Our not so graceful Presidential Election!
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Our not so graceful Presidential Election!

June 26, 2022

By Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem, MD

The results of our forthcoming Presidential election that is just around the corner, are a foregone conclusion. With a determined ruling party all set to put their candidate into our Rashtrapati Bhavan and a completely disbanded, scattered and now almost hopelessly withered Opposition, pitched against it, the outcome cannot be otherwise. One does not need to have the acumen of an astute political analyst or the guarded showmanship of an astrologer to predict the outcome of such a mismatched electoral battle.

Yes, going by what I have seen over the six decades of my own life, guarded showmanship is the only phrase I can think of to describe all astrologers’ predictions. Although I have read of and even heard reports of some outstandingly accurate predictions that were made by some very famous astrologers, they have only made interesting narratives to me.

I have never seen complete infallibility yet, and as we all know very well, every one of them, without any exceptions, have goofed up miserably, more often than not. And, this is irrespective of the mediums they use, from the lines on our palms or the positions of the celestial bodies in our galaxy, the tea leaf residues in our teacups or their own psychic parrots and even the occasional octopus, picked up from the deep sea!

And, I have also written about them all, at some time or the other, in the course of my weekly ramblings. But despite its plainly evident unreliability, astrology, which some call a science, still remains the biggest money spinner across the world, with towering personalities, from political bigwigs, film stars, business tycoons and even some men and women of science, relying on it for guidance.

When this is the scenario, what can we say in criticism of the poor man in tattered clothes, who squats on his haunches, with an anxious expression on his face, holding his palm under the nose of a roadside palmist? Strangely, it does not seem to matter at all to him that the man whom he is consulting to effect a change in his future for the better, is himself unable to mend his own destiny with his art and therefore remains on the roadside all his life, robed in tatters!

Now, coming back from my upakatha about astrology to our Presidential poll, I feel very sad when I look at the road it is taking. We seem all set to let an election decide who our next President is going to be. My sorrow does not lie in the fact that this is a completely mismatched, let alone unfair contest but in the sad reality that what should ideally have been a process enjoying complete unanimity, it is now all set to become a show of our disunity and lack of coherence as a nation.

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Yes, however diverse and divided we may be in our political ideologies, when it comes to choosing a candidate to occupy the highest ornamental office of our country, we need to showcase our unwavering unity for the rest of the world to see.

It is ironical that in our Parliamentary democracy where our Prime Minister is the one who calls all the shots and runs the entire show with his chosen team, the President whom we call the supreme commander of our armed forces is only an ornamental head! That is why the President’s post is very often said     to be that of a mere rubber stamp, although I feel that we should not denigrate its level     to that kind of disrespect with our utterances.

We should all remember that there are times occasionally, and we have seen them too, when the President had to intervene and take control of the reins of the country’s stagecoach, albeit briefly, in times of need. But even if the stark truth is that we have only an ornamental President, we need to keep in mind the fact that he or she is the jewel in the crown of our country. And, it is therefore the bounden duty of every one of us and all our political parties to ensure that the dignity of this post is preserved for all to see.

It is not just these two agencies that have to bear this in mind but also the person who holds this post, who by his or her personal conduct and way of life, is vested with a very great deal of accountability.  Choosing the right President and being the right President is therefore a very delicate, tripartite responsibility.

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But none of us can deny the glaring fact that although we have put a few very outstanding personalities on the President’s chair, on many occasions, we have not been very fair in our assessment of the worthiness of many of them to occupy that post. This has resulted in the sidelining of some very able and deserving luminaries we have had amidst us.

It is a great consolation that this post has largely been held by persons who have conducted themselves admirably well, despite the fact that some of them had their own political backgrounds and even persisting affiliations. But as we all know and as some of us from the older generation have seen, there have been a few lapses, on the part of some of the persons who have held this exalted post. Notable is the instance when one of our Presidents chose to crawl when he was expected to only bend! His one act of affixing his signature changed the entire political profile of our country. You very well know which era I am talking about and what our country went through at that time.

