Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (March 8, 1841 – March 6, 1935), one touted as the more famous and better known than any other judge in the English speaking world, was a brilliant liberal judge in the United States of America during the late 19th to early 20th There are numerous books written on him and there are books containing his writings and opinions, which are oft-quoted in important judgements, including Kesavananda Bharti vs State of Kerala.
On July 20, 2018, after nine hearings of vociferous and heated arguments stretching from March 14, 2018, the Supreme Court of India, the repository of the best amongst the intelligentsia, reserved its verdict on the issue as to whether the 1994 verdict of theirs in Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui Vs. Union of India [(1994) 6 SCC 360] needs a reconsideration or not. It is yet to be seen whether the Supreme Court, represented by the select intelligentsia of the country are convinced enough to walk the path of secularism in a way that ensures equal treatment to all.
Ambedkar predates one of the most powerful feminist slogans of the twentieth century “the personal is the political”, yet his relationship with wife Ramabai, as well as his views on marriage and birth control, represent precisely this. His feminism is alert to the caste and gendered discrimination that governs our lives and our decisions — who we socialise with, who we hire, where we live, and who we marry.
Upendra Baxi, reflecting on the continuation of a colonial policing system has noted that that when a decolonised society maintains its inherited police organisation, refusing to adapt to the aspirations of free society, it gets a colonial-repressive police organisation and colonial-repressive political regimes. This, he suggests is because of the intent of the governing elites.
The Supreme Court has held that the purpose of the exercise of the creation of the NRC in the State of Assam was not the determination of which person is an ‘original inhabitant’, but the sole test for inclusion in the NRC is that of citizenship under the Constitution of India and the Citizenship Act 1955. However, the constitutionality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act 1955 was challenged in 2012 by way of a writ petition under Article 32 in the Supreme Court. The matter is currently pending before a Constitution Bench of five judges.
Ambedkar’s concerns were three-fold. How does representative democracy function (successfully) in a society that is fundamentally unequal? How can implementation and adherence by the Hindu majority be ensured? How does law function in a democracy where the lawmakers themselves are socially conditioned? As much as Ambedkar struggled with establishing a legal framework to protect marginalised groups, he left a lasting legacy in the form of an imagination for equality for the millions who followed his path and continue to negotiate within the system, against the system.
Though highly inspired by the Soviet model of planning, Nehru in his presidential address at Indian Institute of Public Administration (March 26, 1954) found Communism “as rigid as a religion”. Nehru believed in “administrative realism”; he planned for a planned development of independent India right after his visit to the Soviet in the British days but invited specialists like Paul H Appleby and Albert Meyer from the United States for evaluation and formative tasks in independent India.
Israel on July 19, 2018 adopted its Basic Law on Nationality. A salient feature of this law is that it declares Israel as the home of the Jewish people and states that the right to self determination vests exclusively with the Jewish people. In practice what this would mean is that in the event of a one state solution, the one state will have a Jewish character.