This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Saurabh Gandhi. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Who is Ram Nath Kovind?

More from Saurabh Gandhi

Today afternoon, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Mr. Amit Shah announced that Mr. Ram Nath Kovind would be the candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the upcoming Presidential Elections in the country. Let us get to know the next President of India (officially he is only a candidate as of now but there is nothing official about the truth – more on that later).

Background to the Presidential Elections

In India, the President is only the constitutional head of the State (Capital S in ‘State’ means the reference is to a country) and the real executive power lies with the Prime Minister (PM). However, all executive decisions of the Union or Central Government are made in the name of the President. The President is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and gets to live in the palatial Rashtrapati Bhawan. So, just a figurehead, you would think. But he does have some powers. In the situation after a national election, if no party achieves the majority mark, it is the President who gets to decide which party or group of parties to call to form the government.

The current President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee took office in July 2012. The term of office of the President is five years so the next President must be elected before that term ends so that there can be a smooth transition. The Election Commission of India has notified the dates for the election. The voting will take place on the 17th of July and the counting of votes will be done on the 20th of July 2017.

Don’t take your Voter ID cards out just yet. The President of India is not directly elected by the people of India. He is elected by the Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs). The election process is another ball game altogether and deserves another article (may be when we know if the opposition puts up a candidate and the numbers game becomes interesting).

Ram Nath Kovind – NDA’s candidate and next President of India

Image source : Wikipedia
  • When Mr. Shah announced the candidate’s name to the media, everyone was surprised because Mr. Kovind’s name was heard nowhere in the corridors of power. Trust Mr. Shah and Mr. Modi to shock (or surprise, depending on which side of the political spectrum you belong to) people (remember Yogi Adityanath’s appointment as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh).
  • Uttar Pradesh is where Ram Nath Kovind was born in 1945 (I ignored the exact date because who wants to know the President’s birthday and the media and Twitter won’t let you forget) and where he received his education from. He did his B.Com and LL.B from Kanpur University.
  • Although he completed his law degree, his immediate plan was to join the civil services but then he didn’t get the desired service and contented himself to practising law. He started practising as an Advocate in the Delhi High Court (where he was also Central Government Advocate for a couple of years), also appeared in the Supreme Court (where he was also Central Government Standing Counsel for a couple of years) and went on to become an Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court.
  • However, his legal career is not touted as being the reason behind his Presidential candidacy. His association with the BJP is (and his caste, more on that later). Mr. Kovind has served the BJP in the past in two capacities:
    1. President of BJP Dalit Morcha (1998-2002)
    2. National Spokesperson of BJP
  • And I forgot, he is the present Governor of Bihar (from 2015 when he was appointed by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee). Amazing isn’t it, Mr. Mukherjee appointed him Governor and now Mr. Kovind will succeed him as President. Not the first for Mr. Mukherjee though. As Finance Minister in the Indira Gandhi government, he had appointed Dr. Manmohan Singh as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India who went on to become not just the Finance Minister of India but also the Prime Minister of the country and later worked to appoint Mr. Mukherjee as the President of India. Such a huge mess politics is!
  • As soon as Mr. Kovind’s candidature was announced, media circles went into a tizzy gathering information about him and the most important fact that they could gather was that he was a Dalit by caste. Now, caste is relevant in politics and life (no?) and this candidature and the subsequent analysis by the media will prove that it will remain so at least for the next few years.

Lastly, I come back to the fact that he will be the next President of India. It is not official yet but nothing is official about the truth and the truth is this. As of now, the opposition has not put up a candidate for the post of President and there is no certainty that they will come around to doing so because many parties will be hesitant to be obstructing the passage of a Dalit to the highest office in the country (however, there has been one more Dalit President in India, K.R. Narayanan). Even if the Indian National Congress (INC) and some other opposition parties put up a candidate it will merely be a symbolic fight because as I mentioned earlier the voters in a Presidential election in India are the MPs and the MLAs and the BJP (or NDA, the alliance) has majority of MPs and rules many states thereby having large number of MLAs. The numbers can get tricky only if some members of NDA (like the Shiv Sena) go against the NDA candidate and all the remaining non-NDA parties refuse to support Mr. Kovind, which is a very unlikely scenario. So, start memorising the name of the next President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind.

 

 

Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.

You must be to comment.

More from Saurabh Gandhi

Similar Posts

By Internshala

By softwaremuffins

By Md Khalid Hassan

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below