“The present generation is unlikely to know who PTP was and what his contributions to society have been,” said Union Minister of State for Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi, speaking about the former Chief Minister of Kerala - Pattom Thanu Pillai. He was delivering the inaugural address at the birth centenary celebrations of the veteran leader organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Development Council.
Describing Pattom Thanu Pillai as a selfless leader who always put the concerns of the people first, Ravi dwelt for a few moments on Travancore’s first democratic government formed under PTP’s prime ministership. “PTP along with C Kesavan and T M Varghese were the ‘trimoorthees’ of Kerala,” he said, adding that it was a powerful partnership whose rule should have been allowed to continue. Cyriac Thomas, member, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, spoke on the occasion stating that it was a matter of shame that the stalwart leader who was born, educated and had lived his entire life here was not much remembered in his own home town. “If we don’t remember him, the greatness of his deeds does not fade but it is we who stand to lose,” said Thomas. Sharing his childhood memories of Pattom Thanu Piillai, he narrated how he and his siblings would stand at their garden wall to see the leader walking past with his big black umbrella.
“He would greet us with a smile,” recalled Thomas. Whatever political differences he had with my father (former Speaker R V Thomas), he never let them come in the way of his personal relations.
PTP’s refusal to step aside for anybody and his insistence on being number one in any organisation or party have been seen by many as arrogance but Thomas felt that they were a mark of strength of his character and the confidence he had in his own abilities. “He probably knew that nobody was better than him as a leader. PTP was somebody who never let anybody bully or cow down him but at the same time kept the interest of the people before anything else. “He has had to leave but it was never with a head bowed in shame,” he said.