Address by Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, Honourable Vice President at the release of the book titled “Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond” in New Delhi on April 12, 2024.

New Delhi | April 12, 2024

Good evening, all of you.

It is a delightful moment sharing dias with the distinguished people present here. I was part of releasing the book "The Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond" by Prof. Raman Mittal and Dr. Seema Singh.

The subject is difficult, the subject is complex, in some sense, the subject is abstract. I have had the good fortune to go through some of the articles.

I can see, without exception, that every contributor deserves applause for having engaged in his contribution with heart and soul in the article.

And therefore a matter of joy and privilege to be with you all on this great occasion. The book title "Law & Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond." says it all.

Bharat, home to 1/6 of humanity, is a spiritual centre of the world. This is the acknowledged reality. Our 5000 years civilizational ethos reveals it in every sense, and this was carried out to globe in more meaningful manner. In this contemporaneous time, by our G20 presidency, the world had the occasion to be exposed to the spirituality of this great Nation. When at about 60 locations G20 functions were held in every state and union territories of this country and the main function Bharat MandapamG20 main function and P20 at Yashobhoomi.

It is time for us to reflect how we sustain our age-old legacy. This legacy is hard-earned through several mechanisms. I had the good fortune to find out the Hon’ble members from the parliament, as to how many of you have physically seen our Vedas, our Upanishads, our Puranas? We talk about them day in, day out, but have you really got into depth of it? I therefore made a suggestion to the Hon’ble ministers to make available to every parliamentarian Vedas.

Trust me, having Vedas by your bedside will do a lot of good to humanity because the human beings that will test the Vedas will speak out of his soul, not out of his minor heart. When one speaks out of mind, they are dominated by rationality; when one speaks out of heart, they are dominated by emotive aspect also, but when there is a soul convergent, the things are very different.

Friends, Bharat, with its civilization of 5000 years, has continually disseminated the message of 'Dharma' and 'Spiritualism' to the world through its timeless scriptures, philosophical treatises, and cultural practices.

Law broadly indicates a regime that defines what people may do or not do. Adherence to the rule of law is the nectar of democracy. There have been regimes where adherents to the rule of law have been far more effective and possible in democracy, but the essence of democracy, the nectar of democracy, lies because the rule of law is deeply embedded with the concept of equality before law. A democracy has no meaning at all if there is no equality before the law.

I have seen a transformative change in the last few years, which has strengthened the concept of equality before the law, ensuring all are subject to law, none are above the law, and none can claim immunity from the law.

There was a time when some thought they were beyond the reach of the law. If, in a society, someone can get away by benefiting after engaging in transgression of the law, they are the sole beneficiary, but the entire society suffers. In democracy, we feel that jump of the heartbeat that explicitly questions, "How come someone is more entitled than I am?" That is equality before the law. That change we have seen.

One direct outcome of equality before the law is that inequities are contained. No one will have grievances if all are treated equally. Grievances emanate when we engage in favouritism, when we believe in a mechanism that is antithetical to merit. That kind of mechanism is therefore fundamental to democratic rights, the flourishing of humanity, and I would say, survival of democracy.

Friends, it is soothing to note that the privileged pedigree has been compulsively made accountable to the rule of law. We are seeing it, and there is bound to be resistance to it when people are used to be treated very differently, when they are assured by upbringing or otherwise that they have some kind of immunity from the law. And when they find the rule of law coming so close to them, making them accountable in a normal process, we must all remember fundamentally that when the law takes its course, it is the duty of society to ensure that we take recourse to legal remedies. Unfortunately, when the legal process is set in motion, I don't understand why people should take to the streets because the fundamental of democracy is against the rule of law. Is it fair administration? And the fair administration emanates from a robust judicial system. We can be proud of our judiciary, how quickly it responds to citizen-centric issues. No country can claim to have the kind of robust judicial mechanism as we have in this country—fast, expeditious, and fairless.

This big change that has come in the last few years has made our democracy more vibrant. It has become growth-oriented and recognized by the global order. This has generated an upbeat mood in the nation, and in our impressionable young minds, they are now filled with hope and possibility in an environment that is lawful.

Spirituality is another facet which appears to be very abstract. If you scratch the surface, you will not be able to grapple with spirituality. I had the good fortune to attend a global spiritual conference.

Spirituality reflects sublime concern for others and welfare of all. Spirituality guides us to discover that our lives are significant beyond ordinary existence, personal concerns and selfishness. Most of us are tied by these vices. We learn too late, after having negotiated precious time that we need to be in the other mode. spirituality will steer in us happiness for all, growth of all, concern of all.

Friends, The combination of law and spirituality is thus a concept that can take us towards utopian governance, global peace and harmony. A combination of the two would unfold a legal regime and governance that would be non-invasive and wholesome for humanity.

The effort by Professor Raman Mittal and Prof. Seema Singh in bringing out this book “Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond” is indeed commendable.

The contributors have been drawn from various facets of human activity- from governance and constitutionalism; from law and justice; from spirituality and ethics; and the like.

The book traverses critical aspects in relation to the theme “Law and Spirituality” covering the domain of justice, legal values, feminism and criminology.

After having read parts of some of the articles, I can tell you it's a treasure. you will be exposed to the erudition and expert knowledge of the author that has been well crafted in minimum words.

The book deserves to be on the bedside of everyone as going through it would be an enriching experience and would lead to enlightenment of the individual, inspiring and motivating the reader to be in pursuit of service for humanity.

I congratulate the editors, the contributors for this excellent effort and for effecting convergence of knowledge and talent of people from varied areas of human activity.

Friends, I could have said more but after having gone through some of the articles and part of some of the articles, I advice everyone of you to keep the book by your bed side, make it a habit to go through it. Once you will go through it, trust me there will be seamless gliding through the entire book at 1 point of time or other and you will be benefited enormously.

I am grateful to the audience for the time I have taken.

Thank You