Standing on left corner at Law college in Lahore

After finishing his law degree in 1937, babuji jumped into the Indian freedom movement at the same time he started practicing law in Gohana. On 1st January 1942, Babuji had shifted his practice from Gohana to Karnal not because it offered  chances of a financially lucrative law practice but because his fellow freedom fighters wanted him to help lead the Quit India movement in Karnal. Law practice remained the one and only means of livelihood for him and his family until the age of 72 when he left his active practice serving intermittently as a legal advisor. He continued his practice even while he was a member of parliament (1957-62) because in those days, the salary of MPs was not enough to meet basic needs of a large family.

For Babuji, law practice was not merely a means of livelihood. It was a pathway to social service and bringing economic justice. His clients were poorest of the poor – innocent villagers, the landless farmers (Mujaras) and harijans (memscan0017bers of “untouchable” class).  Through this profession, he came in contact with the reality that his clients faced  everyday and developed deep insights into the root and systemic causes of their poverty and the likely humane solutions to their problems. He championed these solutions during times when he was a member of the state and national governments.

He never took cases based on falsehood or produced dishonest witnesses to protect his client and win his case. Almost all his clients used to be poor village-folk who hardly had the means to pay their fees. When they came to babuji entangled in property/land related aggression cases, accepting their cases meant fighting against the exploiters, i.e. rich landlords, money lenders, politicians in power or police. Babuji’s unpopularity among powerful classes did not deter him from hearing his inner voice that wanted to reduce sufferings of his clients. The deeper he went into his client’s problems, the more he realized the systemic nature of their suppression and exploitation at the hands of economically and socially higher classes.

Babuji used to make arrangement for their stay and food in his house’s guest/client room, which was at times not appreciated by his family. When postal service was the only way to contact his clients, he used to write post cards and even send telegrams just to remind them of their court appearance date. When asked, ‘Babuji, why do you bother so much? It should be clients’ headache to remember important dates’. He used to say, ‘For me, law profession is not just about preparing legal arguments. When I accept anyone’s case, their worries become my worries. Many of my clients do not understand the significance of appearing on the dates. I consider it my duty to remind them’ (हिंदी जीवनी में और व्याख्यान हैं; यहाँ पढ़ें).

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