Cho Ramaswamy

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Cho Ramaswamy Srinivasa Iyer
Born (1934-10-05)5 October 1934
Mylapore, Madras, India
Died 7 December 2016(2016-12-07) (aged 82)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Cause of death Heart attack
Occupation Actor, political satirist, journalist, lawyer, editor,
Notable credit(s) Thuglak
Spouse(s) Shrimati Soundara Ramaswamy(m1966)
Family R. Srinivasa Iyer (Father)
Rajammal (Mother)
Awards Padma Bhushan (2017)

Srinivasa Iyer, also known as"Cho" Ramaswamy (5 October 1934 – 7 December 2016), was an Indian actor, comedian, character actor, editor, political satirist, playwright and dialogue writer, film director and lawyer in Tamil Nadu.[1]

Career[edit]

Films[edit]

Cho made his debut in 1963 with Paar Magale Paar as comedian. From 1963 to 2005 he acted in 180 Tamil films and directed 5 films. He also wrote and directed 20 plays.[2] He also wrote and acted in 27 Television serials. He wrote 10 books. Apart from actor, he was both the screenplay and story writer of films like Thenmazhai, Ninaivil Nindraval, Bommalattam, Aayiram Poi, Panam Paththum Seyyum, all of which proved to be box-office hits.

Cho played the role of a bike mechanic in a play "Petralthan Pillaiya" written by Pattu of the United Amateur Artistes (UAA), which became a huge success. When the play was later adapted into a film by director A. Bhimsingh, Sivaji Ganesan persuaded Cho to play the same role in the film too, leading to Cho's entry into the film world.[3]

Many scenes in Hindi films have been directly borrowed and plagiarized from what Cho performed in his films. The sequence in Adimai Penn where Cho exchanges the various glasses of juices kept while narrating a story to R.S.Manohar, by which the villains poisonous glass gets mixed up, was later on borrowed in Andaz Apna Apna in 1994 where Aamir Khan foils plan of the villains. Similarly the scene in Thenmazhai where Cho acts as a doctor to look after a fraud patient played by Nagesh and brings carpenter's tools to operate on patient, was again copied in Andaz Apna Apna in 1994.

Mr. Cho and Jayalalithaa have worked together in 19 films and also had been part of the same drama troupe. In fact, Mr. Cho had been consulted at the creation of Jayalalithaa's political career by the then actress and by MGR himself.During the rehearsal of a play 'The Whole Truth', Cho, donning the role of the villain, was supposed to strangle the character played by Jayalalitha but as he closed in, she could not help laughing instead of being afraid. She later disclosed "His expressions made me laugh,".After years Cho said "She might have treated my stinging comments too as comical."

His career best performances are regarded as Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, Thenmazhai, Ninaivil Nindraval, Bommalaatam, Delhi Mappilai, Adimai Penn, Dharsinam, Neelagiri Express, Annaiyum Pithavum, Aayiram Poi, Deiva Sankalpam, Malligai Poo, Manam Oru Kurangu, Antharangam, Nirai Kudam, Therottam, Kashi Yaatirai, Thangapadhakkam, En Annan, Engal Thangam, Oli Vilaku, Kanavan, Kumarikkottam, Maattukara Velan, Engal Thangam, Pugundha Veedu, Ulagam Ivvalavudhaana, Velum Mayilum Thunai and Neerum Neruppum. He was both the screenplay and story writer of films like Thenmazhai, Ninaivil Nindraval, Bommalattam, Aayiram Poi, Panam Paththum Seyyum, all of which proved to be box-office hits.

In 1980s, the then actress Jayalalitha wrote column named Ennangal Silla for his magazine Tuglaq. He quoted in an interview, on Jayalalitha, "I always admired Jayalalitha. We know each other since 1964. I worked with her in drama of YG Parthasarthy named Undersecretary opposite her. She had was acted in Tea House of August Moon and Epistle before. I was against her only for a brief period when I believed she was misusing her power and was not acting in interests of people in the period 1991-1996. She was a voracious reader and a great speaker way back when she did shootings. As an actor I have worked with her in Bommalattam, Galatta Kalyanam, Kanavan, Maattukaran Velan, Thedi Vantha Mappillai, En Annan, Engal Thangam, Adimai Penn, Suryagandhi, Vandhale Maharasi, Neerum Neruppum, Anbai Thedi. She was great dancer and deserved the tag of number on heroine in the time 1965 to 1977. She could effortlessly shift into roles and deliver hits. Her name guaranteed success financially and she used to get into skin of the character while performing. I directed her in Yarukkum Vetkam Illai. My admiration for her has only increased with time. She proved her worth by doing good for the state during her tenure as the chief minister and came clear like Sita when false charges were foisted against her."

