KOCHI: It was on October 14, 1983, that late CPM leader Simon Britto was stabbed by a group of KSU activists at Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam. Britto was badly wounded in the attack and was paralysed. However, the wheelchair-bound Britto did not give up and was active in politics till his demise in 2018. He was a constant reminder of the violent campus politics of the 1980s.
On the 35th year of that violent incident which shattered his life, the last book penned by Britto was released at a function here on Monday. Incidentally, the book is also about another victim of campus politics — Abhimanyu — who was stabbed to death at Maharaja’s College in July 2018. The book titled — Maharaja’s Abhimanyu — is a memoir by Simon Britto where he shares his camaraderie with the young Abhimanyu and the Maharaja’s College.
Britto was not a student of Maharaja’s College. However, as an SFI leader, he used to visit the college regularly. Abhimanyu, who was a student of Maharaja’s College, was a great admirer of Britto. He later assisted the veteran leader in writing a travelogue.
“This book release function gives us satisfaction as well as sadness. The satisfaction is for the reason that one more book penned by Britto is being released. Meanwhile, the reason for sadness is that he is not with us to witness this occasion. Not only the writer, but also the person about whom the book mainly deals with is not with us,” said CPM politburo member MA Baby.
The CPM leader released the book by handing over a copy to critic M K Sanu.“Though Britto was not a student of Maharaja’s College, he was emotionally connected to that educational institution. Likewise, I have met Abhimanyu only once. He was a good student, a brilliant guy. I was shocked to hear the news about his fate. His mother’s cry still reverberates in my ears,” said Sanu.He said Britto’s language and presentation of facts in a simple and open-hearted manner will make the book a good read. The book was published by DC books and is priced at `260.Former MP P Rajeev and CPM district secretary C N Mohanan were also present at the book launch function.