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The Presidential Prescription

The Presidential Prescription

June 19, 2012

Instead of warring over it, why can’t the UPA, Didi and NDA look at what the Constitution of India requires our President to be?

The Indian Constitution enshrines the rights and duties of the citizens of India. It talks about the responsibilities of the state and federal executive, the judiciary and the legislature. In school we were taught that ours was the largest and most progressive such document in the world, because its writers made the effort to incorporate the best ideas from constitutions the world over. In it, is a section on the key evaluation parameters while selecting the President of India. As the country goes through nominating a new President, it is important that we review the requirements once more.
  • The President of India must not be more than 53 years of age, give or take 2. They must certainly not be, look or act like they are 80. Remember, the retirement age for everyone in the country is 58.
  • The selected candidate should be more than 6 feet (for males) or 5 feet 7 inches (for females) tall. This is to ensure that the Indian Head of State does not look like an unimpressive midget in a group photograph at an / all international forums, such as the UN General Assembly, ASEAN summit etc.
  • The person must be prepared to frequently speak to the People of India. This will, in the least, give the citizens of the country an idea of who their President is and what he or she sounds like. And believes in.
  • The selected candidate must know how to dress appropriately, keeping in mind the extremely unpleasant all-year-round weather in Delhi. At a minimum, dressing up in full Nehru suits (for men) or the Saree, with long sleeved blouses that do not expose even an inch of skin (for women) is banned between the months of April and September. Casual dressing like sleeved shirts, kurta pyjamas, jeans and shorts are encouraged, as are sandals.
  • Only candidates who entered public life with the sole intention of social service and paying back society will be considered.
  • The person must know how to smile frequently. Smiling and laughing will not be considered unpresidential. Also, a sense of humour, and the ability to crack a few jokes during public addresses are key prerequisites of this position.
  • Selected candidates will sign a statement promising to use only 10% of Rashtrapati Bhawan as living quarters. The rest of the palace must be turned into a free museum and opened to the public. All important historical artifacts will be put on display, and not hidden away as if they are important state secrets that can destabilize the country comprised of illiterate and dimwitted citizens. After all, these idiots are being trusted to vote their governments in, so they should be ok.
  • The selected candidate must have a streak of anger. They must use their rage to blow occasionally at politicians making deranged decisions or pronouncements. (A subsequent amendment to the constitution took away the President’s Right to Own a Firearm due security reasons).
  • The selected candidate must be a patron of the Arts and Sciences. He/she must be able to strike an intelligent conversation with ISRO physicists as well as Nobel laureates. With the same ease and flair, the person must also be able to converse with Bollywood stars, or attend the Filmfare award ceremony occasionally.
  • The selected candidate must not travel by road with an entourage of more than 3 vehicles, including one police escort. 3 has been identified as a sufficient number. It also doesn’t require shutting down half the city when the President is in transit.
  • The selected candidate must ideally be single – never married, widower/widow and divorcees are preferred. If a family does exist, it must not have more than 3 other members. The selected candidate must not be on talking terms with his/her extended family. As such, all domestic and international travel can happen on scheduled airlines – business class travel is approved.
  • While taking the salute, whether on Republic Day or any other military occasion, the selected candidate must look smart and natural. Physical verification of their saluting style will be made during the interview process.
  • The selected candidate must be able to stand and walk erect, no slouches will be permitted. This means that the person will have to have a backbone.

As usual, the country is extremely confident that the political leaders are considering their options wisely. 

24 Comments

  • pawan
    By
    pawan
    23.09.13 05:24 PM
    we are not making any movie in parliament dear.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.06.12 03:56 PM
    I did promise you and assure you it would be as certain as sunrise and sunset.

    I am very anxious to get down to it soon.
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    21.06.12 03:46 PM
    Stuart, if you satisfy all the prerequisites, apply! I can tell you that it's a very short line. (And don't let the non citizen bit worry too much...Rules? What rules?)
    Rajpriya, those memoirs really should happen!
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.06.12 11:19 AM
    Hi Rickie,

    If she did I was not aware of her visit. I would not have gone even if she called me to say she was coming. Simple reason: In Germany we have our Customers who are our Royal Highnesses. They give us the good living we have. They are responsible for our recent past, present and the future of even my grandchildren. We run to see them, they are the ones most welcome in our life and of course our true friends and an odd relation.

    I certainly love India and certainly don’t love the ones in whose hands its destiny is placed upon today. Starting with Bharat Ratna Varahagiri Venkata Giri once acting President who was my father’s good friend during his days as the one in charge of the Indian consulate in Kandy, my adoptive home town (I would leave the rest for my memoirs I would relate to you sometime) who has been to our humble home many times, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad are some to whom I have loved listening.

    But I miss their caliber of greats now. It is very sad.

    Given a chance I could do it better with so much dedication and my blind love for India the soil where I was born.

    As one who came to Germany with a little leather bag one day with nothing much valuable in it and established myself to be liked by the Germans in our environment I don't think it was mere luck and I think you know what I mean.
  • Stuart
    By
    Stuart
    21.06.12 09:49 AM
    As an outsider, may I just say the office of the Indian Presidency has done at least one good deed in the last ten years - inspired the excellent "I Am Kalam". Also, on the principle that nothing unites people more than having a common enemy, I propose giving the job to a 44-year old gora OCI who's never even been to the country, but would be willing to take on the job out of the goodness of his heart.
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    21.06.12 09:25 AM
    Thanks for reading, Rohiensis!
    Refer to the last requirement in my article - "Backbone" - I don't think that's much to ask from a leader, is it?
    Rajpriya, question - did Her Royal Highness visit Germany? Did you go see her? :P
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.06.12 08:32 AM
    Anyways she was more outside than inside the country to know anything what was going on with Indian politics. She must have laughed that there were idiots to provide her a chance to see the world with her rishterdars and having the last laugh?
  • Rohiensis
    By
    Rohiensis
    21.06.12 12:38 AM
    "his" was Dr. Kalam.. my bad.. :)
  • Rohiensis
    By
    Rohiensis
    21.06.12 12:36 AM
    Hahahaha! This was indeed an enlightening post, considering the current scenario our beloved country, we must also consider a crucial requisite, that the president should keep his mouth absolutely shut in the day to day matters of government. It was his take on the office of profit bill that cost him a second term at office. Ms. Patil wisely opted not to repeat the mistake. So there you go... :) Loved the post..
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    20.06.12 09:36 PM
    We can rest assure that she will not have a second term.
    We will have a new fool to suffer!
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    20.06.12 02:39 PM
    @Rickie,

