THE copious quotations from big and well-known thinkers and statesmen, Tagore, Vivekanand, Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi, President Eisenhover, Annie Besant _ and even from the Bible, set the tone of the book.
“The service of India means the service of millions who suffer, it means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease, and inequality of opportunity” – Nehru.
“A non-violent system of government is clearly an impossibility so long as the wide gulf between the rich and the hungry millions persists, A violent and bloody revolution is a certainty one day, unless there is a voluntary abdication of riches and the power that riches give and sharing them for the common good” – Gandhi.
Idealism? Too big an order? We in India would think so. As you go through the book, you feel everything seems to have gone wrong.
But, “I have been reminded that it is possible for us to practice what Gandhi was telling us even at the Bar (Law is for Life and War is for Death). It is not as if they are an impossible omnipotence in the sky but practical pragmatic guidelines for us to put into professional life at the Bar, yesterday, today, tomorrow,” says Krishna Iyer.
The author, during the course of the book dwells on various subjects related to the judiciary and the lawmakers in the country in relation to the comman man’s good. These include reflections on the usefulness of superannuated judicial officers as a social resource, setting up of a national commission beyond the Cabinet’s absolute choice or judicial collegium’s patronage in the appointment of judges, the rationale of a Law Reform Commission to transform the nation from submissiveness, the integrity of ministers and the right of the public to scrutinize it and the duty of the court to do justice to both.
The author also talks about welfare related responsibilities of the government, like its duties towards senior citizens, and pensioners. “It is the duty of the State to take care of their needs in their old age. Their children too, if they are able and affluent, have a duty to share their income with them so that they would be able to live in peace in the evening of their lives.
The author also picks up subjects like global warming, greenhouse gases, and the future of “our Good Earth and Humanity. Nature must be worshipped and not violated.”
Totally discounting the need for dangerous nuclear energy, Krishna Iyer feels we should not act as mendicants of America. “India has enough thorium and unmined uranium, _ India has perennial, renewal energy from the sun.”
The book is a sort of eye-opener and very informative on many subjects especially on socio-legal issues and what has gone wrong.over the years.
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