Public apathy and indifference is a social malaise that we have to get rid of as it does not augur well for a vibrant democracy, said former chief justice of India N V Ramana. “As individuals in a community, raise your voice, be active and bring any social injustice to the notice of the judiciary,” he said, addressing the delegates at the zone institute.
Laws regulate human behaviour and they don’t operate in a vacuum. “Our Constitution has given us a structure, form and content of laws which are organic and its various documents are being created by people. Also changes in their interpretations (with amendments) are made by people. Hence they have a role to play in framing our laws too.”
Our laws provide space for debate and means to resolve disputes through judiciary, he said. “Laws are needed for society to progress. Our Constitution has given us the framework and guiding principles with enough flexibility to make changes as we evolve in time,” he said.
Ensuring justice to all and fostering fraternity, the Constitution has neatly defined organs of democracy — executive, legislature and judiciary — all of which work within the limits prescribed in the charter document, he said. “While laws shape the society, we, the people, have the power to change the laws — hence, it is a two way interaction for an evolving society.”
However, unlike in the past where student movements played an active role to bring in political changes, “today’s youth are not involved and their apathy is growing. Many individuals are not exercising their power of vote.” Judicial action is desirable to address political grievances and address social issues.” But ultimately it is the power of people that will prevail and for this to happen, “individuals have to be active and protest against injustice.”
Picture by Rasheeda Bhagat