Fearless at 75 !


When talking about someone who has been a fighter all his life – fighting for justice and fearing the least as the cases against him bounced from court to court, among an array of lawyers and judges– one would expect to see a hefty Thor- type figure, domineering and demanding.

Instead we saw a thin delicate man in late 70s, enter the hall in a white suit with his shirt pockets sagging due to the weight of a bundle of papers, describing which he said, “These papers are to identify that any person old or young standing before you is Traffic Ramaswamy. They are petitions.”

Traffic RamaswamyPicture source: Google

Traffic Ramaswamy
Picture source: Google

It was shocking to learn that he carried his 200 Public Interest Litigations wherever he went. He carried them as a symbol of power, a power which every citizen can use to fight for his or her rights – a phenomenon, which he says hardly happens in our country. “All are afraid. That’s the main reason. Unless you question, you wont get your legitimate rights”.

“I am afraid of nothing,” he said, attributing his undying valour to his idolization of Rajaji. According to him a role model is necessary to keep us in the track of “self discipline”.

Sitting on the chair, as he reminisced about his bitter experiences in court, his petite figure radiated an unbeatable confidence.

With a history of cases registered against him for pick pocketing under article 420 in the past 9 years, he had been a notable one for the police. Winning all these cases was a feather on his cap which he was proud of.

In 1984, he was falsely accused and jailed for four days for cheating a civilian off Rs 2000 by wearing the police uniform. He claimed that the arrest was an excuse by the police to take revenge on him for the number of cases of corruption he had filed against them.

Though the odds were against him, his guts made him retort to the police saying, “I ll show you who I am once I come out of jail. I ll see to it that you are nowhere in Tamil Nadu”.

Always a man of words, his statement was fulfilled. The moment he won the case, the police “was punished by God” and died on the spot, he said.

This melodramatic case of death brought in whispers from the crowd. He silenced them explaining that “when you are given birth on this earth, death is already decided – you can’t change.” He further added that it is self conscience we should be more bothered about and not death.

May be it is this self conscience which is preventing him from entering Politics – a field which according to many is best suited for him. However, the word politics seemed to disinterest him.  For someone who is “the top man, even higher than the Chief Minister”, how would politics suffice after all !

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