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Bhumi

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

This post has been written for Tata Safari’s “I am Exporer” contest conducted by IndiBlogger.

We called it the ice breaker but its official name was Bhumi.

The year is 3547. Earth survived a lot of events; climatic and political but thankfully we survived.

Over the years we humans had raped the planet and it was dying but the differences of opinions were not subsiding and many continued with the destructive ways. Countries that chose a sustainable model of growth suffered initially but the long-term effects were more than fair compensation.

At the end of the 21st century the United States went nearly bankrupt with the increased pay-outs to its people on medical insurance. Many others moved to individualistic model and the state was a pure governance unit.

Major corporations had become dominant and resources were being bought and sold at premium prices. In this melee a group of corporations decided to innovate and also move away from pure profit outlook to the sustainable profit outlook.

They became a conglomerate and survived the test of time.

India and China dominated the platform of new conglomerates and increasingly controlled the companies and resources of the world but the mad rush from the early 21st century was replaced by a collaboration that became a necessity. War and guns were only last ditch option that no one wanted to explore.

Economics was the new currency.

The world then turned over and everyone invested in developing sustainable technologies. Those that did not, paid money and borrowed the technology. Recycling was a law.

One of the problems that recycling brought with it was consumption of excessive amounts of energy and that drove the engine of innovation faster. Cheap and abundant sources of energy and their optimum exploitation drove multiple innovation races. The first was the energy and communications  race and the other was the space and defence research and FMCG and product innovation that also affected the quality of life of masses that benefitted from the commercial applications of the products developed and also the new innovative products that eased up the life of the populace.

This was when peace became an imperative requirement but it also had a side effect. The population went up drastically along with the life expectancy of human beings. Medical breakthroughs extended the life span and thereby increased the pressure on the resources of the planet and lack of living space was biting. The seas were no longer empty. New methods of construction ensured that the seas were tamed and life extended to those newly created living spaces but that too was not enough.

Then came the idea to explore newer worlds to move populations in a gradual manner.

I am Nakul Sachdev, a part of India’s New World Research and Bhumi is the lead interstellar vehicle of the fleet under my command.

The Chinese and Indian governments pooled in resources to explore reports of inhabitable planets for human habitation and each have been investigating and leading explorations to different parts of the universe.

Two years ago we got back a signal from one of our primary scopes on a remote planet in the Andromeda galaxy. The question was not on the resources needed or the availability of technology to travel that distance.

The first question was whether the signal was by the program or by any other intelligent race that was keen on contact and controlling the scope in any manner. Was there a hostile intelligent race out there? Is the atmosphere sustainable for human life?

Space travel has its challenges; radiation, energy required to travel this distance and space debris and asteroids.

To reduce the travel time and ensure safe travel there were a few more probes launched and the results were verified.

The theoretical study by Einstein that was left incomplete but refined over years and perfected helped build new technologies that helped deploy new probes quickly and discover new planets and map galaxies better and faster. Space travel of the scopes was faster than the speed of light which helped achieve the goal of verification faster.

Then began the next phase of building a space port to cut space and time which was a based on a Unified Field theory and the study on wormholes by a physicist called Albert Einstein. The space ports were placed and these ensured that there was minimal energy used in moving the ships and material from one point in space to another by cutting space and time. Though the cutting of space and time took a lot of energy it was still far lower than what would have been expended by a travelling ship.

The United Nations were not decisive but Indian and Chinese authorities decided to take the risk and explore the signals.

Today, 27th January 3547, the Bhumi fleet is fully prepped for its voyage to a new world. The fleet is not new it’s a tried and tested ship and fully protected by a force field and also against a variety of radiations that are unique to space travel.

Time 0700 hours Earth time; all systems were a go and the space bridge was opened. We had planned to use Earth time as a reference point for all purposes of benchmarking.

The space bridge crackled with energy for a full 5 minutes before it stabilized and the first ships went through. For a brief moment there was communication disruption due to an energy surge in the space bridge as the ships went through.

