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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Puppet President!

Speaking about it, it sounds so grand. President of India, the largest democracy in the world, of a country with a more than billion people. Wow, one must think, she has to be the most important person in the world and the most powerful one at that. The fact is that it is just the opposite.

The fiasco at the Mumbai Airport on the 09 Feb 2009 once again highlighted the irrelevance of the Indian President in the country's affairs. On that day it seems that an Air India pilot narrowly averted a tragedy by steering his plane away from a IAF helicopter which was part of the President's entourage. No, the President was not on the helicopter which was in the line of danger, but the incident became NEWS because it was one of the three accompanying the President.

Now the fact. The President of India was not on a world saving or even nation saving endevour when the incident took place. Nor was she attending any event of national significance. She was here in Mumbai to inaugurate the Global Vipassana Pagoda at Gorai in Mumbai.

Now what does the President have to do with with the Global Vipassana Pagoda? She is not a Buddhist. And neither has she advocated Vipassana publically after occupying the country's highest chair. So does it mean that she is now the brand ambassador of Vipassana. I don't think so. The acceptance of the invitation to inaugurate the Global Pagoda only reflects upon the abundant availablitlity of free time on the hands of the politically irrelevant President of India. Here one must stop and think, should the chair of the President of India be reduced to such menial tasks?

Should the President of India, a strongly secular country, offer to advocate or participate in what is definitely a practice initiated by a particular religion, even though it may have been termed as non-sectarian? For the same reasons, shouldn't the President of India stay away from being a part of a particular type of meditation program. By attending the Pagoda inauguration is she denouncing, the teachings of Baba Ramdev, the yoga guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of Art of Living and Sadhguru, the founder of Isha foundation. Now the brand ambassador logic suddenly seems full of prospects.

If that was not enough, our President had some more obligations to complete (Part of her contract?) She went on to Gondia, Vidharba in Maharashtra to inaugurate a new computer section of Manoharbhai Patel Institute of Engineering and Technology. Oh my God! Not even a complete institute. Just a new computer section. How much more would they pull down the dignity of the chair of the President of India. Why would the President do it? Because Manoharbhai Patel, in honor of whom the institute has been named was the father of the current Civil Aviation Minister Mr Praful Patel. It also happened to be the Birth anniversary of Manoharbhai Patel. It all makes sense now. After all even the President of India is in a way elected by our politicians. How could she refuse the invitation of the very people who elected her?

In the end it is not about a minister, a religion , a mediatation technique, an institute or a person. It is about the honor, dignity of the President of India and the President of India should not be wasting his/her time returning favours, rather he/she should be performing tasks worthy of the stature imposed upon the designation. Else the truth will be out. That , the President is a mere puppet in the hands of politicians.

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