CPM app to document agitators’ legacy in Kerala

After over seven decades of the historical Punnapra-Vayalar uprising, the CPM has decided to document the details of the agitators through a mobile application.

Published: 31st December 2018 03:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st December 2018 03:08 AM   |  A+A-

A file photo of CPM State secretary P Madhu with Kerala minister Thomas Isaac | Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After over seven decades of the historical Punnapra-Vayalar uprising, the CPM has decided to document the details of the agitators through a mobile application. The documentation is done with the support of the state government under the upcoming project of Working Class History Museum. The fund for the project has been allocated in the budget.

The memorial of the
Punnapra-Vayalar uprising
martyrs in Alappuzha

There is no proper documentation till date on the exact number of deaths which happened in the police firing on that day. Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac who is spearheading the project said the mobile application is used to upload the photographs of our freedom fighters of the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising and document their valiant fights.

Around 50 to 100 volunteers with smartphones will visit the houses of as many freedom fighters as possible.“We will be concentrating primarily on the houses and families of Punnapra-Vayalar freedom fighters who will have photographs of the agitators as well as written notes, diaries and other materials which provide valuable information. These will be clicked using smartphones by the volunteers and uploaded in the mobile application,” Isaac said.

The minister, however, said the technical factors are looked into but the documentation work is already on. The Punnapra-Vayalar uprising broke out in the princely state of Travancore in October 22 in 1946 against the Diwan Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyyer. Several communist leaders were killed by the army.

A senior CPM leader told Express that the party had asked Isaac to compile and document on the finer details of Punnapra-Vayalar uprising but it got delayed. “Anyway it is good that the project has finally taken off.”

However, veteran journalist and chronicler of Punnapra-Vayalar movement Yadukulakumar said the CPM has not done the compilation all these years as primarily proper documentation was not there and the revolt as such did not have an organised nature.

Several names of the uprising and most prominently that of Kunthakaran Pathrose should never be forgotten when this documentation is being carried out or for that matter the Working Class Museum is coming up”. It may be noted that there were wide criticisms on the role played by veteran CPM leader V S Achuthanandan who is widely considered as one of the legends in the Punnapra-Vayalar movement. Veteran communist leader K R Gowri Amma had already expressed doubts on his role in the movement while admitting that she herself had never taken part in the agitation.

Yadukulakumar said there was a concerted effort on the part of the then Diwan Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer to allow firebrand communist leader T V Thomas to walk free so as to tarnish the image of Thomas among the working class.

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