Mumbai: Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, speaking at an event, highlighted how his parents, who did not belong to wealthy families, made sacrifices to ensure that their children had proper education and upbringing. He was speaking at an event organised by the Bombay High Court to felicitate him.
He reminisced, “We had some land but it was all taken away under the Agricultural Ceiling laws. My grandfather said that we will not contest the tillers who represented the soil. So the family moved on and tried to find alternative means.”
Late YV Chandrachud, CJI Chandrachud’s father, was also Supreme Court judge and the longest serving CJI.
Speaking about how his parents then began living in a chawl, he said his mother would carry clothes on her head near the closest water-tank to wash. His father then became a lawyer and clients would visit him at 5am.
Talking about education, he said his parents wanted to send him and his sister to an English-medium school although his father had started learning the language in Class 7. He later completed his PhD from Harvard University. The CJI said, “He (late YV Chandrachud) never had the benefit of foreign education the way we had.”
Interestingly, the CJI said he could not begin his law practice for a couple of years as his father insisted on the same till he demitted the office as an SC judge.
“My father was a very strict man. After I completed my law he said, ‘I won’t allow you to enter so long as I am a judge of the Supreme Court’. Now whether I liked it or not, I had to abide by it. So those were the kind of values we were brought up with …,” he added.
CJI began his practice as a lawyer after his father retired. “There was an enormous amount of goodwill, and there was also goodwill either to be earned or lost,” CJI added.
He also spoke about his great-great grandmother raising nine children on her own after her husband remarried. “She mortgaged her jewellery and brought them to Pune to chart a new course of life,” he said. “On the strength of that one woman, came the first doctor of our family. My father’s uncle became a lawyer... that is how my family moved from a landed tradition to the intellectual tradition.”
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