Our Rashtrapati (President) Ms. Prathibha Patil is of my mother’s age. Hence I have a special regard for her. While my mother remains the titular head of my tharavadu (ancestral home), Ms. Patil is the titular head of a more bigger tharavadu, India ie. Bharat. While my mother’s name is confined to a few areas of my native village Ms. Prathibha Patil’s name crosses boundaries and is known and respected the world over. Not much difference.


My mother is an old seventh standard who is anyhow well-versed in our mother tongue, dropped out of the school though she was studious and the beloved daughter of a primary school headmaster, as was the custom prevailing in the patriarchal system in the community setup of that period she was married off to a young man of the same community. An excellent god-fearing housewife, respectful, loyal and devoted to her husband throughout her life and now remains a loving, caring mother to her four children and grandchildren.


Ms. Patil hailing from a still undeveloped poverty-stricken district named Amaravati of Maharashtra was fortunate enough to go up the ladder through vigorous pursuit of education – she might have had the wherewithal, opportunities and luck – to grow up in a congenial atmosphere, first enrolled as a lawyer and while continuing in that profession plunged into political arena, proved her mettle there also later became the titular head of Rajasthan, one of the Northern States of India the designation being the gubernatorial post. Luck followed her throughout and like any other woman of India got married to Mr.D.S.Shekhavat, became a loving and caring mother to her children.


Luck always came to her unexpectedly like a boon from heaven as a pleasant surprise in the form of an invitation to occupy the highest post of the nation, Rashtrapati (President) of the largest democracy of the world ie. India. With all the support, blessings and prayers of a majority of Indians, on an auspicious day she got enthroned as the President of the sprawling Rashtrapati Bhavan with a number of subordinates and a wide security cover began to lead a royal life of sorts, occasionally visiting foreign nations meeting foreign dignitaries, photo-op with them, monuments and places of historical importance, signing bilateral treaties, even had the rare privilege of staying with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, the only Indian President blessed with the rare opportunity. Moreover twice in a year, ie. Independence Day eve and Republic Day eve addressing the nation messages flash through visual and print media, almost hour long address stressing the progress achieved by the nation so far and also need for achieving more like reduction of poverty, women empowerment, tackling the menace of terrorism, the list abound and winding up the speech with Independence day wishes or Republic day wishes to the people and an inspiring Jai Hind to the top of her voice as is common to all Presidents who occupy the august office from time to time.


So far so good: Remarkable.


Our President reached our State of Kerala, a State still blessed with natural beauty, lush green landscape, splashing backwaters with tourists from abroad and other States riding houseboats, enjoying the beautiful surroundings, lines of coconut trees leaning towards the rivers and backwaters, attractive spacious and comfortable tourist resorts, verdant hills with thick greenery covering the valleys like green carpets, monuments and temples of historical importance. These are also one side of the coin.


The other side is absolutely, I say absolutely bleak with daily exposes of terrorists being nabbed the elements out to upset hitherto calm and serene ambience of a State, fake God-men and God-women out to cash in on the tender feelings of the poor and the middle-class, communalism spreading its ugly tentacles, ecological plunder with rivers gradually getting dried up at a moment nations across the Globe in the hot mad pursuit for the tackling of global warming, sky-high prices of essential commodities, black-marketeering and hoarding goons giving nightmares to the city-dwellers the rampant dowry system, and growing propensity of men both young and old towards alcohol and corruption ruling the roost.


President Pratibha Patil was visiting Kerala for the inauguration of two day long annual meeting of All India Women Lawyers Federation (AIWLF) at Le-Meridian Hotel, Cochin.


In her inaugural address she dwelt upon the 51% female population of Kerala, as also 88 percent literacy among women of the State. She was at a loss to find out even with all these plus points to our credit, why this State is tormented with the rising demands for dowry and dowry related torture and murders on that score. The rising curse of alcoholism among the youth of the State has also caught her attention and she is aghast on learning about these negative tendencies in our society. She called upon the women lawyers to get more pro-active for women empowerment and necessary legal remedies. The total overhauling of the legal system might have been in her mind and sought quick steps to provide immediate solutions confronting the women community and suggested various steps to reduce the backlog of cases pending for years in our courts forcing the litigants not to repose faith in the system which is a danger signal.


The day on-which Ms.Patil was stressing the importance of literacy and women empowerment I was aghast to go through a report from Amaravati district, her home district, by The Hindu correspondent of Mumbai Meena Menon about the rampant alcoholism, unemployment among the poor women, budding young children- male and female- who had to drop out of schools due to poverty and to go in search of menial jobs along with their mothers to earn something to satisfy their hunger. These children like any other children of our nation have colourful dreams, ambitions to go up the education ladder and secure respectful employment. Meena Menon had reported elaborately about them after interviewing them, heard their predicaments, hopelessness and helplessness. Even the photographs of these innocent distressed children speak eloquently about their pathetic situation. Leading a nomadic existence and migrating to faraway places leaving their homes, seeking jobs how is it possible for them to proceed with their studies fearing their inebriated fathers and with empty stomachs? On the other side, the industrialists with the connivance of the government are on a land-grabbing spree for building up Special Economic Zones (SEZs) thanks to the Neo-liberal economic policies claiming to be ‘irreversible’ initiated by Narasimha Rao and later his finance minister of the 1990s ManMohan Singh, who is the incumbentant Prime Minster of our nation.   The cries of the poor ones do not reach the deaf ears of our ‘benevolent’ rulers.


I would like to know from Ms.Patil whether she is not aware of the goings on in her home district of Amaravati? I do not think I have taken too much freedom and as an Indian citizen I think I have the right to inquire about it. Perhaps while inaugurating the Women Lawyers Federation Meeting she might have had Amaravati also in her mind. I think so. 



At the very outset,let me introduce myself to you. My name is K.R.Surendran,hailing from a village called Pulluvazhy near Perumbavoor.Five books in Malayalam are there to my credit now,and they are “Pooviriyumkunninte- Santhathikal”(Stories),Gloriyayude Dinarathrangal”(Stories), “Mumbai- Sketchukal”(Novelettes), and “Indiayude Bhoopadam” (Novel).A novel “Pulluvazhy” was published recently.

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/politics-articles/a-citizens-message-on-the-eve-of-2010-1645538.html

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