It was a few tense moments when we came out through the other side and the coordinates matched what the scopes had sent. We had sent out test ships before the real human travel began and those unmanned ships signalled back perfectly.

It was a few key strokes by the crew of Bhumi and the original signal was isolated, tracked and mapped on the surface of the planet new planet. In a few moments Bhumi’s auto intelligence unit isolated the other signals of the confirmation probes and mapped and tracked them all.

Communications was restored between the ships of the fleet and the battle ready formation was maintained. All systems were battle ready by 98.5%. The space bridge travel was a brilliant success and a scope was sent back to Earth as a message that the manned ships had reached safely. It was a message in a bottle for the space age.

It was 2 hours before the entire fleet was prepared and ready.

Nakul’s Address

Nakul was chosen for this role of commandeering this fleet after careful consideration. He was a good mix of a soldier, scientist and compassion. This psychological profile was necessary to keep things in check in a hostile and unknown environment of a new planet.

Nakul watched as his communications crew of connected the public address system of all ships of the fleet for Nakul’s speech.

“Citizens of Earth, you are no longer near home and we have responsibility to fulfil to all those we have left behind. We are given the responsibility to find another home away from home. This is a responsibility we have to fulfil as quickly as possible. We have been training these past 2 years for this very moment.

We are to follow the same principles that have sustained and saved our Earth from destruction till date and not make the mistakes of the past in the new homes that we find for our race. We have come prepared for the worst but let us hope for the best.

We shall be on the surface of the planet as soon as we complete the environmental and physical threat assessment. Thank you.”

Nakul looked at the scientific crew chief, Dr. Arumugam and said, “Initiate the mapping of the planet. Release the Advance Mapping Units (AMUs).”

Dr. Arumugam keyed in the commands and 100,000 AMUs were released towards the planet’s surface. Nakul initiated the first documentation file of the master mapping of a new and probably the first human inhabitable planet outside of Earth.

The planet was designated as Bhumi-I.

The advance mapping units were designed after an extinct animal of Earth called the Cheetah. It had a thin full metal frame with a limited artificial intelligence with the basic commands to map the planets soil, water, and animal and plant life. The AMU was sturdy as well as durable and could survive a lot of rough use. The AMUs were powered by a compact hydrogen core that was redesigned to be environmentally clean and easily disposable or reused. The advance mapping units could conduct experiments based on inputs they got from the scientific team.

The mapping crew was now the heart of the expedition. Dr. Arumugam looked at the data being sent back by the AMUs and sorted and analysed by the ships on board supercomputer and said, “Initial data looks good. I am 99.9% sure that humans can easily survive in this planet. Oxygen levels are holding steady and everything looks good for human entry into the atmosphere.”

Nakul was glued to the 3 dimensional rendering of the planet by the super computer. He ordered the release of the next set of 100,000 Advance Mapping Units (AMUs) to take to the air.

He ordered the entire advance mapping units to go into stealth mode for ease of movement and reducing the fear of any local evolution.

The AMUs were launched into the planet in waves to be able to build up the data in a gradual manner and connect it all such that in-depth knowledge about the risks on the surface and the planetary information of soil or animals can help us document and understand and help the human race take the least invasive method of making this planet their new home.

A total of million AMUs were launched and they scouted the air, land, and water and also drilled down deep into the soil of the planet.

900,000 AMUs were still active after 3 months of data collection exercise.

The AMUs mapped the entire planet; land, air and water its flora and fauna and danger areas and also animals and the bacteria that humans could be infected by. There was much more to learn but with the primary assessment it was clear that life on the surface was possible.

100,000 AMUs were lost in drilling and assessing mineral wealth of Bhumi-I. The planet was as big as Jupiter and abundant in many minerals. Documenting those would require a ground force to be deployed to learn about their properties and how they can be used effectively.

Bhumi-I had longer days because it has 2 stars showering its light on it and these stars were studied along with the planet to assess how they will affect human physiology.

Six months had gone by and the mammoth exercise to study the planet was completed.

