Religion, State and Education is a scholarly and critical exploration of some of the seminal issues of our times – issues of survival of a plural society grimly struggling to be reborn from a feudal order into a modern egalitarian industrial society. What adds a critical edge is the prospect of great innovations in science and technology which will transform the future of mankind. They are stunning events. If the twentieth century was hundred years of science, the twenty-first will, in comparative terms, be twenty thousand years of science. In all encompassing survey of the contemporary national scene, Challa Sitaramaiah identifies three cardinal issues that afflict the prospects of national progress. Issues of such moment receive his deep intellectual attention. The interaction between religion and modern secular education is one such. In the process, the learned author emerges as one of the eminent thinkers of our times deeply concerned with the permeation of issues of religion in policies of modern education and its inevitable politicisation; secondly, the use of ‘reservation’ as a convenient political tool of populism, and the progressive degeneration of the great public institutions which are intended to hold together civilised people. Each of them needs serious reflection.
"Challa Sitaramaiah is a firm believer that legal development turns on proactive thoughts and acts. He raised the plea of proportionality even in 1960 when he had hardly two years standing at the Bar. It was rejected (1961 AP 289). The theory was accepted decades later by the House of Lords. He argued as Amicus Curiae before a seven — judge bench (High Court of Andhra Pradesh) that assignment of land is a constitutional obligation and when it is acquired, the assignee is entitled to full compensation. This was accepted, overruling a five — judge bench (2004 (2) ALT 546). He appeared as Amicus Curiae in several cases in the High Court. Another important aspect which he pleaded was that reservation on the basis of religion is basically wrong. This was accepted by a five —judge bench in 2004 (5) ALT 634. He shifted to the Supreme Court in 1985. He appeared in several important cases in all branches of law, except income tax. The then Hon'ble Sri Justice A P Sen said that ""Sri Sitaramaiah advanced the main argument in the legal aspect with much learning and resource and placed all the authorities on this abstruse branch of administrative law, namely, the courts have albeit the governmental action which involves exercise of discretionary powers, control over the exercise of such governmental power by implying limits of reasonableness, relevance and purpose."" He did not charge from temples, churches, mosques or other religious institutions whenever he appeared for them or for consultation. He is also the author of Time and its Legal Aspects and other essays which is a rare work on this subject in legal literature."
Author : Justice V R Krishna Iyer