There have instances while gossiping with friends when a subject as to who should be the next President in the forthcoming election for the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the Raisina Hill.
I am not a constitutional expert to comment on the validity of two or three terms for the President, as someone else has already commented. I do however; differ with the views expressed by you organically. I will elaborate them.
1. General Points (as a citizen of the country).
I do not support the post and place for the President for India. As we all agree that it is more of a ceremonial post which had been created to align our democracy with Queen’s England and does not serve any purpose for India. In fact, if I may say, it functions against the smooth running and governance of the country. Reasons:
(a) Take for example, “Mercy Pleas” lying in the President Secretariat which have not been disposed off for God knows, how many years. The reasons are political consideration, which cause undue mental torture to the convict and more for the family of the same.
(b) The expenditure incurred to maintain the Rashtrapati Bhawan and its staff which is just a wasteful expenditure of the exchequer’s money.
(c) The expenditure incurred on the entourage of the President as and when he/she moves out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
(d) The post retirement expenditure to maintain him/ her, for God knows how long. Our leaders have been known to have continued to occupy the Govt accommodation even after they demit the office and even after the RIP has been said for them.
(e) Incumbents aligned with the political parties have been used to dismiss federal governments of the states in the past and there is no guarantee that that it may not happen in future.
2. Specific Points to the present Incumbent (as an ex soldier of the Indian Army).
She is supposed to be the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces as laid down in the Constitution of India. But she has shown utter disregard to the exalted post of the Supreme Commander by her following actions.
(a) She has never given a hearing to the delegation of the ex-servicemen. Do you remember the effort by the delegations of IESM who wished to meet her to tell their woes and also to hand over the medals for safe keeping in the Rashtrapati Bhawan more than once? Regrettably not even once she presented herself to meet them and woefully a low level Secretary was sent to collect the medals. If she did not want to be associated with the “Return of the Medals”, she should have conveyed so to the delegation of the IESM. I am sure the IESM would have been more than happy to oblige her. But a BIG NO has always been the answer.
(b) She has refused to be the Chief Patron of the Ex Servicemen League which came in to being in the time of Pandit Nehru and all Presidents have thereafter obliged the League. She has specifically asked the League to remove her name and association of her office from the same. What will you call this? An individual’s choice??
(c) Unlike the Supreme Commander of the US Armed Forces who openly flaunts to be proud to be so and leaves no opportunity to meet the officers and GIs whenever and wherever he gets a chance. How many times have our Rashtrapati expressed her desire to do so?
Note: 1. How many times have they (all the Presidents: past & present)freely mingled with the troops and officers whenever they have to be with the troops or officers to present “Standards”? How many such photographs can we see as reminder to those who stake their lives that our Supreme Commanders do care for them?
Note: 2. Here of course, I shall also like to blame the top hierarchy of our serving solders as well for going out of the way to present such lavish red carpet welcome and comfort to the visiting dignitaries that I feel ashamed to be the part of the same fraternity. Do you recall her visit to the desert to witness one of the Fire Power demonstrations in recent times? A Rath was made out on top of the BMP (I think) for her to ride. Our Chief was sitting next to her. Is that the way the Supreme Commander experiences what her troops face?
(d) I believe, a portion of the Defence land has been leased out to the Ministry of Homes to build an appropriate post retirement house for the present President, as she has desired to live in Pune. I also believe that the land was earmarked for some activities of the ex-servicemen there. Do we build mansions for the retiring presidents? Where will it end??
I can write a lot more. But the time and space restricts me from doing so. And more over this lone voice shall not find a space in the ears of power that be, except few of the internet friends who care to read this.
For the above reasons I do not agree and support the post of the President for our country. This may need a constitutional amendment which will never happen because each political party is looking for a chance to rehabilitate his or her so called veteran of the party.
But if it is a must to have a Constitutional head, I will prefer a non- political incumbent in the Rashtrapati Bhawan, who is not looking for post- retirement rehabilitation for himself/ herself and her progenies in time to come. I shall want a person who after retirement either sits down to write or tours to give lectures and earn for himself/ herself and mentors the young generation for the betterment of the country.
Col Shiv Om Rana, PhD
Mob +9199999 078 seven zero
twitter handle: @happyshiv
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It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts………. K T Jong
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