Chandy becomes a memory to cherish

With Chandy’s mortal remains laid to rest in a specially made crypt at St George Orthodox Church in Puthuppally, it brought an end to an eventful journey. 
Mortal remains of former chief minister Oommen Chandy are laid to rest at St George Orthodox Church at Puthuppally in Kottayam early on Friday. (Photo | A Sanesh)
Mortal remains of former chief minister Oommen Chandy are laid to rest at St George Orthodox Church at Puthuppally in Kottayam early on Friday. (Photo | A Sanesh)

KOTTAYAM:  He relished being in the midst of the masses, and his last journey was no different. As Oommen Chandy left for his final rest, a sea of people bid him adieu with teary eyes and folded hands. A leader, who patiently listened to their woes, was no more.

With Chandy’s mortal remains laid to rest in a specially made crypt at St George Orthodox Church in Puthuppally, it brought an end to an eventful journey. Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Mathews III, the supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Church, led the funeral services. He was joined by all the metropolitans of the Church. At the request of the family, the funeral was held without the customary 21-gun salute. The family said Chandy wished to have a religious funeral without official honours.

The tens of thousands of people who thronged the path of the mourning procession literally threw the plans and schedule for the funeral to the winds. It took nearly 35 hours for the procession carrying the mortal remains of Chandy to cover around 160 km and reach Karottu Vallakalil house, Chandy’s ancestral home in Puthuppally. 

“We had travelled together many times from Kottayam to Thiruvananthapuram via Kottarakkara, right from our KSU days during the 1960s. However, this journey is intensely painful. People are giving back their love and affection to Chandy, who lived for them,” said senior Congress leader K C Joseph, who accompanied the procession all the way from Thiruvananthapuram.

As his body was entombed, the slogan “illa illa marikkunnilla, Oommen Chandy marikkunnilla, jeevikkunnu njangaliloode” (Oommen Chandy never dies, he lives forever in our souls) reverberated the air. It brought the curtain down on the life and times of one of the most popular and unassuming leaders of the state a man of the people, by the people and for the people. 

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