Thursday, 31 May 2012

India's plastic president?

Yet another sad example of Indian politics.  After the majestic term of Dr APJ Kalam, we have had a dismal and lack lustre performance from a what I term India's plastic president.  There was great expectations for our nation's first woman president, but sadly she has only managed to deliver on self served interest.  This article points out the many aspects of her presidency that are best forgotten.

Interestingly, this article, published in the new Indian Express, was quickly followed by half page interview of President Patil in the Hindu paper a couple days later.  The Hindu, often pro-congress and too ready to defend the irrational, attempts to highlight the highs of the presidency, but reading the details comes out as a joke and is  for an office that has a very public role to play in the world's largest democratic, the interview could easily be misinterpreted as a sarcastic joke... so much for the Hindu's efforts.

President Patil will be remembered for her foreign travel excesses, her botched attempt at securing herself a palatial retirement home at the expense of the tax payer, of course some reports of her exorbitant expenses smell of scam from a mile away, such as this naval banquet where the drinking water budget was equivalent to 83 litres of bottled water for every guest!


A luxurious, and rather funny means of attending the Indian Army's desert games...


Did they order a special VIP tank for this exercise?

Why this post in the context sustainable development?  The Indian President is a post with little executive scope, reduced primarily to a public role, it is a nonetheless a very eminent office that commands a lot of respect from the Indian nation and one that can be used to set an example.  Today's needs are for a sustainable world and this is where our president's office can make a difference, by leading the way and setting an example.  President Patil's self-serving term has done exactly the opposite.