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Monday, July 11, 2011
AGED TIGER: "Era Sezhiyan, a person of impeccable character"!
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The former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice S. Natarajan (second from right), presents a copy of “Parliament for The People,” a publication of Era Sezhiyan’s speeches in Parliament, to Cho S. Ramaswamy, Editor of Thuglak, at a function in Chennai on Saturday. Others from left are Mr. Sezhiyan and VIT University Chancellor G. Viswanathan. Photo : M. Vedhan - The Hindu.
A host of speakers, led by S. Natarajan, former Supreme Court Judge, on Saturday hailed Era Sezhiyan, veteran parliamentarian, for his services to Parliament and steadfast commitment to the protection of constitutional institutions, advocacy of decentralisation and the importance of propriety and probity in public life.
Launching “Parliament for The People,” a publication of Mr Sezhiyan’s speeches in Parliament, at a function here, Mr Natarajan described the parliamentarian as a person of impeccable character and integrity, a man of erudition and a constitutional expert.
He recalled that after Mr Sezhiyan’s defeat in the 1977 Lok Sabha election, several national leaders including the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai and External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted him to enter the Parliament again through Rajya Sabha by getting elected from any of the northern States where the Janata Party was strong. But, Mr Sezhiyan had turned down their offer. The issue was resolved in 1978 when the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran, on the advice of Mr Desai, had agreed to extend his party’s support to Mr Sezhiyan’s election from Tamil Nadu to the Rajya Sabha.
Mr Natarajan, Editor-in-Chief of THE HINDU N. Ram and industrialist R. Veeramani recounted that in August 1989, in response to Mr Sezhiyan’s appeal, then Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and Vice-President S.D. Sharma had expunged disparaging remarks made by members in the House against the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the light of the Bofors scandal.
The former Supreme Court Judge said this episode had demonstrated how much respect was given to Mr Sezhiyan, who was no longer a member of the Upper House then. He added that the book brought out effectively how legislative business could be carried on with dignity and decorum in spite of serious differences of opinion among members of the legislature.
The function was organised by the VIT University, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi and the Rajaji Centre for Public Affairs, Chennai.
Mr Ram, who received the first copy, said interactions with Mr Sezhiyan on a host of issues over the years were educative, enriching and productive. He was never a high-profile parliamentarian but extremely active from the start.