Category Archives: Allahabad High Court

Lawyers and Spiritualism: Sounds Incredible Yet It’s Possible in Allahabad! ( Photo Feature )

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( Lord Hari said to Narada in Padma Purana: “Naham Vasami Vaikunthe Yoginam Hridaya Na Cha, Madbhakta Yatra Gayanti Tatra Tishthami Narada”, “I am not in Vaikunthe and not in the heart of Yogis, but I am there where people worship me and sing my name, O Narada”. )
 

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ( Albert Einstein ) It’s not often the case that you find lawyers gathering at some place to discuss about issues pertaining to spiritualism. However, in a city like Prayag, which has been seat of intellectual discourse since time immemorial, the unconventional route is not a rarity. Lawyers may or may not emerge as spiritual giants yet they are potentially more divine than others. Let me explain how. Is there any other section of society other than lawyers which witnesses most tragic ironies from such close angles? It’s entirely impossible to beat lawyers in being face-to-face with chosen paradoxes of life. They witness darkest chapters of life almost daily from shattering of human bonds to heinous episodes involving treachery and killings! They see all. That makes their soul crave for peace more and more.

The commonplace observation about lawyers and doctors is that they are extremely materialistic, greedy and manipulative. There is, indeed, an element of truth in such misplaced notions. Yet the greater truth is that they are the most logical, methodical and damn accurate about happenings of life. It’s an easy task for lawyers to change the course of destiny only if they really desire so! Mahtama Gandhi did it for us in beginning of 20th century, and so did Muhammad Ali Jinnah, trained as a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn, when he played an instrumental role in creation of Pakistan.

The Indian Independence movement involved selfless gestures of so many lawyers having diverse political orientations. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Lala Lajpat Rai, Pandit Govind  Ballabh Pant, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, P.V. Narsimha Rao, Purushottam Das Tandon, Tej Bahadur Sapru and Pandit Madan Malaviya, to name a few, provided excellent leadership at different levels to make “India’s tryst with destiny” a significant affair in the history of world. Interestingly, Clement Attlee, Britain’s Prime Minister at time of India’s Independence, was also a trained lawyer! One thing more. Some of the these lawyers had close connection with Allahabad.
 

In modern India, nowadays, false notions about lawyers dominate psyche of average mass of people. In fact, a large section of Indian people still believes that studying law is last option for hopeless creatures rejected in other professions! It’s only now that tough entrance, introduction of standard professional approach, and creation of state-of-the-art institutions offering law degrees have virtually sealed the scope for mediocre minds to enter in this profession. However, even now there are lots of loopholes which have ensured that “black gown” is held hostage to lesser minds. If that’s not enough the irresponsible approach of Bar Councils have ensured that life for hardworking lawyers remains like walking on the razor’s edge! And how can we ignore the fact that block-headed, shrewd and arrogant judges are killing the scope of emergence of young lawyers as successful lawyers!!

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( Kudos to all the souls involved in spreading the words of Lord Krishna )

Against the backdrop of this sorts of dismal scenario, the emergence of group of lawyers at Allahabad High Court for uplifting the cause of spiritualism under different banners comes as whiff of fresh air. Kudos to Mr S C Upadhyaya for spreading the message of Lord Krishna under aegis of “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being”.  One also can’t ignore role of Adv. Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Ex Vice-President of High Court’s Bar Association, and Adv. Sanjay Mishra, to name a few, for ably steering the course of spiritual wave at Allahabad High Court. This should not sound as exaggeration that Devendra ji with his academic bent of mind is setting good precedents in an era wherein lawyers are being perceived as opportunist and shallow creatures. I have been lucky enough in having long conversations with both Mr Tiwari and Sanjay Mishra and realized immediately that both of them excel at carving excellent strategies. No wonder that augurs well for expanding cause of spiritualism in distant lands. Very recently “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being” organized a spiritual discourse on very first day of 2016 at Brahma Vidya Kendra situated inside historic Company Garden located in heart of Allahabad!

