Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud on Saturday urged citizens to have the audacity to listen to others and break their own echo chambers.
The CJI was speaking at the 20th convocation ceremony of the Symbiosis International (Deemed) University in Pune.
“The power of listening to others is important in every sphere of life. It is enormously liberating to yield that space to others. The problem with our society is that we are not listening to others…we are listening only to ourselves,” he said.
By having the audacity to listen one concedes that the individual may not have all the right answers but is willing to explore and find them, the CJI said, adding it also gives a chance to break “our own echo chambers” and “give us a newer understanding of the world around us”.
“Life has a peculiar way of teaching us. Let humility, courage and integrity be your companions in this journey,” he said.
CJI Chandrachud added that contrary to the common misconception, strength is not shown by anger or violence or by being disrespectful to people in one's personal space and professional life.
“The real intelligence and strength of people is in their ability to face the many adversities of life and retain their ability to humanise people around them with humility and grace,” he added.
He said while most people strive for an affluent life and there is nothing wrong with that, the process should be value-ridden and there should be no compromise on principles and values.
“Success is measured not only by popularity but by a commitment to a higher purpose. People should be kind to themselves and not be harsh on their own existence,” CJI Chandrachud said.
The CJI said people of his generation when they were young were taught not to ask too many questions but that has now changed and the youth now are not afraid to ask questions and quell their intuition.
He said he recently saw an Instagram reel of a young girl raising concerns over the poor condition of roads in her residential vicinity.
“As I saw that reel, my mind went back to the year 1848 when the first girls' school was established here in Pune. The tribute goes to Savitribai Phule who encouraged education despite violent patriarchal tendencies. When Savitribai Phule went to school, she used to carry an extra saree as villagers used to throw garbage at her,” CJI Chandrachud said.
He added that people should never shut their minds. They should have the ability to listen to others and have the humility to accept when they are right or wrong, he said.
“A judge learns the most from the woes of litigants around, a doctor learns the most practising bedside manners, a parent learns the most hearing the grievances of their children, a teacher learns the most from the questions of students and you (students) will learn the most from the questions that people will pose to you as you grow up in life,” he said.