While hoping that such a mishap never happens in the future of our country, let us try to make the job of selecting our fifteenth President a graceful exercise. To do this we have to cast aside our differences, our diverse ideologies, agendas and prejudices and ensure that this process is based only on complete unanimity.

There is still time for all our political parties to ensure this and I hope they do it without seeing this as a loss of face, because with this one act of magnanimity, they would only be upholding the dignity of our nation and  our nationality!

e-mail: [email protected]

24 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Our not so graceful Presidential Election!”

  1. Dr. MP Divakar says:

    The title of your article alludes to some manifestation of grace in the electoral process of the president of India but your article dwells more on astrology and then some on the role of the president in a parliamentary democracy like India. You decry the lack of “graceful” conduct in some of the elected presidents but I didn’t see anything that exposes the shortcomings of the electoral process itself. I would argue that the election process of the president of India has had an unwavering and steadfast adherence to the constitution of our great country and the perceived “grace” is a secondary observation in the eyes an astute observer. In that regard, I would argue that our history of electing a president in a transparent manner stands second to none.

    Of course it is not perfect. There are many areas for improvement which is a topic for another time.

    Personally, I am heartened by the fact that a tribal woman has been nominated to the offices of the president of India. I wish her good luck and godspeed.

    MP Divakar, PhD
    Silicon Valley, CA… and an Indian Citizen!

  2. swamy says:

    India’s democracy is a joke, and what else you expect? Only Tamasha..

  3. Howdy, Modi! says:

    Hey Divakar!
    Why do you brandish your PhD? What is this PhD you earned / Not good in Silicon Valley of start ups and college drop outs. Plus you have Indian citizenship, an impediment there. The sum total of the above is , you are not doing much there. Your post is a summary of your delusion-a justification that you have remained as an Indian citizen. Your passport will find it hard to get even visitor visas in many countries.
    About your patriotic rant. As much as I dislike what Nayeem Saheb has written-he himself dwelled in astrology, parading his multifaceted credentials, which he often does, You could excuse him as the MD of the casteism-infexted UOM!
    Indian elections are like US elections mired in nefarious practices. This tribal woman as the president is a tokenism, just as Obama and Harris’s case. The latter were the children of students ,and are not even from the slave stock of the US black communities. Hence, I do not blame you for eulogising the Indian democracy. IT IS A KIND OF CATHARTIC FOR YOU, A GREEN CARD HOLDER, WHO WOULDNOT BE WELCOME IN DISCUSSIONS WHICH INVOLVES MATTERS REQUIRING US CITIZENSHIP! Good luck in 2024 when Trump gets elected!
    Finally, Divakar, you must be really daft, even with that PhD ( where did you achieve it,I mean from which university) not realising that while in its very long decades of an independent country with a constitution, ITS CONSTITUTION IS AMENDE DONLY 27 TIMES, AGAINST THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION’S 103 AMENDEMENTS IN A PERIOD OF JUST 70 YEARS OF ITS EXISTENCE! While, it is much easier to amened the Indian constitution which Indira Gandhi did effortlessly, even Nixon found it very difficult to push an amendment through in the elected houses of state legislatures in the US.
    Hey Divakar, the US politics is as corrupt as that of India. But, there are individual elected representatives, like senators for example,who hold very principled views and cannot be simply shepherded through using their Party’s imperatives, unlike in India, where the elected representatives of a Party are just slaving nodding gnomes!
    Finally, Divakar, I should ask this: Why are you there? Why are you not in India, say in Bangalore?

