Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Reactions to Naz Foundation v. Union of India

Hours after the Delhi High Court delivered its verdict, I wrote to verbalprivilege saying that this was Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, and Lawrence v. Texas, all rolled into one. I said it without thinking very much about why I thought this, but Lawrence Liang says pretty much the same thing while putting his finger, characteristically, on why this is so:

The real success of Wade, Brown and Naz foundation can then be measured not only by their contribution to democratic ethos or the Jurisprudence that they inaugurate but by the tears that they provoke. The spontaneous outburst of emotion on the pronouncement of the Delhi High Court, the tears of joy that people had while listening to the judgment in Court hall No. 1 of the Delhi High court, or from people following it on the news, the telephone calls with people wishing each other happy Independence Day after the judgement – these are the things that legendary cases like Wade and Brown are made of. And these are all the ingredients that seemed to be present in the Naz foundation decision. When was the last time you remember crying about a constitutional decision? Naz foundation decision has also enabled the rekindling of our romance with a text whose recent career has left one a little brokenhearted – the constitution. Justice Pathak in Kesavananda Bharati says that “the constitution is not an arena of quibbling by lawyers with long persons. It is a Heritage or possession and it should be the object of your love”.

See also reactions from Vikram Raghavan and Kajal Bharadwaj. All NLS alumni, I can't resist adding. I am still crying too much to say anything vaguely dispassionate and analytical.

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