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Polarisation across world, India, marked by social media growth, intolerance among communities: CJI

The CJI also noted that India’s pluralistic culture and "ability to engage in dialogue" set it apart from various other countries which got independence during the same period but could not keep democracy.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Mumbai Published on: December 09, 2023 10:19 IST
CJI DY Chandrachud, Supreme Court
Image Source : PTI CJI DY Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has said that the polarisation across the world, with India being no exception, is marked by the growth of social media and the intolerance among communities. The CJI also noted that India’s pluralistic culture and "ability to engage in dialogue" set it apart from several other nations which got independence during the same period but could not keep hold on to democracy. He was addressing at the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards function on Friday (December 8).

"Much of the polarisation which we see across the globalised world....the polarisation between right and left and the centre...the polarisation which we experience across the world and India is no exception, is also marked by the growth of social media, the sense of intolerance among communities, the short attention span which the younger generation has," CJI Chandrachud said.

This was not an isolated phenomenon, and free markets and technology produced it, he added.

CJI hails India's journey as democracy

The CJI also shed light on India’s post-independence journey and hailed the country’s democracy.

Along with India, several other countries got freedom from colonial rule 75 years ago, but many of them were unable to attain true self- governance, while India was able to sustain its democracy, he said.

"What is that sets India apart from so many nations across the world which became free with us around the same time, but were not able to sustain freedom as a way of life? Some may possibly say that we internalised democracy, we have internalised constitutional values. Others will say the strength of our nation lies in its pluralistic culture, the culture of inclusion, the culture of all encompassing humanity," he stated.

Justice Chandrachud noted that the “power of gun” got the better of the rule of law in various countries, but India survived through the tough time due to its ability to engage in dialogue.

CJI on public service

Public service is of paramount importance for a thriving society, but very few individuals embrace it wholeheartedly due to the challenges and barriers they encounter along the way, he said.

"Choosing a public service path often requires personal and professional sacrifice. Individuals may find themselves navigating a delicate balance where the demand of public duty clashes with the need of personal and career pursuits," the CJI said.

He further said that the judges see injustice "face to face", and while they try to resolve injustice within the boundaries of law, they also realise the limitations of law in creating a truly just society.

"The importance of law lies in its ability to create a framework where there is an organised discourse possible, as I said where we replace the power bullets with power of reason. But equally, there is justice beyond the law and for justice beyond law we need to fathom our own hearts and our own communities to tap the innate goodness in the individual," Chandrachud said.

"Because the law can be a source of immense good, but law can be a source of immense arbitrariness (too). It depends on who wields the law and what are the social conditions in which the law is wielded," he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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