TODAY -

Raj Bhavan to Rashtrapati Bhavan : After Murmu who ?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: July 23, 2022 -



Second woman after Pratibha Patil and first from amongst the Scheduled Tribes of India and the journey from the- Raj Bhavan at Jharkhand to Rashtrapati Bhavan at New Delhi has been eventful for Droupadi Murmu.

Certainly Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been able to spring one surprise after the other and from zeroing in on a Dalit in the person of Ram Nath Kovind he has pulled out another ace from his sleeve in getting Droupadi Murmu elected to the highest office in the country.

A conscious gesture to move the BJP from the general perception which tends to identify the saffron party as a party synonymous with the Brahminical class or a move dictated by the genuine desire to reach out to the less visible group of people in the politics of India ?

Either way, one hopes the election of Murmu to the highest office in the country is not an aberration but is some sort of a precedent, a precedent which says that hard work will be recognised, never mind the background of the individual concerned or the community to which one belongs.

This is where the Prime Minister and the top leadership of the BJP would still need to fling its net wider across the country and'study how the North Eastern region of the country can be better accommodated in the higher political offices of the country.

The country has seen a person from the North East occupying Rashtrapati Bhavan in the person of the late Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed from 1974 to 1977 but this has been more like a blip on the radar than a statement that people from the North East have it in them to go to the very top in the political sphere.

The region has already had a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India in the person of Ranjan Gogoi but there is still the need for the region to be better represented in different fields across the country and perhaps Prime Minister Narendra Modi can see if the Act East Policy can encompass the needed political space for personalities from the region.

It is not that the North East needs Crutches to rub shoulders with the rest of the country in any field, but given the fact that in the politics of India numbers play an important role the North East may need some push and this push can come only from the political ledership of the country.

A President, a Chief Justice of India and yes if one throws the net a little wider one may include the names of two Army officers from Manipur, Lt General Konsam Himalay Singh (the first from the NE region to be promoted to the rank of Lt General in the Indian Army), Lt General L Nishikanta Singh as worth mentioning, not to speak of the other Army officers from the region who have already made a name for themselves in the service.

Other than Army officers, the North East region has also has had a Governor in the person of SC Jamir, a veteran figure.

A woman from Meghalaya, Rose Millian Bathew Kharbuli also scripted a first in becoming the first woman to be named the Chairperson of the Union Public Service Commission from 1992 to 1996.

In many ways one may say that these personalities, and there must be many more, have risen despite the reality here and this where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the opportunity to give more meaning and substance to the Act East Policy by throwing the net wider in the search to fill up important positions.

The North East region does not lag individual merit and what is needed is perhaps creating the right space for the people of the region to rise to the very top, as exemplified by some of the mentioned individuals here.

Five years from now and when the time comes to name the next President of India, why not someone from the North East ?

A question worth pondering and in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has the right person to give some time and meaningful thought to this crucial question.



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