Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mohamed Ali Currim Chagla - Religion of commitment to justice

m c chagla

In India secularism of most of the political persons and their respective parties attaches with the election perspective. It is essential in the present context to know that there are some Indians for whom India, Indian, nationality, and secularism were not only the collection of the words but the priceless collection of their life. Mohamed Currim Chagla as a jurist, justice and citizen did ruthless labor for life for India and the justice as well as freedom of Indians.
Born on 30th September 1900 in a prosperous business family, Mother of him died in his childhood. He filled his loneliness with the books and company with books took him to Oxford University.
After getting a degree of law from England in 1922 he in the initial period of advocacy associated with Mohammad Ali Jinnah and also associated with the political activities of the League.
In beginning period/days Justice Mohmmad Ali Currim Chagla did practice as assistant to Md. Ali Jinnah and remained the member of the Muslim League. Later on Jinnah took the stand of separate Muslim nation and on the other hand he took the stand of integrated India nation separately. He was the first Indian to be the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. Later on he became the cabinet minister of education and foreign affairs in the Central Government. He also remained the ambassador of India in America. His address in the full conference of BJP (Bhartiye Janta Party) in 1980 is the definition of secularism which is not digested by the narrow politics of today.
In 1928 in reply to the Simmon Commission, the Congress assigned Motilal Nehru to prepare the draft of the Constitution of India. During this period Jinnah had gone abroad in connection with the illness of his wife and in his absence, Chagla on behalf of the Muslim League assented to the joint electoral roll of the Hindus and Muslim community on Nehru proposal. On his return to India Jinnah became aggrieved with this consent of Chagla and separated himself from the Congress. Jinnah took the root to the separate Muslim nation and Chagla to the integrated India nation separately. Chagla became the member of the Congress but didn’t imitate the blind faithfulness to Mahatma Gandhi and on the hand reflected dissatisfaction on the neglect of the nationalist Muslims. Chagla wrote- “ The Congress and even Mahatma Gandhi showed indifference towards the nationalist Muslims and Jinnah and his communal supporters were given much importance and in comparison to them he had no weight. Gandhijee conferred the title of ‘Kayed-a-Azam’upon Jinnah who accepted with very pride. That time the Muslim League had members, not more than few thousand and Jinnah didn’t even have the broad mandate. Chagla became the judge of the Bombay High Court in 1941 and he was the first Indian to be the Chief Justice thereof and remained on this post till 1958. Justice Chagla established the court not only as a place of a wise argument but also the protector and helper(server) to the general public. He never reserved the decision of any case during his Judgeship. Life Insurance Corporation of India two years after its nationalization invested 1.24 crore in the unsuccessful companies of Haridas Mundhra and that whole investment sank. There was need of the escape from the son-in-law but not save him in India in those days. Firoz Gandhi raised this matter in the Lok Sabha, thereon Prime Minister Nehru appointed/constituted a one-member commission headed by Justice Chagla for the inquiry in the said matter. Justice Chagla submitted report just in 24 days, as a result of which the finance secretary, Bharat Sarkar and two officers of LIC of India had to resign. In the last, even the Finance Minister T.T. Krishnamachari had to leave the chair. Dr. Rajendra Prasad the President of India treated the report as one of the excellent judicial decisions and stated –“ Even if six senior judges of the world had been gathered, even though such a judicial and judicious decision would not have been made. Even after the retirement from the high court, he remained very active. He shouldered the responsibility as Vice-Chancellor of Bombay University, JJudgein International Court at Hague, Ambassador in America and Britain and the Education and Foreign Ministry of the Central Government. The credit goes to him for the formation of the Kothari Commission for reforms in the Indian Education System. Chagla wanted to make such Indian for whom there would not be a matter of surprise in case of a Hindu being Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and a Muslim being Vice-Chancellor of Banaras University.In 1964 his historical declaration/speech in UNO on the issue of Kashmir is the supreme interpretation of Indian side of this problem. When Indira Gandhi in 1973 intercepted/interfered (turn down) in the seniority list for the appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Chagla was the forerunner amongst the protestors. On his address, the advocates of the Supreme Court for a day boycotted the Court. After the proclamation of emergency on 26 June 1975 even Atal Bihari Bajpayee and Lalkrishna Adwani were arrested in Bengalluru like thousand leaders. In the Karnataka High Court, Justice Chagla stood to argue for the release of these two leaders and the court declared their detention illegal. During emergency without caring for the official suppression, the Justice Chagla publicly protested exponently. Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan in the forword of the autobiography of justice Chagla “Roses in December” depicted the fearless protest of Chagla during the emergency in the term of patriotism and fearlessness and treated the struggle period as an excellent time in his life. In the full conference of BJP in 1980 after the formation of Bhartiya Janta Party Justice Chagla was also one of the speakers. The address of Justice Chagla is such definition of secularism as is not being digested by the today’narrow politics. Justice Chagla died on 9th Feb,1981. The Bombay High Court wrote under his statue- A great Justice, a great citizen and above them a great human being. Chagla was not his clan name . His family name was Merchant. The young Mohammad Currim not even a little bit liked this commercial family name. He complained to his grand-father and on his advice, he put his family name Chagla. In kachchhi language, the meaning of Chagla is supreme lovable or star of the eye. In fact, Justice Chagla is and will remain the stars of the eye of the country in all Indian languages.

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