Learning Humility from J Sagar

Yesterday I learned how true greatness is exhibited when I met Mr. Jyoti Sagar (Founder Partner of Jyoti Sagar Associates) for the first time.

I was attending a joint co-operation event organized by Lexis Nexis and SILF (Society of Indian Law Firms) to discuss areas of collaborating on sustainable development by upholding the very essential element of development i.e Rule of Law.

Mr. Youngsuk Chi, Chairman of Lexis Nexis shared his vision on how we can achieve this really lofty long-term goal. And he gave absolutely “Brilliant” insights to describe it in one word!

Later the SILF President, Mr. Lalit Bhasin raised the issue of ‘ Gender Equality” saying how women participation in playing responsible roles as Judges or designated Counsels or heading big practices was still far from the expected level – how men need to play a proactive role in making this happen. Many points were discussed by other SILf members who were raising other issues and throwing ideas – on human rights and other rights of the citizen. It was a vibrant and interactive Q & A session.

This event was attended by mostly young professionals ( mostly lawyers ) as the Big Law Firm partners were still busy to make it…

Sitting next to me was a short man, wearing a sling over an injured hand, who was quiet throughout the session as if he was just made to sit there for attendance sake.

Before they announced the end of the session, he raised his hand to say one thing and what he said was that we must also read about our “ Duties “ under Article 51A of the Constitution of India. He said we hardly ever discuss that. This was a paradigm shift of focus on the ongoing discussion centering on Saga of developing countries, technological tools that can help to fight for all kinds of rights etc… It did stop us to think … hmm…

He didn’t say anything more but when he was leaving, while saying goodbye to Mr. Chi ( and I was the only one there to witness this as I was talking to Mr.Chi) he told him that he had recently appointed two Managing Partners of his Firm – and both are ladies !! That’s when I figured he’s the great Jyoti Sagar !!

It took my breath away to see the great man of whom we had heard so much and to witness his utter humility by not bragging about what he has done while the discussion was going on and his willingness to attend such an event meant for achieving greater professional standards with a broken hand. I have never met him in my 16 years of practice as he is not seen in the regular networking events of Lawyers..

I had already developed a great regard for this man when he zeroed his stake and quit the firm two years back in 2013 at the age of 60 after scaling it up in just 22 years – leaving it for others to run it. The firm now has 325 lawyers and 33 equity partners,

He said he would like to be busier in philanthropic work.

We always like to exhibit ourselves to our best advantage, particularly when we happen to be in public view. True greatness rarely exhibits itself in such a way. In the political capital of the country to find such humble men who never seek occasions to display their good nature as it is inherent in them is really the rarest of rare occasions. This was the lesson I learned when I happened to meet Mr.Jyoti Sagar.

It has given me fresh energy to achieve excellence !