In conversation with Justice CS Dharmadhikari

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Geetanjali Minhas | May 21, 2015


#CS Dharmadhikari   #CS Dharmadhikari interview  


A Padma Bhushan recipient and prominent Gandhian of our times, Justice CS Dharmadhikari joined the Quit India moment when he was only 14. A career lawyer and judge, he retired as acting chief justice of Bombay high court in 1989 after delivering landmark judgments on women’s rights, children and prisoners. He has authored many books in Hindi, Marathi and English and actively worked with many educational, cultural, social organisations promoting Sarvodaya activities. He currently chairs many committees, including one that monitors animal welfare laws and another that will suggest ways and means to stop atrocities against women.

The book I enjoyed reading most: Sarvodaya Darshan by Mahatma Gandhi

The book I enjoyed writing most:  My autobiography, Ek Nyaymurti ka Halafnama

First thing I do after getting up in morning: Read newspapers

Something that no one knows about me: That I am (unlabeled) common man  

My comfort food: Simple vegetarian food

Religious intolerance in our country is: It is incorrect to use the word intolerance because you tolerate something you don’t like. Instead, we should have equal respect for all religions, which is lacking.

One thing I wish I could change: Abolish caste system in all religions. Today, caste is becoming a reality and religion is the sum total of it, which is nothing but fiction.

I take care of my health by: At the age of 88, I have two kneecaps, I use a belt for a weak back and a walking stick. I walk around keeping my hands on the shoulders of youngsters. I have complete faith in the younger generation and I think the future of this country lies in the generation of my grandchildren.

My greatest challenge so far: Abolition of the caste system

One moment as a judge I cannot forget: The Joshi-Abhayankar murder case of Pune wherein several persons were murdered without any cause and I had no alternative but to sentence to death five educated boys.

It is important to keep in mind our freedom struggle because: We have only gained political independence. The freedom struggle is not over because the common man is yet to get freedom from economic, social, religious and political exploitation.  

Gandhian values are more relevant today because: The values he preached are universal; they liberate the minds of people and unite everybody. Therefore, I call him the representative of the world.

At present I am busy with: Guiding all Gandhian organisations

My advice to the young generation: Do not become carbon copy or pocket edition of your parents. Prepare your own blueprint of what you want to be, of your future and society of your dreams. You must know history of the present and capture the future.

I want to be remembered as: A representative common man who is the foundation of Indian democracy


 

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