The fleet now moved towards Bhumi-I. The designated auto habitat builders were launched in areas where there was water availability and also a firm flat land. The next ships took the first group of humans to the surface.

The auto habitat builders were programmed to create a secure compound. A 50 mile radius was marked by sensors and 3D mapping radio towers as eyes and ears for the human settlement. The compound itself was protected under a force field that would stop intruders and also act as a deterrent and warning if anything got too close or tried to force entry.

The humans first exposed a dog and chimp to the air of the new world. They adapted perfectly. The dog and chimp were released with a tracking collar and a small video attached to their collars. It was a test to ensure survival of the fittest and learn. It was a play on the psychological profile on the inhabitants of Bhumi-I.

The 900,000 AMUs were pushed further to document the planet. They were first brought back in for a check and replacement of their hydrogen cores. Another 100,000 sturdier AMUs were deployed for drilling and mining related documentation.

The human settlement was in constant contact with the battle fleet commandeered by Bhumi. All data collected was sent to Bhumi’s supercomputer for storage and further analysis.

Nakul spent the next 6 months on Bhumi and initiated all fail safe protocols and took the shuttle to the human settlement. As the shuttle descended he saw that the planet looked very much like Earth in its infancy. It was green and pristine. He saw herds of animals that resembled wild buffaloes but these would kill the weak from among them and eat. They had stuck to the simpler naming convention until they knew better about these animals.

As Nakul landed and proceeded towards the command centre, he eyed the new terrain tamers. These were powerful beast of machines and he itched to take command and lead an expedition into the wild new planet. He knew the risks and also the excuses that would be given to stop him but the new terrain tamers were mean machines and he had made up his mind to explore the planet with these mean machines to keep him safe.

They too ran on hydrogen cores and had a custom-built suspension for interplanetary exploration. The terrain tamers had 2 variants. One was the Computer model that was merely to explore and had a lot of safety features the other was a called the Knife whose primary goal was to become the point vehicle in mobile infantry.

On seeing the vehicles Nakul remembered his military days. He was an army man at heart who was trained to survive and these terrain tamers were dated in designs but practical but the heart of the machines had changed over the years.

Magnetic suspension was something that helped drive a lot of new vehicular suspension.

Nakul was lost in his thoughts and was startled when Dr. Arumugam hailed him as they stopped in front of the ground command centre. The doctor made it amply clear that this was a hostile but not necessarily an untameable environment.

Nakul looked at all the data and moved toward the reinforced window. “I am going out with a team in a short exploratory expedition. We should be back in another 6 hours.”

Dr. Arumugam was about to protest but knew it was futile. He realised that Nakul was a military trained leader and he would need to show that he is capable of taking risks. The doctor knew that Nakul had spent a year on the ship and had looked at the health data of all the people who were living on Bhumi-I in the past 6 months and the health statistics had actually improved in the group.

Nakul armed with this entire knowledge walked in to the military wing and was handed the military fatigues. The Knife and Computer team was 20 strong and they all fell in line seeing the commander-in-chief of the mission in front of them.

“As you were,” said Nakul. “Chief, I will be joining you on your exploratory venture outside the gates of the settlement. It’s your command.”

The Chief bellowed, “You heard the man. All set to move in 5 minutes.”

The chief expected Nakul to be slower but the way Nakul packed essentials and weapons, he realised he was talking to a soldier with spec ops training. He was pleased that his commander was no slouch.

The team were supported by the radio towers and also the advance mapping units.

A total of 8 vehicles were taken 4 Knifes and 4 Computers were taken.

These explorations were to test the defences and also document and watch new world take shape in front of your eyes.

Each Computer vehicle had all sorts of security features and documented everything. The Computer looked like a veritable tank with reinforced steel and glass and tubeless tires but its primary objective was to act as the eyes of the group and record everything. The Knife was just the same in build quality but built entirely for carrying all sorts of weapons.

