Centre for Advanced Legal Studies and Research, (CALSAR), Thiruvananthapuram

Kris Venugopal, Director, La Liberta

Kris Venugopal, Director, La Liberta

Dream is not what you see in sleep, dream is something that doesn’t let you sleep 

 – Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam

With those inspirational words, I dream about 2040.  Every Nation requires a visionary like Dr.APJ and those inspired pursuers to achieve the impossible. Why do we need a dream to move forward?

Having spent a major portion of my life in UAE, I am inspired by the following words of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a visionary to the world, who dreams of the best for his subjects, not after 20 years, but now. “In the journey towards success, there is no finish line” (Flashes of Thought: Lessons in life and Leadership).

Success can be achieved by following successful people. It is not only by taking the example of the development of countries like UAE and Singapore through reiterative planning but by mapping the same with considerable changes this can be done. The leaders ‘thought for the people and the constitution is the key here for these success models either from monarchy or autocratic governance.

Reiterative Planning – the secret of success 

The Five-year plans since independence need a recheck due to the multiparty system in India. Over the years, Five-year plans are limited only to those “Five Years” and either the next ruling party or the system itself would end their reason or progress. 

The constitution guarantees freedom to express and follow a party of one’s own choice while emulating a Five Year Plan, which is of the Harrod Domar Model following the Keynesian model for economic growth, followed in Uni-party countries like the erstwhile USSR or China. Whatever little growth is achieved during the five years should not be erased in the next five, instead, there should be a constant evolution for success. 

The experience of seeing the accelerated growth in UAE formed in 1972, is by reiterative planning which works on a time-bound technique ensuring growth. A plan is first made for five years and reviewed the next year for assessing its growth. The quantum of growth measured and lauded along with the plan for the next five years ensures that it can be implemented well as per its period. Thus implementation of reiterative planning will take us to our destination, up in the rungs of success among world countries.

Freedom of expression – in all its senses 

Is freedom of expression as envisaged in Article 19, one of the six freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution? Any member of a party in governance or otherwise are just mentored to follow what is instructed to them and not to express. Is that the true sense of democracy with freedom of expression? When each person in India can express his thoughts and is heard, then the freedom of expression has its true meaning. Envisage a system where a person working for the betterment of the country, who can call a spade a spade. 

A system to stitch, rectify a glitch

As I was driving on the streets of UAE, I saw a public clock on a roundabout not operational. There I have the access to the municipality and the error was rectified within the time I was driving back. The same was the case when I saw a torn flag on a flag pole, the replacement was within a few hours. “A stitch in time saves nine”, say the wise. Adequate measures to have a system in place will ensure the movement forward. 

Pride to instill togetherness

I remember my visit to Srilanka, the time I spent traveling, my chauffer said:

“My brother works abroad and earns Foreign Exchange for my country, and I do my part by welcoming friends like you… please do come back again”

 His words with pride for the nation taught me a lesson: “having pride about the nation is of prime importance. The rest falls into place on its own.”

In India, everyone has complaints about another religion, party, language, or resident of another state. The only way to instill pride in each and every Indian is the book of compassion. Our constitution, needs to be a subject in school, where everyone is looked upon as one… as   Indians, considering our country as more important.

Legal Education along with RTE

“Ignorantia juris non excusat”

What are we doing to work against Ignorance of the law, the law of the land, the spirit of the nation? The ideals thought about while framing those laws, against all the evils of the time. Through these four scores of years after independence, not even a single step is taken towards fighting against that ignorance. The right to education is needed, and the right to legal knowledge is a necessity. 

Qualification a necessity

Would you give a Ferrari to a person who doesn’t even know to drive? Then why do we elect people to legislate who do not even know the basics of law?  Learning from Singapore, every member of the legislative or parliament are knowledgeable…  The dream I nurture is a day when Legislators know the process of legislation and are adept in their duties or having an entrance exam with basics of law as its subject to be given to prove the qualification of the legislators before they take the oath.

Dreams have no boundaries…

Moving forward, Legal education at the basic level is a key, even though a baby step. Constitution as a subject for the high school students could be the second. Implementing qualification-based legislators would be the next. And slowly and steadily with responsible people in responsible positions, we would progress by leaps and bounds. 

This is the right time to bring about the change with such baby steps towards our future. Let’s take pride in what we have been given by our forefathers, taking up the responsibility and in taking the dream forward… with steps towards a safe and successful 2040. Let my country awake to a new future of freedom….

– Krishnan AV (Kriss Venugopal)

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Sowmya Santhosh

Excellent Article , Well articulated ! Even some basic laws , can be taught in high schools as part of life skills training like Domestic Violence Act , MV Act . This will infact help students , who want to pursue law as their career, to get an overview of what it’s all about before writing CLAT .

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