Overall, the year began on great note for lawyers-cum-spiritual enthusiasts! The pictures bear testimony to this assertion. It would be a fatal blunder on my part if I omit the name of few sincere activists promoting the message of Krishna with total application of mind and heart. I notice them in almost every event organised under different banners. Adv. Shashikant Kuswaha, Adv. Ramendra Giri, Adv. Adarsh Upadhyaya, Adv. Shashank Singh, Adv. Naveen Pandey and Adv. Pankaj Upadhyaya are some of the faces which are often involved in their tasks in fast and furious way. However, I need to appreciate Shashikant who happens to be my friend since college days. He deserves appreciation not because he happens to be my close friend. He deserves praises because he has evolved as good human being, performing with sincerity whatever tasks fell his way! His down-to-earth approach is infectious!! As concluding remarks I need to mention words of SMA Kazmi, former Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh, whom I served as junior in early days of my legal career, that it’s talent alone which ensures bright future provided lady luck at the same time remains kind towards you! So hope and wish that lady luck smiles on all my colleagues serving both humans and Lord at the same time!!

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( Neither the position of Brahma nor that of Indra, neither suzerainty nor the rulership of the nether regions, neither power that comes through Yoga nor liberation- the man who has surrendered his mind unto Me desires nothing else but Me- Words of Lord Krishna for Great Yogi Uddhava in Uddhava Gita )

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* Pics Related With Events On January 01 And January 02, 2016 *

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( As I headed towards Brahma Vidya Kendra situated inside beautiful Company Garden, the rustic charm prevalent there took my breath away )

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( I love walking on such muddy routes than being placed on metalled roads )

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( Although I was getting late for the event. these bright flowers stopped me for a while )

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( That’s the Brahma Vidya Kendra inside Company Garden )

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( Both these lady saints manage the affair at this Kendra. They were truly in league with divine wisdom. That was so evident in humility exhibited by them. )

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( That’s the team which orgainsed this event at Brahma Vidya Kendra on very first day of 2016. Some of the prominent ones are Adv. S C Upadhaya, Adv. Sanjay Mishra, Adv. Dr. Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Adv. Ramendra Giri and Adv. Pankaj Upadhyaya besides , of course, lady saint. )

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( Adv. S C Upadhayaya and Adv. Devendra Kumar Tiwari garlanded Adv. Ramendra Giri for  ensuring excellent arrangement of Prasada distribution among the devotees. He prepared the prasada not from the hands but through the heart immersed in devotion towards Lord! )

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( From Left To Right: Adv. Devendra Tiwari, Lady Saint, Adv. and Writer, Arvind K. Pandey ( i.e. myself 😛 ) and Adv. S C Upadhyaya.  )

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( Senior Advocate Mr. S C Upadhyaya, President, Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being, throwing light on the role of mission while addressing the media-persons present on this occasion. )

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( Some of the other advocates- the spiritual stars 😛 – who made this event a memorable affair 🙂 From Left to Right:  Adv. Ramendra Giri,  Adv. Nawal Kishore Pandey,  Adv. Shashikant Kuswaha,  Myself ( author of this post 😛 ) and  Adv. Shashank Singh )

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( Green Bananas waiting to turn into yellow 😛 😛 😛 . The Kendra has lots of fruit trees, small and big ones which  makes this place a spectacle of greenery. )

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( Anwala Tree 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

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( Peepal Tree is loved by Lord Krishna!! It’s considered very sacred. Probably that’s why some devotee thought it to be a perfect gesture to hang image of Gooddess Durga ji 🙂 )

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( Well, first day of New Year gave others a nice chance to play Cricket in Company Garden. I noticed that at every corner of the park  people of all ages were deeply involved in playing cricket!! )

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( Advocates involved in a spiritual discussion at a different place on a different day in Allahabad! A pleasant sight since lawyers are usually involved in heated discussions 😛 )

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( Advocates who visited my home ( and that’s my room 😛 )  and we had exchange of views on interesting issues. From Left to Right: Adv. Shashikant Kuswaha, Adv. Dr. Devendra Tiwari,  Adv. Nawal Kishore Pandey and my father Mr. Ram Murat Pandey, who as a Review Officer at UPPSC dealt with legal issues pertaining to engineers and others )

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( Advocate Sanjay Mishra also paid visit to my home. He is , indeed, a very capable lawyer, dominating both in legal and spiritual world with his distinct aura! His rich insights made me re-think over some of the life’s burning issues. I wish to meet him often. Hope that’s  Will of Lord too 😛 In this short visit, he discussed about genesis of religion and effect of women empowerment in modern times!  )

