Monday, November 26, 2012

Wildlife Laws: Should India learn something from Bangkok's Smiling Elephant Law

India should probably take a cue from countries that actually work on wildlife laws rather than just legislate on them.

There is a law in Thailand that is called as the ‘Smiling elephant’ law. People who are caught feeding the elephants will be fined and may even face a prison sentence of up to six months. 'Begging' elephants are common in Thailand the the authorities are taking a tough stand by passing such stringent laws to curb the same. 
Another instance is that of the Hagenbeck's Tierpark that is well known for taking care of elephants for over a century. It is also recognized for keeping animals in a carefully prepared environment. The keepers have brought out a handbook that is based on their experience while handling elephants and other animals in the Park. 
Such initiatives are not forthcoming in India and perhaps not documented in the first place because most of the mahouts and keepers in Parks are not encouraged to document their findings in the first place. Thus, we lose considerable first hand data and reporting that can be useful for understanding and improving India's wildlife laws.

Bangkok voted as Asia's No 1 Travel Destination

The Seoul Times online reported that Bangkok has been voted as Asia's No 1 travel destination in Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards. It is interesting that  Bangkok was rated ahead of other world-class destinations such as Vancouver, Sydney and Buenos Aires. You can read the full report here. Also, do read my post on the use of coconuts in Thai food in case you had missed it earlier.

What's your dream destination? When do you plan to visit it? 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ireland's Abortion Laws: Culprit is Lack of Medical Consensus, Not Religion

As a lawyer, I don't want to take a stand for nor against legalised abortion – but it is indeed a tragedy that a young Indian woman called Savita lost her life and died of septicaemia after three days, mainly because the doctors denied her request to have an abortion, knowing very well that she was having a miscarriage. 

By citing the Irish abortion law and expressing their decision to not grant her request, the Irish doctors, with full knowledge of the implications of such a decision on her life, had purposely failed in  their first and foremost duty as medical professionals - to save lives.

Why didn't the Irish doctors consider inducing birth early? That would have been permissible as per Irish law. If nothing else, in all probability, it would have been medically possible for the doctors to have saved Savita without flouting the Irish abortion law. To me, this case is more about medical protocols and consensus than a ridiculously hyped religious approach to the issue of abortion. Yes, that may be there but this problem could have been solved if some kind of a medical consensus had been formulated on time.  It marks an institutional failure that should never have happened in a country like Ireland.

Interestingly, in India, the discussion is ridiculously pinned on the religious angle. We are constantly debating on the right and wrong of religions dictating choices on abortion. 

How predictable! We in India need a religious angle to everything to make the discussion more 'fervent and popular' with the laypersons as well as the so called social intellectuals.  It also becomes an opportunity to lament all that is wrong because of religion. While the fact is that all that is wrong is in our own interpretation and practice of it.

Savita's case may become a textbook study for human rights students or it may signal a new chapter in international law.  What the world needs is a more humane approach by medical practitioners and a keenness to drive home ethical accountability and responsibility with more transparency.

This applies not only to Ireland but to all countries where such systemic failures in the healthcare sector costs precious lives.

What are your views on the abortion laws in your country esp if applied to life-threatening situations such as Savita's case? Do let me know your thoughts.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Diwali greetings 2012 from Axess Legal Corp

The year 2012 has been a significant one for Axess Legal Corp. I thank God for guiding us every step of the way. Many acquaintances and references that came from the legal fraternity became an important part of our transition this year. 

The most interesting thing about Axess Legal Corp is that we have not been chasing clients or networking to gain high profile matters. We do not mislead clients into believing anything that is ethically not acceptable to us. In fact, we have not used any kind of publicity to advertise what we do. Our motto has been simple. To serve, to bring access to justice to those who deserve it. From Day one, we have fought cases of every type wholeheartedly.  

This year, in May, we set up a new office and hired a very talented young team to join us in the journey that we have ahead of us. The team has been carefully handpicked for not just talent but their attitude to work and clients. Yes, the fact that they are young and willing to learn new things and work hard hours makes us proud that we have the right team on board. 

There is no doubt that we have a long way to go. What we value most is that your prayers, good will, and enthusiasm have helped us in every step of the way. This has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the values that we embrace as a growing organization and you have helped us value it even more.

Diwali greetings and wishes to all of you dear friends from Axess Legal Corp (ALC).     I thank you all for the encouragement that you have extended to me personally. Wishing you and your loved ones everything auspicious that this festive occasion is sure to bring, I hope that you will include ALC in your loving thoughts too.  

Happy Diwali! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Snapshots from Solang Valley, Manali

It's been over a year since my parents visited Delhi. So it was a pleasure to have them visit us last month. They reached on October 18 and we took off to the hills. Here are some snapshots I wanted to share with all of you. The weather had turned cold and it seemed as though it would snow. We put on our winter wear a tad too early. But it protected us from the chill.

When we visited Solang Valley in Manali, my six year old son Jyotiraditya (Adi as we call him at home) totally enjoyed the cable car ride right up to the top of the mountains. It was a wonderful experience.  

Of all the pictures we clicked, this last one we clicked in Solang Valley is my favorite. 

What about you? Do you plan to take off with your loved ones in November - December?  What's your favorite holiday spot?