SC. The Social Impact of Judiciary
(Image used for illustrative purpose only)
While in school, we were taught that judiciary is the third pillar of any democracy. Thanks to the vision of those learned leaders, the checks and balances within the system is helping India tide over a major challenge of bringing about changes in our social ecosystem. Through the Supreme Court, the judiciary has been able to take some bold decisions and bring about changes that will have far-reaching changes in Indian society and move with times.
September 2018 will go down in history when the Judiciary sat on driver’s seat of social change and drove it successfully. Directing the Legislature and Executive on Aadhar, recognizing the rights of LGBT community, rights of women to enter Sabarimala Temple, reservation in promotion for SC/ST government employees, quashing of adultery as a criminal offence, etc. were all essentially the responsibilities of Legislature and Executive but delivered well by Judiciary.
Earlier, the Triple Talaq issue and SC’s verdict on its constitutional invalidity bore well on the coordination between Executive and Judiciary, though some do question urgency shown by bringing the ordinance in this regard. The forthcoming SC judgement on Ram Janmabhumi will an acid test on the relationship between these three pillars. The polarised political environment is expected to be further affected by it.
True, the Legislature and Executive have not been able to fulfil their constitutional responsibilities. They have been seized by things more important to them. Retain power or get into power, depending upon which side of political dispensation they belong to. These individuals do not seem to have time for constitutional responsibilities what they were chosen in the first place. Thanks God that we have an efficient Judiciary. Else, it could have been the similar experience as of some other countries where military or a dictator seized the opportunity. The fourth pillar of any democracy, the media, has not been able to successfully deliver on their responsibilities well too. Call it the competitive pressures or the lure of making a fast buck or their very existence depending upon country’s Executive, the media in India has largely failed on citizens’ expectations.
Hope that the recent judgements of Supreme Court sound a wake-up call to Legislature, Executive and Media in India. For, their myopic view about their responsibilities may make the Judiciary more powerful than necessary leading to different set of challenges for India. Remember that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The buck, as usual, would stop at the voters. The teeming millions have shown maturity in the past on their choices on who is right for running world’s largest democracy. It is time that they do it again. And they will need to do it independently rising above the political din around them. Difficult but a job that must be done if we need to leave behind a better lndia for coming generations.