  4. questo says:

    Hello Divakar
    I will dismiss your doctorate as irrelevant in this discussion, unless you tell me it is from Harvard or MIT, particularly from Harvard , if it is in sciences or in humanities like political science. I guess, it is not from them.
    Why did you not become an US citizen? Its naturalization process failed you? You have remained an Indian citizen hoping that you would be offered a top position in the Indian government or assured of it, by the likes of BJP? You seem to like the way Indian democracy works with its 100+ amendments to its constitution in a short period of 7 decades.
    Javeed Nayeem is simply a showman, and when it suits him he boasts his knowledge about palm reading! Well, the poor guy, a cardiologist ,boasting about the ancient Hippocratic oath he took-which is a lie as the ancient oath runs into pages, and yet he also boasts he carries a loaded Walther PPK handgun hidden! Something does not add up, for man who took oath to save lives! I would not pay attention to him, when as a cardiologist, he underwent angio plasty, not watching his diet and driving a car without setting his foot on the ground!
    Now, about you Divakar. You seem to like Indian politics, which is as corrupt as you find there, but with one important caveat-you find at least a handful of dedicated and honest politicians there unlike in India.
    You are sticking out as a proverbial sore thumb, with a PhD and an Indian citizenship in that patch of CA, called the Silicon Valley, which does not respect your kind of degree and your kind of citizenship-the latter is an impediment if you want to travel in the Western world on business, and when companies want to secure federal contracts. Holding just a green card in a wallet is not suffice, however you argue. Even Narendra Modi will not consider as important, as he rightly will guess that you are an insignificant player there!
    Well, Divakar, you reckon improvements are possible in Indian democracy? You must be really smoking something , which is now freely available there! Hallucinations aside, this tribal woman, when elected-there is no if here, will simply rubber stamp whatever the PM of the day tells her, not been able to comprehend that she has discretionary powers.
    Even before Modi and India indulged in tribalism, the New Zealand PM, a Mormon woman- Jacinda Ardern, a lefty, has appointed a foreign minister, a Maori, with a very large tattoo on her chin! You will see in a short period , a Maori Governor General there-the head of state with a Talaha ( a long tick ) and Maori dress of leaves and barks stamping the ground, to deliver his message!
    Good luck to your Indian citizenship. Hope and pray that Trump will not be back as the POTUS!

  5. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Hey Javeed Nayeem
    I would say better stick to what you know. May be , you do not know much in your area of cardiology. I suppose Otherwise, you would not have been rushed to the hospital to undergo angioplasty!
    You need to study the Indian constitution, particularly, the powers of the president of India. This position is not decorative and the person who holds the position does not have to rubber stamp anything the PM of the day suggests. But except Radhakrishnan and Rajendra Prasad before himwho did not simply agree whatever PM Nehru suggested, others, who held the position later, like V V Giri owed his entire political career to Indira Gandhi, as he simply worshipped Nehru and his daughter.
    The creators of the Indian constitution particularly that brilliant lawyer Alladi who wrote its tenets, did not want the president to be a rubber-stamping person. Hence, the important discretionary powers given to the position. B D Jatti who became the acting president ( he was the VP then) at the time when the Janata Party came to power defeating Indira Gandhi following the emergency rule, used those powers and resisted Morarji Desai’s instructions as the PM.
    One would say, Indian democracy is preferable to Saudi Arabia’s dynastic cruel rule, where a journalist was tortured to death in a foreign land at the bidding of so called a crown prince, an indecent thug. They give 50 lashes to someone suspected of adultery, but they commit adultery all the time ,indulging in alcohol too when they visit the West.
    Any country is as good as the quality of people inhabit there. India quickly got mired into political corruption, just after independence-Kengal started it by raking crores of Rupees through his Vidhana Soudha construction contracts; then Indian administration, the institutions and finally the society all got sucked into the cesspit of corruption.
    Muslims have particular antipathy towards the BJP administration at the centre, as they know the Congress will dance to their tunes. It is a real shame as Muslims are given special laws to practice unhindered placing them above the majority Hindus in terms of privileges. The latter are denigrated into the second class citizenship. That was the doing of the Congress, which Muslims love.
    As much as I dislike Modi or any Indian politician, he is not unique in this respect of railroading his candidate into presidency. Sonia Gandhi, a foreigner did it when she wielded power in getting Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee into presidencies in recent history. Both were useless, and there were very good neutral candidates , who Sonia Gandhi rejected Not bad for the Turin -hailed barmaid!
    Hey Nayeem, it is time you stopped wading into areas of which you are very ignorant. Time for Vikram, the SOM editor to get some one younger and introduce a column which interests the younger generation.
    The famous quote: “Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles.” is truer today than ever before!!

