I was never bogged down by failures, says Perarivalan

‘My mother was the source of my strength during 31 years of imprisonment’ 

Updated - May 18, 2022 02:44 pm IST

Published - May 18, 2022 02:42 pm IST - CHENNAI

Perarivalan at his house in Jolarpet on Wednesday.

Perarivalan at his house in Jolarpet on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

An unrelenting faith in judiciary despite several setbacks and constant support of family and friends formed the basis of the three-decades-old battle for freedom tasting success on Wednesday, A.G. Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the Raji Gandhi assassination case who was set at liberty by the Supreme Court, said.

“It was a lone man’s struggle for justice. It would not have been possible had my mother not stood by me all through my testing times. It was not just my suffering in prison for 31 long years…my mother and other family members also suffered equally. I have had several setbacks in these years. On many occasions, freedom seemed to be at the doorstep but the case would get dismissed. But I was never bogged down by failures. I gathered courage and started from the scratch again,” Mr. Perarivalan told The Hindu.

Though it was a long-drawn legal battle for justice, the outcome has set a precedent to benefit others. “The pain of seeing my mother in tears each and every time was more painful than the prolonged imprisonment. As she was growing old I got scared because all her efforts to secure my release should not go waste. I wanted to get released during her lifetime. I am happy that I am with my family now,” he said.

Mr. Perarivalan said despite hardships in prison, he was determined not to let go of his basic nature and character. It was a hard fight to sustain his original character because he never wanted his family and friends to see a new man on release from prison. “People who knew me at the age of 19 years (when he was arrested in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case) liked my character of being friendly, cordial and jovial. I wanted to retain that…”

Thanking the Tamil Nadu Government and Chief Minister M.K. Stalin for supporting his cause, he said the State government successfully established its power envisaged in the Constitution. “I also want to thank the Opposition and all other political parties and persons who supported me in my fight for freedom,” Mr. Perarivalan said.

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