The team drove out of the compound and were immediately encountered by an herbivorous animal. It was pure sinew. It looked like a mix of a horse and a kangaroo but had all its balance on a single leg and tail with a face that resembled a horse. The exploratory team were only documenting what they saw beyond that they had their own nickname for the animal; the horesaroo. This was far removed from the scientific name that it was given by Dr. Arumugam’s team.

Nakul took all the sights and animals around. Most animals were known to him because of the mapping exercise but one question kept him disturbed. Was there any other intelligent life on this planet?

The stealth AMUs were mapping all the things but they did not see any intelligent dominant race among the dwellers of the planet.

Most of the animals reminded Nakul of something similar on Earth but some were totally new. A predator that hunted for food was Nakul’s highlight for the day. The hunter was only visible on the thermograph but nothing was seen to the naked eye. All Nakul saw a rustle of leaves at the far end of the opening and then saw a large moose like animal going down in one single swoop. As the hunting animal lost its stealth, all Nakul saw was the hunter’s dimensions. It was almost as big as the terrain tamers but because it was camouflaged it could take down the other animal which was twice its size.

It was a violent and yet poignant scene for Nakul. This reminded him that the new world may be tameable but not necessarily easy to do.

The team moved forward and decided to move towards the frontier settlement station. This was a military installation on the edge of the secure zone. As the team moved forward, the forest and the sky was a cackle of noises. The screen in the terrain tamer started cross referencing the sounds with the database created by the advance mapping units.

To the minds of this military unit, everything reminded them of something on earth but yet the difference was apparent to them that the basic building blocks of this world were far removed from that of Earth and this had to be understood. The new settlers of Bhumi-I were no better than the first Homo Sapiens who had no baseline to compare the creatures that developed here against their own evolution. Nakul noted this flaw in their exercise of mapping the planet as a whole.

The team reached the frontier settlement station without any incidents. Nakul noted that his ideas were implemented the station was built below the ground level and a road was made to open close to the primary human settlement.

All the terrain tamers were parked one behind the other, such that order is followed and all can get out of the station in case of any danger. The frontier station was lined with high explosive to ensure maximum protection and to cave in the event of an attack from outside.

Nakul accessed the mainframe computer and looked at all the new data that was documented. He was at peace as he reaized that he had found a home and now they had to know its inhabitants.

Bhumi-I was home away from home and its untouched beauty had to be kept intact for future generations.

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Woman, Keep Mum (Bai) No More

April 6, 2013 2 comments

Most women have had a struggle since they were conceived. Mumbai or not, this identification has been a big problem since a long time. It does not affect every woman but it does affect a large section of women across India and I find it tough to believe that this might not be happening in Mumbai.

Ironically, women never decided the sex of the child. It’s always been the men that decided on the sex of the child. In this day and age, how many in the urban centres know about this scientific fact. More importantly, has it affected change in the mentality of the educated masses if they realize this fact.

Many believe that Mumbai is safe for women but I would disagree. I would venture to say that it’s safer than other cities but not totally safe. I as a guy don’t find it safe for my own sister so I have to use the same yard stick for every woman irrespective of the work they do.

On one side there are men and women who think as equals and that women can go out and achieve but at the other end of the spectrum is the patriarchal society that loves to control and oppress. I will also point fingers at women who have chosen a path and hope that all the other women inculcate the same values and walk the same road. There is little thought given to the fact that each road is different and each one walks alone in the road of their choice.

Women in one lifetime wear so many hats that its mind-boggling and at times soul crushing. What is truly suffocating is the statement that women need support. Support in this particular instance is either unconditional or give none at all.

I am confident that given the same environment as men, women could achieve as much as a man with same opportunities and maybe even more.

To say Mumbai is safe for women it has to welcome and celebrate womanhood in its totality irrespective of the time on the clock, the kind of work or attire that women wear.

Issues such as education, health, sanitation, transportation and financial freedom are the other areas that need to be strengthened to create a personal space for women. Beyond the obvious and apparently visible, the biggest change has to be societal values of every person; male and female.

