President urges law students to battle for people’s rights and welfare
Bangalore, August 28, 2016
President Pranab Mukherjee today said the legal fraternity, especially law students, must be in the vanguard of the battle for the rights and welfare of the people.
Addressing the 24th Annual Convocation of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) here, he said universities like NLSIU must “take the lead in meeting contemporary challenges and ensure that our civilizational values of love for motherland, performance of duty, compassion for all, tolerance, pluralism, respect for women, honesty in life, self-restraint in conduct, responsibility in action and discipline are fully entrenched in young minds.”
For this purpose, students should read, learn and formulate views on national issues. A democracy cannot be healthy without informed participation and it is not enough to merely vote periodically.
The first Law School of its kind in the country, NLSIU was created in 1986 to reform legal education and establish a centre of excellence for legal education and research in India. It has consistently been No. 1 in most surveys conducted of Law Schools in India, he noted.
Its students, alumni and faculty have already established for themselves an excellent reputation in the country and abroad for their knowledge, intellect, character and leaderships skills, the President noted.
Pointing out that legal education has undergone a paradigm shift in the last two decades, Mr Mukherjee said NLSIU must bridge the gap between the theoretical concepts and practical application. It must ignite inquiry and spirit of asking questions on all issues.
India has one of the finest constitutions in the world. Its driving principle is a compact between state and citizen, a powerful public-private partnership nourished by justice, liberty and equality, the President said.
“The Constitution represented a second liberation, this time from the stranglehold of traditional inequality in gender, caste, community along with other fetters that had chained us for too long.
“I urge all of you students of law to study our Constitution well. Understand our political system, its institutions and processes as established by the Constitution and law. Analyse the choices that were made to build the country into what it is today. Recognize that intelligent choices will need to be made for enabling this country reach her maximum potential. Participate in making these choices and don’t just be a bystander,” he added.
Lawyers are given a special status in this country because society recognizes the special functions that they perform. Lawyers have a duty to fight injustice wherever it exists. Supreme Court of India has through public interest litigation provided a powerful instrument in the hands of the common people which strengthened democracy, the President added.