Sunday 28 July 2013

Dear Newly Inducted Law Students,

The occasion in which I am to speak now, lays wide open the scope of my speech.  In order to impart the correct orientation to the future stakeholders of our legal system I feel naturally inclined to share with you the essence which I personally discovered in the study and practice of law and the sacred purpose which I presently serve in discharging my social obligations in the legal field. I could take several hours to expound on it, but I’ll be brief.
Let me begin by wholeheartedly congratulating each one of you for having chosen law as your field of study and career. It’s a wise decision and a brave one too. I call the decision wise because in the years to come you will realize how self satisfying and intellectually stimulating, your professional journey may turn out. And I call you brave because you have chosen a career which is full of struggle and expects tremendous perseverance from you without offering in return the glamour and glitter which many other professions would have showered. It's good that you're brave for in course of your profession you will realize that courage to do what is right, even when a majority might oppose you in your beliefs, will determine what you become in this profession. I can say this with the greatest of confidence and belief that there is perhaps another avenue as interesting and as engaging as the study and practice of law, no matter howsoever otherwise many would want you to think. Let me also add that there is perhaps another stream which will open your minds to analysis and consideration of various processes of governance and society like the study of law will. May I also ask that in what other profession, does one plunge so deep into the stream of life, so share in its passions, its battles, its despair and its triumphs?

Law is that omnipresent thread that runs throughout the whole societal set up. It is the reason for societal sanity. In fact it is the very cause why any society, any nation will not descend into anarchy. And by having chosen the study of law and the legal profession, all of you have chosen to undertake responsibility for guarding precious humanity and our society from going to ruins. Howsoever far fetched it may sound to you now, tomorrow, in your hands shall rest the key to survival of the sacred ideals of our democracy, the cherished freedom of humanity and golden rights of the weak and the underprivileged as envisioned by the founding fathers of our great country. You will be the ones who will hold the power to preserve the dignity of our constitution and to uphold the rule of law. These may sound like ceremonious words from antique authorship to you now, but in a matter of days these would be part of your routine performance. You must therefore realize that you are now on the stepping stone to achieving something radical and extraordinary in your respective lives. You will all be social engineers tomorrow. Since you will be armed with information and knowledge of laws, regulations, processes – all the vital ingredients that constitute the administration of our nation. This will put you in a distinctively advantageous position over your neighbours and your peers. It will polish your outlook and enhance your ability to do something for the greater good of our fellow men and women. Do not let the disadvantages of circumstances bring about any concession in your efforts in utilizing these assets for pursuing social betterment.

Today, the crisis of confidence in human institutions has come to the forefront. The deficiency of every institution in tackling the growing and complicated social problems has become a common feature and has posed a challenge for every institution. Every democratic institution needs to meet this challenge. When the viability of the system gets into disrepute and ultimately the system becomes less and less useful to the community, the challenge lies in rejuvenating the system by restoring its credibility and by reinstating people’s faith in it. This is exactly the point where all of you will have to step in and play a major role in upholding the trust of the public in our democratic ideals.  And please mark my words when I say that this is by no means an ordinary role. Because if you, as legal professionals, do not strive to guard the treasured democratic ideals and institutions of our nation then there will be no one to save our system from a total collapse and imminent chaos. I am an optimist. And I believe whole heartedly that all of you would live up to the expectations which we nurture with regard to each one of you. There is no reason why one would doubt that you would not deliver well. Since each one of you is a stakeholder of our judicial institution, my advice would be that when you study or practice law, do so with a multidisciplinary approach. 

Remember, our world is legal in the sense that it is governed by norms, rules, and principles. And law is the finest form of embodiment of rules, norms and principles that must be followed by all in the social and economic life at the minimum.  I want you to look at law not just as a branch of knowledge like all other subjects; because it is the only branch of human knowledge, as I mentioned earlier, which covers all walks of human life and all branches of knowledge. Law is a multi disciplinary subject and it is bound to grow as a cross-disciplinary branch of awareness. You will study it with success and purpose if you have multi disciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach. Your purpose should be at promoting 'Justice' rather than just resolving disputes. You will succeed if you study and practice law in the context of social realities. Your role would be that of a harmonizer and an equalizer. When you perform such roles do so with self esteem and without fear or favour. Only then would you be able to redress the tears of hundreds and the miseries of thousands.

History will tell you that the greatest of revolutionaries, freedom fighters and founders of great nations have been students and practitioners of law. Therefore never weigh legal profession by the same standards that are used for other professions. For there is no other career in the world, which offers opportunity for saving man’s honour, dignity and freedom -  entities which no amount of money can buy and which no deal of modernization can guarantee. Yet, unfortunately you may not get the credit for having chosen such a noble way of earning your livelihood. This is because the repute of the legal profession is not what it ought to be in the eyes of a large number of people. There is an ostensible disconnect between the function legal professionals serve, and how they are perceived by the public. This would burden your hearts - but remember – many years from now you will not be judged by the degrees or medals or the glittering materials that you may or may not own, but you will be judged by what you did for mankind. You take on a responsibility above and apart from the rest of society. You accept new obligations, standards, and principles. Study and practice of law will ensure that. And make no mistake: no profession is more honorable than the law. You would be the defenders of the Constitution, the guardians of our liberty, the advocates of just causes, no matter how unpopular, the protectors of the powerless, the wise counselors of our society—that is what you will have trained to become in a few years.

Something within me tells me that a generation of new ideas and talent is about to change the world. We constitute that generation.  I am therefore sure that you will bring about marvellous changes all around. Do so with pride and dignity while ensuring equal opportunity and dignity for all. In matter of time you will realize that study and practice of law is the most excellent way to do it.

Use your legal education wisely for the benefit of people at large.
I wish you all the best for your future.

Thank you !!!


  1. It's really good to see you again Anupam :)
    lawyers do play a big role in every society..
    directly or indirectly they form an essential support system.

  2. Very nice post :)

  3. i'm imagining a thunderous applause at the end of this speech. Bravo!

  4. A rousing speech, Anupam! Let us hope it inspired the listeners to an awakening of their societal role.

  5. vry good post