usual not in control of the situation.
With the country grappling with some very serious issues which demand immediate attention, our political class is busy playing games in the run up to the Presidential elections. Our country needs a President who can motivate and rejuvenate the masses in these desperately despairing times. We need a President who is inspiring and not a politician who enjoys a post retirement life at the tax payer’s expense. We have seen five years of the incumbent President who will be best remembered for spending 200 crores of taxpayer’s money on her foreign trips where she took her family members and even her butlers with her! The country does not need another rubber stamp President like Pratibha Patil. Someone like Dr. Abdul Kalam would be ideal but considering the Congress party's preference for pliable political Presidents, I am not very hopeful.