“Open Defecation” in Rural India: Needs to be Re-discovered by World

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary General IPC)

By campaigning and providing the toilet facility to every household across the country, particularly in remote rural areas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the admiration and laurels throughout the world. By all means, it was a Himalayan task, which he has got successfully achieved and got his name indelibly imprinted in history as a social reformer and remarkable achiever.  No doubt, by solving this gigantic problem he has shown that honest perseverance can work wonders. India is a country of nearly 135 crore people. There are nearly 40 crore families. Out of it, nearly 25 crore families did not have the toilet facilities until recently. The number of such families has been very high in the rural areas because there has not been any concept of having a toilet in the house.

Here is a factual anecdote. The late Dr S Gopal, the son of Dr S. Radhakrishnan, who was the former President of India has written in his biography that on becoming the President, he invited some 31 Brahmins from Tamil Nadu to perform a Pooja in the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Those Brahmins were put up in the Ashoka Hotel, which was considered to be the best hotel in Delhi in those days. The Brahmins were very happy to find clean and well done up rooms but when they saw, to their horror, that there was a toilet in every room, they immediately came out from their rooms in protest and sat in the lobby of the hotel. The officials and the manager of the hotel got panicked and they wanted to know whether they faced any problems in their rooms. If there were any problems they would be solved immediately but Brahmins told them that they did not have any problems as such with the rooms but they had problems with the attached toilets as it was unthinkable for them to have toilets in their rooms.

More or less, the same concept has also been prevailing in the rural areas of India for thousands of years. People there have been going for open defecation and there was no shame or hesitation involved in it. Women have also been going in herds in open fields and they have been chatting, interacting among themselves to know the problems, difficulties, joys and sorrows of one another. This way they have been keeping themselves updated by sharing their own feelings and needs of others and, if necessary, extending their hands of help in solving the problems of others.

Be that as it may, the other day a senior Advocate Shri Shreepal Singh made an enlightened observation in the Library 1 of the Supreme Court, which although we all know, yet never thought over it from that angle. He said that the toilet facility to every household is certainly a good initiative and achievement of the Prime Minister, but it should be used only in emergencies. He told that there is another angle also at looking at the practice of open defecation in rural India. He pointed out that there are many advantages of going for the open defecation. Of course, it would need a bit new insightful innovation and adaption suitable to 21st century. The first and foremost is, that solid waste (stool) and human urine is good organic manure, very necessary for the health and fertility of the soil. These days organic manures like composts and animal dungs have become very costly. Therefore, we should not allow this rich natural manure to go down the drains. The agricultural land in India is being pumped in of artificial fertilizers – like Urea, Sulphate, Nitrogen et al – consistantly for many decades and as the result of overexploitation of soil nutrients has become almost barran. To regain its former health, this land needs replenishment of organic manure. The human waste (stool) is the best – perhaps, the ultimate one – manure for this purpose.

The second advantage of re-discovering and adopting this practice of open defecation, at least in rural areas and at places where green areas with trees and plants are available, is most revealing. We all are aware that the human waste (stool) going down the drains needs to find an outlet, most often rivers or such other water bodies. Rivers are now a days polluted almost beyond redemption, because untreated sewage is released into these rivers. Now with the scientific knowledge and hygenic awareness, we are making efforts to put in place intercepting affuent treatment plants before the human generated waste is flown in the running rivers. Indian courts too are trying to enforce this requirement as a mendatory condition to allow release of sewage into rivers. All these technological solutions need an investment in machines, electricity and manpower. This human generated waste (sewage) management problem can be solved – at least to some extent (remember India has 1.3 billion human beings living here) – without an investment into that new technology of interceting affluent treatment plants.

The third is, that men and women, particularly women, get the opportunity to move out of their houses which is good for their health because, under the pretext of going to the fields, they walk to their fields and come to know about the state of the crops to be produced.

The fourth is, that it provides a good opportunity for men and women both but particularly to women to interact with other women and know whereabouts of others. This is not their virtual contact but face to face contact, which gives satisfaction and feelings of higher levels.

