Section 28(4) of our Constitution sets out the following: ‘Where a person is elected to the office of President, he shall not, whilst in office – (a) hold any other office of emolument, whether under the constitution or otherwise; (b) exercise any profession or calling or engage in any trade or business.’ 
The speech delivered by the Honourable President of our Republic at the Hindu House yesterday leaves us pondering: Is active politics being carefully disguised as solemn presidency?  From the beginning to the end, the speech of the Honourable President was centered merely on criticism.  If we look back into our Constitution, it would be clear to us that the office of the President is apolitical in nature.  Does it, then, befit the President to remind the population about his own achievements as a politician as we would normally expect the leader of the opposition to do?  We wonder if we are not witnessing sheer megalomania.  The President stated that without his presence in the pre-independence conference and without the IFB and CAM, independence for our country would not have been possible. We wonder – where are IFB and CAM today?  No doubt, independence came through the efforts of many people. What is the purpose of claiming rights now, forty-four years later?  The same intensity of energy could serve better purposes if put to the right use, for the benefit of the country.
The President also hammered upon the fact that when he came to power in 1982, his inheritance from the previous government had nothing positive.  SAJ’s own achievements were compared with those of SSR.  Can that be and is it necessary? However, no mention was made of his affiliation with Harish Boodhoo’s PSM, the MMM and the series of events which led him to stay in power for 13 years.  The President forgot to mention that in 1982, there was no handing over from father to son as attempts are being made now. The President evoked the rise in unemployment and the rise in gas prices, omitting the fact that we cannot escape external market influences.  But ironically, the president missed out to elaborate on the payment of 144,7 million rupees given to his son-in-law in the Medpoint affair.
The President showed signs of nostalgia on his political past and political achievements and the years of glory that he has known.  Perhaps, such nostalgia would be better described in an autobiography rather than being evoked by a president in office in a public gathering, and that too in the context of the independence celebrations.  The population is already witnessing a never-ending political confusion, unnecessarily monopolising our attention and creating fear in the weaker mind when we have major international challenges and national priorities to handle.  How much more decent it would be to respect the Constitution and the example has to be set by the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of Mauritius! There are just two options – either to be courageous enough to get back into the political arena or to be courageous enough to respect the constitutional office of the president. A bon entendeur!