  6. Singhaal says:

    A physician wrote an article about the Indian presidential elections.
    I have to say that 3 people are very entertaining.
    I don’t understand if all three of them have PhD? or don’t like persons with PhD?
    You dislike the article then state your opinions,
    keep it civil and don’t make it personal.
    Stop spreading your poison.

  7. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Hello Singhaal
    You are really a dimwit and poorly educated Indian You have also poor capacity in comprehension!
    With the quality of Indians like you in India, no wonder Modi ignores you all!
    As for this Physician you refer to, he writes nonsense, most of the times.

  8. Singhaal says:

    Mann Ki Baat,
    You will say that everyone who disagrees with you is poorly educated.
    I say people who agree with you are bigots.
    Modi is busy destroying this country and as long as he has followers like you, it will happen sooner.
    The physician, I don’t know him, but all I can say is you have a personal dislike to him and using this paper and your friend KBG to display it.

  9. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Hey Singhaal
    You have readiing and comprehending difficulties. You are unable to understand what I posted originally, and hence you think I am a Modi follower. You need to be educated a bit more to know that In criticize Modi, and other politicians in India.
    BTW, I am not unlike you live in India and is its citizen.
    You need to learn more, hence I suggest go back to school.
    As for KBG, while I disagree with his opin ions, he created this newspaper and hence is an achiever.
    You are simply a wastrel compared to him.

  10. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Correction: reading.

  11. Gusto says:

    What are you doing here with that name, which says you are a North Indian: Hindi-speaking narrow-minded fanatic. This characteristic shows in your inability in understanding English-all Northies have this disability. It is clear you have not understood what @Nayeem has written, neither you have grasped the replies to him where some brandishing his educational achievements tried to show his superiority which was well put down by the other posters.
    You are plain ignorant in simply believing that Physicians or not, Indian Muslims do not like the BJP, and they do not mind crawling on the floor to demonstrate their slavishness to Congress in front of a foreigner Sonia Gandhi.
    All PMs right from Nehru used their Party’s majority to get presidents elected who were no good-Zakir Hussain, Fakruddin Ali Ahmad , Zail Singh etc.. who no one wanted them in the South India.
    Do you speak Kannada? Nayeem, the author does not, even having born, brought up a, studied and worked in Karnataka. Your appreciation of what he posted sets out your lower standards. Best for you to stop this ignorance of yours and move on.
    Most of us who post here, do not live in India, and have no interest following Modi.
    As for KBG, he is a veteran journalist with a law degree, and unlike you he has achievements to date. This is his paper and his expresses his opinions. Hence grow up. Read some Hindi rag sheets calling themselves newspapers.

  12. Singhaal says:

    Mann Ki Baat,
    BTW, I am not unlike you live in India and is its citizen.
    What does that mean?
    You must return to primary school to learn to write.
    I’m guessing you don’t live in India, so don’t interfere in the internal affairs of this country.
    Go spread your poison elsewhere.

    Your biggest issue is that you hate all the Indians in the North. A president belongs to the nation as a whole, not just to certain states. No north Indian had any problem with Dr.Kalam and Dr.Narayanan. But you have a problem with people from Minorities.
    If you had that much of knowledge you’d not be responding for another person.
    I speak Kannada and have lived in Mysore for 5 years.
    Even now, when I have time, I look at Kannada movies by the late Dr Rajumar. Unlike you that spread hatred!

