NEW DELHI: With Ram Jethmalani, an accomplished criminal lawyer and politician with an illustrious inning passing away in Delhi on Sunday, condolences poured in from all quarters.
Not just the Prime Minister and BJP President Amit Shah, but former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh too expressed his condolences. "Deep condolences on the demise of Shri Ram Jethmalani. In his death India has lost an eminent jurist, an able administrator and a seasoned Parliamentarian", said the senior Congress leader in a statement.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi too has extended condolences to Jethmalani's family and friends.
Paying rich tribute, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in a tweet: "Deeply saddened by the demise of former Union Minister and eminent lawyer, Shri Ram Jethmalani Ji. Blessed with knowledge and intelligence he made noteworthy contribution to lawmaking and pubic life. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family."
In a series of tweet, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said: "Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Shri Ram Jethmalani, former Union Minister, a legal luminary & one of the brilliant minds of Bharat. In his passing away the nation has lost a distinguished jurist, a great intellectual & a patriot, who was active till his last breath." Calling him a 'dear friend', Naidu recounted his long association with him.
BJP's working President JP Nadda called it "irreparable loss to the society".
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Saddened to hear the news of passing away of eminent lawyer & former union law minister Shri Ram Jethmalani. He was a legend of bar and inspiration for many lawyers. His vast experience and knowledge will be missed." Interestingly, Jethmalani made news for having sent the Delhi Government a bill of over 1.5 crore for appearing for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation suit.
Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad also took to micro-blogging site and said: Deeply condole the passing away of the veteran lawyer and former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani. His brilliance, eloquence, powerful advocacy and sound understanding of law will remain a worthy example in legal profession. My profound condolences."
The legal fraternity too was forthcoming in its expression of grief and sorrow. Indira Jaising tweeted: "Ram Jethmalani is no more , we belonged to the same town Shikurpur Sind. We had a common dream, to see India and Pakistan friends, that was his unfinished agenda, he was there for everyone who needed him including Afzal Guru. Our politics differed but we loved each other RIP."
Another legal luminary and Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "Ram Jethmalani is no more. A crusader in both law and politics he stood steadfastly for the causes he took up. His knowledge in criminal law was matched by none. He was also a bundle of affection. The nation has lost a great son. May his soul rest in peace."
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, another top legal eagle tweeted: "Ram Jethamalani was also very fond of music. Attended many of my wife's concerts. She would end most by singing Damadam Mast Kalandar, a song with a special affinity for sindhis. At one concert in Kamani, Ram got up & started dancing to this song, roping in many more from the audience to do so!"
BJP's Rajya Sabha MP, the very outspoken Subramanian Swamy said, "My friend turned foe turned very good friend Ram Jethmalani passed away today at 95 years age. Farewell friend."
Ram Jethmalani passed away on Sunday at his residence at the age of 96. He made many friends, angered many and also patched up with some. But he left a mark on whoever he met. The overwhelming condolence messages full of personal anecdotes is only reminiscent of the life Ram Jethmalani lived.