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( On the second day of New Year we all advocates gathered at residence of Adv. Shashikant Kuswaha wherein party of “litti-chokha” was organised! Notice Shashikant that whatever be the role, he gets involved in it with total dedication! )

 

My friend Adv. Shashikant Involved in preparation of Chokha with help of his brother!! ( My friend Adv. Shashikant Involved in preparation of Chokha with help of his brother!! )
Tomatoes being baked with help of Upali fire! Upalis are prepared from cow's dung! ! ( Tomatoes being baked with help of Upali fire! Upalis are prepared from cow’s dung! ! )


Advocate Ramendra Giri here also ensured that food prepared is of excellent quality. And it did turn out to be quite delicious! In the meantime, he also entertained lawyers there with his short skits based on episode of Ramayana!
( Adv. Ramendra Giri here too ensured that people gathered here do come to relish on tasty food 🙂 Indeed, we all enjoyed his preparations )

 

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( Guavas were tempting the child in us to steal them even as they were too close to us 😛 😛  At Shashikant’s place one notices lots of greenery comprised of fruit trees and flower plants of various types. )

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( Felt glad on noticing Sri Tulsi ji! She is so dear to Lord. )

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Advocates getting a chance to relish on Litti Chokha 🙂 Once upon a time it was darling of poor people. Now I notice it party of elites 😛 😛 :P )

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( Being inherently a village soul, enjoying  background of farmer’s family, the Liiti-Chokha always manged to be part of my diet! In fact, it appears that Litti-Chokha manages to find me always 😛 😛 )

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( Blessings of saints work wonders 🙂 )

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( Feel glad to be in company of such good souls. Myself with Advocate Ramendra Giri ( Extreme Left ) and Advocate Sanjay Mishra ( Extreme Right ) )

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( Let’s hope we all stay together helping each other in best possible ways. It’s need of the hour that good souls remain together. That’s the only way to rule over negative powers, weaken negative forces. Jai Radha Govinda 🙂 )

Srimad Bhagvad Gita: Why It’s A Perennial Source Of Divine Inspiration For Greatest Minds In The East And West?

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( Srimad Bhagvad Gita has invited attention of great minds. )
    

One scripture which continues to amaze all curious conscious minds is, undoubtedly, Srimad Bhagvad Gita. It has invited attention of greatest intellectuals since time immemorial. One certainly needs to delve deep into actual purport of verses to realize why the best minds venturing on planet earth remain in awe of this scripture even when it’s primarily portrayed as icon of Hindu civilization.The great foreign minds like Aldous Huxley, Henry David Thoreau, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung, Bulent Ecevit and Hermann Hesse beside great Indian minds like Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi, Sunita Williams and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, to name a few, struck a deep chord with essence highlighted in this scripture. What’s amazing that it lends different perspective to great minds belonging to different eras and different fields. That’s the reason why commentary of Sri Adi Sankara differs from commentary of Sri Ramanuja even as both treated Bhagavad Gita as highest source of divine inspiration!

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( Participants {From Left To Right}: R S Verma, Retd. IAS;  Sanjay Mishra, Advocate; SC Upadhyaya, Senior Advocate and President of “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being”; Sri Ram Yadav, Retd. IAS; Professor Janak Pandey, Former Vice-Chancellor Central University Of Bihar; N C Chaturvedi, Senior Advocate, and Mr. R R Upadhyaya. )  

   

It’s natural for Indian minds to be in sync with messages of Lord Krishna in Bhagvad Gita, but if we closely study life-sketches of great foreign minds it would fill us with wonder to notice that even they too referred to teachings of Lord Krishna spread in this scripture!! Srimad Bhagavad Gita is amalgam of  Upanishadic Philosophy popularly known as Vedanta. Now just ponder over the words of Erwin Schroedinger, the most celebrated Austrian Physicist known as the father of Quantum Physics and winner of Noble Prize for his invention of Wave Mechanics: ” Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves.” The evidence of impact of Indian scriptures on these great ancient foreign minds gets revealed once we read such striking confessions on their part! Wilhelm von Humboldt ( 1767-1835) , Prussian Minister of Education, a brilliant linguist who gave birth to science of general linguistics, said about Srimad Bhagvad Gita; ” The Gita, the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue- perhaps the deepest and loftiest thing the world has to show.”

