Judge asks lawyers to recite Thirukkural daily, says all should know 51 at least

FM Sitharaman quotes from Tamil Nadu's celebrated poet-philosopher for the second year in a row in her budget speeches

Any randomly-picked advocate at the Madurai bench of the Madras high court will hereafter have an additional, but small, task to do on a daily basis. After exhibiting their arguing skills inside the court hall, they would be required to recite a couplet from Thirukkural — a Tamil classic on life lessons written by Thiruvalluvar — when they go for lunch or an evening snack.

The task came as an appeal from Justice GR Swaminathan, a judge at the Madurai bench of the Madras high court, to advocates in the Madras Bar Association.

In a notice, the judge said that he felt Tamilians must know at least 51 couplets by heart. Swaminathan has taken a vow to memorise a kural (as a couplet is referred to in Tamil) daily. He also asked advocates to join him in this task.

The judge will pick one advocate from the cause list who has to recite a couplet at 1.30 pm or 4.45 pm. The first lawyer to get this assignment was A Thiruvadikumar of the Madurai bench.


Before assigning this task to his juniors, Swaminathan recalled his meeting with Semmal, an additional district judge and the son of well-known Tamil writer Pazhamalai, who presented his book on a Tamil scholar, Thirukkuralar V Munusamy, to the former.

Swaminathan said he had read the book at one go and decided to start the practice.

He also mentioned in the notice a kural which he memorised on Monday (September 30) — Solluga Sollai Pirithor Sol Achchollai Vellunchol Inmai Arinthu – which roughly translates to — say the word after ensuring there is no other word to defeat it.