A daughter of Tulunad on the west coast of Karnataka, has added a feather to the cap of the coastal districts, making it to the compilation of '100 Legal Luminaries of India', published by the prestigious publisher LexisNexis.
Dr Shashikala Gurupur, who presently holds the prestigious position of Director of Symbiosis Law School, Pune and Dean, Faculty of Law in Symbiosis International University, happens to be the only woman and youngest among the ten legal educationists listed in the section, in which her name features."A lady who learns constantly and whose motto is to bring happiness into as many lives as possible, Dr Shashikala is an educationist par excellence," reads the very first sentence of the LexisNexis compilation on her.
An alumnus of St Agnes College and SDM Law College, she is the recipient of many an award - 'Award for Excellence in Legal Sector’ (instituted by The Vijay Foundation), Fulbright-Nehru International Education scholarship – 2011, and the National and South Asian Legal Education Innovation Award 2011 conferred by SILF and MILAT. She has also been a part-time member of the 19th Law Commission of India and is now a member of the Bar Council of India. She has won the global ethics forum Geneva-IIM Bangalore award for contributing to more gender equal society in 2015. She is also currently on the national judicial academy academic council.
Dr Shashikala Gurupur was born in the hamlet of Gurupur on the banks of river Phalguni in the district of Dakshina Kannada. In the compilation, Dr. Shashikala recalls her childhood days, when she was excited the sight of aeroplanes flying over her house from the Mangaluru Airport, which is just a stones throw away from her ancestral home.
She did her initial schooling in a Kannada medium school, and recalls with pride of how Gandhian principles were etched into her psyche right from her schooling days and how in the Gandhian sway she learnt to spin the 'charkha'.The compilation also reveals her initial interest in forensic science and how circumstances compelled her to opt for Legal studies after B.Sc.
Soon, her acumen took her places and when she joined National Law School of India University, Bengaluru (NLSIU), she met Dr Tim Murthy, an Irish Law Professor. Couple of months later, she married him and moved with him to Ireland. After a wonderful academic stint as a professor at the National University of Ireland, she had to return to India in 1998 owing to her mother's deteriorating health. She continued to work in reputed institutions and organisations, and in 2007, she took the helm of the Symbiosis Law School and steered it to its present prominent position among the law schools of India.
Spiritual person that she is, she refuses to subscribe to rigid religious practices. With her son Nisthula Murthy (the first recipient of John Lennon Scholarship) taking the path of music and pursuing sound and audio engineering, Dr Shashikala says that the bond that ties the two together and is the taste for humour and creativity.
Her day ideally begins with yoga and meditations, after which she is energised to go and spread the fragrance of her knowledge, igniting young and old minds alike.