No wonder I was thrilled with excitement when I was invited to attend the lecture of  Professor Janak Pandey, renowned scholar in fields of Psychology and Indian Philosophy, who also served as Vice-Chancellor of Central University of Bihar in past. The lecture was held under aegis of “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being” on the eve of Gita Jayanti celebrated on Askhaya Ekadashi-  a day dedicated to honour Srimad Bhagvad Gita. His speech was a lucid description of the beauty of Srimad Bhagvad Gita. I wished that he should have spoken for a longer duration but once again constraints of time played spoilsport. Yet I found his short speech quite thought-provoking, stimulating and rejuvenating. He raised an important question that why Srimad Bhagvad Gita continues to inspire West? After all, the West is champion of rationalism and scientific spirit!! Janak Pandey felt that it’s not surprising for us to flirt with verses of Srimad Bhagavad Gita since it serves our religious instincts besides enhancing our faith in glory of Lord Krishna. However, it’s very clear that neither religious ground nor issue of faith could be the real reason for Westerns to show their interest in it. In Srimad Bhagvad Gita there is certainly more than meets the eye! There is something which transcends the mind and intellect.

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( Professor Janak Pandey Delivering His Keynote Address )

Professor Janak Pandey tried to solve this mystery in this brief speech as to why this scripture continues to haunt the imagination of Western minds. He highlighted his conversation with Michael I. Posner when he happened to deliver keynote address at UGC Centre of Excellence for Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad, few years back. Michael I. Posner is an American psychologist, the editor of numerous cognitive and neuroscience compilations, awarded with the National Medal of Science by U.S. President Barack Obama. Mr Posner revealed that he was a regular visitor to Gita Centre run in his city. He regularly visited the centre and listened the lectures there even as he barely commanded grip over Sanskrit. This helped him lot to carve out new psychological perspectives! At this juncture, it’s necessary to recall  episode of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s meeting with an unknown stranger who was shedding tears while reading Bhagvad Gita even as he understood not a single verse! The point is that even when you understand not a single verse, it’s nothing sort of miracle that mere recitation of verses found in this scripture is highly rejuvenating ! The verses create emotional and intellectual turmoil within in a positive way even if we happen to intercept it in a passing way!!

Professor Janak Pandey referred to Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, who believed that a human being is bundle of desires. His theories led to modern branches of psychology in recent times. It’s really interesting that anybody who has read Bhagavad Gita would immediately realize that how Lord Krishna  dealt with genesis of desires calling it interplay of three primary Gunas namely Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. In fact, Arjuna, rightly pointed out that “chanchalam hi manah krishna” ( mind is flickering in nature ). The actual purport is that Freud’s interception is quite limited even though Freud represents one of the the best minds in recent times! The various chapters of Gita are, in fact, different dimensions of advance psychology!

No wonder, as rightly pointed out by Professor Janank Pandey, Srimad Bhagvad Gita offers best scope for study of human nature. The West realized this quite well and thus applied fundamentals enshrined in Gita in their daily life! Unfortunately, the Indians lagged miserably behind their Western counterpart in terms of practical applications of enlightened principles spread in Srimad Bhagavad Gita. The Indians need to emulate approach of Westerns in this regard by introducing concepts mentioned in Gita in practical life. Let’s make it visible in our daily lives instead of keeping relevance of Gita alive only in intellectual discussions.

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 ( Author of this post i.e. myself with Professor Janak Pandey. I found him to be extremely  down-to-earth and having low profile approach. That’s sign of a genuine intellectual. Mr. SC Upadhayaya can be seen explaining certain point of view to Mr. Pandey and myself can be seen as an attentive listener 🙂 )

On this occasion, Mr. Rakesh Pandey, Professor, Department of History, Banaras Hindu University, also presented his scintillating views. Professor Rakesh Pandey, who was upset over growing influence of hatred and consumerism, said that unless we come to realize that man is essentially divine in nature, it would be hard for us to stop the regressive policies which have hit planet earth. Professor Rakesh Pandey said that concept of “sarva-bhūta-hite ratah” ( involved in welfare of all beings ) is not possible unless we have realized that “Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati” ( Lord alone resides in each being ). Professor Rakesh Pandey added a new dimension to the ongoing discussion when he said that true realization cannot dawn upon us if we do not absorb the sentiments expressed in the ultimate declaration of Sri Adi Sankara:Brahma satyam jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva näparah” ( Brahman is the Reality, the universe is an illusion, the living being is Brahman alone ). In nutshell, this would alone ensure supreme devotion towards Lord the Devarshi Narada way!