The last but the most important advantage is, a family of four or five persons will have to spend not less than 100 to 150 litres of water every day in the toilets in flushing and cleaning but if they go in the open fields they can easily save at least 100 litres of water. Water is one of the most valuable things in the present circumstances. The country is facing acute water scarcity and if the water is allowed to be so wasted, the scarcity will further grow, and it will be very difficult to meet with requirements.

Apart from it, there are many more expenses which are involved in maintaining the toilets in the houses. Therefore, open defecation should not be discouraged in the rural areas and the people must be asked to use the water judicially and as minimum as possible. This will help save water, increase the fertility of the soil and above all will afford the opportunity of exchanging pleasantries and difficulties of the fellow villagers.

It is difficult to disagree with the senior Advocate Shreepal Singh in the light of the advantages he has very succinctly enumerated and explained. Although in this age and time this practice may be considered to be the sign of backwardness. However, even at the risk of sailing against the wind, his views are worth consideration and application without compromising, in any way, the dignity and honour of the people, especially the women.

Campaign for Corruption-free Media

Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary General IPC)

‘Unity-in-corruption’ among journalists is not a new phenomenon but now it is witnessed on an unprecedented scale. It is seen that the journalists in India are vulnerable, weak and conceptually dull and bleak. They do not join journalism because they are fired with any zeal, but they come to the profession because either somebody has facilitated their entry or they do not have any scope anywhere in any other area and then somehow sneak into it. This is the reason that sycophancy of the worst form is found in the profession. Some journalists fawn on their political masters, proprietors or those who are in a position to oblige them in different forms and ways. Most of the journalists become self-seekers in over a period of time.

This is an open secret that most of the politicians, bureaucrats and media house owners use these journalists as their agents to get their works done and in return, they award them with petty gains. Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg of New Delhi is known as the Fleet Street of London because of the concentration of newspaper offices here. However, of late, it has changed. The office space for the newspapers was given at a ridiculously low and throwaway price but all newspaper proprietors have been making money with the gross misuse of the so-called freedom of the press. No government takes action against them because they make hullabaloo of the freedom of speech and expression.

The late Ramnath Goenka of the Indian Express was a classical blackmailer and he used to employ wily and crooked journalists to beat his drums. He used to openly blackmail ministers and the judges of the higher judiciary and the so-called big journalists used to dance at his tunes without any qualms and compunctions of their conscience. I have seen a journalist who, now no more, was the editor of the Hindi newspaper of the Indian Express group and he used to get excited at the call of that fraud Ramnath Goenka. Once it so happened that he himself prepared news on the basis of a report of a meeting between Vishwanath Pratap Singh, a conspirator against Rajiv Gandhi and Chaudhari Devi Lal, a Jat leader of Haryana. He wanted that news to be taken as a lead story but I as the Chief-Sub-Editor put that news item on page five in a double column space. Next day he came and started shouting in the newsroom and shamelessly disclosed that the item was prepared at the instance of RNG (Ram Nath Goenka). I found that all nincompoop journalists were nodding in his support. I silenced him by shouting more loudly, which was witnessed by many journalists; some of them are still around us.

Thereafter, there was a strike in the Indian Express and I was the leader of the strike. Meetings were held at the Sundar Nagar Guest House of the Indian Express. RNG put a condition that the President of the Union, who was an outsider, would not participate in the negotiations and then I told his General Manager that ‘no editor from the Indian Express Group’ would come near the negotiating table. RNG wanted a polemicist editor, who later manipulated to become a cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government, to join the negotiation but due to a firm ‘no’ from the Union, he was kept out.

Now when I find that a large number of journalists lining up in support of Pranoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy, the owners of the NDTV, whose stories of corruption, blackmailing, spying and money laundering are stinking to the high heaven, I am not shocked. But what certainly shocks me is that they do it in the name of the freedom of the press. Luckily, the people of India have also become very conscious about such gimmicks of these dishonest media persons and they do not allow themselves to be trapped by the ingenuity of such journalists, who unabashedly support their proprietors to remain in employment.

