Why I’m cheering the appointment of 3 women judges to the Supreme Court

A world that comprises diverse human beings across religion, caste, gender, class, geography, ideology, cannot be governed by a singular set of upper class, dominant caste, majority religion men, I write in the Hindustan Times

The photograph should be framed in every law school, preserved for history books and written about in inspirational tracts for children.

It’s the one where four women judges — three freshly elevated, one of whom, BV Nagarathna is slated to become our first woman chief justice (CJI) in 2027 though only for 36 days — flank the current CJI, NV Ramana.

Given that it took 39 years to get our first woman Supreme Court (SC) judge, Fathima Beevi in 1989, and 71 years to get eight women judges, the photograph is significant.

Is it picture perfect? Far from it. While it signals the closing of the gender gap in the higher judiciary, the larger issue of diversity remains. Do we have enough representation from among the minorities? Where are the Dalits, Adivasis and LGBTQ judges? “The swearing-in of three women is unprecedented,” says Nikita Sonawane, co-founder, Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project. “But we still have a long way to go.”