We Indians are a strange breed. For the last month or so, we have been talking, reading newspapers  and watching the news channels like crazy to learn as much as we can about who is going to be the next president of India, as if we are very concerned and that it means a lot to us. And we have dutifully done this once every five years, during the presidential elections. We seem to have forgotten that ever since we were kids, we have all participated in a discussion at least once every few months about how unnecessary and useless that post is. How it is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money, everyone’s time and some prime real estate in the heart of the capital.  Once a person is selected we have invariably criticised him, or lately her, for not living up to our standards, for not being perfect, for having flaws that we decided were critical for a President. Let’s take a look :

Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma was the ninth Preside...

The first President of my time that I can remember was Dr.  Shankar Dayal Sharma (1992 to 1997). I remember that we had numerous complaints against him when we were in school. “He is fat”, we used laugh, “He has a broken knee, he can’t even walk properly.”, “Look at him, he’s soooo old.” Conveniently forgotten were the the facts that the guy was a freedom-fighter, a professor at Cambridge and an internationally famed legal expert.

Eby J Jose with K.R.Narayanan,President of Ind...

Eby J Jose with K.R.Narayanan,President of India(2003) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then came K. R. Narayanan (1997 to 2002). The biggest concern people seemed to have against him was, “Who’s he??”  Or “He’s a nobody! I’ve never heard of him!!” Nobody bothered to learn that this “Nobody” was a student of the London School of Economics, had been described by Nehru as “The best diplomat of the country”, and was the first president in the history of India who cared enough about the democratic process to go out and vote in the general elections while he held office.

Pic taken at 12th WIEF

Our next president was Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam(2002 to 2007). People already knew him as the Missile Man after the Agni launches and the Pokhran Nuclear tests. He was educated, cultured, a genius and had a string of achievements. You would think people would love him, and most people did. However, pathetic that we are, we still found a a reason to criticise him after much soul-searching. This guy had a Bad Hairstyle. Hardly believable, but true. I remember opinion polls on a news channel asking ” Do you want President Dr. Kalam to cut his hair? ”

President of India

Finally, we had Pratibha Patil(2007 to 2012), who is ending her term in a couple of months. The complaint against herhas been unique. “Oh we love the idea of a woman president! It’s just that she looks rather lame in her white sarees and full-sleeve, high-neck blouses, you know. I mean, come on dude,  she wears that saree even on her trips to sea beaches. Not real presidential, is it? ”

Great! So, we don’t want a president who is fat, old, has a bad leg, is not famous, or, most importantly has bad hair. We don’t mind a woman president, but mind you, she shouldn’t wear saree and boring blouses.

Right!  So, we would want a president who is slim, young, has a good leg, is famous and has well-groomed hair. If it’s a woman, she should know better than to wear those boring sarees. Especially when she’s on a beach. That’s all that matters, yes?

Awesome!! You know, I have just the right candidate for you : 

Jai Ho !!

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Comments
  1. anuspace says:

    I agree completely!! Indians are very weird and illogical at things that matter, I dunno why.. I also agree that this post is absolutely redundant and it is about time that it is scrapped!

    • Can’t agree with you there. It is good to have a wise, respectable, accomplished and reasonably apolitical person as the First Citizen of the country. We might have become cynics, but think about how many kids looked up to Dr. Kalam as their role model. The prime minister, by definition, is a political operator, and therefore, corrupt. It is always good to have a good example.

  2. anuspace says:

    Yes.. I’ll give you that much about the example but what good is a First Citizen with no scrap of power?? It is like the Queen of England. Exactly what active role is she playing in shaping the country’s politics? Also, does it not give a sad message that here is a good guy who is intelligent, honest and accomplished, so let’s just give him a fancy seat but no actual power for those are for corrupt people who can grab it..

  3. anuspace says:

    True 🙂 But that really isn’t the kind of role model we need is it? Give me one who will not be bribed over one no one will bother to bribe any day!! 🙂

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