There is lot of media coverage on the next president. The Congress after presenting many first choices finally got UPA consensus on Pratibha Patil, a woman and a Maharastrian, which would be 2 firsts for a president of India. I has hoped that the exception of Kalam, a non politician President , would continue and eventualy become an unwritten norm. The UPA is spinning the story of a woman being nominated and Shiv Sena in support of the Marathi Manoos, breaking ranks with the NDA.
2 articles one by Barkha Dutt and the other by Rajdeep Sardesai address the hypocrisy of women and the UPA behind selecting a woman and that of Maharashtrians and Shiv Sena who are proud she is a Marathi Manoos.
Barkha asks, Isn’t the emergence of the relatively unknown Pratibha Patil as the consensus candidate more about survival and strategy than equality and empowerment? Isn’t her candidature more symbolic than substantive? And worst of all, wasn’t she pulled out like a rabbit from a magician’s hat only after six other male nominees were shown the pink slip? more >>
Rajdeep remarks, Perhaps, there are two Maharash-tras: one, a state of intellectual and social ferment, which produced people who lived by the ideals on which modern India was built. The other, a far less noble entity that is provincial, small-minded and no longer produces original thought. I still don’t know which Maharashtra Pratibha tai represents as we still haven’t heard her speak out on any ‘real’ issue. Till one decides, maybe it’s safe to join the chorus and say ‘Jai Maharashtra!’ more >>
It is unfortunate that after Kalam we have chosen a candidate, appropriately described by Shobha De as Daal without Tadka or Biryani without masala. I am glad it came from a woman.