Dr MukundaKam Sharma
As you go along in your journey of life, you keep on meeting various types of people. Some are forgotten immediately as nothing in them impresses you, there are yet some others who are remembered for some time due to their possessing some particular traits but are forgotten as the years roll by. But there are very few of them who you find possess striking features and qualities which mark an indelible print in your mind and they are not forgotten even though you march ahead in life. Late Ramesh Chandra Chaudhuri to me belongs to the last category for I am confident that many like me still remember him as one of the finest examples of mankind.He was born to a famous and reputed family of Assam. His forefathers earned a reputation for themselves and finally settled down in Uzan Bazar of Guwahati town now turned into the largest city of Assam and also the capital of Assam. Residents of Uzan Bazar were mostly leading citizens of the State and were also educationally, culturally and in all respects very advanced people.
Being born to such a family and in an environment conducive to proper growth and development of a healthy personality, Ramesh Chandra Chaudhuri (to me and many others like me only ‘Ramesh da’) took full advantage of the favourable situation and developed himself as one possessing healthy mind in a healthy body. He was of the same age and in fact, classmate in Cotton Collegiate School of Guwahati with my mama (maternal uncle) Late Apurba Ram Barooah, resident of Bharalumukh, Guwahati.
When I started my law practice in Guwahati in the year 1970, I started attending the law chamber of my mama, who was then the Advocate for the Railways in the Gauhati High Court. Ramesh da was also then a practicing advocate of the Gauhati High Court where I first met him. He immediately attracted my attention by his powerful personality and pleasing manner. Although I was many years junior to him, he never tended to boss over me and others who were almost of the same age rather treated all of us as equal to him and with kindness and affection. That also despite the fact that one of my close friend was his direct junior, who is of course, no more.
I came to know about his background and about his youth and early life from my mama who always had praising words for him. In fact, in my estimation also he fully deserved all those praises which became obvious when one meets him and comes in close contact with him.
He was the Secretary of the undivided Assam Legislative Assembly and performed his responsibilities and discharged his duties very effectively. That is how he is even today remembered by the then State law makers who are still alive. During the said tenure, he stayed in Shillong which was the capital of undivided Assam and acquired many friends in Shillong.
He was a very good orator and spoke very lucidly and skillfully in both Assamese and English languages. He had a strong command over both the languages and it was a pleasure listening to him. His greatest asset was use of the choicest and appropriate words to express his thoughts which came to him very naturally. He was also very intelligent with a very masterly grasping power. This quality made him one of the outstanding communicators of his time and his skill as a lawyer was highly appreciated by the then Judges and colleagues. He was a leading lawyer of Assam and was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Gauhati High Court.
He was a leader in the Bar and was elected as the President of the Bar Association in which assignment also he excelled. When he was presiding in the Bar meetings, there was no commotion and no shouting and no unpleasant words were exchanged and the meetings were conducted in a very cool but meaningful manner. He was known for his forthrightness and the then Judges and others highly appreciated the high human values that he preached. He was honest and dignified to the core and a handsome man with charming quality which made him very popular not only with his contemporaries but also with his juniors. Acting was also his forte and as informed he acted in Assamese films also. Probably it is because he was staying near Kumar Bhaskar Natya Mandir of Uzan Bazar which was one of the famous theatre halls of the State of yesteryears. Mention must be made of the fact that Assam has all along been culturally very strong, robust and active for many long years and theatres have all along been very popular amongst the general masses. That is the reason why some of the residents of Uzan Bazar including Ramesh da were generally adept in acting skills.
Politics attracted him for some time. But soon he came to realize that it is not his cup of tea and thereafter gave up all his political activity. But the Rotary organisation became his medium for doing social service and in that he excelled by using all opportunities that came on his way. He was elected the District Governor (DG) of the Rotary International Dist 325, encompassing West Bengal, North East India, Bangladesh & Nepal and in that capacity moved around the country and even abroad. Wherever he was, he was the best and we all were proud of him. On his death, not only the State of Assam but the country as a whole lost one of its able and competent sons. The void that was created on his death could not be filled up till date and that was his greatness.
( Published on the occasion of Ramesh Chandra Chaudhuri’s birth centenary celebration)