Frequent collaborations[edit]

Cho as an actor has been pitted against actors across generations. His comic timing against T.S.Balaiah in Manam Oru Kurangu, or with M R Radha and multiple times with actors like V.K.Ramaswamy, Nagesh, Manorama & Sachu in many films brought out the best in him.

Cho has been the main comedian in the films with Jaishankar as the lead hero like Naan Yaar Theriyuma, Neelagiri Express, Bommalattam, Aayiram Poi, Aaseervadham, Unakkum Enakkum, Vaakkurudhi, Vayaadi, Vandhale Maharasi, Pon Vandu, Kalyanamam Kalyanam, Idayam Parkirathu, Unga Veetu Kalyanam, Pinjhu Manam, Cinema Paithiyam, Thai Veettu Seethanam, Sondangal Vazhka, Mayor Meenakshi, Aval Oru Athisayam, Rasi Nalla Rasi, Sakka Podu Poduraja, Janaki Thediya Raman. Cho had wrote Screeplay for Neelgiri Express and Cho was Story Writer & Screen play writer for Bommalattam and Aayiram Poi. There was another film Paarukkulle Nalla Naadu, which remains unreleased – which was based on Cho's drama 'Quo Vadis' and producers were Veerayyaa & Jaishankar.

Cho and Manorama were paired together in 20 films which included Malligai Poo, Annaiyum Pidhavum, Dharisanam, Anbai Thedi, Ninaivil Nindraval, Nirai Kudam, Therottam, Aayiram Poi, Mohammed Bin Tughlaq, Bommalattam, Pugundha Veedu, Vilayaattu Pillai, Kanavan, Rojavin Raja, Velum Mayilum Thunai and were pitted in non couple role in Suryagandhi, Delhi Mappilai, Naadagame Ulagam.

Cho acted alongside Nagesh in Thenmazhai, Ninaivil Nindraval, Ulagam Ivvalavudhaan, Bommalattam among others. He was paired opposite Sachu in films like Deva Sankalpam, Galaataa Kalyanam and Delhi Mappilai.

Cho has acted with MGR–Jayalalitha combo in films like Oli Villaku, Kanavan, Kumarikottam, Mattukara Velan, Aadimai Penn, Engal Thangam, Thedi Vantha Mapillai, En Annan and Neerum Nerupum. Cho has acted with MGR in many films like Petralthaan Pillaiya, Sangey Muzhangu, Rickshawkaaran, Thalaivan. Cho has acted with Jayalalitha in other films like Bommalaattam, Galaataa Kalyanam, Suryagandhi,Vandhaale Maharaasi, Anbai Thedi.

Cho has acted with Sivakumar in films like Shanmugapriya, Onne Onnu Kanne Kannu, Thai Paasam, Uravu Solla Oruvan, Aan Pillai Singam, Yaarukkum Vetkamillai, Chinna Kuyil Padudhu, Sattai Illatha Pambaram, Kanna Thorakiran Samy. Among these, Yaarukkum Vetkamillai was directed by Cho in 1976.

Politics[edit]

He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India, K. R. Narayanan. In the Rajya Sabha 12 MPs are nominated by the President of India from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in the fields of literature, science, art or social service. He served as a Rajya Sabha MP from November 1999 to November 2005.[4] Cho was a fearless voice who was respected and admired, says PM Modi.[5]

Literature[edit]

