On Friday, 20th April, 2018, by noon, news broke out that Rajinder Sachar – Sacharji to scores of rights activists – had passed away in a hospital at the ripe old age of 94. Within minutes, literally speaking, within less than an hour, we saw a deluge of email and Whatsapp messages, Press Reports and phone calls from people all across the country, all of whom had hundreds of emotions, reminiscences and experiences to share, of working with Sacharji - of battles fought, over many decades to protect rights, promote liberties, preserve the constitution.
The image of Justice Sachar in the city of Jodhpur, where he was a judge of the Rajasthan High court, was that of the cycling judge. 5 feet high, stylishly dressed in a sherwani or achkan and chudidar and a topi he moved around the city cycling. He also cycled almost on a daily basis in his formal court clothes to the High Court. That was way back in 1976-1977 when he got the name of the cycling judge sahab.
Veteran Socialist leader noted jurist and champion of human rights Justice (retired) Rajinder Sachar passed away in Delhi on 20th April 2018. He was 94. A distinguished advocate for the protection of human rights, and poor, Justice Sachar was a former Chief Justice of Delhi and Sikkim High Courts. He vociferously promoted the cause of human rights and was also head of People's Union of Civil Liberty (PUCL). He authored many reports on Kashmir.
Justice Rajindar Sachar passed away on Friday. He was 94, so one could say that it was a life well lived, and that everything is eventually perishable in this world. What could be better than to be able to live by your ideals, and when you die, to have a ring of admirers to remember you. These words of consolation, of solace, do provide succour to the bereaved. Yet, there is a void that Sachar saheb leaves. This sense of emptiness is compounded by the times we live in, when the values of trust and conviction are plummeting, both in public and in private spheres.
It hurts to speak of Neelabh Mishra in the past tense. This is not just because he was a very dear friend, co traveller and mentor to many social movement actors. He was of course all that. But more than anything else, it is because he personified a sense of time and space in which there are no permanent discontinuities.