National Interest Overrides Political Expediency: It was heartening to witness the Opposition’s unequivocal support to the Centre over China border dispute at Doka La at a marathon all-party meeting on Friday. The meeting was attended by senior Cabinet ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ram Vilas Paswan. National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval also attended it. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We told the government to be flexible on Kashmir and keep the window open for negotiations if they want to solve the present imbroglio.”
Another Congress leader Anand Sharma made a significant statement: “We have asked the government to tackle the situation diplomatically, rising above politics for the national interest.” Let us hope that in future also considerations of national interest will cut across the political divide. Therein lies the real strength of our country and that provides an effective rebuttal to those who use wish to divide us.
Beef Vigilantes: Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale recently made a forthright statement. He said, “Beef vigilantes should be severely punished for breaking the law. No one has the right to be a nar-bhakshak (man-eater) by being a gau rakshak (cow protector). These people are indulging in goondaism; they do not care about cows.” He elaborated: “No one has the right to take the law into their hands. If you think that someone is breaking the law, then they should head to the police station. There have been instances where a man is beaten up because he is carrying buffalo meat.
There have also been instances where people have called these vigilante groups to settle scores.” He pointed to a regrettable case of a person who was beaten up in Nagpur recently on suspicion of carrying beef. In our country, where we constantly profess adherence to the of rule of law, Athawale’s statement should be seriously considered and implemented. Or else it is just sound and fury signifying nothing.
Aadhaar in Supreme Court: Important privacy issues arise out of the Aadhaar Act.
Chief Justice of India J S Khehar has set up a five-judge Constitution bench next week to decide these issues. Senior Advocate Shyam Divan’s request for a larger bench was supported by Attorney General K K Venugopal. Divan’s recent request came in the wake of an observation by Justice J Chelameswar that a Constitution bench should dispose of all matters arising out of the Aadhaar issue. There were, however, a few sparks during the hearing when counsel Divan submitted that making Aadhaar mandatory was akin to making India a concentration camp. This submission was strongly objected to by the usually calm and composed Venugopal. We keenly look forward to the final adjudication of the vexed issues involved without any verbal fireworks.
Likely Impeachment of US President: US President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th US President on January 20 this year. It is likely that he may face impeachment proceedings. Democratic Congressman from California Brad Sherman introduced an article of impeachment against Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors. The resolution was also signed by fellow Democrat Al Green from Texas. This is for the first time that a US lawmaker has introduced an article of impeachment against Trump. The move is likely to be stalled in the Republican-controlled Congress.
The House of Representatives needs to pass it by a majority vote for the article to move forward. Trump’s Republican Party has an advantage of 46 votes in the current House of Representatives and it is unlikely that the Republican lawmakers would vote on such an impeachment move. The White House dismissed Sherman’s move as utterly and completely ridiculous and a political game at its worst. Sherman maintains: “Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia. It now seems likely that the President had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe.” It seems Trump is destined to create history. Several people feel that it is best to dump Trump in the larger interests of the USA.
Has the Trump camp consulted any renowned Indian astrologers?
Soli J Sorabjee, Former Attorney-General of India