THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Living alive in the memories of a generation for half a century after death and continuing as an inspiration for many in the state could be a rare phenomenon associated with a political leader. The 50th commemoration meet of the late P T Chacko, veteran Congress leader and multi-faceted personality who had served in various capacities such as the Opposition Leader and a proven minister, once again brought out the bright chapters in his chequered political career and his sad end at a young age, while glowing tributes were bestowed upon his memories here on Friday.
CM Oommen Chandy, who inaugurated the meet, said that the Land Reforms Act piloted by him, envisaging a ceiling for individual land holdings in the state, was a response to P T Chacko’s studies, knowledge and aptitude to address a critical issue. ‘’Among the titles of a revered political leader, able parliamentarian and administrator, his name will stand out for ever as the architect of Land Reforms, which benefited the masses,’’ Chandy said. ‘’It was mooted in a such a mould in 1963, when none in India could even think on those lines,’’ he noted. The CM said that the contributions of Chacko to Kerala politics and society is invaluable and a suggestion for a befitting memorial to him, will be considered positively by the government.
The CM released a compilation of P T Chacko’s noted speeches by handing over a copy to Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan. He also took the first shot of a documentary in the making on the late leader.
In his keynote address, Achuthanandan didn’t hide his assessment that Chacko was one who had viewed Communists as his arch foes. ‘’His words and deeds always reflected it. He was the one who was in the forefront of the Liberation Struggle carried out to oust the first elected communist govt. It was the land reforms initiated by the EMS Govt which had infuriated Congressmen and land lords,’’ he said. ‘’But I’m not parochial enough to belittle P T Chacko’s contributions to Kerala society,’’ Achuthanandan said.
He said that it may be poetic justice or could be termed as an act of repentance that P C Thomas, son of P T Chacko, is now in the political fold of LDF with his wing of the Kerala Congress. Kerala Cong (M) supremo and Minister K M Mani said that when a person is revered for his power or position and his memory fades into oblivion a few years after his death, P T Chacko is one who was stronger and memorised more after his death. ‘’The deceased P T Chacko emerged more stronger than when he was alive. A storm had gathered after his death across the state on a feeling that the then Congress had not done justice to him, going by his ouster from the government at the end of a vilification campaign. I was with the Congress then. Scores of people like me had made sacrifices and joined the movement, which translated into the formation of Kerala Cong,’’ Mani said.
Mani refuted the assessment of VS that the Liberation Struggle was a fallout of the Land Reforms taken up by the EMS Govt. ‘’It is historically wrong. The Liberation Struggle was against the law and order breakdown in the state then. It is true that K R Gowriamma has piloted the Land Reforms Act, but only to the extent of establishing the rights of tenants. It was P T Chacko, as Revenue Minister who had come up with a law providing a ceiling for land holdings, and thereby facilitating the distribution of land for those deserving,’’ Mani asserted.