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Law in Revolution – Made by Profession or Is it simply Coincidence?

Have we ever thought, as students, what path did the torchbearers of Indian Freedom Movement (Revolutionaries) choose? In the world of countless professions, the distinct ones have been the lawyers/barristers, the ministers and policy makers of law. The ignition of the British Raj, as we know it, started from legal ordinances. The independence that we have, is nothing but an Act, a culmination of previous acts, leading to a legal agreement of Independent India.

The much-decorated revolutionary cases were a constant hinge between legal control via power, and illegal yet rightful dissent. Ilbert bill, the conspiracy cases of Kakori (Barin Ghosh & others), Delhi, Lahore (first and second, involving the Ghadar party), and suppression via Arms act, Press act, Rowlatt act were all demonstrations and counter demonstrations of a conflict between what is legal and what is right. CR Das saved Shree Aurobindo and others in his historic case battle on the defense of the Dacca conspiracy case. World-Poet Rabindranath had His fair share of legal education. You have the tallest Indian statue, which is again, of the lawyer Vallabhbhai Patel. Early nationalists like Dadabhai Naoroji and SN Banerjee were from a legislative background. Saifuddin Kitchlew, founder of Jamia Mila Uni and most importantly, Nava Bharat Sangh, the founding flame of Protest Against Black Act (the same organization of which remains INC as a modern-day disappointment) was a lawyer and a stringent nationalist. Gandhi was a barrister, even though he did least of the policy making in India.

As the Bar Council of India puts it "Most lawyers gave their time freely, at the cost of their own legal practice, to the defense of scores of helpless victims of Martial Law implemented by the British, who had been condemned to the gallows or sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. There was a shift in ideology as well, from moderate to a more radical one."

Which profession would you chose as a revolutionary?

Write-up by: Amrit Bhattacharjee

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