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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016
Book Review

Strokes on Law and Democracy in India


Published by Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. (New Delhi)

Pages. xxiv and 586           Price Rs..825

The author Dr. Janak Raj has lived close to action. Sometimes he has created (not formented) action and at times has vehemently protested against such action which infringes the rights of such persons who are unable to fight for their rights.

Dr. Janak Raj is an author who speaks from experience. He is a rare type of man whom the lure of money and power could not destract from his ideals. Two other PAs of Mrs. Gandhi viz. Yashpal Kapur and R.K. Dhawan who were his colleagues (and in the same scale of pay) later became MPs and bought houses in the upmarket Golf Links, New Delhi while the author chose to resign and pass LL.M., reside in hostel and write a thesis for Ph.D. This shows his love for academics and pure life.

He starts as a legal practitioner and becomes the President of Shahdara Bar Association but becomes embroiled in supporting 1200 ad hoc teachers whose services were illegally and remorselessly terminated. He organizes demonstrations for their cause, sits on hunger strike, fights their cases without fees. He earns a name but loses all earnings.

He saw the working of M.O. Mathai, Special Assistant to Nehru and narrates how Nehru tried to defend corrupt people like Mathai, Krishna Menon and T.T. Krishnamachari. The book tells us that Nehru ignored Patel's warning and fell a victim to his own imaginary world. A world where all countries would abide by his declarations of Panchashila. The book reveals that the mink coat and ' naulakha har' gifted to Indira Gandhi went to government coiffeurs only because the matter was repeatedly raised by Dr. Lohia. In his subtle way the author draws a picture of strife in the Nehru family and narrates the mean behaviour of a drunk Krishna Hutheesingh.

Dr. Janak Raj is a patriot who loves his country and its people and would sacrifice anything in their service. When J.P. gave his call for total revolution he joined the movement. He wrote a letter to Indira Gandhi on 14-7-1975 (after the declaration of emeregency). He boldly reminded her that "in 1957 you held no official position". Yashpal Kapur was drawing salary from the government as P.S. to P.M. yet he was whole time working with you doing "all your political dirty work". He reminds her as being instrumental in Dhirendra Brahmachari being gifted valuable government land for a song. He narrates many more misdeeds perpetrated by her and defends J.P. He closes the letter with these words "Our country is not hostage of your ambitions. In the name of God, please step down."

His letter brought consequences of which Dr. Raj was aware and prepared. He spent the next 19 months in Tihar Jail. R.K. Dhawan and H.K.L. Bhagat ensured that he is treated like a convict and the facilities allowed to an advocate were denied.

Even after the dawn of freedom post emergency Dr. Janak Raj continues in his exposure of unfair conduct and actions which are likely to harm the country. He fought for facilities to labour court judges. He wrote to Bihar Governor A.R. Kidwai admonishing him for meeting the Chief Justice of India and for running a poultry farm inside the Raj Bhavan. He is concerned because the son of President Shankar Dayal Sharma is running a commercial dog breeding centre in Rashtrapati Bhavan. He exposed the misdeeds of Kiran Bedi in Tihar which included luxurious lifestyle for Shobhraj.

He did not spare Chief Justice Verma and Ahmedi when they departed from the right path. He has published a copy of the letter disclosing that Chief Justice Anand gave his year of birth as 1934 when he was at Inner temple, U.K. He successfully opposed the manipulations and misdeeds of R.K. Anand, Advocate.

The book is a veritable repository of authentic information and rare documents. It contains copies of letters written by J.P. Narayan and that by Bhim Sen Sachar, former Chief Minister of Punjab to Indira Gandhi. Both of them were jailed.

Dr. Janak Raj is 81 and yet his spirit has not diminished. He is everyday sitting in the I.L.I. Library reading, writing and ready to support right causes.

The book is contemporary history as also the record of fights against injustice. It must adorn the shelves of every library and enlightened intellectual. Universal Law Publishing are known to bring out legal masterpieces. They have added one more feather to their cap.

Brij Kishore Sharma
Retired Additional Secretary to The Government of India

(Print Version)
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