    As for KBG, he may have been a journalist long before, Now he is a businessman and he tries to profit from hate as you and your friends do.

  13. Questo says:

    You are just a Northie. Kannada cannot be learned in 5 years.
    What Kannada literature have you read? I guess None.
    Have you read ‘Manku Thimmana Kagga’. I guess not/ What else you have read in terms of serious Kannada literature.
    You are just an ignoramus Hindi-speaking fool. Stop digging while you are in a hole.
    As for KBG, you do not have even the quality to shine his shoes.
    Just shut up and move on.

  14. Questo says:

    Hey Shinghaal
    Just a stupid Northie who says she learned Kannada in 5 years of living in Mysore, and sees Kannada movies.
    Have you read any serious literature? What about:’Manku Thimmana Kagga’?
    Just fade away. You are just a nuisance , and some one who should not be in Mysore.
    Best for you to shut up, as you are so ignorant.

  15. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Hey Shingala
    The more you write the more you sound like a North Indian Idiot, coming down to this Kannada city. This is my native city, born, brought up , educated and worked place for a decade.
    I suggest you shut up, since you hate BJP and Modi. KBG any day is abetter human being that the low life you are. You are not fit to shine his shoes.
    You are just an ignorant Hindi zealot, who cannot read a serious Kannada work. You are ignorant too about Indian politics.
    Must be an IT techie coolie, without many brain cells.
    Move on you idiot, as I did not invite you to reply to my post.
    Manku Thimma!!

  16. Howdy, Modi! says:

    You should know when to shut up, living in Mysore, which is not your native city, and I bet your knowledge of Kannada at best is very pedestrian.
    You should also be ashamed that You have Sonia Gandhi born in Turin -does not matter whether she acquire d Indian citizenship, she is a foreigner and an Italian When the Congress comes to power in Karnataka , she will rule you, idiot. You will be ruled by an Italian!
    I also suspect that you are a deluded IT tech coolie, with no brains at all.
    Your English is bad and your Kannanda must be much worse. You are a North India and North Indians have problems with English and other Indian languages. Worms.
    KBG is a well known Mysorean unlike you a Northern Hindi Fanatic, he speaks Kannada fluently, built this well read newspaper and I agree that you are even unfit to shine his shoes.
    Best for us to ignore you, a North Indian parasite sucking Mysore blood. I will request the other posters to do the same. You are not worth the time, as you are a non-Mysorean and a Hindi cretin.

  17. koppal boregowda says:

    Who is this North Indian @Singhaal who has taken Mysorean’s job. Best to kick him out.
    If he were in Chennai, he would have been chased out of Tamil Nadu not learning the language.
    He speaks of his Kannada which makes me laugh, as North Indians know only Hindi, and cannot sustain speaking In English without introducing Hindi words. We have nothing in common with these villains whose language is derived from Arabic, and not native to India., despite the script.
    Why are these people living in Mysore? How dare he questions Mr Ganapathy posting in Mr Ganapathy’s paper. Just a wastrel with no achievements to his credit, and as a poster said a parasite living in Mysore.