The ever-increasing hatred would not stop in absence of true realization of one’s nature. The ultimate declaration on part of Sri Adi Sankara is bit difficult for average minds from point of view of grasping its actual purport, but there is no way out! You cannot wipe out hatred unless you realize that self in you is self in all the beings!! That man is “potentially divine” is the only escape route!

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( Professor Rakesh Pandey, Department Of History, Benaras Hindu University, addressing the audience. He advocated the necessity of installing “Ishvara Bhava” ( feeling of divinity ) in each jeeva ( individual self ) )

Sri Ram Yadav, retd. IAS, who also addressed this event, eloquently expressed that verses of Srimad Bhagvad Gita serve as panacea for human beings chased by unspeakable problems. This scripture is going to stay with us in future generations since it has the capacity to elevate our spirit no matter what’s the nature of issue haunting us. For people who have given up hope of redemption, it’s Gita alone which offers solace to them when it says “sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ” ( Abandon all types of dharma – come and surrender unto Me alone! Do not fear, for I will surely deliver you from all reactions.) ( Chap. 18, Verse 66 ). In fact, Lord is ready to bear all the responsibilities of such a seeker who shows tremendous faith in glory of Lord Krishna:  ” Ananyas cintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham” ( But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form-to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have. ( Chap. 9, Verse 22 )

The event was also addressed by S C Upadhyaya, Senior Advocate, Allahabad High Court, who besides narrating the achievements of  “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being” in the capacity of its President also came to reveal that Madan Mohan Malviya gave 100% concession in fees to any student who successfully quoted even one verse of Gita with perfection. He said that Gita inspired giants like Bal Gangadhar Tillak and Mahatma Gandhi to enter into selfless actions ( nishkama bhava ). Senor Advocate N C Chaturvedi, R S Verma, retd. IAS,  and coordinator of this event Advocate Sanjay Mishra also spoke about effectiveness of being in touch with verses of Srimad Bhagvad Gita!

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( Sri Ram Yadav, Retd. IAS, said that Srimad Bhagvad Gita serve as panacea for human beings chased by unspeakable problems. ) 

Mr Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Ex Vice President of Allahabad High Court Bar Association, presented fascinating views while presenting vote of thanks. Mr Tiwari said that it’s attachment with “Karma” ( action ) and detachment towards “Phala” ( gains or achievements ) which is the essence of Srimad Bhagvad Gita. In other words; let’s be highly focused  towards “Shashwata” ( eternal or imperishable ) and remain unconcerned about “Mithyatva”  ( transience ). It would be extremely pleasing to state at this juncture about the soothing Shri Radha oriented bhajans sung by Mr. R B Tripathi, Assistant Registrar, Prayag Sangeet Samiti. Mr Tripathi who also played flute at this event happens to be President awarded (1968) artist is also top-notch Akashvani ( radio )  artist as well. I must say his music presentations provided a much needed conductive atmosphere for intense discussions on Gita or else I noticed many advocates either rushing towards their home or food plates!

I need to end this write-up by reiterating  words from keynote address delivered by Professor Janak Pandey. Let’s follow the footsteps of Westerners who have learnt quite well how to bring into application concepts unleashed by Sriamd Bhagvad Gita. It’s a scripture aimed at making human being an “integrated personality” since Gita provides us divine inspiration, supreme goal, and art of manifesting these goals! It’s a scripture which makes one aware of one’s true persona, realize one’s true nature. It’s time to apply essence of Gita this way. That’s the reason why Sri Aurobindo boldly asserted “Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization.” Perhaps this is why in coming generations, Srimad Bhagvad Gita, would continue to show perfect way to both India and the rest of the world!!


