Man Runs For India's Presidency To Prove He's Not Dead
Jun 25, 2012 16:49
This isn't just some crazy candidate crying for attention. According to the Telegraph,
this 'dead man' in question is actually Santosh Kumar Singh, a
32-year-old cook who has spent the past nine years trying to prove to
officials in India that he is still "alive".
According to Santosh, it all started with an argument with his high caste relatives over his decision to marry a woman from the Dalit tribe who is deemed in India as one of of the "untouchables". He had left his village in 2000 for a job in Mumbai which was where he fell in
love. When he returned in 2003 to introduce his new
bride, his relatives told him he was a
disgrace and chased him away. To save face, Santosh's relatives had him declared legally dead and took away all his possessions:
"They filed a missing persons
report which was later changed into my death report. The villagers even
conducted post-funeral ceremonies and gave alms to the poor to prove I
was dead," he said.
"Some of my relatives with help of police grabbed my 12.1 acres of land. I went to the police for help but they attacked me. They said: 'So far you are dead only on official papers, if you don't vacate this village you will be dead for real.'"
After writing to the prime minister (without success) and applying for legal action to overturn his death certificate (which was dismissed in 2011), Santosh's final option was to register himself as one of 12 candidates for the presidency in the
hope that the paperwork will prove his existence. He says he has no desire to be president and just wants to be recognized as alive:
"I filed nomination papers for the president's post to prove that I am alive. I don't want to be the president. All I want to do is prove I'm alive. If the government cannot declare me alive then I request them to kill me and issue a real death certificate in my name," he said.