We have to be able to curb influencers that provide strength to archaic societal values even if it means switching off the television that perpetuates a fixed image. The culprits are no longer limited to television soaps and news channels but also include the imagery of the print medium.

Beyond all these efforts the life of a woman as a daughter and later wife has to improve. It includes choices in aspects such as having a child, caring for her parents and family responsibilities.

I was aware of these issues before I went for the IndiChange Meet organized by IndiBlogger and Times of India hence I have decided to that this change begins with me.

I hereby promise to try to be a better man than before, stand up for women and hope that I am held to my word and constantly reminded that I gave a man’s word.

This post has been written for IndiChange: Mumbai for Women organized by Times of India and IndiBlogger.

The Learning

January 3, 2013 3 comments

He dug the sword into the ground to balance his body. He knew he was going to die if he did not stop but yet he smiled as he was enjoying this fight.

Blood oozed from cuts on his hands, his face soaked in blood and his eyes were hazy because of the blood. The armour protecting his chest was cut right through and his chest was cut across. Blood was oozing from that too.

He dropped the shield from his left hand. The shield was battered and slowing him down. He ripped his chest armour and found his strength to fight. The armour was slowing him down.

He picked his sword and ran towards his opponent and attacked like a trained fighter but his opponent was not human and the raw power generated by a mere defensive blow was enough to throw him away 25 feet.

He stood up again and taunted, “Is that all you got?”

He was challenging his teacher; “Show me your full strength” was his challenge.

They ran towards each other and he summoned his last ounce of strength and he needed it all of it.

He knew his teacher could kill him but yet he had a grin slapped on his face.

His teacher was Kali.

People, Politics and Democracy

December 29, 2012 11 comments

I refrained from discussing the gang rape of the 23-year-old girl in Delhi that was responsible for outrage and protests. I did take part in a few discussions on Facebook but I was not keen on writing a post in anger that does not give logical methods of change and improvement.

The Real Issue

The real issue at hand is the society that is truly broken. We expect changes in one part of society but it’s really an integrated problem. Rape of a woman is heinous but we need to ask if this behaviour is unexpected from a country that still has cases of female foeticide. Is there any real difference in either case as both are violations of womanhood?

This post would be a multi-part post purely because it looks at flaws of all the concerned parties which includes:

The citizenry

The government, courts, police and lastly

The media

Suggestions to the citizenry

Stop protesting, Start Lobbying

Lobbying is a word that gave Wal-Mart a few sleepless nights but it’s a tool to push through an agenda. It’s not a bad word or a practice. We use it in daily life and business without knowing.

Use elections to force out promises and make it public and hold politicians accountable.

Provide solutions for effective punishment

We, in our urbanized existence have a limited understanding of legal and punishment systems. How many of us have visited a jail or seen how horrible the conditions in it are? Indian jails are overcrowded and we have no idea of what it does to criminals. We pack a petty criminal with hardened criminals and create more problems for us in the future.

We need to study segregated jailing for better punishment management.

In this particular case no one came out with effective jailing systems for the criminals. These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are far more violent crimes that go unreported or unnoticed.

I had once heard a story of a Nazi war criminal whose jail walls were lined with rubber such that the person did not bang his head against the wall and commit suicide. I am not sure how true the story is but if we are to punish violent crimes then we need to create different jailing systems.

Personally I believe that the rapists be allowed to live out their lives but in cellular jails like the ones in Andaman and Nicobar islands with no human or outside world contact and all amenities for basic living (a bed and bathroom) inside the cell. Food can be given through the door but no conversation between inmates and guards.

This is a far worse punishment than people think. Living out the rest of your natural life with no human contact in a limited space and no outlet is far more inhuman than a hanging which lasts about 30 to 60 minutes where the criminal would be dead in approximately 20 minutes or castration (chemical or physical). A person rightly pointed out that castration should not become an easy way out for criminals in rape cases.

This punishment system may sound inhuman but it’s an effective punishment. Solitary confinement is known to break humans and make them go insane.

Merely punishment and the systems to punish are not effective in changing society.

