Meet Shyam Upadhyay- India’s only living lawyer who argues all his cases in Sanskrit

Generally, lawyers in India work in Hindi or English language, most of the lawyers prefer to work in the English language, but in Varanasi, there is a lawyer who neither works in English nor Hindi, he has chosen Sanskrit as his language.

Yes, you read it right. This lawyer is Acharya Shyam Upadhyay. Acharya Shyam Upadhyay is said to be the only advocate in the world who fights all his cases in Sanskrit. Be it the matter of presenting a Vakalatnama in the court or submitting an affidavit, application form, Acharya Shyam Upadhyay does all this work in Sanskrit language only.

Shyam Upadhyay is an Acharya and a BA LLB in the Sanskrit language. He began his practice in 1978, since then he has been doing the work of the court completely in Sanskrit. His father told Acharya that the Indian courts do not use the Sanskrit language.

His father told Acharya that the Indian courts do not use the Sanskrit language. This shook him and he took a vow on the same day that he would practice as a lawyer in the Sanskrit language. Then, he would use the Sanskrit language in court. After completing his BA LLB degree, he began all his work in Sanskrit.

Recalling his love for Sanskrit and his childhood days, Acharya Shyam Upadhyay told that once he was going somewhere with his father. At that time, he was 10 years old and was studying in the 4th class. On the way, father met some people and all of them started communicating in Bhojpuri. Meanwhile, his father told the people that the way we are talking in Bhojpuri, can we not talk in Sanskrit in the same way? Whether this was understood by the people with his father or not, but Acharya Shyam Upadhyay got this thing in his heart.

Shyam Upadhyay then made up his mind to pursue education in Sanskrit. He acquired Acharya in Buddhist philosophy from Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya. At the behest of his mentor, he first did teaching work. However, Shyam Upadhyay wanted to do something else. This was the reason that he later did his BA LLB degree from Harishchandra College. After this, he started fighting the case in Sanskrit language from 1978 which continues till today.

He is easily distinguishable in the traditional black coat with Tripund and Tilak. It is said that “the moment he starts making arguments in unbelievable fluent Sanskrit, people are left spellbound.”

He is also known to explain his cases in Sanskrit. He uses simple language which can easily be understood by everyone. He was honoured with the ‘Sanskrit Mitram’ award in 2003 by the Human Resource and Development Ministry for his impeccable contribution to the field of Sanskrit. He has been making all possible efforts to promote Sanskrit since 1978. Shyam Upadhyay Acharya is also the proud author of over 60 novels written in Sanskrit.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.