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Ravi Acharya

By A.S.R. Chari
Orient Longman, Hyderabad, 1975, viii plus 172, 40.00

By S.S. Khera
Orient Longman, Hyderabad, 1955, xii plus 334, 28.00

VOLUME I NUMBER 1 January - March 1976

Autobiographies by Indians have one unique quality—their pedestrianism. An exception was Jawaharlal Nehru's Autobiography and now we have another, Chari's. Starting from his schooldays in Secunderabad to the peak of his career as a senior advocate in the Supreme Court he describes his life in a racy style. He writes of his days with the great criminal lawyer, Azad, his days as a freedom fighter and of his attra­ction towards Communism. His comments about the Communists are revealing especially those on B.T. Ranadive. To quote his own words, ‘when B.T.R. was in the saddle it was as if he was riding a mad Pegasus. Men comrades were condemned as refor­mists because they dared to disagree with B.T.R's policy. Expulsions galore. Wives were compelled to issue public statements disowning their husbands for their reformism. B.T.R. ridiculed the idea of the Party living like a close-knit family. It would be a ‘revolutionary army’, he said. Mutual confi­dence between Party members was destroyed. There was no mechanism, no method by which the sectarianism in the Party could be checked.’ His comments about the Supreme Court deserve much more attention. It was here that he made his name. His views on three of the most important cases decided in recent times show us the hold the Communist ideology had on him. ‘I have made no secret of my views that the Supreme Court had gone completely wrong in three of the most important cases decided in recent times.’ His reaction to the Supreme Court decision on the bank nationalization case is worth quoting. ‘This decision is also wholly erroneous. The questions whether compensation should be paid at all, and if so how much, are ques­tions essentially of political policy. A state which finds too much concentration of resources in a few hands may well decide that in particular industries, the persons who invested capital have been more than amply repaid in the form of dividends, and may well say that no compensation be paid at all ... These are matters, therefore, in regard to which the Judiciary is not fit to decide .... The decision of the Supreme Court, regardless of the subjective views of the judges is without doubt a defence of the abso­lute right to property even if it is found to hamper material advance and cannot possibly be supported except ...

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