The girl from Allahabad – 1

This is my first attempt at writing something that remotely resembles a biography and the person I have selected is none other than the iron lady of India, its second longest serving prime minister and perhaps the most complex person to serve as the prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi.

Of all the prime ministers of India, I am most fascinated by Indira and unlike most prime ministers who served in times of peace, she was one of the few women prime ministers who served during a war – a war that India was never expected to win, and if it wasn’t for her tenacity, India in all probability, would have lost the war.

At the onset, I have to admit that it is impossible to cover her whole life in an article or a series of articles because it was a long and illustrious career and her tenure as prime minister spanned more than a decade. Her first tenure lasted for ten years and her second tenure for four.

The events that we will be looking at here will be the events that piqued my interest as a young boy reading the New Straits Times between the age of 10-14 and we will look at the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh, the death of her son Sanjay – a death that rocked the nation and a death many believe was an assassination, the subsequent fall-out with her daughter in law Maneka, who remains the only member of the Nehru dynasty who is not associated or affiliated to the Congress Party of India. Maneka who has had a long and illustrious political career herself serves with the BJP and finally the events that led to Indira’s death.

The events that I have mentioned here are by no means complete or comprehensive and for anyone who wants to acquire an insight to the life of India’s iron woman, it is best that they get a copy of her biography (there are a few in the market).

I read one of her biographies many years ago and to date I have never really managed to grasp the depths of it. Her life was by no means simple.

Indira was India’s third prime minister; her father Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first and longest serving prime minister and Indira was his only daughter. Indira in fact was an only child and being born in one of the most politically influential families in India, it would be fair to say that she would have come to terms with the intricacies and the subtleties of Indian politics at an early age.

India is one of the most difficult countries in the world to govern, not only because of the size of its population but also because of its diversity and each of its 29 states often demand separate attention and it is more often than not difficult to appease all the parties in the mix, but despite that Indira managed to keep a lid on things. This coupled with India’s external foes make governing India challenging to say the least.

Indira was a Kashmiri Pandit or a Kashmiri Brahmin and she was born in Allahabad a district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, a state rich in history but not without its share of unrest. Even at birth Indira could never be described as the contemporary Indian because Indians today are normally associated with states like Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana or Bengal and places like Mumbai and Delhi from the western perspective of things anyway.

The young Indira could aptly be described as the orthodox Brahmin girl and she was without doubt conservative but that was only to be expected given the strict upbringing most Kashmiri Pandit girls have.

Indira however was very, very intelligent, and I remember reading somewhere that she loved reading and she was very knowledgeable and that she’d even read works like the arthashastra, something that most people don’t read. So it is fair to say that even at a young age, well before being elected the prime minister of India, the concepts of conflict and war were not alien to her and she was to a very large degree or extent able to accept conflict and war for what it was, and that would have no doubt helped her during her tenure as prime minister where she would have had to face conflict and war over and over again.

Copyright © 2019 by Kathiresan Ramachanderam

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Equity XXV

13) Equity will not allow a trust to fail for want of a trustee – the maxim speaks for itself and as far as a trust is concerned, it takes precedence regardless of whether the settlor has appointed a trustee or not and in the absence of a trustee, whoever has legal title will be considered or regarded as a trustee or the court will appoint someone to act as trustee and in instances where the appointed trustee is dead, the court will step in to appoint a new trustee.

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

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Yellow Allamanda

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

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Hibiscus

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

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Order granting Assam Rifles sweeping powers of search and arrest put on hold

The government has put on hold its order allowing the Assam Rifles to search and arrest anyone in the north-east.

The order, issued three days ago granted the Assam Rifles, a counter insurgency and anti-guerilla type outfit comprising of slightly over 64 thousand members and some 49 divisions sweeping powers of search and arrest and empowered the Assam Rifles to arrest anyone in the north-east to counter the threat of insurgents operating along the Indo-Myanmar border though we were made to understand that all detainees must be produced at a police station within 24 hours of their arrest.

The order was issued by the Central Government following the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from various districts. Any member of the Assam Rifles, regardless of rank, was under the order allowed to arrest anyone in the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Copyright © 2019 by Kathiresan Ramachanderam

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Equity XXIV

12) Delay defeats equity. The Limitation Act 1980 lays down a limitation period after which the applicant or the litigant may not be successful. For example, Section 22 and 23 of the Act read as follows: –

Section 22 Time limit for actions claiming personal estate of a deceased person.

Subject to section 21(1) and (2) of this Act—

(a) no action in respect of any claim to the personal estate of a deceased person or to any share or interest in any such estate (whether under a will or on intestacy) shall be brought after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right to receive the share or interest accrued; and

(b) no action to recover arrears of interest in respect of any legacy, or damages in respect of such arrears, shall be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the interest became due.

Actions for an account

Section 23 Time limit in respect of actions for an account.

An action for an account shall not be brought after the expiration of any time limit under this Act which is applicable to the claim which is the basis of the duty to account.

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

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Equity XXIII

11) He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. As per the maxim any applicant or litigant who seeks the aid and assistance of a court of equity must do so with clean hands i.e. his or her actions cannot be tainted with fraud or malice and there cannot be a hidden agenda behind the scenes. He or she cannot have acted unfairly or unjustly, oppressively or arbitrarily prior to seeking the aid and assistance of a court of equity.

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

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Equity XXII

10) He who seeks equity must do equity. As per the maxim, an applicant or a litigant who is relying on equity must have acted equitably himself or herself before he or she can petition a court of equity to intervene on his or her behalf. If the applicant’s or litigant’s actions are tainted with fraud or malice than a court of equity certainly would not intervene on his or her behalf.

Whether a court of equity chooses to intervene or otherwise is entirely at the discretion of the court and a court of equity will be reluctant to intervene or will be hesitant to intervene if it finds that the actions of the applicant or the litigant is tainted with fraud and malice.

In Haywood v Cope (1858), it was decided that, as per Lord Romilly MR, – the discretion of the Court must be exercised according to fixed and settled rules; you cannot exercise a discretion by merely considering what, as between the parties, would be fair to be done; what one person may consider fair, another person may consider very unfair; you must have some settled rule and principle upon which to determine how that discretion is to be exercised.

According to the rules and established principles (equitable maxims), mentioned above, a court of equity will only be prepared to intervene if they find that the applicant or the litigant has acted equitably himself or herself.

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

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Equity XXI

9) Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy i.e. where there is a wrong equity will intervene to right the wrong. Equity will intervene to remedy the defects of the common law and this maxim is in line with the Latin legal maxim ubi jus ibi remedium (“where there is a wrong, there must be a remedy”).

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

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