Thursday, Jul 03, 2003
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This Day That Age
Mr. T.R. Venkatarama Sastri, eminent lawyer and Liberal leader, passed away at his residence in Edward Elliots Road, Mylapore, Madras, on the 2nd afternoon. He was 79. Mr. Sastri was born on 6th February 1874. His father, Thiruvalangadi Raju Sastri was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of Tanjore district. Mr. Venkatarama Sastri was educated in the Municipal High School, Mayavaram, and the Government College at Kumbakonam. Graduating in 1894, he joined the Law College at Madras and took his B.L. degree in 1898. He enrolled in the Madras Court in April 1899, and worked as an apprentice under Sir P.S. Sivaswamy Aiyar, sharing that privilege with Mr. S. Varadachariar who later became a Judge of the Federal Court. Mr. Venkatarama Sastri made his mark as a persuasive lawyer, who was thorough in the study of his briefs and lucid in the presenting of cases. Natural recognition of his eminence came when he was appointed Advocate-General.
At the end of his term as Advocate-General, he accepted the Law Membership of the Madras Government, and joined the Executive Council on the 12th of March, 1924. But he resigned within 48 hours, when he found that the Governor had by notification taken away the subject of police from the Law Member and assigned it to another Member. Mr. Sastri resigned in protest as the only course left open to any self-respecting and patriotic Indian. His action may not have influenced Government much, but it enhanced his reputation for integrity and independence.
Chief Minister C. Rajagopalachari said in his tribute: "I am unable to find words for the grief and loneliness which the sad news has cast on me. One of the most excellent of men that adorned the intellectual circle of Madras or India, Sastri retained his breadth of outlook, his sense of humour, his kindliness, his keen intellect, and above all, his sturdy manhood till the very last minute of his rich life. His reverence and understanding of the past equalled his appreciation and hopes about modern advancement. We have lost one of our very best men."
Chief Justice Mr. P.V. Rajamannar said, "South India has lost one of its greatest lawyers and public men of integrity. He belonged to a generation of giants." Mr. N. Chandrasekhara Iyer, Retired Judge of the Supreme Court, observed, "Mr. Sastri was a powerful Advocate and a refined scholar. He was deeply interested in politics, literary studies, and philosophy. Kind to all, and affectionate towards many, his benevolence was extraordinary.
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