THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Freedom fighter and noted Gandhian K E Mammen passed away on Wednesday in a private hospital at Neyyattinkara in Thiruvananthapuram district on Wednesday. He was 97.
Mammen had been admitted to the private hospital since November 2013. He was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit on Monday as his health worsened. When his blood pressure started dipping, he was put on ventilator support.
Mammen, a bachelor, declared his intention to stay in the private hospital till death since being admitted here in 2013. He was a one man army who took up battles on issues of public interest in front of the Government Secretariat.
His lonely fights were powered by moral strength as he was steadfastly following the values he had imbibed from the time of freedoms struggle.
His fights against liquor, violent politics, harthals and corruption always forced the political leadership in power to urgently intervene to get the issues solved.
Born to KC Eapen and Kunjandamma of the prominent orthodox christian family, Kandathil, in Kottayam on July 31,1921, he had evinced keen interest in freedom struggle since his childhood.
Sir CP Ramaswamy Iyers' action against Quilon National Bank led to his father's imprisonment as he was one of the owners.
While studying in Government Arts college, Thiruvananthapuram he became the president of Travancore Students Federation. His activities during the student days had prompted the authorities to oust him from Arts college. He later joined St Thomas college Thrissur and Madras Christian college only to discontinue education in 1942 to get active in the Quit India Movement.
The assassination attempt on Sir CP by KCS Mani led to the arrest of Mammen.
After returning to Kerala, he based himself in Kottayam and Thiruvalla. It was in 1996 that he returned to Thiruvananthapuram and stayed here till the end.
He has won the Ramashram award, Lohia Vicharavedi award, TKV Foundation award and the Kottayam YMCA award.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled Mammen's death. In his message the chief minister said Mammen had preserved the values he had imbibed from the national movement till the last breath of his life. Upholding Gandhian values he was always on the forefront to solve various issues of public interest, he said.