The governments of the states as well as at the centre will be doing a great service to the country by ensuring that all the corrupt deeds of media house owners would be brought forth and stern actions would be taken against them.

An honest and corruption free media is the strength of democracy; it is a prerequisite of sound and vibrant democracy. Dishonest and corrupt media is like termites, which make the pillars of democracy hollow. The servants / journalists would do well by keeping themselves away from such proprietors like; Pranoy Rao and Radhika Roy, who have indulged into the daylight crime of corruption, loot, plundering and stashing away of money of poor Indians in foreign countries for their own enrichment.

एक सच्ची घटना – मोदी के नेतृत्व का एक नया रूप

प्रधान मंत्री मोदी जी एक आधिकारिक विदेश यात्रा के लिए अमेरिका रवाना होने वाले थे। अधिकारियों का एक समूह भी उनके साथ जा रहा था जिन्हें H1B Visa Issue तथा कई अन्य मुद्दों को लेकर अमेरिकी अधिकारियों के साथ Negotiate करना था। इस तरह के काम के लिये बहुत अनुभवी और एकाग्रचित भाव से काम करने वाले अधिकारियों की जरूरत होती है।

भारतीय अधिकारियों के उसी प्रतिनिधि मंडल में एक महिला अधिकारी भी शामिल थीं, जिनकी बच्ची काफी दिन से बीमार चल रही थी। परंन्तु, तत्कालीन समय में H1B Visa issue और WTO में अमेरिका-भारत मतभेद के कारण अधिकारियों की लगातार मीटिंग् पर मीटिंग हो रही थी। कार्य की इस व्यस्तता के कारण वह महिला अधिकारी अपनी बच्ची को समय नहीं दे पा रही थी।

अपनी बीमार बच्ची को समय न दे पाने पर एक माँ की व्याकुलता आप समझ ही सकते हैं। परंतु, वह कर्मठ अधिकारी देश सेवा के प्रति प्रतिबद्ध थी। इसी कारण से वह अफसर अपनी व्याकुलता को अपने ह्रदय में दूर कहीं दबाये, पूरी निष्ठा के साथ अधिकारी के रूप में अपने कर्तव्यों का निर्वहन कर रही थी।

बताते हैं कि मोदी जी की खासियत है कि अपने साथ काम करने वाले अधिकारियों के मनोभावों को वे बड़ी जल्दी पकड़ लेते हैं। जब वह महिला अधिकारी अपनी रिपोर्ट प्रस्तुत करने के सिलसिले में मोदी जी से मिली तो उन्होंने उस अफसर के चेहरे को देख कर उसकी असहजता भांप ली। जब उस अफसर की असहजता का कारण पूछा तो अफसर ने ये कह कर बात टाल दी कि “विदेश यात्रा को लेकर थोड़ी nervous हूँ”।

उस यात्रा में कई गंभीर विषयों पर Noegotiations होने वाले थे और वह अफसर देश हित को छोड़, अपनी बेटी की देख-रेख पर समय व्यतीत नहीं करना चाहती थी। इसलिए उसने मोदी जी से झूठ बोल दिया था।

पर अपने अधिकारियों की काबिलियत को अच्छे से समझने वाले मोदी जी को संतुष्ट करने के लिए वह बहाना पर्याप्त नहीं था। अतः उन्होंने उस अफसर को बुला कर पुनः कारण जानने की कोशिश की और पुनः  उन्हें वही उत्तर मिला।

मोदी जी को शंका हुई और उन्होने उस अफसर के साथ काम करने वाले अन्य अधिकारियों से बात की और सारी जानकारी प्राप्त की।

कुछ देर बाद, मोदी जी ने उस महिला अधिकारी को अपने ऑफिस में बुलाया और कहा “आपका Anxiety Level संभवतः बहुत बढ़ गया है। हॉस्पिटल जा कर चेक अप करवाइये और उसका रिपोर्ट प्रिंसिपल सेक्रेटरी को सबमिट कीजिये”।

