Power is an intoxicating drug. The pursuit of power and the acquisition of it can be deemed a worthy goal in itself for a lot many people. Our legal fraternity is no different. The judicial activism that is rampant in the corridors of our judiciary has provided an incentive to every lawyer and student of the law to seek new avenues where their warped ideological worldview could be put into practice for a few pats on the back. After all, who would not want to partake in the framing of policy if given the opportunity?
The firecracker ban on Diwali last year in the Delhi-NCR region is a special case in point. The petitioners in the case were three toddlers aged between two and four years of age. Quite obviously, the lawyers were shooting from the shoulders of children who pretty much had no clue about what was going on in a pretty deplorable instance of using children to further one’s ideological objectives. In banning firecrackers, the Supreme Court endangered the livelihoods of lakhs of people without even considering the mountain of evidence which points towards the fact that firecrackers are not the major source of pollution in the region.
The most recent instance of judicial activism that has made a prominent mark in the national consciousness is the Sabarimala verdict. It was quite evident all along that the petitioners were not devotees of Lord Ayyappa and did not hold any particular reverence in their heart for Hindu traditions or rituals. And yet, the Court deemed it fit to infringe upon the rights of devotees based on arguments made by people who clearly had no faith in the Deity under consideration.
As a consequence, the verdict of the highest court in the country received a definitive slap on the face after devotees prevailed upon the administration to bar activists from entering Sabarimala, activists whose goal all along was to turn the Temple into a battleground for their ideological war. Our Courts are providing an incentive to troublemakers to wreak havoc in our society and it’s time for some serious introspection on their part.
In any sane society, laws are a codification of its morals. Progressive activists, on the other hand, seek to circumvent the process where one seeks to convince people of the virtues of the path they endorse and build a consensus. They have turned public interest litigation (PIL) into a weapon for their ideological war.
They have identified that using PILs, with the help of their ideological comrades in the judiciary, they can frame policies and laws according to their own whimsical fantasies without actually having to convince the masses to adopt their stance. The consequence of such a worldview is the chaos we witnessed at Sabarimala. Hindus openly revolted against the court verdict. A simple question must be answered, “Was the violence at the Temple and the atrocities committed against the devotees of Lord Ayyappa for people who do not even have faith in the Deity or respect for the traditions and rituals of the Temple worth it?”
We witnessed the same ideological blindness of our legal fraternity during the ban on Jallikattu. Ultimately, it was overturned by people who are infinitely more accountable for their actions than judges: Politicians. Then there was the Dahi Handi rule which Raj Thackeray’s MNS defied openly and without any consequences. The Judiciary, under the influence of the ideologically blinded unaware of sociopolitical realities, is passing judgments which are essentially unimplementable and as a consequence, it’s credibility at the moment is perhaps even lower than the mainstream media.
The judiciary must understand that vigilantism arises as a consequence of two factors which act in combination. Firstly, when the state fails to implement its own laws and secondly when the state formulates laws which directly contradicts the existing social and moral norms of the society regarding a matter that is perceived to be the core of their existence for a significant number of people.
The following is perhaps the most iconic image from the Sabarimala protests.
The Police officer who escorted two women activists in their bid to desecrate the Temple was seen crying profusely while apologizing to the Deity for his actions. This is what judicial activists do not understand. Their desire will ultimately have to be implemented by other human beings and it’s extremely difficult to achieve your objective when society, by and large, is not on your side.
The legal system may also be an extremely convenient way for foreign institutions to meddle in the internal affairs of our country. In our earlier reports, we have mentioned how organizations that receive funding from controversial sources abroad are engaging in legal activism in our country that has far-reaching political implications.
The most disconcerting fact, however, is the extent of ideological brainwashing among certain sections of law students. I would recommend that readers watch Sadhguru’s interaction with law students at NALSAR.
The disagreement that the student has with Sadhguru is not the object of concern here, it’s the utter lack of respect and etiquette while engaging in conversation with someone who is a guest at the institution and much more accomplished than him. The questions were not asked to learn something meaningful or gain some critical insight, they were asked with the intention of gaining some pats on the back. The law student was so convinced of his moral superiority that he completely disregarded what we would call proper manner and etiquette. And what was even more concerning is the fact that he was quite eager to meddle in the affairs of Hindu Temples without really being a devotee at all.
I repeat, the legal system is serving as a platform for activists and the ideologically blinded to fashion laws according to their whims. They turned our Temples and our Traditions into a battleground for their ideological war but much before that, they had turned the judiciary into one as well.
The activists are quite obtusely trying to legislate their ideology into becoming the accepted version of morality of the common masses. Society does not function efficiently like that. If activists want to change our laws, then they should do the hard work which entails convincing people of the virtues of their beliefs. In any society that has not lost its common sense yet, laws flow downstream from morality. The activists want to slap their morality and their brand of ethics on the entire populace through the legal system without our consent and by subverting our political will. Our courts should stop providing them with assistance in their harebrained project.