Strong, fearless opposition required: Chidambaram

Criticises Centre for making Aadhaar mandatory for I-T returns

Strong, fearless opposition required: Chidambaram

Congress Rajya Sabha MP P Chidambaram said India’s problem is that “we celebrate gods and cows, while neglecting our children”.

Speaking at the launch of his latest book ‘Fearless in Opposition: Power and Accountability’ at St Joseph’s College on Saturday, Chidambaram said, “We have pressing problems such as anaemia, undernourishment among our children. The average child drops out of school at the age of 12. Real issues like these are being swept aside.”

The former finance minister said that in a majoritarian government, which follows Hindutva ideology, a strong, fearless opposition is necessary. “We need a counter-ideology. I am not sure what that is but it should be based on the idea of a modern, democratic state, pluralism and consensus,” he said.

He criticised the Union government for making Aadhaar mandatory for filing tax returns and said “we are moving towards an Orwellian state where the government has access to private information”.

“I hear that they will make it mandatory for insurance and travel, as well. It will be an invasion of our privacy. When I brought this up with the finance minister, he trivialised the issue,” he said.

When asked why the Congress never repealed Section 124 A on sedition, Chidambaram said that during the Rajiv Gandhi government and 10 years of the UPA government, the law on sedition was never a burning issue. “There were no instances when the central government imposed sedition on anyone, unlike the examples of Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid that we

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