‘More lives lost in the name of religion than political ideology’

Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman.  

Supreme Court judge, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, on Sunday, said he had wanted to write a children's book on the “gems” from each religious faith practised in India.

“As a lawyer, I found there were many misgivings felt by communities about each other. I wanted to write a book on the gems of each faith and get it to the children. Children ask questions at home, they are inquisitive... I felt at least they should learn about each other's faith for a better tomorrow,” Justice Nariman, only the fifth judge in the history of the country to be directly made a Supreme Court judge from the Bar, said.

Justice Nariman said he contacted the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which was unenthusiastic about the idea.

“How will there be unity among us unless we first learn to fraternise? Fraternity is a cardinal value of our Constitution. There will be fraternity only if we know something about the other person... Only fraternity will lead to unity,” Justice Nariman said.

He was speaking at the launch of his book The Inner Fire, an analysis of the 238 verses of the Gathas — the sacred text of the Zoroastrian faith.

Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, who was the chief guest at the function attended by sitting and former Supreme Court judges and leading members of the Parsi community, said “more lives have been lost in the name of religion than political ideology.”

“The thought that 'only my path is right' has led to destruction, damage and blood-shed. Religion is personal. No one has any business to say how you practise your faith. You are a Hindu if you pray and you are still a Hindu if you choose not to pray. Whether you want to pray in a temple, mosque, gurudwara or other houses of worship is your choice. All paths lead to God,” Chief Justice Thakur said.

‘An inspired work’

Calling his son's book an “inspired work”, senior advocate Fali Nariman gave rare glimpses of Justice Nariman's childhood and how as parents they took a while to “appreciate the qualities of his head and heart.”

Mr. Nariman said precociousness, regard for truth and compassion were the qualities of a good judge.

Admitting that he was not much of a “spiritualist”, Mr. Nariman said: “Is there a God? Nobody knows. Some say only God only knows.”

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 4:28:00 AM |

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