ऐसा विचित्र आदेश पा कर, वह अधिकारी पास के ही हॉस्पिटल गयी। पहले से व्याकुल उस अफसर ने हॉस्पिटल में प्रवेश किया। मन अभी भी पुत्री की चिंता में लीन था। पर हॉस्पिटल में उन्होंने जो देखा उसने उनके चिंता रूपी चक्रव्यूह को तोड़ कर रख दिया। वहाँ उन्होंने अपनी बेटी को देखा जो बेड पर लेटी हुई थी और उसके आस-पास भारत के प्रिंसिपल सेक्रेटरी, नृपेंद्र मिश्रा समेत PMO के तमाम बड़े अधिकारी खड़े थे। यह सब देख कर उन महिला अधिकारी का अपनी भावनाओं पर से नियंत्रण टूट गया और उनकी आँखे छलक आईं। अपनी पुत्री को गले लगा कर वह इस प्रकार से रो पड़ी मानो सदियों का इंतज़ार किया हो उससे मिलने के लिए। अभी उनके अश्रुओं पर विराम लगा नही था कि कुछ समय बाद मोदी जी का उन अधिकारी को फ़ोन आया। मोदी जी को शुक्रिया करते हुए उनका प्रफुल्लित मन शान्त ही नहीं हो रहा था।

हुआ ये था कि मोदी जी ने अधिकारियों को बोल कर उस बच्ची को अस्पताल में भर्ती करवाया तथा चेक अप का बहाना बना कर महिला अधिकारी को उनकी पुत्री से मिलने भेजा। यह एक वास्तविक घटना है।

इस घटना से स्पष्ट हो जाता है कि मोदी जी केवल पद से ही नेता नहीं है, बल्कि कार्यों से भी एक नेता/नेतृत्वकर्ता हैं। केवल मीठे-मीठे भाषण देने वाला सच्चा नेता नहीं होता। एक सच्चा नेता वह होता है जो अपने साथ कार्य करने वाले समूह को समझे-जाने, उनके कष्टों और काबिलियातों को जाने और सबको साथ लेकर चले। ये समस्त गुण मोदी जी में हैं तभी वे एक मामूली चाय वाले और संघ प्रचारक से भाजपा के एक प्रभावशाली नेता, गुजरात के मुख्यमंत्री तथा देश के प्रधानमंत्री बने। और न केवल देश के प्रधानमंत्री बने बल्कि देश भर से अपार प्रेम भी प्राप्त किया। यह प्रेम उन्हें उनके महांन व्यक्तित्व और सद्कार्यों के कारण ही मिला है।

ऐसा व्यक्ति, ऐसा नेता, ऐसा प्रधान मंत्री किसी देश को सोभाग्य से ही मिलता है, खासतोर से आज के इस जमाने में जहां चारो तरफ इतनी अधिक गिरावट है।

India is Secular only Because Hindus are in Majority

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary General IPC)

    Nowhere in the world, any majority community is as tolerant as Hindus in India. Can anybody tell the name of any country where the majority religious community has asked for Anti-Conversion Act? Perhaps none except India. It is the only country in the world where the majority Hindu community is threatened with the conversion spree of the minority communities, particularly by Christians and Muslims. Inducement, fraud, cheating, thuggery, gimmicks and other sinister ruses are used and adopted by them to convert the people from majority Hindu community to their own religious fold. Their deception knows no bounds and limits.  Does it not look strange that only in India the minority community opposes the anti-conversion law? The reason is that minorities do not have to nurse any fear from the majority community, but it is the other way around.

