CHENNAI: CPI(M) leader and former vice-president of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) Mythily Sivaraman died in Chennai on Sunday. She was diagnosed with Covid-19 a few days ago and was under treatment when she succumbed to it on Sunday morning.
She was 81 and is survived by her husband Karunakaran and daughter Kalpana Karunakaran. Through her writings, she drew people’s attention to the massacre of Dalits in Keezhvenmani in east Thanjavur. A
collection of her articles and essays about the incident were released as a book named Haunted by
Born in 1937, Sivaraman co-founded the AIDWA along with Pappa Umanath. She was a prominent trade union activist with the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). She also worked in the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation.
An outpour of condolences flooded social media following her death. "A rare and most precious quality of hers was her total lack of any left sectarianism," said Kavitha Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA), in a social media post.
"RIP Mythili Sivaraman. Her work on caste injustices, women issues, trade unions is an inspiration for many," said Jayaram Venkatesan, from Arappor Iyakkam.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other leaders of various political parties also condoled the demise of Sivaraman.
Stalin stated that he was deeply shocked and saddened to know of her passing away. He recalled her dedicated service for women welfare and other social issues such as writing “Hunted by fire." He conveyed his condolences to her family members, CPM party cadres and women activists fraternity.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “Mythily Sivaraman fought ardently for women's liberation and the upliftment of Dalits & marginalised. She made significant contributions as an AIDWA leader, CIT activist & @cpimspeak member. Her passing is a great loss to left and progressive movements in the country. Condolences.”
CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan stated in his condolence message, “Her demise would be a huge loss to Communist movement, women movement, trade unions and all democratic forces and people of the
suppressed community. “ Besides, Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and other leaders have also condoled over the demise of the departed leader.