PM’s candidate is welcome!
What are the issues, if any?
Opposition leaders had met the Government representatives and the common candidate is unlikely. If the past practice is any guide, there would be a Government candidate, possibly a BJP veteran or someone who could win the majority vote which is likely to gather momentum as the date nears.
But then there are certain issues of the Presidential candidates, if we draw lessons from the past. All the past Presidents went through their own tensions and compulsions and each one earned the goodwill or otherwise depending upon their own acts, good, bad and indifferent!
Fakhrudin Ali Ahmed signed the Emergency Declaration without checking whether the Cabinet approved of it. It is a blemish and we are studying it as a warning even now. So too others like Sanjeeva Reddy and yet the President followed his recommendation and dissolved the Lok Sabha. Singh did recommend while he himself avoided facing the Lok Sabha trust vote.
I remember traveling all the way from Bangalore to Ananthapur to meet Reddy in retirement. He gave me a mini lecture on what he did.
You see the President in office might look gravitas all about, while once you see them after office they are like you and me. Mere ordinary men and women.
The highs and lows we can discuss for whatever be the purpose. My view is that India is very successful democracies in the world and our Constitution, the largest written Constitution in the world and it had stood the test of times. You have to see the neighbours in our own region and see how many times Constitutions failed and broke down and how many times the Constitutions have been written and re-written.
So, we Indians seem to have some inner qualities of minds and heart, we seem to be a sort of peaceful people, peace-loving people, though we are also prone to certain other weaknesses like corruption, why unabashed corruption in public life.
With the recent accumulation of more such cases, we seem to be also facing some other dangers. How long the courts would take time to dispose of high corruption, high criminal charges?
The cases involving senior political leaders like L.K.Advani, you see, had spoilt their chances to lead the country as possible Presidents. The best politically experienced persons must get the space to engage and lead the country through sagacious paths.
Also, our current political practices, like the bitterness we witness between the ruling and the Opposition establishments, we lose the great opportunities to tap the b4est talents in the service of our people. The wise persons, the best qualified persons, why even the rarest genius we leave out for the simple reason of the egos of the most unsuited persons who reach the offices of the party presidents! See the list of such people who end up in such difficult situations, in prison to outside with charges of many offenses.
Merely because you manage to put your own choice of favourites at the Rashtrpathi Bhavan, it doesn’t mean that you have served the country to the best possible manner.
We have to resort to criteria other than best quality of mind and heart, no less intelligence and even a sense of sacrifice and detachment so that the country, we mean the hapless mass of the poor and the disadvantaged to be served by the best of the talents.
These are some of the thoughts when we think of the recent past when the most unsuited persons were nominated for the high office and who brought much disgrace to the high office.
So, political parties too must change. Party presidents too must follow some norms of limited periods of office; there is a whole sense of democratic norms, that as a nation we learn to conduct ourselves with some sense of moral commitments. Democracy means not a dynasty, right? So too party office is not a right to abuse powers, right?
Also, public funds, be it party funds or some other funds that come into your hands and you can arbitrarily spend, right?
Yes, we want to take the opportunity of the current situation to ask some questions, however inconvenient and yet in the largest good of the people. Politics is all about ethical exercise of power, right?
So, we have a duty as citizens to ask such questions, right?
Let us hope our great Constitution gives India its great gifts of great roles for leaders to show their true strengths, both morally and constitutionally.