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India will get a woman president for the first time in history

June 14, 2007

Pratibha Patil is slated to be the next President (12th) of India. Her name was announced by the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi today. Ofcourse she is still to win, as she will come up against Bhairon Singh Shekawat (ex-Chief Minister of Rajasthan), but considering that she has support from both the UPA government at the centre as well as the Left, the numbers show that she will win.
When she does, she will become India’s first woman President. Well, I am certainly glad about that…specially as she is not just the first woman governor of Rajasthan, but also the only woman Governor in the country today. She is also a lawyer.

The problem is: she is not a political heavyweight. Nor is she an intellectual. Nor is she a known social activist. Neither is she a significant person in another field (like President Kalam). Plus, she is seventy-two years old. I guess we should get used to old presidents and prime ministers by now!

But ofcourse she is a Gandhi family loyalist – the reason she was picked to be Governer…literally brought out of political oblivion. And ofcourse this is the reason she was picked to be President. Her loyalty for the Gandhis. From Jalgaon, Maharashtra, she is presently the Governer of Rajasthan. She was born and brought up in Maharashtra (but is apparently a Solanki from Gujarat) and married a Rajput (Shekhawat).

She has a good political record. She was a cabinet minister in Maharashtra and was also the ex-deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha. She also headed the Maharashtra Congress. And she has some credentials as a social activist – she is interested in rural development and child and womens’ welfare. In fact she has a squeaky clean record in public service.

Some say she is strong, not weak and insignificant (as is the perception) because she did not let an anti-conversion bill tabled in the state legislature become law (the state is run by the opposition party, the BJP). Apparently she also supported Vasundhara Raje, the present Chief Minister of Rajasthan in the aftermath of the Gujjar riots. She could have easily played politics and fermented trouble as she belonged to the Congress. She is also said to be low-profile and rarely talks to the press.

One good thing about her (something that will suit the Congress) is that she is non-controversial and likely to be flexible. Will come in handy for the Congress when the country goes to the poll in less than two years to select the next government. Lets hope that the poor lady doesn’t make the office of the President a joke by becoming a puppet in the hands of Sonia Gandhi.

Well, she is a dark horse, and a surprise choice, and perhaps might have some pleasant surprises for us!

But no one is likely to forget that Pratibha Patil wasn’t the first choice of the UPA government. The Gandhi loyalist Shivraj Patil was Sonia Gandhi’s first choice but the Left as well as the NDA opposed his candidature.

Anyway, nice to have a woman in this post. 🙂

(Photo credits: Wiki)

Related Reading: Pratibha Patil ask Hindu women to give up purdah
How the world’s women leaders got where they did
Sonia Gandhi is one of Time’s 100 most influential people

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2007 9:03 pm

    Well, two women political heavyweights (Sonia & Maya) decide for a third : ) !

  2. June 15, 2007 1:14 pm

    I would like to differ Nita. This is a good year for Indian woman but Pratibha Patil’s election will be more symbolic than actual women empowerment. Especially in the light of general elections fast approaching the role of president becomes very important. A congress stooge is not a very good sign for democracy in crunch situations. As far as women empowerment is concerned I happened to meet a few women Sarpanches who were no more than rubber stamps. Their husbands took all their decisions. What is the use of such symbolism?

  3. June 15, 2007 1:48 pm

    Prerna, you are actually not differing from me! I have said exactly what you have said, in different words and diplomatically.
    And I’ve ended with: Oh well, at least its a woman!! 🙂

  4. June 16, 2007 4:40 pm

    She is chosen for wrong reasons, and when you do that you know that outcome will be not effective. If they wanted women why not Najma Heptullah, she is ex congress and now with NDA, but congress wont do that. I’m sure there are far better candidates then her, but in India if Deve Gowda and Gujaral can become PM’s for wrong reasons than let it be.
    Sonia Gandhi hasn’t shown any maturity and nor has the PM (who is a just a puppet in his capacity) by choosing her.
    Kalam, Venkatraman. Why not pick TN Seshan, or other guys who are passionate about Nation?
    Thats why Mera Bharat Mahan Hai.

  5. June 26, 2007 7:53 pm

    Anyway kalam is more capable, he is the best and nobody can comment on him as he has every right.

  6. Shyam Sharma permalink
    June 28, 2007 6:38 pm


    Shrimati Indira Gandhi was the first Women Prime Minister of India, but she behaved like as if she was the Iron man of India. The victory in 1971 Pakistan war was a historic moment in her life. She had taken our country to a global level. She had also made a huge contribution in Nuclear Power, as a result of which we are also a Nuclear Power in the world.

    Shrimati Sonia Gandhi sacrificed the post of Prime Minister and set a huge example of her love towards our country. She also looks and behaves very similar to Indira Gandhi. When I see her on television I think that as if Shrimati Indira Gandhi is standing in front of me. She had made an historic decision by nominating Shrimati Pratibha Patil for the post of President of India. Although our country is Male Dominated she had set her mark by getting nominated for the post of President and this proves that Women in India are now a strong force to deal with.

    After Sixty years of Independence a Woman leader is going to become the President of our country which is a beginning of a Revolution. Since she had born in Maharashtra which is the birth place of Shivaji and she got married in Rajasthan which is the birth place of Maharanapratap. Therefore she possesses all the qualities of these leaders and she is taking their pride to Delhi.

    Shrimati Pratibha Patil had born on 19th December 1934 in Jalgaon. She is a Taurean and her Nakshatra is Rohini. From Moon to fifth house Mars is situated which shows that she is very intelligent. Since Ketu is situated in her third house she is very daring in taking decisions. This can be seen from the fact that after marriage she refused to keep the surname of her husband and kept her own surname ‘Patil’ which was a very big thing in that time. In today’s world women can inspire from Shrimati Pratibha Patil and make their own identity after marriage also.

    Saturn is situated in her tenth house which is providing her success in every walk of life. Coincidentally her Nineth and Tenth house lord is also Saturn. According to Parashar rule it is a very big Rajyog and hence she can definitely become the President of India.

    In the coming time it is very necessary for us to wake the Women Power in our country to save our country from Terrorism and other Illegal Activities.
    With God’s grace we have to get rid of all the Devil power which is stopping our country to become the most powerful nation of the world. During the Pakistan war Shrimati Indira Gandhi had made an historic moment. Since 1971 war nobody has created an impact like Indiraji as she had done in her time. Prime Minister like Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also not able to cross the border line of Pakistan at the time of Kargil War. As a result of which we had to face a very serious loss. If we would had Indira Gandhi at that time instead of Atal Bihari Vajpayee we would had cross their border and given them a beating of a life time.

    Lately, but Sonia Gandhi has awakened the Women Power in India. In the coming future 33% Women reservation bill have to be pass and this will happen in the present Loksabha till 2008. Our country is going through a revolution of Women Power and we will soon be observing an era which is totally Women Dominated. Now the time has come in which Women should be equally respected like Men, because according to my calculation Women are the future of our Country.

    Shrimati Sonia Gandhiji you should move forward towards development of our country because the whole nation is with you. Although you come from a Royal family you behave like a common woman. Looking at the stars of Pratibha Patil she is definitely going to become the President of our country Shrimati Sonia gandhiji has done a very good job by nominating her name for the post of President and it will be very beneficial for our country.

    – Pt. Shyam Sharma
    Cell: 9833847174

  7. sowbhagya rao permalink
    July 29, 2007 10:11 am

    very true, Najma Heptullah would have been a better choice!

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