We need to document and study the punishment systems and publicize the horror stories in the jails. We may have movies made out of it but reality and make-believe is easily understood by human nature.

We need to make it mandatory for students to visit jails and see the squalor and living conditions in Indian jails.

We also need to make sure that punishments are adhered to for the rich class. Once it sticks for the rich class then there is a trickle-down effect.

The rapists in the Delhi rape case were confident of not being caught. This confidence is a direct result of the many getting away without punishment. Most of those had the capacity to hire good legal counsel but the picture that is portrayed is that the justice system is lax.

Courts can be slow but justice has to be delivered and punishments for all have to stick. The next time a rich person complains of chest pains inside a jail, it’s best if we have a hospital on premises where he or she is strapped to the bed for doctor safety than taking them to hospitals outside of jail premises.

Perhaps it’s time for an inhuman isolation of criminals that perpetrate violent crimes and celebrate and publicize the inhumanity of the punishment as much as we are disgusted with the criminal act itself.

Peaceful protesting is a right that we have but we must accept that there will be people in the crowd who have a violent agenda to derail the real issue at hand.

Many would argue that more violence and inhumanity is not the answer but to stop violence we need to be equipped to hand it back. I am reminded of the Latin saying Sic Vis Pacem Para Bellum. Translated it means, if you want peace, prepare for war. We want to see change in society but many of us are uncomfortable with brutal punishments that are not painful physically; but break the mental strength of the toughest of criminals.

Most of us profess that we can die for the country or family but the question that I ask is; can you sleep peacefully after killing someone who tries to hurt you or your family or country. Dying is easy if it’s quick but being a survivor knowing that there is a demon inside you who can kill takes effort as we have to control the demon and live and interact with people. When we say yes to harsh punishments, each one of us is responsible and a party to the inhumanity that has unfortunately become a necessity.

We are hurtling towards a society that celebrates inhumanity among the free to control the criminals. Tomorrow we could become a society that shrugs the birth of a Punisher (Frank Castle) like character among us and probably even celebrate it.

A Future

December 22, 2012 Leave a comment

All she saw was the face of the man contorted in pain. Then she saw the knife lodging into the neck of the man and his life draining out with his warm blood.

The knife wielder spoke, “Are you ok?”

Surprised at his calm, she said, “Teach me”

Justice: Awake, Arise and Stop Not

August 9, 2012 2 comments

Drunk and driving, molestation, rape and murders and frauds. The number of these cases in courts is just one part of the story, lack of movement in such cases is the other side of the story. The judicial slumber on these without the urgency to clear them is appalling. The judiciary is not merely empowered to pass judgements but question the concerned parties and decide if an age-old law applies or use the principles of natural justice to be fair and at times go against the letter of the law and choose the spirit of the law to supersede.

The question that arises is whether the courts and the judiciary are really effective in handling the crimes before them. The Indian Supreme Court has done a stellar job of being the check on an over enthusiastic government but the Supreme Court is not the court that handles all the cases.

If one looks at the various types of cases then one is worried about the quality of the judiciary to be rational. Let us look at a few of the events that have been played out inside the court under the scrutiny of the media and the common people.

The Gujarat riots and its aftermath are still fairly fresh in many of our minds. The most visible case was the Best Bakery case. The flip-flop in the statements by Zaheera Sheikh caused the case to drag. It nearly derailed the case and finally a retrial helped get some measure of justice to those who died in the gory incident.

A mature judiciary would have probed and tried to understand what the witness was saying and how much of it was true. Trained soldiers have a problem seeing death and Zaheera Sheikh was 19 years old and claimed to have seen her family members burn to death. It should have been a case to study her psychological condition because it’s never easy to see a human slowly die due to burning. It’s said it takes 11 minutes for death to be final when one is burnt alive.

In the aftermath, Zaheera went to jail for perjury or lying under oath and her own community disowned her for her flip-flops. A well prepared and smart team of lawyers could have seen the accused out on bail on the first day and acquitted earlier had they connected these dots. The judiciary and the judge would have been able to identify how to find the holes in the statement and could have gotten to the truth faster but the case dragged for 4 years.

