S’pore rights defender M Ravi to star as reluctant lawyer hero, aka himself

A movie poster for “Aadhi Yogi.” Photo: M Ravi
A movie poster for “Aadhi Yogi.” Photo: M Ravi

Crusading Singaporean human rights lawyer Ravi Madasamy, aka M Ravi, is producing a movie – about himself. 

The lawyer, a vocal opponent of Singapore’s death penalty, announced Saturday that he was working with Indian filmmaker Prem Li on Aadhi Yogi, a project he’d turned down in the past and only recently, like a reluctant hero, agreed to doing.

The movie, produced by an Indian production company, will be inspired by the lawyer’s memoirs, Kampong Boy and Hung At Dawn.

“The most important motive of Mr. Ravi is all humans are the same and all god is one,” writer and director Prem said in a recorded Tamil announcement, adding that the 51-year-old lawyer initially rejected the idea due to his “hectic schedule.”  

“But I contacted him many times in the past two years and forced him to understand that it was important to make this movie and make the people understand his motive and by doing so we could gain a larger support and supporters to fight together towards his motive,” he said. The film is expected to be out Oct. 10, next year, which is also World Day Against Death Penalty. 

Kampong Boy documents the lawyer’s activism to abolish capital punishment, while Hung At Dawn tells a story of Ravi’s attempt to save a young man from the gallows. 

Ravi said that he was won over by the script for the biopic in which he will star as himself. 

“Not difficult as I don’t have to act but be myself in both the English movie and the Tamil version,” he said, adding that the movie is expected to begin production soon in at least five countries. 
The filmmaker claims industry experience, but nothing much could be found online except for a cringe-worthy romantic movie about an Indian man falling for an Australian woman.

Ravi is best known for his legal attempts at rescuing those convicted of drug trafficking from capital punishment, although his applications were rarely successful. A Malaysian named Gobi Avedian did escape the death penalty last year after the lawyer helped him reopen the case, resulting in his sentencing being replaced with jail time and caning. 

Ravi, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006 and suffered multiple meltdowns, returned to law practice in 2019 after he was ordered 18 months of treatment for offenses including assaulting an ex-colleague. 

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