Sonipat (Haryana) [India], October 12 (ANI/OP Jindal University): To honour the memory of the former Hon'ble Union Minister of Law & Justice, Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) hosted a Memorial Lecture on "Law, Democracy and The Idea of India" by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha.
This took place in the presence of Hon'ble Justice Ashok Mathur, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India. JGU also announced the institutionalization of awards, faculty fellowships and student scholarships to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj.
This occasion was also graced by the esteemed presence of Dr. Bhardwaj's family members including Dr. Prafullata Bhardwaj, wife of late Dr. Bhardwaj, Arun Bhardwaj, son of late Dr. Bhardwaj and Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, and Karan Bhardwaj, the grandson of late Dr. Bhardwaj.
During the Inaugural Memorial lecture, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha said, "The late Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj had a distinguished political and legal career that can scarcely be matched. His deep knowledge of the law was developed through decades of public service during which he served as a five-term parliamentarian, Union Minister of Law and Justice and the Governor of Karnataka and my own home-state, Kerala. His contributions to legal and judicial reforms such as pressing for women's right to property, the introduction of rural courts and improving access to justice for all, the right to information act and fighting for reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and in legislative assemblies, as well as his encouragement, which Dr. Raj Kumar has described so well to our hosts at the Jindal Global University, to establish and develop their fine institution, have been of incalculable benefit to the social and legal progress in India."
Elaborating on the theme of the lecture - 'Law, Democracy & The Idea of India', Dr. Tharoor further observed, "It's in many ways a fitting theme, given the current state of our nation; but what does the idea of India even mean? The idea of India is in some form or another arguably as old as antiquity itself and numerous other proofs of the aspiration for cultural unity that appear throughout the history of our civilization. India as a modern nation state based on a certain conception of human rights and citizenship, vigorously backed by due process of law and equality before the law, is a relatively recent and strikingly modern idea. But the modern idea of India despite the mystical influence of Tagore and the spiritual and moral influences of Gandhiji and others, is a robustly secular and legal construct based upon the vision and intellect of our founding fathers - notably Ambedkar, Nehru and Patel, and the preamble of the Constitution itself is the most eloquent enumeration of this vision."
Earlier during this event, during the welcome address, the Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University, Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar introduced the initiatives by JGU in memory of Dr. Bhardwaj. He said, "O.P. Jindal Global University has institutionalized multiple forms of awards and recognition to commemorate the memory of Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj. Firstly, we have instituted the 'Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj Annual Lecture Series' on a theme related to Dr. Bhardwaj's work and vision. We've also decided to institute the 'Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj Memorial Gold Medal' to be awarded to a student of Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), who stands first in the course on Constitutional Law at the university's convocation ceremony. There will be an annual moot court competition, and we will institute the 'Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj International Faculty Fellowship' to be awarded to a distinguished young scholar annually."
Later, in a discussion, while reminiscing over his earlier memories of Dr. Bhardwaj, Dr. Raj said, "More than a decade ago, in 2004, I had the privilege to present my paper on 'Establishing India's First Global University' in the esteemed presence of Dr. Bhardwaj. He was gracious enough to take time out on the eve of Independence Day to allow me to further elaborate on my vision. This discussion stretched to over two hours, and a few weeks later Dr. Bhardwaj introduced me to our Benefactor and Founding Chancellor, Naveen Jindal. The rest is history. We will always be grateful to Dr. Bhardwaj for having faith in our vision, and giving us the platform to make this dream of word-class education in India a reality. We feel truly privileged, fortunate and humbled to have such an inspirational leader as our mentor and guide. His presence will always be missed, and we are truly honoured to spend this occasion with members of his family and his loved ones."
Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj was a visionary leader, an eminent lawyer, a humanitarian, an erudite educationalist and a politician who left behind a remarkable legacy. A lawyer by profession, designated as a senior advocate by the Supreme Court of India in 2000, Dr. Bhardwaj's legal and political career spanned over five decades and was widely credited with possessing an acute appreciation for the intersection between law and politics. As a five-time member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha from 1982 till 2009, Dr. Bhardwaj served as the Union Minister of Law and Justice, Senior Vice President, Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies, Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation and more.
This memorial lecture was further elevated by the presence of Honorable Justice Ashok Mathur, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India, who delivered the Presidential Address. During his address, he highlighted the impact of Dr. Bhardwaj's work, and said, "Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj was himself a great prolific writer and was the author of seminal works. He had a great heart and he never discriminated on the ground of any religion or caste. Dr. Bhardwaj was always involved in great service to the judiciary. He also made great contributions to the development of law depending on the case delivered by the judgment of the supreme court."
Highlighting the significance of institutionalization of awards by JGU in the memory of Dr. Bhardwaj, Professor Dabiru Sridhar Patnaik, Registrar, JGU said, "Without Dr. Bhardwaj's support we would not have been able to reach where we are today. In the memory of Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj's long-standing contributions to the field of law and justice, we are committed to these activities which are based on access to justice, standards of excellence and advocacy of nation-building pursued by Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj. This is the inspiration to commemorate his legacy and we are certain that these activities will encourage students of law, scholars and legal practitioners to achieve excellence in areas of law and public policy, thus contributing to the interpretation of the development of law and jurisprudence."
This memorable event was made truly special by tributes given by Dr. Bhardwaj's family members. In response to the memorial lecture on "Law, Democracy & Idea of India", the celebrated jurist's family welcomed JGU's initiative and said that it was a great way to remember and celebrate him and perpetuate his memory.
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