The Emphatic Guardian: Ram Jethmalani the ‘Argumentative Indian’

Ram Jethmalani former union minister passed away yesterday just six days short of his 96th birthday. He was suffering from a prolonged illness and passed away peacefully at home. Let us see the person behind a glorious intellectual and political career.

He was a well-known face in the upper echelons of Indian society. He was gifted with brilliance since childhood and has utilized his intellectual capacity to full use.

A lawyer by profession and went on to be the Chairman of the Indian Bar Council and served as the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

He has tremendous accolades to his name, and one can only imagine getting to the point to where he did with excellence right from the start.

He had a successful political career which won him a Lok Sabha seat from the Mumbai north-west constituency, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party. Born in the Sindh province now part of Pakistan, Ram Jethmalani has faced the horrors of partition and hence throughout his life he supported the larger cause for friendship and cordiality between India and Pakistan.

He was extremely successful in academics receiving a double promotion that enabled him to complete his high school at the age of 13. He received a distinction in his law degree from the Bombay University at the age of 17. While the minimum age to practice law was 21, a special exception was made regarding his case which enabled him to be a practicing lawyer at the age of 18.

Jethmalani was an astute defender which made him the highest-paid lawyer in India, and he represented various multi-national companies and corporations in their legal cases. He was also well known for taking up the most controversial cases defending high profile politicians including the current Home Minister Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

He is the recipient of the International Jurist Award, and the Human Rights Award instituted by World Peace through Law. He has authored several books namely Big Egos, Conflict of Laws, Conscience of a Maverick, and Justice: Soviet Style. His life can be a learning lesson of multiple achievements right from childhood and his legendary history will remain a source of inspiration for many in the years ahead. He is survived by his son Mahesh who is also a lawyer by profession and a daughter who lives in the United States.