The entire legal academia and disability fraternity is shell shocked on hearing the most unfortunate news of sudden exit of Dr. Shirish Deshpande. With his sad demise, which was most untimely, the civil society has not only lost a firebrand activist but also a prolific teacher, iconoclastic jurist and a very noble and kind hearted human being. Parting with the company of Dr. Deshpande, for me, is something which I cannot express in formal language. Right from my childhood till today, he was a guiding influence for me. He shaped me, first as a student of law and then as a teacher under his guidance. I had the privilege and good fortune to accomplish my Ph.D. under his supervision, and it was probably the first case where both research supervisor and the researcher were visually challenged. With more than thirty years of experience as a law teacher, Sir had a long journey. He started at post-graduate department of law at Nagpur. He also went on to teach at NALSAR for two years where he taught Administrative Law along with Prof. Amita Dhanda. The core team of Dr. Deshpande and Prof. Dhanda teaching Administrative Law almost became the USP of NALSAR. Before his sad demise yesterday, Dr. Deshpande had been a Professor at Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur. His specialization was Comparative Constitutional Law, but his authority on every subject of law was unchallenging. With his ability to grasp the first principles of law, it was very easy for him to break down the nitty gritty of any legal complexity into simpler terms. Whenever we wanted insights about any jurists like Kelsen, Austin, HLA Hart, Dr. Deshpande was the one stop destination. His ability to provide insights on the jurisprudence into a very simple and lucid language, distinguished him and made him a stand-out teacher. I had good fortune to endure my academic interaction and association with Dr. Deshpande as a co-author of a test book on Human Rights, and an award winning article. His captivating personality, Sir has evolved more than two generations of students and it is now upto all his students to endure his legacy and nurture his virtue of being generous.
I offer my deepest condolences to his family members and pray to Almighty that his soul may rest in peace!
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