      All over the world, it is the minority community which vociferously demands the Anti -Conversion Laws because they always have the fear of losing their religious identity due to the intolerance of the majority community. One can see it even nearer home when India and Pakistan were divided into two countries the population of Hindus in Pakistan was roughly 16 per cent but now it has been reduced to less than 1.6 per cent. The population of Muslims in India was around 6 per cent but now it has gone up to 15 per cent. The number of Christians was less than 1 per cent but now their number has crossed more than 3 per cent. Hindus in India comprised nearly 90 per cent but now their population has gone down to less than 79 per cent. Yet look at the bundle of lies that is being played out in the report of the Us State department that ‘tolerance’ for the minority community has gone down in India after the advent of the Modi government at the Centre.

    This report has been flashed only a few days before the visit of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to India. It appears that some forces in both countries are at work to cause harm to the relationship between India and the USA. This report is a blatant lie, which does not have an iota of truth in it.

     It also speaks of the double standards of the United States. If there has been any failure on the part of India to protect the religious rights of the minority communities, then how come more than 7 to 8 crores Bangladeshis,  have intruded into India and do not want to go back to their own country? And Rohingyas of Myanmar fight pitched battles with locals and security forces to have their permanent settlement in India. This is irrefutable evidence that even migrant minorities in India are safer than in their own homeland. They make all efforts to sneak into India and then make it their haven. Look at the height of the duplicity on the part of the so-called secular forces of this country who firstly; feed false and wrong information to other countries and then lap it up in India to discredit their own country, which has the sterling and envious record of protecting the minorities in India.

    Perhaps, India and Nepal are the two Hindu dominated countries where Christians hardly have to face any resistance for their insidious, pernicious and dangerous game of conversion. They impersonate and adopt the methodology of Hindus for prayers to convert them to their own religion. They never face any opposition from tolerant and vulnerable Hindus. On the contrary, in due course of time, they raise the bar of their demands and ask even for the curtailment of the freedoms of the Hindus. It is no trite to say that ‘Secularism survives in India because Hindus are in the majority’.

There is hardly any doubt that during the last dispensations of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav  thousands of mosques were built in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh with the help of  Petro-dollars, which was pumped in from the Gulf countries to grab the government land and nobody could raise voice against such large-scale day-light land grabbing by the notorious Muslims organisations, which are still being used as the nursery of obscurantism and in some cases even terrorist training camps with the active connivance of the administrations of Mayawati, Mulayam and Akhilesh.

 The Christians have been converting the Vanvasis and Adivasis in different parts of the country with gay abandon by offering them money and other facilities. Therefore, it is the dishonesty of the highest order on the part of the United States of America that in her country where every Muslim is suspected to be a terrorist is talking about the failure of the government of India in protecting the rights of Minorities. In fact, it is in America where the word ‘Islamophobia’ got currency after 9/11. It is in Europe and America, where the Muslims are minutely frisked because of their names and the needle of suspicion of their being terrorists, goes only against them. So much so, the loudmouthed Mohammad Azam Khan, now a Samajwadi M.P. from Uttar Pradesh, who was a minister in UP was not even allowed to come out of an American Airport, when he had gone to America along with Akhilesh Yadav. This shows their deep-rooted hatred for Muslims (which is genuine also to some extent) and yet they have the cheek to question about the protection of minorities in India.

In Pakistan even the minority Muslims like Shias, Ahmadiyya and others have been excommunicated and are not allowed to go to the Mosques of Sunnies. Hindus in Pakistan live in perpetual fear as their women are kidnapped, raped and forcibly converted. Hindu males are belaboured, slaved and beaten blue and black even for any minor mistakes Their religious places, temples etc, have either been razed or left in the most neglected and dilapidated state, but colour-blind America’s State Department has failed to see the intolerance of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis just to pass the buck on India. This is yet another way of persecution of the majority Hindu community. So much so, in China Muslims are even not allowed to have the Mosques in the traditional style and yet America has not raised the red flag of intolerance in that country because China damn cares for the US reports.

The fact is that the Hindus are the most tolerant people in the world and they have been persecuted from centuries only because of the unconscionable weakness of their tolerance. The irony is that so-called secular intelligentsia, media and leaders in India lap up such reports and leave no stone unturned in bringing the bad name to India. How shameless it is?

