Guest post by ARVIND NARRAIN and SAUMYA UMA
Progressive lawyers, social activists and academics have invested much time in trying to puzzle out what is the progressive potential of law. Sometimes, answers to deep philosophical questions emerge from a single life. Shahid Azmi’s life (1977-2010) exemplifies one answer to this perennial question. It was a life which took to the legal profession with the objective of using law as a shield and tool in the quest for justice. It was also a life which was tragically cut short, when Shahid Azmi was assassinated at the age of thirty three.
Continue reading Can the Love of Justice be Assassinated?: Arvind Narrain and Saumya Uma remember Shahid Azmi
Orwell created a range of wonderful concepts in his dystopic novel 1984 to characterize the language of power. One such phrase Doublethink referred to the ability to hold “two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them” without being aware of their contradictions.
The latest addition to the vast repository of doublethinks in the archives of the Indian state comes from the background note of the new committee formed for the reform of the criminal justice system. Barely a few years after the controversial Malimath Committee, yet another committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Dr. Madhava Menon (the founder of the National Law School in Bangalore). The National Criminal Justice System Policy Drafting Committee (“NCJSPDC”) has been constituted “taking into account changing profile of the crime and criminal” We can safely assume in the context of the global war against terror, what the changing profile of the crime and the criminal refers to. Continue reading Doublethink in the Time of Criminal Reform