If you ask me to name ten persons who have made Gujarat proud, name of Girish Patel easily adorns the list. Girish Patel is not an ordinary advocate; he is champion of human rights. In the year 2009 activists, academicians and legal luminaries came forward to form Girishbhai Patel Sanman Samiti and organized a mega event to honor Girish Patel. Persons like Justice A. P. Ravani and Justice R. A. Mehta were samiti’s chair person and vice chair person respectively. Hanif lakdawala was the convener of the committee.
The samiti published two books including ‘Public interest litigation and the poor in Gujarat.’ The book gives monumental account of the activities of Girish Patel who has interpreted various laws from the perspective of the subaltern. I quote one paragraph from the book to give an insight into the mind of a great man:
“Increasing criminalization of politics and society, intense communal polarization, authoritarianism, self-aggrandizement, cult of consumerism and commercialization (from drinking water to blood) mark the emerging Gujarat. Money be any means, power at any cost and pleasure under all circumstances, ate the new mantras. In fact, Gujarat can well qualify as the 51st state of USA. The present ideological hegemony represents the worst combination of Hindu communalism, ruthless developmentalism, cultural authoritarianism and a fascist ideology. It is anti-poor, anti-minority, and anti-freedom. It is all the more insidious because it represents an ideal to be emulated and replicated across the length and breadth of the country.”