Sri Sankara

( I need to thank Professor  Rakesh Pandey, BHU,  that he referred to declaration of Sri Adi Sankara: Brahma satyam jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva näparah” . His commentary on Gita is the best representative of Indian intellect. Sri Adi Sankara also highlights that Guru can be young and disciples in the last lap of their lives! )

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( The post has been written by Arvind K.Pandey, Freelancer, Reputed International Blogger and Advocate, Allahabad High Court )

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Other images of this event:

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 ( This boy named Aditya Upadhyaya did excellent recitation of Chapter 14 of Sriamd Bhagavad Gita. Well done, Aditya!! God Bless You!  )

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( Dr Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Ex Vice-President Allahabad High Court Bar Association, Allahabad, presented vote of thanks, with a message to remain attached to Karma ( action ) and detached from results arising out of particular Karma!  )

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  ( A selfie with Mr R B Tripathi, Assistant Registrar, Prayag Sangeet Samiti.  A top-notch radio artist who has received award at the hands of President of India in year 1968. On this occasion he mesmerized the audience with his singing and flute recital  )  

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( A selfie with Mr Rakesh Pandey, Professor, Department Of History, Benaras Hindu University ( BHU ) 🙂 It’s a great honour to be with such a  wonderful academician belonging to such an iconic institution! ) 

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( A selfie with Mr Janak Pandey, Ex Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Bihar.  Life is a short affair and if in this short journey you come to spend few moments with such top-notch intellectuals then it gives rise to deep satisfaction within 🙂 )

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( The busy advocates in great number attended this lecture! I must appreciate this fact that despite being chased by tight schedules they managed to pay attention to such wonderful listeners with rapt attention 🙂 And serious faces of my nieces show that they are pretending hard to pay attention to ongoing developments 😛  ) 

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( The Hanuman Temple at Civil Lines. At this place this event took place. )

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( The statue of Swamiji who laid the foundation of this beautiful temple. )

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( Awesome Statues Of Sri Radha-Krishna placed inside this temple. Jai Radha-Madhava! Be Their Glory Remains Always Intact 🙂 )

References: 

Srimad Bhagvad Gita ( Original Text )

 
 
Pic Credit:

Pic One  
 

 

My Suggestions To Department of Justice: Collegium System Should Not Make Citizens Feel Cheated!

Supreme Court is determined to improve the face of collegium system!

Supreme Court is determined to improve the face of collegium system!

I came to submit my suggestions before Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice, honouring the intentions of Supreme Court aimed at improving the collegium system. It has asked the government to seek suggestions from public and Bar Council of India. Interestingly, as I came to flip through news items in the aftermath of sending my suggestions, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction that my views were well-within the ambit of concerns of other top-notch legal experts grappling with issue of elevating standard of collegium. The Supreme Court eager to ensure transparency feels that a permanent secretariat for collegium would prove handy. It’s also all prepared to improve the complain mechanism against the candidates besides ensuring a perfect methodology to determine candidate’s eligibility.

It’s certain that on this sensitive matter views of legal experts are bound to be divided. Fali S Nariman pointed out the flaws in present collegium system in quite strong terms. He seemed to be highly frustrated the way members of colleguim circle turned a deaf ear to concerns of right voices!! “The Dinakaran episode told us that there was lack of receptivity in the collegium. If a responsible member of the bar wants to tell the collegium about a person being considered for the post of a judge, why should the collegium members not hear him out.” ( Fali S Nariman, The Times of India )

Justice Chelameswar who has left everybody stunned with his strong condemnation of present days colleguim system sounds harsh yet very genuine in regard to reforms in this direction.  “To assume or assert that judiciary alone is concerned with the preservation of liberties and does that job well, is an assumption that is dogmatic, bereft of evidentiary basis and historically disproved… To wholly eliminate the executive from the process of selection would be inconsistent with the foundational premise that government in a democracy is by chosen representatives of the people. The records ( information shared among collegium members )  are absolutely beyond the reach of any person including the judges of this court who are not lucky enough to become CJI. Such a state of affairs does not either enhance the credibility of the institution or good for the people of this country” ( Justice J Chelameswar, The Times of India )

Collegium System Is Still The Best Method!

Collegium System Is Still The Best Method!

