Tamil News

Cho Ramaswamy Dead At 82

Noted political commentator, actor, and director Cho Ramaswamy passed away earlier today after a brief illness. He was 82. He is survived by his wife and two children.


A former Rajya Sabha member, Mr Ramaswamy had been ailing for quite a while. He had been hospitalised for respiratory issues on two occasions recently.

Born into a family of lawyers, Cho took up the legal profession with some success. He acted as the legal advisor to the TTK group. He eventually abandoned law for the theatre, and began collaborating with YG Parthasarathy’s troupe, for plays like Undersecretary (in which he was paired opposite a young Jayalalitha).

He began his film career with a supporting role in Paar Magale Paar, followed by movies like Adimai Penn and Rickshawkaran.

Cho eventually began directing. His first directorial was Tamil film Mohammad Bin Tughlaq (1971), an adaptation of a play he wrote. The film, a satire, met with widespread criticism from political groups, who protested during the shooting. Despite this, Mohammad Bin Tughlaq released and garnered much acclaim for its severe, unbiased take on politics.

Cho also ran the political journal Tughlaq. Known for its fearless satire and withering criticism of politicians, the magazine and its founder faced constant political pressure, but garnered the support and admiration of the masses. He was awarded the B.D. Goenka Award for excellence in journalism for his work.


Even before he ventured into journalism, Cho’s social and political views were well-known through his plays. His oeuvre is laced with political criticism, and was always a target for political groups. The Congress government led by M Bhaktavatsalam in the late 1960s tried to censor the script of his play Sambavami Yuge Yuge. However, such was his popularity, that it was the Congress which faced flak for its attempts.

A close friend of the late Chief Minister, Cho was admitted to the same private hospital in Chennai as Jayalalitha. Reports indicate that he did not know of her passing.