While addressing the ‘Eleventh Convocation Ceremony and Founder’s Day celebration of Jindal Global University, Justice DY Chandrachud emphasized that even after 75 years of Independence, many individuals and citizens have not yet tasted the fruits of the democracy that we have inherited. He said,
“Because of our hierarchical social and economic structures, many of our citizens are still deprived of equality in social and economic spheres. Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar warned us that our structures of political democracy are precarious until they are not supported by social democracy,”
In the nation’s 75th year of Independence, he added, we must consider whether women were given enough chances to successfully express their freedom and take part in public life. The judge talked about a recent instance where a woman who was 24 weeks pregnant and unmarried was denied the right to end her pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act that came before his bench. He stated,
“We considered in our interim order the legislative intent of Parliament and purposively interpreted the provisions of the Act to uphold the right of unmarried women to seek a safe termination of pregnancy.”
Justice Chandrachud, while noting the advancements India has made since gaining freedom, said,
“Independence Day should not become another ritualistic celebration of our freedom struggle. Rather it should become a site for a critical introspection of our progress in fulfilling the values of our Constitution which our Constitution makers, both women and men, aspired to achieve.”
He continued by saying that everyone was required to contribute to the slow but essential task of transforming our Constitution from a book of ideals to a reflection of reality. He said that cultivating a social democracy was not just the responsibility of the executive branch or the judicial branch. In his closing remarks, Justice Chandrachud emphasized that Independence was a turning point in our society’s efforts to bring about a social transformation, not only a liberation from colonial authority.
Written By- Pretika Tiwari