However, former solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam, is adamant about highest level of confidentiality regarding deliberations among collegium members! ” The moment information gets leaked about a person being considered by the collegium at the Supreme Court or the high court level, immediately, vested interests swing into action. They launch a motivated campaign to deride and defame the person in the zone of consideration. The person who is awaiting a final word about his appointment as judge from the collegium suffers greatly in silence. Collegium meetings have to be conducted in absolute secrecy. Names of persons being considered by the collegium for the post of judges should never be leaked out. It unnecessarily puts the candidate’s reputation in peril.” ( Gopal Subramaniam, The Times of India)

The opinion seems to be strongly divided. The ball now lies in the Supreme Court. We all eagerly await its final words in this regard. My suggestions are pretty simplistic in tone since I am quite aware of the fact that legal bodies would have sent enough cumbersome ideas!! For instance, I had a look at the suggestions sent by Save Indian Family Foundation ((SIFF) fighting for the welfare of men in India. Few of them appeared to be well-carved suggestions but  certain ideas were outrageous and flabbergasting. Overall, this institution fighting for the cause of men did a good job.

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My suggestions are as follows:

1. There should be thorough scrutiny of the credentials of the candidate. It should be ensured at the very first stage that names recommended represent the best minds.

2. Though it’s a good idea that there should be fair representation of women and SC/ST quota, it should be ensured that it in no way compromises with the merit. The point is that merit should be the criteria instead of adhering to notion of fair representation in rigorous way.

3. If possible let us citizens be made aware of criteria/qualification on which the final selection got made. There should be maximum transparency, and minimum confidentiality. It’s the notion of confidentiality that has created maximum damage in the field of judiciary. The point is that if at any stage it’s found that there is something fishy about final selection, there should be a mechanism to prevent the entry of wrong person in league with doubtful credentials.

4. It should also be ensured that whistle blowers who dare to expose wrong names should not be targeted.

5. It’s a redundant practice in field of law that only heirs of big lawyers or lawyers enjoying patronage of judges get recommended and thereafter selected! This practice should stop. Let those names be recommend who truly represent the legal values.

6. This may sound an abstraction but I feel that let those lawyers be recommended who have genuine inclination towards rule of law and natural justice instead of making way for lawyers who have simply dry understanding of rules and regulations.

( The Writer Of This Post Is Advocate Associated With Allahabad High Court, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. )

Let's Hope Reforms Initiated By Apex Court Ensure That We Get The Best Judges!

Let’s Hope Reforms Initiated By Apex Court Ensure That We Get The Best Judges!

References:

Supreme Court Regarding Nature Of Collegium
Fali S Nariman On Collegium System
Justice Chelameswar On Collegium System
Gopal Subramaniam On Collegium System
Suggestions By Save Indian Family Foundation

Pics Credit:
Pic One
Pic Two
Pic Three

Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission: Let’s Hope It Regains Its Lost Glory!

The

The “Y” Factor Killed The Reputation Of Commission!

For a writer it’s a matter of great satisfaction if the issues raised by him get snowballed into crucial developments at grass-roots level. I am really happy that Allahabad High Court quashed appointment of Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission on grounds that it was “arbitrary” and “”breach of provisions of Constitution”. I had taken note of the grievances of agitating students much before it turned into a sub judice affair. I had kept a close eye on the affairs pertaining to the world of students besides taking note of key developments taking place inside the corridors of Public Service Commission. There was a personal reason as well. My father had served this institution and therefore issues related to it meant a lot for me at emotional level. It was really upsetting for me that such an impartial constitutional body had become playground of vested interests. The key posts went to people with chequered past. But none could raise objection since it was an autonomous body enjoying immense power. Of course, everybody knew that it was being controlled by “Y Factor” ( Yadav factor )

Being resident of this city, I always met students who informed me about the malpractices going on unabated inside Commission. The whole examination process for various examination had become a farce, interviews were being conducted in most discriminatory way. That meant end of road for meritorious students wishing to be part of system as  government officials. Although I do not believe in being head on with district administration, I was devoid of saner choice other than asking students to demonstrate on the streets in a ferocious way. Fortunately, the agitations took the same shape with students going berserk! Number of petitions got filed in the court regarding the misuse of power and abuse of constitutional provisions. Like always Court had the last laugh when it showed the door to Secretary and Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission within gap of few days. The High court set side appointment of  Chairman treating it to be “ultra vires” of Article 316 pertaining to the guidelines related with appointment of Chairman and other members of Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission.

