On In People & Politics

Meet The Lawyer Who Fought For Bhopal Disaster Survivors And Many Other Groundbreaking Things 

"Growing up in a society with both extreme poverty and riches, I realized early on how unfair life was. Certain things that happened in my childhood made me think about how I could bring about change and gain the power to fix things most effectively," says Karuna Nundy, an Indian constitutional, commercial and media lawyer and a feminist intellectual.She is among those few lawyers who stood for the justice of the survivors of the Bhopal Gas tragedy. She has been engaged in the anti-rape laws and sexual harassment of women in India. She also defended civil liberties and human rights in India. This iron lady has proved that nobody else can give us freedom but we ourselves. Nobody can give us equality or justice or anything. If we're humans and we're brave enough, we've got to take it.So, let's learn more about Karuna who is currently one of the most successful women in a male-dominated profession.

She is among the fastest rising women leaders in India.

As per the sources, included by an Economic Times jury in a list of 'Corporate India's Fastest Rising Women Leaders', Karuna Nundy, 41, was cited as being 'famous in the corporate world for her expertise in commercial law'.

Karuna's educational qualifications.

She received a degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. After a short stint as a TV journalist, she studied law at Cambridge University. There she was awarded Emmeline Pankhurst Prize, the Amy Cohen Awards and the Becker Studentship. She later pursued LL.M from Columbia University, New York, where she was awarded a Columbia University full-time fellowship.

She has worked in majorly all huge states in the world.

According to Wikipedia, Nundy has worked as a lawyer in New York, International Tribunals, and the United Nations. She is a lawyer at the Supreme Court in India and the focus of her work is in constitutional law, commercial litigation and arbitration, media law and legal policy.

A 'Mind that Matters'

She was described by Forbes Magazine as a 'Mind that Matters', by Mint as the 'Agent of Change' and by The Times of India as one of the three feminists leading a new wave along with Vrinda Grover and Arundhati Roy.

She has worked to seek justice for the victims of 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

Nundy was among the few lawyers who fought to seek justice for the survivors of Bhopal Gas Tragedy. As per the report by Huffington Post, she encountered two victories in the case. First was getting safe water to communities in the area, and cutting off the groundwater that had carcinogens and other chemicals in it. The second was free and good health care to be given to the people there.

For the people of Bhopal, Karuna helped them keep the case alive.

She said, "Engaging in these cases has also changed me. It’s helped me to see the value of something that doesn’t have that immediate impact. Instead, I’ve learned to see the value of persistence in the face of very, very strong opposition."

Her fight for the anti-rape law.

According to the sources, Verma Committee Report was set up by the government to review India's Anti-Rape Laws, and Nundy was consulted regarding the report which included all the bills of rights. 

If an officer fails to report a sexual assault complaint, they themselves are now criminally liable.

In this case, there have been some victories and some major defeats. In terms of victories, it was made sure that police officers would be held accountable for the reporting of sexual violence. "In terms of the defeats — well, there were many. We’ve still got a long way to go," Nundy said. 

She is working on the bills of rights for women called the Womanifesto.

For her, the priority should be the implementation of a very intense public education program to take down patriarchy. Patriarchy is a system of society or government in which men hold power and women are largely excluded from it.

"Criminalizing marital rape is another top priority"

According to Huffington Post, she said, "Doctrinally in my mind, it’s so clear: Rape is rape. But there has been so much opposition to making marital rape a crime. To me, this is a constitutional issue. Because it’s a constitutional issue, it’s something the courts should be acting on [though] they’ve refused to do so on various occasions.”

"Where you speak, you also listen. "

She is a great believer in deliberative democracy; where you speak, but you also listen. "You come through the other side with differences intact, but you also come through together in important ways," she said. 

"It’s through conversations that we can really find solutions. It’s through them that people’s ideas can change."

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.Kudos to this lady who is working for the truth and fighting for the justice no matter who it's for or against. That's all folks. I hope you liked the story.If you have an interesting story to share, please write to me at guneet@wittyfeed.com