India elects first female president



The day will come, when we no longer write and read about the “first female” president.

The day will come when women treated equally will have such a long history, that there will be no viable frame of reference for remarking at women becoming the first, it will be as if there was never a time of distinction.

The day will come, when women treat each other equally.

In the meantime, BBC News reports:



India elects a female president”

Pratibha Patil

Mrs Patil’s backers say her election will be a boost to women

“Election authorities in India say Pratibha Patil has been voted in as the country’s first woman president.

Officials said Mrs Patil won nearly two-thirds of votes, although a formal announcement has not yet been made.

Mrs Patil, 72, was the governor of the northern Indian state of Rajasthan before being nominated for president by India’s ruling coalition.

Mrs Patil’s supporters say her election to the largely ceremonial role will be a boost to millions of Indian women.

But correspondents say some of her critics have described her as a political lightweight.

Mrs Patil, whose main rival was current Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, will succeed A P J Abdul Kalam, a missile scientist.”

See also:  CNN reporting on India’s first female president 

Congratulations “President Patil”.


4 thoughts on “India elects first female president

  1. This is to be a boost to millions of Indian women? Surely not.

    The post of president in India, while a significant achievement for anyone (man or woman), is mostly ceremonial, one yielding little if any influence. What influence the position may have is held by the president’s political party and its controlling coalition. In contrast, the position of prime minister is indeed both substantial and influential – it is the head of state for the nation’s 1.1 billion people. India had a female prime minister Indra Gandhi (1918-84). She was as politically savvy and influential as any “male” prime minister. Little has changed for the stature of the majority of women in that society, even less so for the caste system that bound most Indian woman (and men) to little or no choices in their political, social or economic lives.

    A boost to women or a token gesture? I am sure it is the latter.

  2. Sigh…such a long way to go. You bring to mind the fact that America has yet to have a female president, and no, I don’t want a woman elected simply because she is a woman, but I would like to see the best candidate elected, even though she may be a woman.

    Two-thirds of the votes allegedly and not confirmed yet (at least at the time of the original post) were cast in favor of Ms. Patil…is there something meritorious we can say about this at least? That 2/3 votes went to a WOMAN?

    I appreciate your points, they are well taken, and perhaps it is minimalist to feel joy for such a slight movement forward, but sometimes it is difficult to not rejoice over the small and to also still anticipate larger victories.

  3. Man this is really a step backwards for India. Not like Pratibhaji is a bad person, but she really doesn’t have it in her to be President. Playing table-tennis and being Prez is not the same. What I can imagine now is that the defense forces will be serving in the kitchen & Punjab Army will be instructed in Marathi! And now all the murderers who are relatives of Pratibha Patil are going to be free…what a Prez! We can now take loans for sugar mills, then not pay back and step down from Chairpersonship.

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