I came to vigorously pursue this issue through my writings. This post The Tragic Transformation Of Public Service Commission Into Yadav Service Commission! which first appeared this website on July 29, 2013, referred to dirty games and shady deals happening on the premises of Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission. I dispatched this article to offices of mainstream newspapers but none dared to show enough guts to take anti-government stance in such a brazen fashion! Luckily, this article elicited huge interest of readers on my website. Obviously, now when High Court has finally ensured that natural justice and rule of law are above dubious interests of political masters by quashing the appointment of Chairman, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction within. At least, it makes me have this realization that pen is mightier than sword! That written words never go in vain if they truly represent anguish and dissent.

I need to clarify that Allahabad High Court dealt with this issue on entirely different grounds as ones raised in my article, “The Tragic Transformation Of Public Service Commission Into Yadav Service Commission!,  published on July 29, 2013. However, in the end, it culminated into the end as desired by me.Let’s hope constitutional bodies come to serve the people instead of serving political masters!

Real Credit Belongs To These Students Who Protested On Streets And Took The Matter To Court!

Real Credit Belongs To These Students Who Protested On Streets And Took The Matter To Court!

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I am posting below my article which first appeared on this website on July 29, 2013.

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 The Tragic Transformation Of Public Service Commission Into Yadav Service Commission!

Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission is a constitutional body, which has been assigned the task to make selections in various governments department at a State level. One expects it to discharge its duties in impartial and sound manner. However, of late, this prestigious constitutional body has become like a caged pigeon in the hands of its incompetent officials, who are acting at the behest of political masters. The latest reservation policy row provides insight into the mindset of officers working at this prestigious office. The implementation of caste-based quotas at the preliminary level of many important examinations, mainly to benefit certain “caste”, without worrying about the collateral damage caused by it is an ominous sign. It’s supposed to act in neutral manner so as to ensure that the selections take place in a fair way. However, the new mantra for it seems to be that “foul is fair”. The appeasement of political masters is more important than selection of meritorious candidates through right process.

This government agency some decades back enjoyed a good reputation of conducting examinations, and later, making final selections in honest way. It had such an impressive track record that many other government agencies sought its help in making proper selections in their own departments, granting it the authority to conduct examinations. However, the scenario inside the office has changed dramatically in last few years, especially in the regimes of Bahujan Samjwadi Party and Samajwadi Party- the political parties which were in control of Uttar Pradesh in last few years. Their casteist approach demolished the reputation of this prestigious body. In their regimes, the key positions went to officers who played havoc with the selection process.

The students who ensured that controversial reservation policy gets scrapped are absolutely right in demanding that a high level inquiry committee should be formed to take note of the irregularities made in selections during last few years. The students need to be appreciated for their act of seeking relevant information in this regard under Right to Information Act. At present two officers from Yadav community are holding key positions in this office. Isn’t it highly shameful that students now treat Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission as ” Yadav Selection Commission”? Most of the bright students after completing the graduation go in for examinations conducted by Public Service Commission since selections to most of the the key administrative posts are made by it. Don’t these corrupt officials realize that by making selections in such arbitrary manner they are causing irreparable damage?  First, they are destroying the future of genuine applicants, and second,  they are paving way for incompetent people to act as government servants in future. What sort of decisions such government officials would make who got selected through such flawed process?

The reservation was introduced by makers of the Constitution for a specific period to enable marginalized castes attain a dignified position in the society. The sentiments of people, who introduced reservation, were really aimed at the welfare of weaker sections of society. However, that’s not the case now. It’s the most effective tool to destabilize societal structure. It’s the instrument to remain in power. It’s a weapon in the hands of dirty political minds to ensure that they remain relevant in political landscape. It’s high time courts and conscious citizens teach fitting lesson to corrupt political leaders and bureaucrats, who are demolishing the image of constitutional bodies.

Is That's The Way Youth Icon, Akhilesh Singh, Play With Future Of Students By Appointing Such Tainted Officials?

Youth Icon, Akhilesh Singh, Playing With Future Of Students By Appointing Such Tainted Officials!!

References:

The Tragic Transformation Of Public Service Commission Into Yadav Service Commission!

NDTV

Firstpost

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