Goodbye, Your Excellency…

It’s goodbye to you, Your Excellency, President Pratibha Patil, as your term nears its end. Not that my heart feels sorry to see you go. In fact, the country will be quite relieved.

When I look back at former Presidents of India who were top-notch intellectuals such as Dr. Sir S. Radhakrishnan and Abdul Kalam , I can’t but express an opinion that Pratibha Patil might just have been one of our worst Presidents. I mean, there’s enough evidence pointing towards that fact. President Zail Singh was on my top-of-the-list as the worst and now, Pratibha Patil beat him to that.

Agreed that the post of President in our country is nothing but a mere rubber stamp, and yet, Dr. Sir Radhakrishnan was a scholar and a statesman who received a Knighthood (in 1931), the Bharat Ratna (in 1954) and the Order of Merit (in 1963).

When he became President, his students wanted to celebrate his birthday. He replied, “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if 5 September is observed as Teachers’ Day.”

And so it has been ever since.

A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, the 11th President was a scientist. He was the project director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near earth orbit in July 1980.

As one of India’s top nuclear scientists, he knew a thing or two about guided missiles, space programmes and authored many books including the much read ‘India 2020′.

What about President Pratibha Patil? With a political background as hers what can one expect? She’s traveled across the globe at tax payers expense, often carting members of her family, not to mention her cooks, chefs and God knows who all, on her many jaunts. At a time when the economy is bleeding, Pratibha Patil has been spending or money on frivolous things.

But the worst was yesterday. She pardoned 30 murderers and rapists under the privilege given to all, and so idiotically called, ‘Presidential Pardon.’

The courts have condemned these people to the gallows and here is the President of our country opening the doors for them to be let loose, like pigeons freed from a cage. But that’s done as a gesture of peace and freedom; not people who have roasted, raped and killed other human beings.

Ever given a thought to the poor parents of the girls who were raped? You’re a woman, aren’t you? Didn’t feel a thing when you distributed those pardons?

I’m a proud India, but momentarily I had to hang my head in shame.

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