'Aham sanskritam vadami'- Do you need Google's help in translating this, which simply means- 'I speak Sanskrit'? Then think what those judges do, in front of whom Acharya Shyam Upadhyay argues his cases! Touted as the only lawyer in India to do so, he has been honoured by the Human Resource and Development Ministry with the 'Sanskrit Mitram' award in 2003. If you find his efforts in keeping this ancient language alive in today's era to be laudable, then tag along with us to know more about his fondness for Sanskrit.
A tilak & his black coat
Hailing from Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi district, Acharya Shyam Upadhyay found it odd when he learnt that Indian courts do not use Sanskrit as an official language. Thus, during his school-going years, he vowed to learn the law and practice it in Sanskrit. For this reason, he acquired Acharya (a designation for priests) in Buddhist Philosophy and later pursued a BA LLB degree from Harischandra College.
Today, his childhood aspirations have taken the mould of an inspirational and unique tale. Other than his unbelievable fluency in Sanskrit, he is distinguished by the tripund and tilak that adorn his visage. Another spell-binding achievement of Acharya Upadhyay, that sets him apart from the common man, is that he has authored almost 60 novels in Sanskrit!
Whether you understand Sanskrit or not, your brief acquaintance with it during your school years must've made you aware of its importance to the Indian culture. We hope that the story of Acharya Shyam Upadhyay inspires you to brush up on those basics so that this language can be saved from the verge of extinction!