J. Sai Deepak is an Indian lawyer and author. He went from being an engineer to an advocate practising before the High Court of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India.
Jayakumar Sai Deepak was born on Saturday, 23 November 1985 (age 38 years; as of 2023) in Hyderabad, India. His zodiac sign is Sagittarius. He studied at the St. Anthony’s High School in Hyderabad. From 2002 to 2006, Deepak pursued his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Anna University in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. From 2006 to 2009, he pursued his LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in West Bengal. From 2008 to 2010, Deepak was a contributor to the SpicyIP legal blog. From 2009 to 2016, he worked at the law firm Saikrishna & Associates in Bengaluru, Karnataka, where he was an Associate Partner. In 2016, he founded the Law Chambers of J. Sai Deepak where he works. LinkedIn
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
There is not much known about his parents and siblings.
Wife & Children
Sai Deepak got married in 2014. There is not much known about his wife and children.
Sai Deepak follows Hinduism. He is known for his extremist views on supporting the establishment of a Hindutva nation. He often speaks against Muslims and Christians and has spoken about believing that India would only be safe and thrive if the majority of the population were Hindu. The Wire
Views on Hindu Majoritarianism
People often criticize J. Sai Deepak for his views on religions like Christianity and Islam, accusing him of being a “Hindu Majoritarian” and advocating for a Hindutva nation. In response, he argued that the term is wrongly used, especially against Hindus, as it ignores the strong link between Hinduism and India. He has questioned the legitimacy of such criticism and highlighted the importance of considering India’s history. Sai Deepak also stressed that people must understand Hinduism beyond numbers. He challenged the selective use of constitutional principles when it came to the protection of Hindu voices and the dissent that they face. He advocates for an approach that values historical context and civilization. According to him, there is an “inseparable” connection between the Hindu religion and India, something which he says cannot be ignored. The Indian Express
J. Sai Deepak is a Brahmin.
In 2016, J. Sai Deepak founded his independent practice, the Law Chambers of J. Sai Deepak where he works as a counsel who argues before the Delhi High Court, the Supreme Court of India, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), and the Competition Commission of India (CCI). He further works as an honourary advisor for the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce.
One of the most notable cases he handled was related to the entry of women into the Sabarimala Temple. In this case, he argued against allowing women entry, citing the belief that the Hindu deity Ayyappan follows lifelong celibacy. Deepak argued that the deity, being considered a living being, is entitled to constitutional rights, including religious liberty and freedom of religion as per Articles 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India. The verdict given was against Sai Deepak’s favour, as of 2018, women can enter the Sabarimala Temple.
He also represented the Travancore royal family, to assert their right to manage the estates of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the royal family in this matter. He was then involved in the Basmati Geographical Indication dispute, where he represented the Government of Madhya Pradesh. One ongoing case that Deepak is handling is a public interest litigation (PIL) against the marital rape exception in the Indian Penal Code. He has also argued against a PIL seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriage, a recognition denied by the Supreme Court of India. In his role as legal counsel, Deepak represented Anand Ranganathan in a contempt of court case related to criticism that Anand made of Justice S. Muralidhar.
We won! I refused to apologise for standing up for free speech.
Grateful to everyone who stood by me but above all to @jsaideepak. Oh, the way you fought – words fail me, Sai. The feeling overwhelmingly is of pride; pride in the realisation that with you Bharat is in safe hands. pic.twitter.com/2QOXaS27Km
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) January 3, 2024
Deepak also works as the counsel for the royal family of Kashi in a case demanding a constitutional review of the Places of Worship Act, of 1991.
Deepak regularly contributes as a columnist to The Indian Express and Firstpost. Moreover, he maintains two blogs, Yukti and The Demanding Mistress on which he writes about civil commercial litigation. The former focuses on constitutional theory and legal philosophy, while the latter addresses civil, commercial, and intellectual property law. Notably, one of his blog articles was cited by the Madras High Court in its decision on the TVS Motor Company vs. Bajaj Auto Limited intellectual property dispute. He also contributed to The Daily Guardian, where he wrote a regular column named “Indic Views”.
Sai Deepak has written a series of which two books have been published as of 2023. The book “India, that is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution” was published in 2021 and looks at how European colonial ideas shaped India, covering history and proposing the need for a change called ‘decoloniality.’ The second book, “India, Bharat and Pakistan: The Constitutional Journey of a Sandwiched Civilisation” was published in 2022 talks about the impact of European and Middle Eastern colonial influences on Bharat, exploring historical events leading to the formation of Pakistan and draws parallels with present-day challenges.
BeerBiceps YouTube Podcast Video
A podcast video posted by the founder of BeerBiceps, Ranveer Allahbadia, featuring J. Sai Deepak sparked controversy all over social media. In the video, Allahbadia asked Sai Deepak to name three individuals who should leave India forever, leading to Sai Deepak naming Indian historians Romila Thapar and Professor Irfan Habib, and journalist Barkha Dutt. This question and answer triggered harassment, humiliation, and cyberbullying on social media against the people mentioned above. Despite the offensive nature of the video, YouTube, after a thorough review, stated that it did not violate their policies.
