ALAPPUZHA: An incomplete biography of a Communist-turned-entrepreneur, who had dreamt of a united platform for both Communists and Congressmen to work, has reached the bookstands after almost two-and-a-half decades of his death.
The protagonist Varghese Vaidyan was a true socialist and Communist who tried to build up the Communist movement in the state.
The biography ‘Varghese Vaidyante Atmakatha’, began by the author, was completed by his younger son Cherian Kalpakavadi, a noted film scriptwriter, and was published last month by DC books.
Varghese Vaidyan, was a true ‘rags-to-riches’ communist, whose life later became a study material to the communists, according to the book.
His fought against various exploitations of the landlords at the time in Alappuzha and Kuttanad, and, in the process, turned himself to a freedom fighter.
He associated closely with reputed writers including Thakazhi Sivasanakara Pillai, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, P Kesavadev, and Muttathu Varkey. He also moved with other big-league politicians including T V Thomas, N Sreekanatan Nair, K C George and P T Chacko.
During those times, Thevalakkara eye hospital in Alappuzha had become a hub for socialists and for the Communist revolution in Travancore that turned against Sir C P Ramaswami Iyer.
Varghese Vaidyan stood for the formation of Congress till 1940, but turned to Communism at the time when the Congress split during the end of 1940s. The unification of agricultural labourers under leaders like C K Kesavan and S K Das led to the emergence of Communism towards the end of 1940, and Varghese Vaidyan, among them, worked for a farmers movement.
The first farmers’ outfit, Thiruvithamcore Karshaka Thozhilali Union, thus took shape in Cherkkal near Kuttamangalam in Kuttanad on March 12, 1942.
According to Vaidyan in his biography, V S Achuthanandan was also a participant in the formation of the union.
Cherian, who wrote the remaining chapters after the first five, said that the stories told by his father had helped him to complete the book.
Quotations collected from various books by other writers including Punnapra-Vayalar Uprising have also helped him in his venture, he said.
The biography mentions that defeat in the state elections after the independence had led him to turn away from the party. Donning the attire of a contractor had, however, shown him the way out of the party, said the biography.
Later life as a contractor had given him ample ways to make wealth.
He started the first drive-in restaurant in the state, Kalpakavady Inn, at Thottappally in Alappuzha.
The biography has also noted down various incidents in Vaidyan’s life including his love marriage with a landlord’s daughter and about the sufferings he had undergone in jail.
How he had become the leader of the All Indian Communist Party formed by S A Dange has also been explained.
However, the doctrine advocated by Vaidyan about the union of Congress and Communist party as the only means for India to become a power especially to fight against communal forces has also become relevant now according to the lines of the book, said Cherian. The book has also mentioned that nobody has ever written judiciously about the epochal Punnapra-Vayalar incident or have gone into its details.
Historians and political leaders have only helped to deviate the real history of Communism, according to the book.