He was the founder and editor of the Tamil magazine, Thuglak.[6] His popularity in the Tamil Nadu literary circles was mainly due to his impartial[citation needed] assessment of political issues, and the audacity and fearlessness with which he published his viewpoints. Politicians such as J. B. Kripalani, Indira Gandhi, Karunanidhi, Chandra Shekhar, G. K. Moopanar, M. G. Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa, Ramakrishna Hegde, N. T. Rama Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and L. K. Advani, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram were some of the targets of his editorial attacks. He was widely considered to be an unbiased political analyst who would criticize the negatives of both the left wing and right wing political parties. In his last years, he predicted that Narendra Modi would do diligent work towards the development of India[7] and also praised Jayalalithaa for her work in Tamil Nadu. The anniversary celebration of his popular magazine ″Thuglak″ is being organised on 14 January every year coinciding with the local festival of ″Pongal″ and is attended by thousands of his admirers as well as adversaries. Several VIPs also participate in the function. The main attraction during the celebrations is the questions posed by members of the audience and quick answers given by Cho.

On 25 January 2017, Government of India announced "Padma Bhushan" award for his contribution towards Literature & Education – Journalism.[8]

Filmography[edit]

Plays[edit]

  1. Wait and See
  2. Why Not
  3. What For
  4. Muhammad bin Tughluq
  5. Yaarukkum Vetkamillai
  6. Saathiram Sonnadhillai
  7. Nermai Urangum Neram
  8. Iraivan Irandhuvittana ?
  9. Enru Thaniyum Inda Sudandira Thaagam ?
  10. Judgement Reserved
  11. Quo Vadis
  12. Unmayae Unn Villai Ennae?
  13. Saraswathiyin Selvan
  14. Unmai Urangum Neram
  15. Madras by Night

Actor[edit]

  1. Guru Sishyan (1988)
  2. Adhisaiya Piraivi (1990)
  3. Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979)
  4. Adutha Varisu (1983)
  5. Manithan (1987)
  6. Kadhala Kadhala (1998)
  7. Thenmazhai (1966)
  8. Marakka Mudiyumaa? (1966)
  9. Nirai Kudam(1969)
  10. Galatta Kalyanam(1968)
  11. Muhammad bin Tughluq(1971)
  12. En Annan(1970)
  13. Maattukara Velan(1970)
  14. Bommalattam(1968)
  15. Engal Thangam(1970)
  16. Aayiram Poi(1969)
  17. Neelagiri Express(1968)
  18. Ninaivil Nindraval(1967)
  19. Paar Magale Paar(1963)(Debut)
  20. Thanga Pathakkam(1974)
  21. Mr.Sampath(1972)
  22. Unmaye un vilai enna(1976)
  23. Thanikudithanam(1977)
  24. Vandhale Magarasi(1973)
  25. Suryakanthi(1973)
  26. Gauravam(1973)
  27. Manam oru kurangu(1967)
  28. Therottam(1971)
  29. Anand(1987)
  30. Kuzhanthaikkaaga(1968)
  31. Sonthankal Vaazhga(1975)
  32. Pon Vanndu(1973)
  33. Mayor Meenakshi(1976)
  34. Kadavulin Theerppu(1981)
  35. Balappareetchai(1977)
  36. Vaakkuruthi(1973)
  37. Orey Saatchi(1974)
  38. Thaaikku Oru Pillai(1972)
  39. Sankey Muzhanku(1972)
  40. Penn Endraal Penn(1967)
  41. Anbai Thedi(1974)
  42. Andharangam(1975)
  43. Cinema Paithiyam(1975)
  44. Roshakkaari(1974)
  45. Delhi Maappillai(1968)
  46. Ulagam Ivvalavuthaan(1969)
  47. Ganga Gowri(1973)
  48. Manitharil Maanikkam(1973)
  49. Unga Veettu Kalyaanam(1975)
  50. Rojavin Raja(1976)
  51. Thedi vandha mappillai(1970)
  52. Lakshmi Kalyanam(1968)
  53. Adimai Penn(1969)
  54. Neerum Neruppum(1971)
  55. Rickshawkaran(1971)
  56. Oru thai makkal(1971)
  57. Kumari kottam(1971)
  58. Arunodhayam(1971)
  59. Soodhattam(1971)
  60. Thava pudhalvan(1972)
  61. Unakkum enakkum (1972)
  62. Kasi yathirai(1973)
  63. Ponnunjal(1973)
  64. Shanmugapriya(1973)
  65. Vayadi(1973)
  66. Veettukku vandha marumagal(1973)
  67. Devi sri karmariamman(1974)
  68. Kalyanamam Kalyanam(1974)
  69. Onne onnu kanne kannu(1974)
  70. Pillai selvam(1974)
  71. Thai pasam(1974)
  72. Avanthan manithan(1975)
  73. Thai veettu seethanam(1975)
  74. Uravu solla oruvan(1975)
  75. Yarukkum vetkamillai(1975)
  76. Avan oru Charithiram(1976)
  77. Sakka podupodu raja(1978)
  78. Nadagame ulagam(1979)
  79. Kannan En kadhalan(1968)
  80. Oli vilakku(1968)
  81. Dharisanam(1970)
  82. Nadu iravil(1970)
  83. Pinchu manam(1975)
  84. Vilayattu Pillai(1970)
  85. Malligai Poo(1973)
  86. Puguntha veedu(1974)
  87. Deiva Sankalpam(1972)
  88. Aindhu latcham(1969)
  89. Yanai valartha vanambadi magan(1971)
  90. Naan Yaar Theriyuma(1967)
  91. Navgraha Nayagi(1985)
  92. Puthiya theerpu(1985)
  93. Naan Mahan Alla(1984)
  94. Sattai Illatha Pambaram(1984)

