Mishra’s musings

It was unbecoming of Supreme Court judge Arun Mishra to have showered encomiums on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the International Judicial Conference (Front page, “PM Modi a versatile genius, says Justice Arun Mishra,” Feb. 23). By doing so, the judge seems to have not only erred but also demeaned the exalted position that he holds. It was of particular significance that he extolled Mr. Modi at a conference where a galaxy of judges from 20 countries was in attendance. What conclusion those who heard him might have drawn is not difficult to fathom. Justice Mishra seems to have done incalculable harm and unpardonable injustice to the country’s judicial ethos and its cherished values by his indiscreet and inappropriate words.

C.G. Kuriakose,

Kothamangalam, Kerala

What confidence will the people have in the judiciary when a sitting Supreme Court Justice praises sky-high Prime Minister Modi, calling him a “versatile genius” who “thinks globally but acts locally”? These remarks come at a time when critical issues like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and dilution of Article 370 are pending before the apex court and constitutional values like democracy, secularism and the like are to test. Our boasts of having a robust and independent judiciary have received a severe jolt. The least the Justice can do is to gracefully step down. The Supreme Court Bar Association and other associations have to act immediately to preserve the glory of the Constitution.

N.G.R. Prasad,

K.K. Ram Siddhartha,


A sitting judge of the Supreme Court has set the cat among the pigeons with his fulsome praise for the head of the executive at a judicial conference and the eulogy has drawn flak from retired members of the judicial fraternity. Justice Mishra’s lauding of the Prime Minister as an internationally acclaimed visionary and versatile genius who thinks globally and acts locally, irrespective of the merits of the argument, is clearly laying it on a bit too thick and perhaps the learned judge could have been a bit more subdued in his observations. It goes without saying that the independence of the judiciary cannot be compromised and, if this has to be ensured, it has to keep its distance from the executive and treat it on par with any other litigant.

C.V. Aravind,


Supreme Court judge Arun Mishra was fulsome in his praise of the Prime Minister at the International Judicial Conference in New Delhi. Justice Mishra showed no qualms or compunction about saying what he said as a sitting judge of the apex court about a sitting Prime Minister. His laudatory characterisation of Prime Minister Modi as a “versatile genius who thinks globally and acts locally” flabbergasted watchers of Indian politics and judiciary. His encomium that Mr. Modi is an “internationally acclaimed visionary” has left us speechless in disbelief. Did the learned judge mean what he said? Did he know the meaning of what he said?

Usually, singing the paeans of praise to a leader is left to his followers. The nature of his job has not deterred Justice Mishra from extolling the incumbent Prime Minister as a ‘versatile genius’. He seems to have been smitten by ‘Modi Worship Syndrome’. The moot question is whether a judge can lavish praise on a leader to an unbounded measure even if he is popular and has a huge cult following and risk being bracketed with sycophants. Modi bhakts abound in our country; they include TV anchors; serving and ex-army officers; yoga gurus; and even Governors. Now, a Supreme Court judge has joined the ‘Modi Fans Club’. In glorifying the Prime Minister in such glowing terms, Justice Mishra has revealed his political and ideological leanings.

We take issue with Justice Mishra because his eulogy goes to show the judiciary in a poor light and inclines us to wonder if it is as independent as we assume it to be. Justice Mishra’s praise does not alter the fact that Narendra Modi is a profoundly polarising figure with a chequered past and a promoter of the interests of privileged upper caste Hindus and corporate behemoths. In school, we learnt that Leonardo da Vinci was a versatile genius; he was a painter, a scientist, a mathematician, an engineer, an architect, a sculptor, a musician, a man of the theatre, a paleontologist, and a lot more, rolled into one. Versatile geniuses hold a lofty place in our imagination. Mr. Modi does not.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu


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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:51:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/mishras-musings/article30897529.ece

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