Its time to bid farewell to Pratibha Patil as Raisina Hill is all set to welcome the 13th President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. I must say, Ms. Patil, the first woman President of the country who had faced widespread criticism over her large number of foreign visits and her plans to build a retirement house on land owned by the defense ministry remained only to be a ritualistic figure.
Found at all times with her head covered and with a gentle smile on her face, she appeared merely to be a symbolic figure that represented the highest office in the country. Though she often emphasized on the need for women empowerment; nothing much was done in this regard. There were a whole lot of things that she could have looked upon, issues that could have been addressed. This makes me wonder, have her predecessors done anything better or rather does India need a President at all?
According to the Constitution of India , the President has several legislative, executive, judicial, military and financial powers. However most of these powers are subject to the approval and consent of the Parliament. So, is the President a rubber stamp, a mere political pawn?
The 76 years old Pranab Mukherjee, a veteran politician known for his remarkable knowledge of parliamentary and economic affairs no doubt is an asset to the country. Having started off his career as a clerk, today he stands to be the person who holds the highest office in the country, that of a President. He has come a long way. A store house of knowledge,wisdom and experience he does promise to be "everybody's president". But will he differ from the others?