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Human rights, freedom of speech dear to Tarkunde: Justice Madan Lokur

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Human rights and freedom of speech were dear to renowned civil rights activist Vithal Mahadeo Tarkunde and his ideas could be taken to improve the condition of the present day society, said former Supreme Court Judge Madan B Lokur here on Friday.

Presiding over the 12th V M Tarkunde memorial lecture under the auspices of Tarkunde Memorial Foundation, Justice Lokur paid rich encomiums to the former judge who was also referred to as the 'father of the civil liberties movement' in India.

Tarkunde had great influence on many people in the country and "civil rights, human rights and freedom of speech were dear to him". He always thought about those issues, Justice Lokur said.

Tarkunde's views and ideas could be considered for implementation to improve the present condition of the civil society, Justice Lokur said. While everyone knew "rule of law" Tarkunde "taught us the principle rule of law" and he had a tremendous moral authority which made him a big man, he added.

Noted historian Romila Thapar said Tarkunde was a person who would not have given up his "strength and confidence" had he been alive today. Tarkunde, who formed the People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), always talked about civil rights and democracy, she said.

He advocated for right of the citizens to dissent as part of free speech and freedom of expression. He was her mentor, she added.

Tarkunde Memorial Foundation president and senior advocate Soli Sorabjee described Tarkunde as the "symbol of courage and hopeful" to many oppressed class and secularism was ingrained in his thoughts. The country needed more Tarkundes now, he said.

Foundation vice-president and former Attorney General Ashok Desai recalled the services of Tarkunde to the civil society in upholding their democratic rights.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 06 2019. 21:25 IST