Brij Kishore Sharma
Strokes on law and democracy in India, Dr Janak Raj Jai, Universal Law Publishing, Pp 586, Rs 825.00
THE author Dr Janak Raj has lived close to action. Sometimes he has created (not fomented) action and at times has vehemently protested against such action, which infringes the rights of such persons who are unable to fight for their rights.
Dr Janak Raj is an author who speaks from experience. He is a rare type of man whom the lure of money and power could not destract from his ideals. Two other PAs of Mrs Gandhi viz. Yashpal Kapur and RK Dhawan, who were his colleagues (and in the same scale of pay) later became MPs and bought houses in the up market Golf Links, New Delhi, while the author chose to resign and pass LLM, reside in hostel and write a thesis for Ph.D. This shows his love for academics and pure life.
He starts as a legal practitioner and becomes the president of Shahdara Bar Association but becomes embroiled in supporting 1200 ad hoc teachers whose services were illegally and remorselessly terminated. He organises demonstrations for their cause, sits on hunger strike, fights there cases without fees. He earns a name but loses all earnings.
He saw the working of MO Mathai, Special Assistant to Nehru and narrates how Nehru tried to defend corrupt people like Mathai, Krishna Menon and TT Krishnamachari. The book tells us that Nehru ignored Patels warning and fell a victim to his own imaginary world. A world where all countries would abide by his declarations of panchashila. The book reveals that the mink coat and naulakha har gifted to India Gandhi went to government coiffeurs only because the matter was repeatedly raised by Dr Lohia. In his subtle way the author draws a picture of strife in the Nehru family and narrates the mean behaviour of a drunk Krishna Hutheesingh.
Dr Janak Raj is a patriot, who loves his country and its people and would sacrifice anything in their service. When JP gave a call for total revolution, he joined the movement. He wrote a letter to Indira Gandhi on 14-7-1975 (after the declaration of Emergency). He boldly reminded her that “in 1957 you held no official position”. Yashpal Kapur was drawing salary from the Government as PS to PM, yet he was whole time working with you doing “all your political dirty work”. He reminds her as being instrumental in Dhirendra Brahmachari being gifted valuable government land for a song. He narrates many more misdeeds perpetrated by her and defends JP He closes the letter with these words “Our country is not hostage of your ambitions. In the name of God, please step down.”
His letter brought consequences of which Dr Raj was aware and prepared. He spent the next 19 months in Tihar jail. RK. Dhavan and HKL Bhagat ensured that he is treated like a convict and the facilities allowed to an advocate were denied.
Even after the dawn of freedom post Emergency Dr Raj continues in his exposure of unfair conduct and actions which are likely to harm the country. He fought for facilities to labour court judges. He wrote to Bihar Governor AR Kidwai admonishing him for meeting the Chief Justice of India and for running a poultry farm inside the Raj Bhavan. He is concerned because the son of President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma is running a commercial dog breeding centre in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
He exposed the misdeeds of Kiran Bedi in Tihar, which included luxurious lifestyle for Shobhraj. He did not spare Chief Justice Verma and Ahmedi when they departed from the right path. He has published a copy of the letter disclosing that Chief Justice Anand gave his year of birth as 1934 when he was at Inner temple, UK. He successfully opposed the manipulations and misdeeds of RK Anand, Advocate.
The book is a veritable repository of authentic information and rare documents. It contains copies of letter written by JP Narayan and that by Bhim Sen Sachar, former Chief Minister of Punjab to Indira Gandhi. Both of them were jailed.
Dr Janak Raj is 81 and yet his spirit has not diminished. He is everyday sitting in the ILI Library reading, writing and ready to support right causes.
The book is contemporary history as also the record of fights against injustice. It is must adorn the shelves of every library and enlightened intellectual. Universal Law Publishing is known to bring out legal masterpieces. They have added one more feather to their cap.
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