Agitating Lawyers

Do you see a well dressed man approaching? Does he look to be of the prosperous upper middle class? Is he wearing a suit or dhoti? Is he soft spoken and Oxford educated? Then he probably means to clobber you with a stick!

I caught something when I turned on the TV today to check the Indian news. Lawyers were “agitating” in Chennai. After that, I found an article about it in the morning paper. I put “agitating” in quotes because it is a euphemism. When Indians agitate, they are not protesting. They are not holding place cards and perhaps shouting slogans. No folks. In India, “agitation” means “rampaging mobs and all hell breaking loose on the streets”.

Just in case I was not clear. Lawyers are rioting in the streets of Chennai and burning effigies of the police. Lawyers!!! Now I’d be concerned if all of the lawyers in the city hated me. I’d sell assets and hide any money I had in a bank in Lichtenstein (ok, not there after the German tax men hacked their banks) Barbados and prepare to have my socks sued off from here to kingdom come. I’d never dream that they’d form a mob and come after me physically before suing me. This shatters one of the certainties I had about life. Students riot. Truckers riot. Anarchists riot. Lawyers sue! Apparently not here. India; the land where even lawyers form bloodthirsty mobs rampaging in the streets… errr agitate.

On a side note, we are off to a three day weekend in that part of Tamil Nadu (Pondicherry and Mamallapuram). I hope we don’t meet any lawyers.

I’m going to go to bed and ponder on the strangeness that is the whole idea of lawyers rioting.


4 responses to “Agitating Lawyers

  1. Maybe they’re following the example of the Pakistani lawyers who rioted against Musharraf. Of course, those lawyers didn’t have the option to sue. Perhaps these believed suing wouldn’t do any good.

    I’m just guessing, though.

    From the article:
    “With reinforcements, including commandos of elite units, arriving, the police chased away all lawyers from the court premises.”


  2. Dave, this is India. Unless you scream/shout/whack …u don’t get any respect or get anything done. There is no human rights…and the judicial system is a failure cos police don’t do their job properly…full of corruption…everywhere. There is no CSI no police corruption commission…etc .
    Plus being a lawyer in South Asia is a dangerous job…cos u can get murdered by police funded by thugs….so those who become lawyers are idealists….not those who are looking to make money…cos unless u r a super corrupt lawyer working for a thug/politician in india…u aren’t making very much money.
    Anyway…this is not the whole story Dave…uve only seen the latest chapter of the saga….
    all started because The Supreme Court had in 2003 in a landmark verdict declared lawyers’ strike illegal.

    Then again…being a Lawyer myself…I tend to look into the issues Lawyers in the East face…compared to the privileged spoilt indulgent types of the West.

    • I’m sure you are right Dugi.

      The only problem is that lawyers have the capacity to fight their fights by other means. I can imagine someone from the working class engaging in “rowdyism”, but they don’t know how to wield the law. The lawyers did stick the cops with the bill. That is not something that the powerless who vent in the streets normally do.

  3. yes Dave, i know what u mean i do agree that they could have reacted better by using the law n not their fists (or arson)…then again us lawyers do crap like that quite often. hehe.

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