Thursday, February 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

T.K. Ramasamy dead
Tribune News Service

Mr T.K. Ramasamy, photo by Kuldip Dhiman
Mr T.K. Ramasamy, photo by Kuldip Dhiman

Chandigarh, February 27
Mr T.K. Ramasamy, Editorial Adviser to The Tribune, died here today. He was 62. The funeral procession will start from his house, 414-A, Sector 30, tomorrow at 3 p.m.

A bachelor, Mr Ramasamy had been ailing for some time. His condition took a turn for the worse this morning. He breathed his last while being rushed to the hospital. Mr Ramasamy joined The Tribune on February 21, 1982, as Assistant Editor. He retired as Associate Editor on March 16, 2000, but was reappointed Editorial Adviser in which position he continued till today.

The editorial staff of The Tribune held a condolence meeting in the evening to mourn his death. One minute’s silence was observed in memory of the departed soul.

Paying rich tributes to Mr Ramasamy’s varied personality, Hari Jaisingh, Editor, The Tribune, said: “Ramasamy was a paradigm. He towered above the rest of journalists by his sheer brilliance. He was totally committed to his profession and The Tribune as an institution. A well-read person, he possessed tremendous ability to objectively analyse political, economic and social events with a sharp and incisive pen. He will also be remembered for the encouragement he gave to young colleagues. The world of Indian journalism today is poorer without him. We do not see a journalist of his class these days.”

Mr B.S. Jandu, President of the Tribune Employees Union, also offered his condolences. The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, in a condolence message said that in the death of Mr Ramasamy a void had been created in the field of journalism.


TKR — a journalist and a comrade

T. K. Ramasamy lived life on his terms. And life did not seem to mind being mocked at by him. Who would? He was such a loveable person. Behind the gruff exterior was an extremely soft and gentle man, who throughout his life believed in helping others rather than being helped.

On Wednesday he mocked at life again. This time life seemed to have run out of patience. It simply gave up. Who wouldn’t? Ramu, as he was lovingly called by his friends and admirers, knew he was sinking and yet refused to take food. He said he was not hungry.

The only hunger that was left in him was to do his bit for The Tribune family. His passion for edit writing earned him the privilege to pick the subject he wanted to write on. The rest of the editorial team got the crumbs. But no one minded. His dedication to the profession had to be seen to be believed. In spite of failing health, it was his commitment to the newspaper that kept him going.

Throughout his brilliant career Ramu had a unique quality that made him stand out as a professional. That was his undisguised irreverence for anything that resembled authority. His irreverence towards the accepted symbols of power may have been the result of the grooming he had as a leftist while still in college. If it was so, it only made him a better journalist.

It was not just his irreverence that served him well in a career spanning almost 40 years. Since he was a leftist by choice, it was but natural that he started his career with small newspapers brought out by the better placed comrades. The Patriot, when it started publication in the sixties, was not just a newspaper. It was a nursery of journalism and Ramu was fortunate to have been to this finishing school before getting the big break as an Assistant Editor with The Tribune.

The mark of a popular person is not the kind of people that surround him in his lifetime. It is best reflected in moments of crisis. When Ramu began slipping, the last person to stay back and look after him at night was Sanjeev Khosla, the motor cycle rider, who had become his link with the office for the past many years, and Balak Ram, a messenger. In the morning the first to reach his residence was another group of young messengers looking lost and concerned about his deteriorating condition.

They came not because he was their superior or their boss. For them he was a dreamer of their dreams. He had dreams of seeing them rise in life rather than carry messages to and from the office for him.

Ramu was indeed a journalist first. But at the end of the day it was his training as a comrade that saw him rise above the crowd of ordinary professionals. — L. H. Naqvi


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