KOCHI: A small remembrance advertisement appearing in a corner of a vernacular daily would have gone unnoticed if not for the familiar name: Mathai Manjooran.
January 15 marked the 50th death anniversary of Mathai Manjooran, the revolutionary freedom fighter, dynamic trade union leader, diehard socialist and a towering politician, who was a minister in the second E M S Namboothiripad communist ministry. The day, however, passed off without any remembrance meetings or functions in his home state and Kochi, his native place.
“It’s sad that Kerala has forgotten one of its foremost leaders in his 50th death anniversary,” said a political observer. “If you have to be remembered in Kerala, the party or the family should take active interest,” he added. In Manjooran’s case, he has no family as he did not marry, and the party he founded, Kerala Socialist Party (KSP), ceased to exist long time ago.
A graduate of Madras University, Manjooran as labour minister in the second EMS ministry, argued and established ‘gherao’ as the right of the workers, said S Prasannan, veteran journalist.
C N Mohanan, CPM Ernakulam district secretary, said the party does not conduct remembrance meetings of leaders of its allies. “We conduct remembrance meetings only of CPM leaders,” he added.
Every year, Kerala Media Academy conducts the ‘Mathai Manjooran Memorial Lecture’. This year, that too is absent. When contacted, an official at the academy said this year’s lecture will be held, sometime later this month. “We have not discarded it. We will hold the lecture mostly later this month,” the official said.