Lawyers cannot protect Tamil without mastering English

Madras High Court judge V. Ramasubramanian on Wednesday told lawyers practising in the High Court Bench here that they would not be able to preserve and develop Tamil unless they were equally well versed in English too.

Delivering a talk on the topic ‘what life has taught me’ at Madurai Bar Association, the judge said that only people who master both the languages would be able to appreciate better the greatness of their mother tongue and protect it from obliteration.

“I studied in a Tamil medium school and therefore could not speak even a single grammatically correct sentence in English until getting enrolled as a lawyer in 1983. I took to Tamil oratory when I was in college to overcome the inferiority complex of not knowing English.

“However, over the years, I realised that learning English is as important as mastering Tamil. I worked hard and you can see the results today. Therefore, the most important lesson that life had taught me is to avoid being dependant on a single language,” he said.

He added that essentiality of tasting victory, ensuring that the victory was achieved through right means, desisting from underestimating the potential of others, remembering that nemesis would always work out and following the hands of destiny were the other lessons learnt by him over the years.

Quoting General K.M. Cariappa, the first Indian commander-in-chief of the Army, the judge urged the lawyers to always keep in mind that humility should be their hallmark since “no one can remain perched on the summit of power and plenty forever.”

He also quoted noted journalist and film personality S.S. Vasan as saying: “Victory is achieved through a mixture of luck and pluck. I look at life as a game of cards. The cards that one gets depend upon his luck but how he plays with the available cards depends upon his talent.”

While stressing on nemesis, the judge said that former Chief Justice of Madras High Court K. Veeraswami had scant respect for one of the lower court judges. However, it so happened that the latter presided over the court proceedings when Mr. Veeraswami was booked by the CBI on charges of corruption in 1976.

Further, asking lawyers to follow the hands of destiny, Mr. Justice Ramasubramanian said that he was destined to become a judge despite being a chemistry graduate who also did a course in cost accountancy expecting to get employed in a corporate company.

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