The Government of India must register its strong protest against the Trump Administration and to the visiting Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo for making such false, absurd, silly, highly prejudiced, one-sided and biased report against India and the majority Hindu Community.

Promotion of Sanskrit Language by U. P. Govt.

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary General IPC)

Yogi Adityanath Government of Uttar Pradesh has taken a very bold, timely and laudable decision of issuing state government’s Press Releases in Sanskrit also. This step should have been taken long back by the previous governments, but anyway, it is always better late than never. Sanskrit is in the DNA of all Indian languages and it gives a feeling of ‘beingness’ to all Indians.

There is no dearth of such people, who take perverted pleasure in criticising any such action which fills the heart of every Indian with the sense of pride. How strange it is that we have the centres of learning of Sanskrit in the Banaras Hindu University and Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya of Varanasi, but they have now become arid because sources of modern Sanskrit learning have almost been kept dry. The less said about the condition of universities in Uttar Pradesh, is better. It has become so pathetic that it is difficult to find even the sparks of learning among the teachers and students as well. Faculties of almost all universities are stuffed with dunes and duffers, who do not qualify to be called even mediocre. In such circumstances, one can nurse to have some hopes from Sanskrit only. Many Sanskrit graduates (Shastri) and Postgraduates (Acharyas) are although well-versed in the language but for want of enough opportunities, they remain untouched with the modern developments like the construction of the syntaxes of the language, although rich resources for such learning are readily available in ancient Sanskrit taxts, like Astadhyayi of Panini.

It is a matter of common knowledge that the more the Sanskrit is enriched, the more will be good for all other Indian languages. Sanskrit is the language of science and technology, medicine, agriculture, horticulture, arts, literature, law and music etc. The vocabulary of Sanskrit is so vast and rich that it can export exact and proper terms for all streams of learning. As for the language of communication is concerned Hindi is certainly far ahead of others but it is inadequate for the education of science, commerce, law and engineering etc. No offence is intended in saying that one can only write poems, novels, stories, essays and journalistic reports with the help Urdu or Urdu mixed Hindi but cannot help develop the learning of scientific ( medical and engineering etc,), legal, commercial language required for higher education in any of the aforementioned streams. Therefore, the decision of Yogi Government for the promotion of Sanskrit language is to be welcomed by one and all.

There are some people, who suffer from the disease called chronic cynicism, deep depression and pathological hatred for anything which is done for the revival of Sanskrit. They forget that Sanskrit has survived in India for thousands of years without any patronage but because of the utility of its rich lexicon and grammar to be used in the astrology, mathematics and science, culture and religion etc.

There has to be a strong will to make a language strong. We have a burning example of the Hebrew language, which was considered to be a dead language. But now due to the grit and determination of the Jews, particularly after Israel came into existence, Hebrew has become a thriving and a vibrant language. Jews from all over the world, who came to live in Israel, decided that they would revive their own language Hebrew; and true to their determination they have proved to be right. Even those who went from India from places like Manipur and Mumbai to settle down in Israel after tracing their history of being Jews, they have also go themselves fully assimilated with Jews of Israel coming other countries. Their religion and the Hebrew language have worked as the biggest cementing force among them. Anyway, Sanskrit needs to be encouraged as it is inalienably linked to the cultures of India.

Here is a tailpiece. It is said that Muslims of Malihabad of Lucknow have also their origin in Judaism. They were persecuted by Islamists and then fled to India to save their lives but ultimately they were made to convert to Islam. Now, it is heard, that some of them are raring to go back to their ancient roots.

Fali Nariman Laments at the Supreme Court: Why?

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary General IPC)

The new book of Fali S. Nariman ‘God Save the Hon’ble Supreme Court’, is full of lively anecdotes and tit-bits that make it a good reading but those who expect to get any philosophy, jurisprudence and guidance – ‘what ought to be in the field of law’ – would be highly disappointed. F.S. Nariman has seven decades of standing in the legal profession and for more than five decades he has been practising only in the Supreme Court. He has been on the zenith of the profession for many decades and is held in high esteem by the bench and bar alike. Whatever he says inside or even outside the court is heard with rapt attention.