The video raised concerns about harassment and cyberbullying, which are against YouTube’s Community Guidelines. The podcast also included hate speech targeting Muslims and other religious groups. He spoke against Hindu and Christian groups in Kerala and made accusations without any roof. Sai Deepak made controversial statements implying that India would remain safe only with a Hindu majority population and went on to make baseless claims about the Muslim population. The video also spread misinformation, such as false claims about incidents related to the farmer’s protests in 2021. Sai Deepak’s misleading information about the removal of the Indian national flag during the protests was debunked by fact-checking organizations. Despite the concerns about the video violating YouTube’s policies, the platform asserted that it did not breach any guidelines. The Wire
All India Lawyers Association for Justice (AILAJ) Against J Sai Deepak
The Karnataka State Bar Council proceeded with an event despite calls from the All India Lawyer’s Association for Justice (AILAJ) to cancel it. The event featured Advocate J. Sai Deepak discussing the “Uniform Civil Code – Pros and Cons.” AILAJ, a left-leaning lawyer’s group, expressed concerns through an open letter to the Bar Council of Karnataka on 28 August 2023. They criticized Sai Deepak for alleged views supporting India becoming a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and termed him an ‘Islamophobe.’ The letter urged the Bar Council to reconsider the event for balanced representation. The letter further stated,
It also no secret that he has repeatedly issued islamophobic statements and attacked the Christian community and Christian educational institutions calling them ‘anti-Hindu’ . Further, the speaker in question has publicly asked all non-Hindus to leave India ‘as it is not their motherland.”
However, the event attracted a large crowd, including people standing outside to hear Deepak. In response, Sai Deepak thanked the audience and sarcastically acknowledged AILAJ for the unpaid publicity. During his talk, Deepak emphasized presenting facts and data for the audience to draw their conclusions. He addressed historical facts and encouraged a non-binary approach, stating he was not convinced of the benefits of the Uniform Civil Code. Despite the controversy, a significant number of law students attended the lecture. madhyamam
Criticism of J. Sai Deepak’s Views
The public criticised Deepak for his various extremist views. At an event, Sai Deepak spoke about how minority castes were being casteist towards Brahmins and “plotting their downfall”. He has also faced criticism for the books he has written. People are against the introduction of his books into the syllabus of law schools with concerns about his academic credentials and suitability for law courses. Critics argue for sticking to established texts that have been in use for years, especially in National Law Universities (NLUs). He faced criticism for endorsing Hindu supremacy in his books. Users of Twitter (now X) also called Deepak’s views fascist.
St. Stephen’s College’s Gender Studies Cell Controversy
Supreme Court lawyer J Sai Deepak faced opposition from the Gender Studies cell of St. Stephen’s College after being invited by the Leadership cell. Despite the initial approval, the event was allegedly cancelled due to objections from some students. J Sai Deepak, in response, shared screenshots of derogatory posts against him by the Gender Studies cell, criticizing their use of uncivil language. The posts contained terms such as ‘bigoted’, ‘sexist’, ‘casteist’ and ‘misogynistic’. They also went on to call him Islamophobic and requested the student body to boycott the event if it were not cancelled.
1. Free speech. Diversity of ideas. Toleration. Inclusion. Gender Studies cell of St. Stephen's College. Vande Mataram. pic.twitter.com/INI1HnxyZ6
— Sai Deepak J (@jsaideepak) February 25, 2022
He expressed disappointment in the college for not standing by its decision and highlighted a larger issue of selective support for free speech in educational institutions. He also raised concerns about the lack of openness to debate in humanities departments. In his tweets surrounding the controversy, Sai Deepak said,
I have nothing to say on the conduct of the Gender Studies Cell of St. Stephen’s because their posts speak for them. Whether this warrants an introspection on their part is for them to decide. That said, I don’t approve of uncivil language being used against them by anyone. Independent of d (the) students of course,it is indeed unfortunate that St. Stephen’s as an institution cud’nt (couldn’t) stand by its decision to greenlight my session. I guess this underscores a larger problem that plagues such institutions across d (the) country-selective support for free speech.”
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- In 2019, IIT Kharagpur awarded Sai Deepak with the Young Alumni Achiever’s Award.
- In 2022, Sai Deepak received the SKOCH Literature Award for his book “India, Bharat and Pakistan: The Constitutional Journey of a Sandwiched Civilisation”.
- Sai Deepak has three adopted pet dogs named Laya, Leela and Laddu. He advocates for adopting Indian stray dogs instead of buying dogs.
- Sai Deepak is known for “beating” politician Shashi Tharoor, who is famous for his speaking skills, at a debate on nationalism.
- As of January 2024, Sai Deepak has 640K followers on Instagram, and 594.9K followers on Twitter (currently known as X).
- Sai Deepak often gives talks and participates in panel discussions at various Universities across India and different events.