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India’s new president rose from poverty to high office

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by Bloom 17, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Bloom 17

    Bloom 17 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...c5f3e1e2a5c_story.html?utm_term=.d0e15d5c2c19
    Vidhi Doshi July 20 at 8:44 AM

    NEW DELHI — A few weeks ago, relatively few people in India had heard of Ram Nath Kovind. Now, the low-caste septuagenarian who will be the country's president, India’s constitutional head of state.

    Born in a mud hut in an impoverished village, Kovind, who is from the Koli weaver caste, rose to become a Supreme Court lawyer and later a politician from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    On Thursday, the country’s Parliament and state leaders selected Kovind, 71, to be India’s president by a two-thirds majority. Though his role is mostly ceremonial, the president does have certain powers — he has the right to issue presidential pardons to those facing the death sentence, for example.

    His victory was widely predicted after he was selected by the governing coalition led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP.

    Experts said that his selection was an effort on the part of the BJP to woo lower-caste voters.


    Generations of oppression coupled with limited economic opportunity long kept senior political positions out of the reach of most low-caste Dalits, once known as “untouchables.” Kovind is the second ***** president since India's independence; the first was Kocheril Raman Narayanan, who was president from 1997 to 2002.

    Modi tweeted congratulations to Kovind on Thursday, as well as a photo of the two men together in their younger days.

    In his earlier tweets, the prime minister carefully avoided mention of his ***** status, presenting him instead as a representative of people from poor socio-economic backgrounds. “I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised,” he wrote.

    In recent months, BJP-led policies have antagonized low caste leaders. Efforts to curb the sale of beef, through which many ***** communities subsist, have led to public lynchings by self-styled cow protectors who believe the animal is sacred in the Hindu religion.

    [In rebuke to Modi government, India’s high court suspends ban on trade of cattle for slaughter]

    The nomination of high-caste Yogi Adityanath to the coveted position of chief minister in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, was also seen as pandering to the party's high-caste voter base.

    “The BJP has been at the wrong end of the political spectrum due to the rising number of atrocities committed against the Dalits during their regime,” said Praveen Rai, political analyst at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, based in New Delhi. “By selecting him on ‘***** identity,’ it hopes to [calm] the rising tempers of the community and win back their votes for the next general elections in 2019.”


    For weeks ahead of the election, Indian newspapers and magazines detailed Kovind’s virtuous beginnings: that he would walk miles to the next village to attend high school, that he could recite sacred texts from memory as a 15-year old, that he once solemnly corrected a politician's Hindi mispronunciation at a swearing-in ceremony — a testament to his devotion to the Indian constitution.

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    The opposition candidate Meira Kumar, also born a *****, was reportedly chosen to split the electoral college along gender lines, a strategy which “failed miserably,” said Rai.

    Sonia Gandhi, head of the opposition Indian National Congress party, had presented the election as an ideological battle. “We cannot and must not let India be hostage to those who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision,” she said, according to NDTV.

    Over the years, Kovind has been close to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the right-wing ideological parent of the BJP — supporting its causes but never actually participating in its daily meetings, according to India Today magazine. Though a BJP stalwart, his distance from the Sangh meant his nomination was palatable to secularists, analysts said.

    Analysts say that Kovind has repeatedly shown deference and a willingness to be a yes-man, especially in his previous role as governor of Bihar, where he loyally backed state initiatives including a controversial liquor ban. A profile in India Today suggested that he will be an “unobtrusive” president, leaving the limelight for Modi.
     
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  2. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    Is it just me or are the "liberals"/leftists more interested in caste than anyone else? Whilst they claim it is the Right that is discriminatory, all I ever see from the Left (around the world) are these labels that divide people into xyz community.

    For the first time in India's history the president and PM are self made men and beholden to NO ONE, it really shows the best India can be; a meritocracy where hardwork is rewarded.

    A HUGE slap in the fact to the dynastic politics and patronage that India has seen for the past 70 years and yet all the presstitutes (both in India and abroad) can see is a right-wing PM and ***** President. How sick these leftists are- unable to move beyond identity politics.
     
  3. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    The purpose has served already, We got the intended title from western media.
     
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  4. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    99% of Western media will report on this through the prism of caste though and will say this is just cheap politics from Modi, they will not portray this a the inspirational story it is.

    When Left promotes minorities it is seen as "empowerment", when the "Right" does it, it is seen as "politically motivated".
     
  5. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    LOL, I have seen quite a few Indians (and Pakistanis) saying on twitter that India is now the land of low caste people because all the "high caste" people have left India for Australia, US, UK and Canada.

    How cheap some people are, using every opportunity to spread lies and belittle the nation.
     
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  6. Bloom 17

    Bloom 17 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    This was the only article close to neutral view I found. You guys should see what BBC is publishing
     
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  7. Grevion

    Grevion Think Tank TROLL ELITE MEMBER

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    Congratulations President Elect!:D
     
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  8. Notsuperstitious

    Notsuperstitious 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Caste is irrelevant. I am glad a person with humble beginning won and not someone from a political family and a royal family loyalist.

    I still remember the last such person - pratibha patil. What a shame that was.
     
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