As the Ram Temple in Ayodhya gears up for the historic consecration of the idol of Ram Lalla on January 22, 2024, Law Trend is remembering those who successfully championed the Ram Janambhoomi case. This includes the eminent lawyer K Parasaran, who, at the age of 96, led the legal battle for Hindus to construct the Ram Mandir.
The November 2019 verdict on the Ayodhya dispute was delivered by a five-judge bench, consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SA Bobde, CJI Ranjan Gogoi, DY Chandrachud, and S Abdul Nazeer. However, it was K Parasaran’s unique approach to this case that captured widespread admiration.
Keshava Parasaran, a legal luminary hailing from the vibrant tapestry of India, emerges as a remarkable figure in the annals of law and governance. Born on the auspicious 9th of October in 1927, his journey through the corridors of justice is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
In the tumultuous year of 1976, when the presidency held sway, Parasaran stood as the stalwart Advocate General of Tamil Nadu, a guardian of legal integrity during challenging times. His legal acumen, like a beacon in the darkness, illuminated the path of justice.
He ascended to the position of Solicitor General of India, wielding the legal sword on the national stage. His tenure witnessed the complexities of the Indian legal landscape, as he navigated the intricate waters of jurisprudence with finesse.
The zenith of Parasaran’s legal career came when he donned the prestigious mantle of Attorney General of India from 1983 to 1989. In this exalted role, he stood as the foremost legal advisor to the nation, a guardian of the Constitution, and a custodian of the rule of law.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions, the nation bestowed upon him the Padma Bhushan in 2003, followed by the Padma Vibhushan in 2011, affirming his enduring legacy in the realm of law.
In June 2012, his journey in public service took an even more profound turn, as he received a presidential nomination to the Rajya Sabha, the upper echelon of India’s parliamentary structure, where he would lend his wisdom for a distinguished tenure of six years.
His association with the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra adds yet another dimension to his remarkable journey. In 2019, the Central Government entrusted him with the pivotal role of leading the trust overseeing the construction of the historic Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Though his tenure saw a change in leadership, as Mahant Nritya Gopal Das assumed the helm, Parasaran’s indelible mark on this sacred project remains.
Keshava Parasaran’s life is a testament to the fusion of law, governance, and service to the nation, making him a legal luminary whose influence continues to resonate through the corridors of India’s legal and political history.
Known for his defense of traditional values, Parasaran’s expertise was evident during the Sabarimala case in the Supreme Court, where he argued in favor of the temple’s traditions. His arguments emphasized the constitutional protection of deity’s celibate nature, distancing it from notions of misogyny.
In the Ram Janambhoomi case, Parasaran argued barefoot and standing, a testament to his deep devotion to Lord Ram. His respectful defiance to sit while arguing, stating that he cannot sit while representing Lord Ram, added a spiritual dimension to his legal prowess.
Parasaran argued that the birthplace of Lord Ram is non-negotiable for Hindus, contrasting with the availability of multiple mosques in Ayodhya for Muslims. His assertion, “once a temple always a temple,” challenged the opposing argument of “once a mosque, always a mosque.”
His approach, marked by calm and composed demeanor, starkly differed from the turbulent tactics of some counterparts. Parasaran’s respect for the opposition was evident when he waited to personally greet Rajeev Dhavan post the hearing.
Parasaran’s blend of spirituality and legal acumen not only guided him through the case but also solidified the Hindu claim over Ram Janmabhoomi, marking a significant moment in India’s legal and cultural history.
Rajat Rajan Singh
Editor-in Chief at Law Trend
Advocate at Allahabad High Court Lucknow