sabato 12 maggio 2012

Who will be the next President?

Who will be the 13th President of the Republic of India? On July Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, first woman to hold this office, won’t be President, her term of office will expire after five years.

Indian Ocean satellite image
The Indian political world is in turmoil, great maneuvers and contacts started long for a not at all easy choice.
In India, the President has mainly representative and constitutional guarantee functions, but it is a very important office and symbolizes the unity of a country in which differences are many and sometimes very deep.
The President is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of Parliament and of the state legislative assemblies and usually there is an agreement between the main political forces.

In more of sixty-year history of independent India has always tried to choose the President taking into account the great variety and diversity of Indian society for cultures, religions, castes, languages, genders, ethnic groups.
For example, although the Hindus are the overwhelming majority of citizens and parliamentarians, and then they could always elect a representative of that religion, were chosen even presidents Muslims and Sikhs. Presidents were people from various Indian states and belonging to various castes, Dalits have been Presidents and women too - as the current President.
Today there are many pretenders and it is difficult to predict what will happen. 
Apparently the candidatures of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice of the President, Hamid Ansari, are very strong, but there are the names of Meira Kumar, Lok Sabha Speaker, of current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and of Punjub Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Key will be the indication of the Congress Party who is working with representatives of other parties to find a candidate shared.
It should be noted, however, the position taken by some parties and organizations which propose that the next President is a tribal, ie a representative of the indigenous peoples of the subcontinent.
Others propose for the highest office of India a Christian, because one of them was never President and the Christian presence is both quantitatively and qualitatively important in India and in that sense there is the name of the current Defense minister A.K. Antony who is Christian or the name of P.A. Sangma of the Nationalist Congress Party leader who comes from a Christian and tribal communities.
Some commentators criticize this approach to the choice: “While the Presidential dialogue centres around meaningless qualifications such as a Muslim, Tribal, Christian or whatever – you can read on The Hindu - millions of Indian lives continue to ebb away in the darkest, bottomless pits of poverty and illiteracy, denial and deprivation. What the highest office of the land needs is a person of stature, integrity and courage, who will shed his political lineage after being elevated to the post, and fulfil his Constitutional obligations without fear or favour.”

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