Spring Fever Literary Festival
17th March, 2015
India Habitat Center
The Man Who Knows Too Much
in conversation with Rajdeep Sardesai and Shobhaa De.
The star that he is:
“Such is the reputation of Ram Jethmalani that even nature held its breath.”
– Shobhaa De
on the fact that it stopped raining when Ram entered the venue.
“If you can afford Ram, you can get away with bloody murder”
– Shobhaa De.
“Ram doesn’t need Rajdeep on his left or me on his right. He is too big a star to envelop both our chairs.”
– Shobhaa De.
“The older you get, the younger should be your company to remain young and active. That is why I teach at colleges and still play badminton.”
– Ram Jethmalani when asked how remains young and active at his age.
Some are scarred by partition, others unscathed, some challenge it with an unreserved hostility towards Pakistan, while others return to Waga border for years in hopes that both the countries would be united soon. Where do you stand Ram? – Rajdeep Sardesai
Sind is the cradle of Sufism – the adaptation of Islam and Hinduism. While rivers of blood were flowing elsewhere in the country, not one Sind Hindu or Muslim was hurt. I personally thought this [the partition] was a temporary madness.
On BJP, its leaders, and why he was expelled:
“If you put the entire BJP leaders on one end of a scale and me on the other, my superiority will weigh more than their combined [This is excluding Modi]. Modi is the only man in BJP who is above me. I consider him to be an avatar sent to India to save us from the cold grip of corruption.” – Ram Jethmalani on BJP Leaders
“This [the above remark about him being superior] is why I was expelled from BJP, besides others. I was the only one in BJP talking about black money.” – Ram Jethmalani when asked why he was expelled from BJP and why he thinks all BJP leaders are wrong.
“I might be a criminal lawyer, but I am an honest witness.”
“I can spill out the names of those Indians who have black money if you have the courage to publicize them tomorrow” – Ram Jethmalani to Rajdeep Sardesai.
“I’m more anxious to tell you these names that you are Shobhaa to hearing them.” – Ram Jethmalani to Shobhaa De.
on The late night encounter with Ms. Indira Gandhi, and on emergency:
“It was a cold night, and I usually have many engagements on cold nights, but I met Ms. Indira Gandhi and Abdul Rahman Anthulya, the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, that night and I asked her to tell the people that the Emergency was wrong and apologize. I told her that I will draft that apology myself.”
“I am your friend tonight, I told her, but tomorrow I am your most fierce enemy.”
Controversies and Truth:
“Public life littered with controversies with many powerful people” – Rajdeep Sardesai on Ram Jethmalani’s public life.
“… But not even my worst enemies will say that I’m corrupt.” – Ram
“Are you then a political misfit? You have failed at politics.”
“… that is because I say the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and I have suffered for it.” – Ram Jethmalani.
“I will not employ him as a managing clerk”
– Ram Jethmalani on Rahul Gandhi.
“Why do you hold a higher morale ground in politics, but go down when dealing with law? You have defended smugglers during the 70s and have defended even those undeserving justice.” – Rajdeep
“It is the law. It is thus stated that no lawyer shall refuse to take a case because he thinks that someone is guilty, that people think he is guilty, or because taking up the case might ruin his reputation. That is the rule. Now you may question the integrity of that rule, Rajdeep, but it is there to save the innocent.” – Ram’s reply.
Follow up – “I won’t do a trial inside my office to judge whether someone is guilty or innocent, before the actual trail in court.” – Ram.
“Who is the real Ram Jethmalani? Is it the warm, generous man who wakes up early morning to play four sets of badminton or is it the angry old man who thinks he can take on the corrupt system on his own?” – Rajdeep
… “Come drink with me at 8 in the evening, two glasses of whiskey, watch the company that I keep and then you will see who the real Ram Jethmalani is” – Ram’s reply.
Rajdeep and Ram on Women.
Is there a woman in your life, Ram?
If there was one, I’d have introduced you to her. Women are lovable.