    I admit my humor is dry sometimes. When I seem to endorse actions of some one in that position I only have an underlying message that I hate such actions by a person sitting in the highest office of a nation by setting bad precedents.

    You are absolutely right and I agree 100%. Power corrupts and how can she disappoint giving her other rishtedaars that ego kick and the heck of a lifetime’s amusement she could not have otherwise afforded?

    If she gets a second term she would take them all to the North Pole and on her return touch down at the South Pole. I don’t mind being her rishtedaar because I have never been there. But, I am really only kidding.
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    20.06.12 01:41 PM
    Well, I am all for the President going globe-trotting enhance India's image. If he/she does it with immediate family, that is fine, too. But they must avoid bringing along all their other rishtedaars!
    Frankly, I think President Patil got a bad rap because, one, she didn't look very presidential, and two, she came right after APJ Abdul Kalam, who is a very imposing and learned personality.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    20.06.12 01:18 PM
    Globetrotting at states’ expense is painless adventure to stand tall even though selectors deliberately overlook the required height. Being proud of being the first women president of the largest democracy in the world (or is it?) she had to go around the globe making us Indians proud and create the awareness of our existence.

    After all when things are done with the best of intentions we should pretend - You No talk, I No talk.
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    20.06.12 12:24 PM
    Puru, I think after President Patil, what we must maintain is a "Presidential Travelogue"!
  • Puru
    By
    Puru
    20.06.12 09:28 AM
    After Mrs Patil, shall we not call it the "Presidential Recipe" :P
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    19.06.12 07:47 PM
    Ah, Empathy...that elusive trait!
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    19.06.12 07:28 PM
    @ Rickie

    You forgot to add no Icecream allowed on hot day because more then half of the population cannot afford it either.
    :)

    HARRY
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    19.06.12 10:40 AM
    @Rickie,

    People of India must stop toeing the line of laws set by politicians by taking the law into their own hands by allowing me write down the new constitution to fulfill the aspirations of the future generations of Indians until they chant the slogan “I gottabe and wannabe only an Indian and just an Indian” as loud as possible for the rest of the world to hear.

    I need the wholehearted mandate of all Indians in spite of the fact that I may sound the most lunatic Indian on this aspect but with so much sense.
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    19.06.12 10:15 AM
    Priceless, Rajpriya! Thanks for such insightful analyses!
    Sad that there is no retirement age for some professions in India.

    Yep, possibly time for Constitution 2.0? With the current non-cooperative spirit among politicians, how long do you think it will take for them to complete that task? My feeling is - forever.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    19.06.12 10:00 AM
    @Rickie,

    The people of India are forced to gulp down bitter medicine all the time. Suffering from severe constipations the politicians of India are the ones in need of a perfect prescription who have little or no time left to read the constitution even if they knew where to find one.

    Coming to the first point of a candidate with the right age 53. At this age Indians are still too immature and in the most confused stage of their life. They are still confronted with middle age problems: Children’s’ graduation, daughters’ marriage, finding son-in laws living abroad with well to do jobs and the like. One could go on with an endless list of ambitions unfulfilled.

    The constitution should therefore be changed to “Older the fiddle, better is the Tune”. The retirement age is 65 in Germany and there are rumors it could be changed to 70 because at that age men are supposed to be more productive at their work place than at home.

    The right height: Hitler and Napoleon could never been the presidents of India on this point. Yet they stood tall engraving their footprints on the sands of time and history.

    Horizontally measured I think most Indian politicians would easily fulfill this criteria and the personality easily spotted by the most shortsighted or is it farsighted? The constitution therefore should give up vertical measurements in the future.

    UPA, Didi and NDA are loudmouthed and they certainly would keep coaching any new president to talk to the people and set the right frequency.

    Rickie, I think we should consider making the appropriate amendments to an outdated constitution thinking of the fact that even Bollywood is so much different to Mother India, Ganga Jamuna or Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai of the 60’s.

    Bollywood has changed so much and with its influence the people of India but the constitution, Hmm?
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    19.06.12 08:53 AM
    Roopz, it is war! Why else are the politicians clamouring for a candidate who doesn't need dentures? :D
  • roopz
    By
    roopz
    19.06.12 08:41 AM
    "The person must know how to smile frequently. Smiling and laughing will not be considered unpresidential." Hehehe! I was wondering why you didn't write about this war going in the country :D
  • Rickie Khosla
    By
    Rickie Khosla
    19.06.12 07:55 AM
    But Umashankar, who will live in the Rashtrapati Bhawan if we abolished the presidency? It needs a rashtrapati! :D
  • umashankar
    By
    umashankar
    19.06.12 06:46 AM
    Why must we have a president? What is the need for yet another atrociously white elephant in an impoverished nation -and thank the rotten politicians-cum-criminals for that- like ours? Doesn't it echo of a fake monarchy? High time we abolished the folly.

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