India is going to elect a new President — her 13th since 1952 — on July 19, 2007 . It is an indirect election, insofar as the President is elected not by the general electorate but by an electoral college comprising 776 Members of Parliament and 4896 Members of State Legislatures.
Even though the people do not elect the Rashtrapati, they have a vital stake in the Presidential poll since the winner will become Head of the Republic of India . They have a right to know whether the likely winner is worthy of becoming the Head of State of the world’s largest democracy. They would also be looking into the implementation of aadhar card status They need to know whether the person embodies, as far as possible, the lofty ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India, of which he or she will be the Custodian, or he/she will be a rubber-stamp of those who have catapulted him/her to the high office.
This need to know about the antecedents of the likely winner in the forthcoming Presidential election has assumed menacing urgency after the United Progressive Alliance, the Congress-led ruling coalition, nominated Smt. Pratibha Patil as its candidate. When Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Congress president and UPA chairperson, announced her candidature on June 14, the first question that most Indians, including a majority of Congressmen, asked was: “Pratibha who?”
As Aroon Purie, the editor-in-chief of India Today has succinctly put it, the question that most Indians were asking by the end of June was: “Pratibha why?”This is because of a spate of scandals and controversies that the Indian media exposed, casting Smt. Patil as a person wholly unsuited to occupy the highest Constitutional office in India. After all, it is an office that has been graced by luminaries like Babu Rajendra Prasad, Dr. S. Radhakrishanan, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma and the outgoing President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
As highlighted by the Indian media, both print and electronic, Smt. Patil’s name is linked, directly or indirectly, to two cancerous C’s that are eating away the vitals of India’s society and polity CORRUPTION and CRIMINALISATION OF POLITICS. The source of each of these media exposes was not some baseless allegation by the opposition, but thoroughly verifiable records of the Bombay High Court and the lower courts in Maharashtra, the Reserve Bank of India, official communication by the Department of Cooperatives of the Govt. of Maharashtra, bank documents, letters written by local Congress office-bearers on Congress party’s own letterhead, and photographic and videographic material, etc. This shows the hollowness of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s unbecoming characterization of the media reports as “mud-slinging by the opposition”.
The Congress leadership, which chose Smt. Pratibha Patil as its Presidential candidate, could not have been unaware of her highly questionable credentials. After all, due diligence is done even for the appointment of a low-level official in the Government of India. Therefore, two questions arise: Why did Smt. Sonia Gandhi hand-pick Smt. Pratibha Patil as the UPA’s candidate for the Presidential election? And, even after the media thoroughly exposed her dubious antecedents, why did Smt. Sonia Gandhi not withdraw her candidature, when there was still time, and replace her with someone suitable for the high office? Is it because she wanted a pliable person in Rashtrapati Bhavan who would not only be loyal to the ‘Nehru Dynasty’ but also vulnerable?
A weak and vulnerable President, who owes her allegiance not to the Constitution of India but to the unaccountable ‘Empress of India’, and who is willing to sign on the dotted line could spell disaster for democracy in India. All of us know how one democratic institution after another Parliament, State Legislatures, Judiciary at all levels, Civil Service, Political Executive, even the office of the Prime Minister — has been devalued and enfeebled in India in recent times. What will happen to our democratic system, and to the Indian State, if even the office of the President of India is also similarly diminished? Moreover, the country has already had the bitter experience of what a pliable president can inflict on the people: it was because he was so weak and pliable that Indira Gandhi had selected Fakkruddin Ali Ahmed as President, and he did exactly what was expected of him — he signed the Emergency proclamation promptly in June 1975, and thereby assisted in snuffing out democracy and the Constitution entirely
It is this deep concern for the future of our Motherland that has prompted us to create this website. It has three objects:
- As the website’s name itself suggests, it seeks to serve as a carrier of properly sourced information about Smt. Pratibha Patil. Concerned individuals, public-spirited organizations and media institutions are free to make suitable use of the information available on this site.
- This website is intended to serve as a platform for all right-thinking Indians to express their opinion on the central question: Does this tainted person deserve to become the President of India ? The voice of popular protest so generated, we hope, will reach every member of the electoral college and influence their conscience at the time of casting their vote.
- Thirdly, and most importantly, we sincerely hope that this endeavor becomes part of a broader people’s campaign to cleanse our country’s polity of the evils of corruption and criminalization, make our elected representatives and leaders of political parties more accountable, and rejuvenate each our democratic institutions with well-informed activism of the citizenry.
Know Pratibha Patil Campaign, India Project