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Scrutiny
 
TO THE PRESIDENT: POINTS TO PONDER
Madam President, Please read this
People don’t Wish to see The President as a Government Spokesperson
Issue Date - 17/03/2011
 
We agree that we had no direct say or role in her election. But still, as citizens of India, we do believe we have the right to ask our honourable President Ms. Pratibha Devisingh Patil to refrain from being the spokesperson of the ruling government.

Her recent address to the Parliament to inaugurate the budget session was historic in this context. It was dedicated in praise of the UPA II and its contributions in reshaping the future of India. It was ironic, especially when the country faced some of it worst challenges in history during the regime; including inflation, separatism, terror threats and also some of the world’s worst scams including CWG, 2G spectrum and Adarsh society. She even applauded UPA II as “My Government”, some 54 times in the entire speech while praising its every policy.

In all probability, and to Pratibha Patil’s defence, we also accept that this “my government” complex is a legacy of the British era. When Queen Elizabeth II addressed both British Houses of Parliament on May 26, 2010, she termed the government as “My Government.” Her first statement was, “My Government’s legislative programme will be based upon the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility,” while the last was, “My Government is committed to spend nought point seven per cent of gross national income in development aid from 2013.”

Terms like “my government” might not be wrong per se, but when combined with unbecoming praise of the government, especially during times when the government is riddled with calumnious and corrupt individuals who care two hoots for “our country,” the patronising praise clearly falls out of place. Madam President, surely, that’s not what we expect from a person of your stature, especially when you stand as a judicious pillar support for our democratic system.

 

Akram Hoque           

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