In praise of: Justice Markendey Katju

In our class and caste infected society where people in high position of power jealously maintain distance from others, it is pleasing to see a retired Supreme Court judge talking with common people, and at times making others to give answers to people.

One needs not agree or disagree with his praise or condemnation of certain politicians for appreciating his efforts in improving probity in public life. Politicians everywhere are driven by Realpolitik above everything else. No matter how tolerable or admirable some politicians look to Mr. Katju, in a parliamentary democracy it is the society at large which decides how good or bad a politician can be. Our successful politicians are our reflection as a society in the mirror of reality.

One admires Mr. Katju courage to call a spade a spade. There is no dearth of people in this country who find easy victims of their intellectual wrath in far away places of power and politics but quickly avert their eyes when they see something rotten just under their noses. It is heartening that Mr. Katju does not spare his own colleagues even when it is quite late. Who is to say that it is easy to find courage to do the right thing when one’s colleague is involved.

Indian judiciary has a mixed record: the higher courts are still respected and admired by public but the lower courts — like our universities — are not known to be places of virtue. Overall our judiciary is able to hold itself better in public eye than our executive. I don’t believe that this is because people in judiciary are more Lilly white in their purity. They are much like members of our executives. They have the same kind of education and are shaped by same kind of cultural environment. But unlike executive,  our judiciary has very little to defend itself against charges of corruption. As long as our value system is not rotten, this works as an inbuilt correcting mechanism. People like Katju does a great service to their profession; they are not averse to wash their dirty linen in public before something is permanently rotten in their institution.

 

Dilawar

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Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

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