Spandan Mondal Mondal
Columnist, The Logical Indian
How do you think a real life hero looks like? If you are picturing a well-built man in his early 30s, clad in the most modern and stylish outfit, you are going to be disappointed with Chennai’s “one man army”, Traffic Ramaswamy.
The city’s 80-year-old social activist, public interest litigant and whistle-blower, K. R. “Traffic” Ramaswamy, initially began his activism through unofficially regulating the chaotic traffic in the city. With his first PIL in 1998, Ramaswamy went on steadily, almost all his PILs being a sure success. He says he has hit more than a century with his brow-raising, controversial, yet pointed and sharp, trend-setting PIL petitions in Madras High Court as well as the Supreme Court.
His activism has resulted in the demolition of some illegally constructed buildings in Chennai, restrictions on motorized fish carts, decongestion of major bus routes, and a review of lavish state funding for a feature film. However, in his attempts to do away with corruption and VIP culture, he has earned the wrath of a number of foes. He was attacked in 2002 by fish-sellers, damaging his sight, and by opponents’ lawyers in 2007. His office was also ransacked. As per a High Court order, he is now accompanied day and night by an armed police bodyguard.
The Logical Indian community salutes the noble, selfless efforts of Traffic Ramaswamy and his vision for a more livable and lovable Chennai. We believe, the foundation of a developed and integrated nation lies in pointing out and addressing corruption and injustices at the grass-root level. Undoubtedly, efforts such as Ramaswamy’s, exemplify what a common man can contribute towards that cause.
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