02-SEP-2019: Prof Virendra Kumar delivers Dr Ambedkar Memorial Lecture
Aligarh, August 2: Eminent Jurist and Professor Emeritus (Law), Virendra Kumar today delivered the Dr Ambedkar Memorial Lecture on 'Freedom of Religion: Its identity ad Autonomy under the Indian Constitution (A Critique of the Supreme Court Judgement in Sabarimala Temple Case-2018)' in which he critiqued the limits of judicial interventions with special reference to the Sabrimala Temple Case Judgement.
During the lecture organised by the Dr Ambedkar Chair of Legal Studies and Research, Department of Law, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU); Prof Kumar highlighted that salvation in a democratic secular polity lies in 'unity in diversity from within'.
He pointed out that diversity is neither discriminatory nor divisive, rather it is the essence of innate unity that makes India truly incredible, as it leaves the people free to evolve, develop and unfold their own potentials themselves in response to the call of space and time.
Prof Kumar emphasised: "We need to learn 'to respect and accept' the religious persuasions of diverse people, without unduly questioning their belief, faith or mode of worship excepting to the limited extent on the constitutionally specified grounds of public order and morality."
He added that 'morality' needs to be construed from the view-point of the devotees of the 'religious denomination' concerned.
Prof Kumar further pointed out that critiquing of Sabrimala case is necessary because the Supreme Court in this case has delivered an unprecedented decision by questioning the fundamental right to 'freedom of religion' for the first time in the matter of faith and worship leading to a 'rippling effect'.
"The Sabarimala case is one such where the court has boldly examined a deep-rooted belief present at multiple levels-from our homes to our places of worship," said Prof Kumar.
Delineating socio-religious reforms through judicial intervention, Prof Kumar also spoke about various aspects of India's evolving jurisprudence on religious rights.
Delivering presidential remarks, AMU Registrar, Mr Abdul Hamid (IPS) said that Dr B R Ambedkar as a jurist, economist, politician and a social reformer campaigned against social discrimination towards the marginalised sections, and supported rights of women and labour.
"Apart from Drafting India's Constitution, Dr Ambedkar is also the founder of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In 1990, the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, was posthumously conferred upon Dr Ambedkar and his legacy includes numerous memorials and depictions," said AMU Registrar.
The Guest of Honour, Mr D P Majhi, Director, Dr Ambedkar Foundation (An autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment) said that Dr Ambedkar was a prolific student earning doctorates in economics from Columbia University and the London School of Economics.
"Dr Ambedkar's life was marked by political activities as he became involved in campaigning and negotiations for India's independence, publishing journals, advocating political rights and social freedom for downtrodden and contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India," said Mr Majhi.
During the welcome address, Prof Javaid Talib, Chairman, Department of Law said that the Dr Ambedkar Chair of Legal Studies and Research at AMU was established to address the issues related to the marginalised communities in India.
Extending the vote of thanks, Prof Shakeel Ahmad Samdani, Dean, Faculty of Law announced that the Dr Ambedkar Foundation has released the grants to the Dr Ambedkar Chair of Legal Studies and Research.
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Related PicturesProf Virendra Kumar with Prof Shakeel Samdani Mr D P Majhi and Registrar Mr Abdul Hamid IPS
Prof Javaid Talib delivering welcome address
Mr Abdul Hamid giving presidential remarks