We have a new President and I am not particularly excited about it. I have my reasons. Personal reasons. But before I delve into those, I have a few thoughts on Ms.Patil. While all women members of various political parties are going hoarse on television telling everyone how great a feat it is to have a lady President, I can’t help wondering what the hullabaloo is about. Aren’t one third of the members in all panchayati raj institutions women? And aren’t they all puppets who do as their husbands or other male members in the community direct? Why will Ms.Patil be any different? And anyway, the President’s post is ceremonial. The fact that she has quite a few cases stacked against her -the bank that folded up being just one of them, is also something that goes against her.
Moving on to the personal reason for not being too kicked about the change in the position of the Chief of State. Ever since Ms. Patil became the President, we have new, improved sign boards in Vashi. Nowadays when you enter the city of Vashi, you have a board that greets you, saying:
l Pratibha Patil
Instead of saying Vashi Station, Goa/Pune and Vashi City respectively. The board have been damaged around the edges and enormous cloth banners with the new President’s name and picture along with a collage of a few small time local politicians have been draped across it, obscuring it completely. Now I really liked that board. It was big, bold and green with neon letters that would shine at night; and it was needed! Not everyone knows the way to Goa and Pune, you know. Of course my colleagues have been telling me that I am over reacting. Ms. Patil probably had nothing to do with the banner. It must have been the doing of party members. But their pacifying me, isn’t working. I continue to be annoyed at the lady and her party.
As a passing note, I must mention that I have loved the way APJ Kalam has stepped down. He has taken up the post of a visiting faculty at Annamalai. How unassuming is that?