Distinguished Member of Parliament and Lawyer Ram Jethmalani Visits Houston


From left: Dr. Karl Robinson; Rajneesh Chaudhary; Dr. Arun Verma; Prof. John
Lunstroth; Member of Indian Rajya Sabha Ram Jethmalani; Dr. Durga Agrawal; Vinni
Verma and Charles Foster. Photo : Bijay Dixit

By John Lunstroth

HOUSTON: Ram Jethmalani, a Member of Parliament in India, visited Houston on September 22 and 23 to give two lectures at the University of Houston Law Center (organized by Professors Raymond Nimmer and John Lunstroth) and a discussion at the Asia Society of Houston (see IAN September 27, 2013) conducted byCharles Foster, Partner of FosterQuan, LLP and Chairman of the Houston Chapter of the Asia Society. Rajneesh Chaudhary, attorney and his law partner John Lunstroth, of Lunstroth & Chaudhary organized Jethmalani’s visit to Houston.

Jethmalani also met the Indian community at a lavish dinner thrown in his honor by Vinni Verma and her husband, Dr. Arun Verma. The dinner was attended by eminent Houstonians who were impressed with Jethmalani’s sharp intellect and energy even at the age of 90. Jethmalani spoke on the need to fight terrorism and preserve democracy. He shared his experiences during the Emergency period of 1975-1977 in which constitutional and human rights were suspended. He stated that he felt young because of the three professions that he practices, law, politics and law teaching, he enjoyed teaching the most.

Dr. Verma recalled how as a child his father would tell him of the development of the famous Nanavati case which ended the jury system in India and in which Jethmalani played a fundamental role. Dr. Verma was fascinated by the personalities in the story, resulting in a life-long interest in the career of Jethmalani and making this opportunity to host him a very special event indeed.

Those who helped to arrange Jethmalani’s visit to Houston were Foster and Thomas Riley of the Asia Society; Nimmer and Tasha Willis of the University of Houston Law School; University of Houston India Studies Program’s Lois Zamora, Anjali Kanojia and Kim Howard; local community activist Durga Das Agrawal; K Mahesh, Special Commissioner of Industries of the Govt. of National Capital Territory of Delhi, India and Lata Krishnamurti, Jethmalani’s law partner who accompanied him on the trip.