The title of the book suggests that he is not satisfied with the goings-on in the Supreme Court and therefore he prays to save the Hon’ble Supreme Court but one fails to understand why a person of Nariman’s stature has not taken any firm stand or cudgels to remove Augean stable, which has set in the Court of late? The first chapter deals with mainly the internal rivalry, squabbles and one one-upmanship of the Judges. He has very meekly expressed his displeasure over the public expression of dissatisfaction of the four senior Judges in January of 2018. He appears to be against the Public Interest Litigations, which bespeaks of the mental makeup of most of the established lawyers, who never want the hornet’s nest to be disturbed. He has mostly taken up cases of corporate houses. He has discussed some cases, in brief, which partly present one side of the Supreme Court. Those cases are: ‘Jindal Stainless Steel vs the State of Haryana’, ‘Aviram Singh vs C.D. Gomachand’, ‘Krishna Kumar Singh vs the State of Bihar’, ‘Shayara Bano vs Union of India’ also known as Triple Talaq Case, ‘Justice Puttaswami vs Union of India’, ‘National Insurance Company vs Pranay Sethi’, ‘Common Cause vs Union of India’, and ‘State of Jharkhand vs Hindustan Construction Company’. He says that these are the best cases which have been decided by the Supreme Court in recent times but many cases like that of Justice C.S. Karnan of the Calcutta High Court (his parent High Court was the Madras Hgh Court) has put a bad light on the state of affairs of Supreme Court.

Fali S. Nariman as an Advocate has never been very combative in the courtrooms, always very courteous and a stickler to the decorum and that is what he expects from the youngsters as the fascinating future of law belongs to them. He belongs to the old school of Bhadra Lok genre of Advocates, who hardly raised their voice even against those Judges who are rude and discourteous in the Courts. It will not be out of place to mention here that the Supreme Court before 1970 was a highly retrogressive forum of justice, no progressive judgements were delivered by it, be it the case of Privy Purses, Bank Nationalisation or Land Reforms , all of them were passed by the Parliament but they were set aside by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court instead of supporting the cause of the poor, downtrodden and deprived sections of the society, adopted the approach of elitism, to the disgust of the common people of India. Surprise of all surprises is the fulsome support that those judgements got from the towering Fali S. Nariman. There is a ‘Stephanion School of Lawyers’ in the Supreme Court, who never think big and innovative as they suffer from the subaltern mentality. They are the biggest stumbling blocks in changing the character of the judiciary, legislatures or the executive. Stephanion does not mean those who have come out from the Stephens’ College, but it is a metaphor which connotes and signifies the elitist culture. Such people never stand in favour of teeming and toiling masses but believe in the status quoism of comfort living persons.

He has discussed the role of the Judges, Lawyers and Parliamentarians and has waxed eloquent about the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution as propounded in the Keshvanand Bharti case, way back in 1973. As a matter of fact, it is the considered opinion of this reviewer that the theory of ‘basic structure’ is a big hoax. In the name of the basic structure, the Supreme Court has substantially throttled the wishes and aspirations of the people. It has put shackles and fetters on the desires of the people, who are held by the democracy world over to be sovereign. Needless to say, that it is the Parliament which represents the desires and ambitions of the people and the ‘doctrine of basic structure’ amounts to the usurpation by the Supreme Court of the sovereign rights of the Indian people as spoken by them in Legislature.

