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An Enlightened Man Among Lawyers
The Indian public interest advocate, Prashant Bhushan, lights the path forward.
By JOHN LEAKE
An old friend who loves India once told me it is the only country in which he’d met what he called an “enlightened man.” His understanding of “enlightenment” was influenced by the German philologist, Max Mueller’s translation of the Sanskrit word, Bodhi (German: Erwachen or Erleuchtung) which translates into English as “awaken” or “enlightenment.” While most of us—with our myriad desires, attachments, and fears—blunder through life, he who possesses Bodhi sees through all of the illusions and deceptions.
My friend was convinced that an enlightened man is instantly recognizable as such, because his enlightenment gives him extraordinary calm, cheerfulness, and courage. At the time I heard this, years ago, I figured my friend was just one of many westerners who have romanticized India. But then, at a conference in Delhi on February 7, I met the great Indian lawyer and public interest advocate, Prashant Bhushan.
As he was one of many people I met at the conference, I didn’t initially realize that he is a world-renowned jurist who recently persuaded the Indian Supreme Court to strike down India’s vaccine mandates as unconstitutional. The only detail I caught in our introduction was that he was a medical freedom advocate. I sat next to him on stage with Drs. McCullough and Malhotra. Before the audience was seated and the formal introductions began, I asked him about the origin of the Indian Constitution.
He had the most friendly and elegant way of speaking with great erudition and not a hint of pedantry. And though a relatively small and slightly built man, he seemed to exude an inner strength. After we spoke for a while, Dr. McCullough leaned over to me and said, “It’s not every day you get to meet a guy who argues a case before the Supreme Court and wins.”
“What?” I asked, not entirely believing my ears.
"Yeah!” McCullough said. “Prashant took on the vaccine syndicate in India and won.”
“Wow!” I exclaimed. “What a man!”
During lunch I Googled him and read his Wikipedia entry, which tells of his extraordinary career as public interest advocate for human rights, environmental protection, constitutional protection, and government accountability, performing most of his work pro bono. In a world of selfish greed and corruption, Mr. Bhushan is one of those rare, enlightened souls who really can lead mankind out of the dark.
The Hindu Times published a report on his argument before the Indian Supreme Court. It seems to me that his reasoning and his victory serve as a beacon of hope for everyone who cares about classical liberal principles and constitutional protections.
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