Judiciary has to upgrade itself. The upgrade is not merely with new laws but also in the knowledge of new sciences and discoveries to be able to effectively officiate in cases. A well learned and smart judge with the latest knowledge in sciences and new age discoveries could question the people involved and effectively come to a conclusion faster.

The case of Rohit Shekar is another prime example. To prove that N. D. Tiwari is his father it took Rohit Shekar 4 years. A DNA test to prove the paternity takes about 14 days to a few months at the maximum if one wants the most detailed DNA test.

If a judge had ordered and enforced a DNA test on N. D. Tiwari on the first day, the matter could have been solved in less than 3 months. Justice though not denied in either of the above 2 cases was certainly delayed and that time could have been used to address other cases. The judiciary can certainly help matters by being more rational, proactive and forward thinking.

If one looks at case in the Guwahati high court between ICFAI, Hyderabad and the CFA Institute from US over the ownership of the Chartered Financial Analyst title, its absurdity at its best. The CFA Institute USA, formerly called Association for Investment Management and Research or AIMR has been offering this degree since more than 50 years and even the industry clearly prefers the title conferred by the CFA Institute USA. Every year the CFA Institute has to conduct their exams here in India, they need court permission.

I truly wonder how the courts can merely sit on such a simple decision. Even though the parties were partners at one time, the original title was brought into India by the American body. The spirit of the law naturally favours the American institute but yet due to Indian considerations, the case drags on.

The Indian judiciary is the conscience keeper of India’s democracy. The Supreme Court has been commendable in the way it has handled a lot of issues. The same zeal is missing in the lower courts that have rarely thought outside the box and have stuck to the letter of the law and past precedents from higher courts. The practice of holding on to past precedents from higher courts and ancient laws are illogical when the situations, sciences and the societies have evolved.

As an example, Rohit Shekhar cannot claim to be N. D. Tiwari’s ‘legitimate’ son according Section 112 of the Indian Evidence Act. This act is 140 years old.

Many may argue a DNA test not 100% accurate. We blindly import many things American but when it truly matters, we do not want to force our judicial system to adopt an American judicial habit for the greater good.

The judiciary in India is one of the institutions that still have some legitimacy left but the absurd, blind and irrational behaviour by the judiciary in the recent times where the emphasis is on the letter of the law and not on the spirit of the law is eroding its respect and legitimacy. The fast changing pace of societal norms have left the ancient laws grappling with the new challenges. The challenges are different and the laws are inadequate to solve many such issues. The judiciary has to be innovative at such times and stop looking at precedents and laws of the past because the new issues require an out of the box thinking.

The judiciary cannot wait until there is a new law or a change in an existing law to be able to decide the course of action. Each delay in simple decisions is simply eroding the trust of the citizens of the country in the judiciary to be the guide of India into the future.

Lest the judiciary forgets, it’s still working for the citizens of the country and has to adapt to the needs of the citizens. It cannot ask the citizenry to adapt to archaic rules that have no valid basis today.

It is also time that the goddess of justice in India changes her look to match with her sister who stands on top of the Old Bailey court in England; with her vision not blocked by a blindfold and the sword raised and ready to protect.

The saying below the Old Bailey court reads, “Protect the innocent and defend the children of the poor.” How well has the Indian judiciary performed this task is a question that we have to constantly keep asking. With the increasing cases of violence on women and some with documented video proof, the cases still pending in courts are a dark reminder that we need to demand that the judiciary work for the greater good.

One can equate the government and the judiciary as parents. Parents use punishment as well as praise to raise kids. It’s similar for the government and the judiciary and the citizens of a country. If either one or both are consistently irrational and rigid, they cease to be relevant. The fate of such a country ends at the doorstep of internal strife and chaos.

As children grow, parents too have to change the medium and method of interaction with their children. The judiciary and government have no choice but to change, for now the children or citizens are growing and are changing the world faster than ever.

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