A relentless crusader for human rights for three decades now, Andhra Pradesh HC lawyer Balagopal has fought cases from extra-judicial killings of political dissenters to atrocities against Dalits and women. And he has often suffered personal attacks for his efforts, by the police and others shamed by his exposes. But he has never faltered. His reports on encounter killings, backed by painstaking investigative work, had such credibility that even the state could not ignore it. He doesn’t take legal fees from poor clients. And he travels endlessly across rural India, giving a voice to the opinions and problems of the poor—from farmers and
tribals being displaced by SEZs in Nandigram or Visakhapatnam, to beedi workers seeking minimum wages, to tribals trying to protect their homes and forests. One of the most respected civil liberties activists in the country, Balagopal has inspired an entire generation to engage with the causes he espouses.