Presidential Debate is a Good Idea

The suggestion of Mr. Purno A Sangma, the Presidential Candidate against Congress sponsored candidate Mr. Pranab Mukherji public debate is a welcome idea.  Although the situation which has obtained after the decision of the political parties, Pranab Mukherji’s election is almost a foregone conclusion; yet as any election is an education, which leads to more awaking and maturity of the people, this election will also be very fruitful if Sangma’s proposal is accepted in its proper spirit.

This type of debate is nothing new. There are many countries in the world where such debates are organised on television channels. United States of America is a shining example, where nobody can think of becoming the President without undertaking the vigorous campaigning through debates and discussions. It is true that the President of the USA has immense powers and his position cannot be compared with Indian President where he /she is merely a titular head of the state.

The President of India may not enjoy the same powers as the French or American Presidents but he/she certainly has more powers than the queen or king of England. He/she, to top it all, is window to the world.In the era of coalition governments the President’s post has assumed much significance. The debate will no doubt throw the light on the personality of the candidates.
 Being the head of the family the President is supposed to check the executive and if it has gone astray, he can bring it back on rails. We in India have seen that Presidents have often worked like rubber stamps except the first two Presidents — Babu Rajendra Prasad and Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. But then it was a different era of different people. Now cunningness, petty politicking has replaced the learning and sincerity to the cause.

We expect that the next President will be loyal and honest to the constitution and people of India rather than to person and the party. The debate would thus without doubt shed the misgivings and prejudices about the candidates. Since no whip can be issued in the presidential election, the people’s representative would be at liberty to vote as per their conscience based on their understanding of the ability and competence of the candidates.

Hopefully, both candidates will give serious thought over it. Pranab  babu being a learned man of wide experiences will agree to this sane suggestion of Shri Sangma.