Our forefathers created the post of the President for the Union following the tradition of Parliamentary system of the government where there is a head of nation. They dreamed of a President for the union who will act as the symbol of Unity, Integrity and Solidarity of the nation; above any political affiliation; a true representative of the people. But to be frank, I feel disappointed knowing; that the office of the President of India is no more what our forefathers thought it will be, but in time this office has evolved into ‘the Loyalty gift” rather than being a symbol of Unity, Integrity and Solidarity.
It is very unfortunate to see this office become like this but believe me! The case was not the same as it is now; there was time when this Office was actually meant something. The inaugural holder Dr. Prasad actually acted above politics and the tradition is followed by Dr. Radhakrishnan. Dr. Krishnan took active role in his presidency and sometimes even criticized his government too. The things turned foul in 1969 when power struggle between the then PM Indira Gandhi and Congress led to the election of Sh. V. V. Giri an independent candidate as president against her party’s official candidate. And Because Mr. Giri held the post solely due to the support of Smt. Gandhi he unquestioningly accepted all her ill advices. This power struggle unfortunately, set up a very dangerous precedence for the election of the President of India. In coming years of the congress rule the fact that “how much loyal is the person to the PM or ruling party” became the non negotiable eligibility condition for the office. The subsequent phase of the national polity saw Presidents working for the ruling party; the emergency, the sacking of state governments just for the sake of political vendetta were effects of a politically chosen President. In coming years the President just became a name to be remembered for the sake of general knowledge.
Things got better when the tradition of loyalist President was broke by the then PM Sh. Vajpayee. He set up an example when he proposed the name of Dr. Kalam for the presidency instead of his political protégé and my god! What a President Mr. Kalam proved to be. In his presidency the President no longer remained just a name but became a true symbol of Unity, Integrity and Solidarity of the nation. He was truly the People’s President but unfortunately with Sh. Vajpayee’s gone; congress once again brought the old tradition back to life. Loyalty once again overcame the quality.
A euphoric propaganda was served to the people in 2007 presidential elections in the name of “the first female president of the nation” but in fact it was just the loyalty gift to the incumbent from her political masters. The loyalist president left no stone unturned to use the office for her personal gain. The subsequent 2012 presidential election turned out to be a consolation price however the incumbent kept the integrity of the office. Now once again the Presidential election is upon the nation and the media is flooded with the names of potential nominees for the Post. I know that common man has no say in choosing our President but electors of the President should learn this; the country is changing now I am sure the India do not want any more “loyalty gift” but a true leader as its president.
The previous governments were controlled by a party with a long history of dynasty politics but the socio-political environment of the country has changed very much since 2014. the ruling party is fundamentally different from its predecessor as its leader had proved that he do not believe in crony politics back in 2002 by proposing a non-political person like Dr. Kalam as the Presidential candidate. The decision was welcomed by every segment of the population and I am sure that this time again India is hoping a dynamic, charismatic and acclaimed person like Dr. Kalam. The then PM despite facing the challenges of a coalition government took a first step to break the dangerous tradition set by the previous governments and now it is the chance for the current PM to prove the same that he is above the crony politics. In last three years of his regime he truly stood out of the crowd with his unique work culture and it is now high time that the PM should change this gifting tradition once for all.
Being largest democracy in the world India does not want a President serving on the discretion of the political parties but serving for nation. One such man could be Mr. Ratan Tata; a renowned Industrialist, who is well respected across the globe community for his outstanding leadership qualities and futuristic vision. In true sense he is an inspiration to the people of India. He could be the truly the man to be aligned with the current economic and social policies of the India; a true president; a true symbol of the Unity, Integrity and Solidarity of the nation. And if you do not believe it call a public survey for “who should be the next president of India” and include the name I suggested along other potential nominees; you will be surprised.