But the bigger question is: Can and should justice be embellished? The strong statements and requests for justice for the marginalised common man are indeed hopeful, and hope here takes the form of a decision.
Droupadi Murmu, our country’s 15th President, is from a tribal society. The tribes, our land’s first inhabitants, were the first to learn how to live in harmony with nature. Tribals who realised that the only way to live among or with nature is through justice. But life went far beyond the jungle for the quintessential human, whose inquisitive mind forced it to leave the forest and begin settling in open fields. The incredible stories of development that have been written and spread throughout the world are the reason why, in the 21st century, we find ourselves weighing ourselves against God, the almighty, supreme power.
We are also not unaware of the consequences. The most significant cause-and-effect is that, in the name of exploring nature, our exploitation has progressed to the point where Mother Earth herself is on the verge of extinction. However, let us return to the forests, where our tribal society still exists today. They are the ones who, even today, stand at the back of this human development saga and fully comprehend justice practises. Justice is one of the most important moral and political concepts that does not have a universally accepted definition. The word “justice” is derived from the Latin word “jus,” meaning right or law. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a “just” person as someone who “does what is morally right” and is inclined to “give everyone his or her due,” with the word “fair” as a synonym. In specific circumstances and cultural contexts, the claim for justice takes on new meaning. It is a progressive idea. Various philosophers have interpreted the term “justice” in various ways. Justice without the rule of law is not incoherent, but it is unavoidably void.
There is a famous couplet by Hafeez Hoshiarpuri.
Dil se aati hai baat lab pe Hafeez
Baat dil mein kahan se aati hai
(Lips utter messages from the heart, but from where
does their journey to the heart begin?)
Words are formed later; context comes first. Continuous behaviour produces essence or emotion. That is why a tribal person can explain the complex issues we face today in simple terms. Today, when a woman from the same marginalised society ascends to the highest constitutional position of her democratic country, the honour of becoming India’s first citizen, she uses this opulent position to tell the country’s judiciary and parliament that progress must be made and is being made.
In our rush for success, which of our core values are we losing touch with? What have we forgotten, and do we understand what we are doing incorrectly? On July 25, 2022, Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as India’s 15th President. She became India’s first tribal woman to hold the country’s highest constitutional office. Even before her election, reports began to circulate that the ruling BJP had chosen her as its candidate for political outreach in order to appease the tribal community. Before the election, some questioned whether her rise would make a difference for the thousands of incarcerated indigenous people who have had their land taken, and have been oppressed by society and the state. And it was claimed after the election that she was a powerless pawn.
With the exception of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the President of the country rarely spoke about anything other than “Sarkari Nirdesh,” delivered in the form of a written speech. President Murmu, on the other hand, has demonstrated that she is more than a rubber stamp by adhering to official protocol while also speaking from the heart. President Murmu has been active in offering solutions to a critical issue before the judiciary and lawmakers. She has taken up the cause of those imprisoned for minor offences, who are unaware of their fundamental rights and lack the financial resources to fight legal cases and be exempted or released on bail.
What better place to say what President Murmu had to say than the Supreme Court? The occasion was the closing ceremony of a Constitution Day event, at which President Murmu first read her formal speech and then began speaking in Hindi with great emotion. Everyone in the auditorium was captivated by the way she spoke from her heart.
“Think about those who have been imprisoned for many years just for slapping,” she says, movingly. “They are unaware of their legal rights. Neither the constitution’s preamble, nor the fundamental rights, nor any knowledge of the fundamental duties Nobody is considering them. Even their family members lack the courage to save them because their utensils have been sold to fight the case.”
This statement of hers, bearing such bitter truth, had to have pinched every leader, lawyer, and judge in the room. However, they are powerless to intervene because only Parliament has the authority to make or change the law. These official functions are usually formal, but something more casual was taking shape here. The entire audience was waiting with bated breath. What happened next was unavoidable. The entire auditorium stood up in applause and honour as soon as the president finished speaking.
However, the story does not end here. Fourteen days later, on December 10, 2022, Human Rights Day, her sentiments resurfaced. Coming from a community at the bottom of the social ladder, the country’s highest office once again pleaded for justice. with the same ease and sentiment, but this time in concern for the environment.
Don’t you think tribal people, who have supported and had a relationship with the environment for generations have the first right to make such an appeal? “I wonder what the animals and trees around us would tell us if they could speak,” she said. “We have long suppressed their rights, and the result is now in front of us,” ” what would our rivers say about human history, and our cattle say about human rights?” Delivering messages in this language is truly admirable. When people like Dr. A. P. J. or Murmu embellish the position of president, their thoughts spread like fragrance on humanity.