  18. Satarawalla says:

    I am not a fan of Modi. In respect of president election, he is doing nothing different from what every Congress PM did, starting from Nehru-using their party majority to get their candidate elected as the president. cd It happens in all Western countries where the countries are ruled by elected prime ministers or chancellor as they call in Germany. Javeed nayeem is pissed off, because he has to toe what his fellow Islamic brethren think-despising what BJP Modi does. These Islamists want Congress. Those who think Nayeem is a simply a physician are deluded simpletons, as he is a pukka Muslim to the core. Not a problem, if he does not wade into political comments.
    Some one .like @Singhaal, at best a North India, who thinks he learned Kannada by libing in Mysore for 5 years, and thinks watching Kannada films makes him some how a Kannadiga. These people should have Kannada tests before they are employed in Mysore.
    My father established his business in Mysore and Bangalore in 1950s, and I was educated in Mysore and Bangalore. It took me a good 10 years to converse fluently in Kannada and to write in Kannada. This person @Snghaal is just some one who has taken the job which would jhave gone to a Mysorean. It is all very well when North Indians or even Maharashtrians ( Like me, although I live and work in Mysore and Bangalore, speak Kannada fluently) saying that India is just a single country-but could you survice in North India without speaking Hindi. The answer is clear NO.
    Mysoreans should be like Tamilians or Malayalees, insisting jobs for the locals, forcing every one to speak in Kannada.
    Any one who comments on Mr Ganapathy , lke this Hindi Zealot @Singhaal who have no achievements to his credit. should be shamed and denigrated.

  19. Stylo says:

    It is interesting to note that many of the comments under different author names are perhaps written by the same person.
    There are various online AI tools to study on authorship verification, grammar, semantics and sentiment analysis. It is called “Stylometry” or “forensic linguistics”

    The main idea is to use repeated feature subsampling methods to determine if one or more documents contain the same underlying phrases, usage, spellings, words, style and tone. Researchers like Anthony Stover and Yaron Winter have done some path breaking work on this topic.

    It checks for recurring punctuation use and frequency, sentence length, sentence std deviation, word length, word std deviation, common word, frequency, trigram frequency, type-token ratio (TTR) etc.

    I was on vacation to my hometown mysore and logged into my university abroad to access some of these tools and discover this.
    This is only for the information of the readers and to satisfy my own curiosity. Not to finger point at anyone or to judge whether it right or wrong. Thank you.

  20. Singhaal says:

    To all you bigots,
    You hate the NI, but LIKE Modi!
    You have a physiological phobia about NI, and you ought to.
    Less intelligent people need 10 years to learn a language, while intelligent people can read, write and appreciate a non-local language in 5 years or less. I never spoke of Congress or Sonia Gandhi, yet you dragged her into that conversation.
    My kannada may not be perfect, but at least I tried, instead of learning our national language, you bigots find fault. You spread hatred and sectarianism and you’re petty.
    Have you read Kavya Vihara from Kulvempu and Kurigalu from Nissar?
    I am proud to have shed light on you, bigots, so that your people may see who you are.
    Due to a few racists like you, the entire community is ashamed.
    I regret that the land that gave us people such as Wodeyars, Basavanna, Cariappa, Dr. Rajkumar, Girish Karnad, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid.
    Should have produced Halka, racist and xenophobe people like you.
    My advice take sanyas and do some ಸ್ವಯಂ ಆತ್ಮಾವಲೋಕನ

  21. Tane Basavanna says:

    What is the name of your university? What do you study there, that was not available in India?
    A clever person can conceal the style, which you are unaware of. So much about your foreign education!

  22. Kawakawaffoxgowda says:

    One can see you have nicely copied, thanks to the Internet. It does not mean you have learned Kannada.
    Tell us in your own words and in Kannada ( we could check), what is the gist of Kuvempu’s Kavya Vihara-the summing of its philosophy, starting from explaining what is Kavya.

  23. Tane Basavanna says:

    Mr Singhaal
    You must be really a genius to have learned Kannada, be able to understand Kuvempu’s that excellent work, which quantifies his poetic philosophy- worthy of a text in Kannada masters degree -all in just 5 years of your stay in Mysore!!
    BTW, I should correct: it is not Kurigalu, but Kurigalu Saar Kurigalu, you missed that subtle comedy part in that title, clothed in satire-which only a native Kannada speaker will understand!

  24. koppal boregowda says:

    Hello Mr Singhaal
    Do you think North Indians and South Indians -Mysoreans for example, belong to different racial groups?
    Can one just look at a North Indian and a Mysorean, and conclude they belong to different racial groups? That is clear test of race determination.


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