Friday, June 22, 2007

That space atop Raisina Hill

As politicians and pundits get serious about the presidential polls, the blogs are agog. They even have a suggestion: Why not Bill Clinton?

A petition to get President Kalam has been going around the internet for over eight months now, so when amidst rumours of Shivraj Patil, Somnath Chatterjee and Pranab Mukherjee, the name Pratibha Patil came up, the blogosphere went into a tizzy. IndieQuill applauded the latest nominee (lovingly called ‘President Aunty’) and introduced her to its readers — “You know her, of course, from... er, um...” A list of pros and cons was devised. (The most convincing pro — ‘not Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’).

A victim of tokenism? Don’t feel offended, Pratibhatai, some said, after all (as Hindustaniat explains) so many before you have been token presidents — Sikh, Muslim, what’s the difference? In fact, it’s because she is difficult to oppose — India Interacts calls it “the advantages of being a lightweight”.

Try the question Grandma’s Tales puts up: why does the Union government oppose Kalam if he appears to be the people’s choice? Mixed Bag pushes further and asks for a merit-based answer, why (either) Patil or Kalam? But it adds an interesting little sidenote — Pratibha Patil’s wikipedia page was updated instantly. So, our netas have discovered the internet. Who knew?

Many are unsure if Patil can live up to Kalam — as The Utterances of a Peculiar Mindset wonders, “where is the stature?” The Indian Muslim Blog is not impressed with Pratibhatai’s history — the Mughals were not invaders as they settled down in India, and the purdah system was already there — and she is confused between purdah and hijab. Tut, tut.

But do we even need a president, asks E=mc^2, calling the post “a waste of resources”. Patil may have more political merit than Kalam, but since the country apparently has no idea of what merit is, what does it matter? The thought is echoed by India Syndicate, which wonders why it makes a difference at all. And more importantly, who is going to Parliament while all these deliberations and negotiations happen? On the other hand, My Desi Blog is suspicious about the fight parties are putting up for this post. Is it because all concerned parties want to be able to use (and abuse?) the special powers of the president?

And the blogs are not fooled by the argument that this is a proud day for women’s emancipation. India Uncut wonders if the BJP goes against any future choice the Congress makes for any position — and if the candidate is a man — will it mean that it is “blatantly against the cause of men?” Really, at least let her ride on her laurels!

So what can be done about this sad state of affairs? The nomination seems like settling for second best; the person chosen is stature-less; and the justification for the choice seems empty at best.

Never fear, suggestions are here!

Churumuri has a novel idea. Why not appoint Bill Clinton as president of India. No, really. Among the stellar reasons given, the three most convincing are: if the Indian cricket team can have a foreign coach, why not a foreign president? If Hillary wins, and with Bill in Rashtrapati Bhawan, the nuclear deal is a given. But the last tops it all, because, “finally, we will have someone who will make use of all 340 rooms atop Raisina Hill.”

We’re not done. It’s India Time has another suggestion. Why not Musharraf as president (of India?). Before you gasp with shock, read on. It’s the only way to bring democracy to Pakistan (ha ha), it will be seen as a warm gesture and Pakistan will give up its claim to Kashmir (we’re listening), Musharraf will have to come with his nuclear briefcase making the sub-continent safer (go on...) and finally, he only fears mango trees, and since India has so many mango trees, it will be enough to make him behave... (Sold!)


Shantanu said...

Good post! Suggestion: I think you should at least hyperlink to these blogs from this post. Of course, Churimuri has the best recommendation here... :)

Shantanu said...

I guess you meant Churumuri. Finally found his site.

mahima said...

oh crap, i spelt it wrong! oh no! anyway i'll fix it online.. thanks

Shantanu said...

Do this often enough and you may even land a plum job at the TOI, if you know what I mean... :)

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

Anonymous said...

Piece de resistance !!

The Dude said...

Nice one cuz, youre getting good!
Im now getting more and more convinced that theres something unique in the genes here :D
oh btw, im back in town sometime early next month.. will keep you posted..