The doctrine of ‘basic structure’ also rebels against the commonsense. It is universally accepted fact that in any society ‘the change is the way of life’ and to give effect to this truth the people in their wisdom in every democracy, while making their Constitution, have always incorporated therein a provision to amend that Constitution. In constitutional jurisprudence, a Constitution is held to be an organic instrument, which grows in tune with changing times. Any fetter on this growth – be it in the name of ‘basic structure’ – is against the commonsense because, firstly, it encroaches upon the people’s sovereignty of the ‘present generation’; secondly, this doctrine takes a decision on behalf of ‘future generations’ of sovereign people and binds them with that decision ‘forever’ – till eternity; and, thirdly, it leaves for those sovereign people no peaceful or legal means to accomplish their will but forces them to resort to an extra-constitutional – or violent – path to achieve that object.

He has devoted a chapter on the freedom of speech and expression, wherein he has certainly praised the role played by the media in certain spheres, but he has, at the same time, glossed over the corruption prevailing in the media itself. He has not written a word against the exploitative media houses. He has quoted three important cases which are four to five decades old namely; ‘E.P. Raiappa vs the State of Tamilnadu’, ‘Ajay Hasia’, ‘State of West Bengal vs Anwar Ali Sarkar’ and ‘Kathi Rani Rawat vs the State of Saurashtra’, which are of the vintage value but much has changed since then. It is very strange that in the name of ‘equality before the law’ as enshrined in article 14 of the Constitution, Fali S. Nariman stands behind such people who have made the Supreme Court the handmaiden of the corporate houses and the thugs of the country, who have cheated the people behind the veneer of subtle sophistication.

His compendious autobiography ‘Before Memory Fades-An Autobiography’, was certainly a delightful reading but the present book does not, in any manner whatsoever, throws any light on the changing scope of the law and the advocacy. There have been only a few judges who have certainly brought laurels to the Supreme Court and among them were Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, Justice Bhagwati (except, of course, his disgraceful judgement on the ADM Jabalpur case), Justice D.A. Desai. Justice A.N. Ray (Yes! the same Justice A.N. Ray, who superseded the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court and became the Chief Justice of India, his sterling role in Keshvanand Bharti case and Bank Nationalisation case speaks about the sparks of his progressive thinking to convert the judiciary into the vehicle of the transformation of the society). Alas! however, he was a much-maligned judge because of his opposition to the retrogressive judiciary.

There is also a chapter on Minorities at the Crossroads, in which he has unnecessarily shed tears on the rights of the minorities. Instead of prodding and encouraging them to be the part of the mainstream, he has praised for the protection of their cloistered virtue. The education and economic upliftment of the minorities are more important than anything else but strangely; he has not spoken anything against the Christian missionaries, who have been driving a wedge between the Christians and non-Christians by opening the schools and colleges only for themselves in defiance to the provisions of the equality before the law. It is highly shocking that the Kerala Education Bill, which was introduced by E M.S. Namboodiripad in 1958, which wanted to bring parity in the educational standards has been upbraided by F.S. Nariman in his book.

He has paid a very moving tribute to V.R. Krishna Iyer and an Advocate of Lucknow R.N. Trivedi, he deserves kudos for glowingly remembering the stalwarts. The book has been written in the fashion of storytelling in elegant English. Unfortunately, even after seventy years of the existence of the Supreme Court, those who speak crisp and highly accented English command high premium in the advocacy. Surprisingly, the legal luminary like Fali S. Nariman has not discussed the desirability of the NJAC (National Judicial Appointment Commission), because today what we find is the highly ‘incestuous system of appointment of judges’ in the Higher Judiciary.

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Yoga Day Special (1)

This article was originally published on 23rd June 2015 and is being re-published again on 21st June 2019 as Yoga Day Special.

Yoga is Science of Wellbeing of the physical, emotional,  mental and soul (= inmost being or Psychic Being) components of humans.

It is being trivialized by some by limiting it to the physical component only and being opposed by others by bringing in their religious and national egos.

Though Yoga originated and perfected over thousands of years in India,  it does not belong to any nation or religion.

The beneficial impact of Yoga on humans’ personal lives are being proved by medical science increasingly with each passing day.

In this stressful era,  Yoga is a boon for humanity today.

To overcome the resistance of religious and national egos by some,  Yoga needs to be scientifically studied more and more by the world community to reap its full potential.

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