Wordly Wise

Musings of an infinite soul

Petty Politics

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So finally we have the first woman president of India.

Shiv Sena declared that it supports the candidature of Ms Pratibha Patil because she is a Marathi woman. So now we choose presidents based on their mother tongue. And I thought India was a secular country, where things like caste, creed and religion didn’t matter.

The UPA chose Ms Patil as their presidential candidate because she would be the first woman president of India. So now we also choose presidents because of their gender.

And NDA did not support Ms Patil because it simply did what every opposition party always does—it opposed the candidate of the ruling alliance!

What about merit? Does that feature anywhere in the decision-making process?

If a meritorious candidate who is elected as President happens to be a woman from a specific region/religion, it is a matter of pride for the country—that we do not let gender/caste/language come in the way of merit. Unfortunately, the other way around seems to be happening. We’re letting issues like gender and caste overshadow merit. Will our politicians ever rise above petty politics?

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Written by Manoj Khatri

26 July 2007 at 8:59 am

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