A People’s President

Caste is all

RAM NATH KOVIND HAS BEEN ELECTED THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA WITH A HUGE majority. The ‘communal’ upper-caste  BJP had made another ‘Dalit’ the President.

Meira Kumar, put up by the ‘united’-(only over 130 cross votes)-Opposition for her caste (belonging to a ‘Dalit’ or oppressed caste) and her dynasty (daughter of Jagjivan Ram, for long THE face of  the Dalits in Congress party and a minister for decades) has proved, by getting over 34 per cent votes, that caste still counts, but is not the determining factor.

The political culture the  Congress party nurtured has made it a dominant feature of Indian politics. So it was no surprise that a photograph that went viral over social  of media (see above) mentions the caste of senior BJP leader Advani (expected by many to be next President), the President-elect and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It did not matter that 1,581 voters with a criminal record voted in the election. Out  of them 3,640  are “crorepati MPs” (millionaires). The Association for Democratic Reforms has revealed that out of the 4.852  MPs/MLAs eligible to participate in the election  1581 (33%) members have declared criminal cases against themselves in self-sworn affidavits.

The role of big money in “democratic” elections everywhere need not be stressed. Add to this the coercive power of those with musclemen working for them and the three ‘C’s of Indian politics – Caste, Cash and Coercion – become evident.

In earlier posts I called writing on politics “scavenging with pen”. As a journalist I hated to be known to Ministers and those in power, though contacts  matter in the profession. And yet many of my posts are about politics – mostly Indian. Politics pervade every aspect of life in this developing country.

Reason, ideology and welfare of the majority have no role in it.  According to Congress Modi is the Prime Minister of the BJP-led coalition and not India. Opposition it thinks, has to support China or even the terrorists. Electoral politics have fallen to this level.

Will Kovind be a “People’s President” in these tragic circumstances?

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