Direction[edit]

  1. Mohammed Bin Thuglak
  2. Unmaiye Un Vilai Enna
  3. Mr Sampath
  4. Yarukkum Vetkam Illai
  5. Sambo Siva Samboo

Screenplay[edit]

  1. Neelagiri Express
  2. Aayiram Poi
  3. Pottaa Poti
  4. Bommalattam (1968 film)
  5. Ninaivil Nindraval (1967 film)

Religious works[edit]

  1. Hindu Maha Samudram Vol – I, II, III, IV, V, and VI (Latest)
  2. Mahabaratham Pesugirathu
  3. Valmiki Ramayanam
  4. Verukathagada Bramaniyam
  5. Nane Raja

Television[edit]

  1. Engey Brahmanan?
  2. Verukatthakkatha Brahmaneeyam ?
  3. Sambavami Yuge Yuge
  4. Vande Mataram
  5. Ivargalai therindhu kollungal
  6. Washington il Nallathambi
  7. Sarakar Pugunda Veedu
  8. Koovam nadikaraiyinile
  9. Adhigaprasangam
  10. yaro ivar yaro ?
  11. Saadhal Ellaiyel Kaadhal
  12. Mydear BrahmaDeva
  13. India Enge Pogiradhu ?
  14. Kamarajarai sandhitthen
  15. Puratchi Geethai
  16. Sattam Thalai Guniyattum
  17. Enge Pogirai ?
  18. Embak kana Onru Kandaen
  19. Saraswathiyin Selvan
  20. Manam Oru Kurangu
  21. En koodathu ?
  22. Eravil Chennai
  23. Uravugal Ellaiyadi Pappa
  24. Edarkaga ?
  25. Thiraiyulagathai Thirumbi Parkiraen
  26. Unmayae Unn Villai Ennae?
  27. Janatha Nagar Colony

Controversy[edit]

Following Sanjay Gandhi's death in an air crash, Cho released stamps in memory of Capt. Subhash Saxena, the pilot of the aircraft, who also died in the air crash. The postal departments failed to realise that these stamps were not official and mistakenly approved them.[3]

Illness and death[edit]

Cho was hospitalized in January 2015 and was in and out of hospital due to illness. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha called on Cho Ramaswamy. Ramaswamy died due to cardiac arrest at 3:58 AM on 7 December 2016 at the age of 82, at Apollo Hospital in Chennai where he was receiving treatment for respiratory problems. He is survived by his wife Soundara Ramaswamy,[9] son Rajivakshan alias Sriram and daughter Sindhu.[10] He died two days after the death of Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who was admitted to the same hospital and who also suffered a cardiac arrest. However both of them could not meet each-other due to health reasons during their last days. Both were very great friends since early days. Cho, while being in hospital on 6 December, watched the funeral of Jayalalitha telecasted in television before he was put on a ventilator.[11][12][13]

Rajnikanth disclosed later that Jayalalithaa had always opined that Mr. Ramaswamy should live as long as she lived.He quoted “As it turns out, he was alive till then and even few hours after that.”[14]

References[edit]

External links[edit]