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August 16, 2016

10 Judgements That Changed India: Book Review

Zia Mody's "10 Judgements that Changed India", is a compendium of Supreme Court cases that were critical in transforming the Indian democracy and the lives of citizens in India.


Mody’s book is aimed at readers with very little or no legal background. She presents insights into the working of the Indian legal system and the complex processes through which laws are made and changed. In doing so she also masterfully provides a unique way to learn about Indian politico-legal history and current affairs. She shares rich context for each case with expansive accounts of how legal positions evolved over time. Each chapter highlights the interplay of judicial and legislative processes, and connections between seemingly disparate events. For instance, between a case about women's divorce rights under religious laws and communal riots over access to land or how the rape case of a grassroots worker and social activists, Bhanwari Devi, was instrumental in defining sexual harassment at workplace.


The book is a rare instance where, narratives that link events and perspectives from the past and present, from across parts of India and the world, from across organs of the government are brought together to present a coherent story. While readers may or may not agree with the author's views about the positions taken by the judiciary, it still is an excellent anthology that takes the reader on a sojourn though disciplines from philosophy to civics. A delightful read for readers from different walks of life.


For interested readers, the book can be purchased here

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