At a time when political parties fight it hard to keep the cadre intact and lure ordinary people to election meetings by offering cash, biriyani and other items, the Madurai unit of the CPM can boast of having the ‘most loyal comrade.’
Meet Nagamma, the 86-year-old die hard worker of the CPM and a resident of Aarapalayam, who regularly contributes funds to her capacity to the party for all activities. This election too, Nagamma got a chance to support the party and she pitched in with `5,000, which is approximately half the amount of her old age pension.
Recalling her long association with the Communist party, she says, “In my childhood, girls were not allowed to go to school beyond a certain stage. I too dropped out. However, the encouraging words of my father, changed my life and I was drawn towards the Communist Party of India in 1945. The entry into the party still remains afresh in my mind.”
Narayana Kothanar, who was the district committee secretary of Centre of Indian Trade Union and a member of Communist party, had brought more of his family members and relatives into the Left fold. “So far four generations of my family and relatives are supporters of CPI,” points out Nagamma adding “later I shifted to CPM.”
“My role model, K P Janakiammal, a freedom fighter, was at first with the Congress, then migrated to the Congress Socialist Party and finally, enrolled in CPM. She used to take me along with her for all campaigns, which taught me how to handle people. With this experience,
I created my territory and started to address small groups during campaigning work,” recalls Nagamma.