Friday, June 15, 2007

Lady candidate for President

Make no mistake about it, there is a certain buzz about the UPA selecting a lady, Pratibha Patil, as its candidate for India's presidential polls. Last round, the NDA had created a similar buzz by opting for a non-politician and technocrat, Abdul Kalam.

Yes, having a lady as president is great- and we will be having our first lady president before the US has its. I know, the two jobs are not equivalent (in India, the job is largely, but not entirely, ceremonial). But, we don't have to be apologetic about that- we had a lady PM long ago, as did Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Whatever the record of South Asia in women's empowerment, it hasn't kept women away from the top jobs.

There is one other fact about Patil's nomination that struck me. At no point did the name figure in the various lists of probables put out by the media. It cannot be that the UPA president, Sonia Gandhi, pulled the name out of her hat at the last minute. It must have been there in the background but the media could not lay its hands on it.

Says something about reporters having the inside track and the ability of the political system to keep secrets, doesn't it?

1 comment:

Raj said...

I know. Now the media will keep talking about the "first woman president" ad nauseum.

I have read that when Dr.Maria Montessori was referred to as the first lady doctor, she said, " I am not a lady doctor. I am a doctor who happens to be a lady".

So,our President will happen to be a lady, so what?