People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 21

May 23, 2004

Comrade E K Nayanar



PB Homage


The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has adopted the following condolence resolution May 19, 2004:


THE Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) is deeply grieved at the passing away of Comrade E K Nayanar. Nayanar was a prominent leader of the CPI(M), beloved leader of the people in Kerala and a dedicated revolutionary. He was ill and hospitalised for some time in Delhi before he died on May 19,2004. He was 85 years old.


Nayanar belonged to that generation of Communist leaders who got drawn into the freedom struggle at a young age. He belonged to a family of freedom fighters and revolutionaries. One of his cousins was K P R Gopalan, one of the prominent Communist revolutionaries. He joined the Balasangham as a young boy. His participation in the anti-imperialist movement began in North Malabar. He was jailed for the first time in 1940. He had gone underground after participation in the Morazha and Kayyur struggles which were part of the peasant upsurge in Malabar. Altogether in his revolutionary career, he spent 11 years underground and 4 years in jail.


Nayanar joined the Communist Party in 1939. He became an activist of the kisan movement and organiser for the Party. He was the secretary of Kozhikode district committee of the united CPI from 1956 to l964. After the formation of the CPI(M) he continued to be the secretary of the Kozhikode district committee from l964 to l967.


Nayanar was imbued with the Marxist outlook and would not compromise with any deviations to Marxist-Leninist principles. He played an important role in the fight against revisionism. He was one of the 32 national council members who left the CPI to form the CPI(M). He was a member of the central committee of the CPI(M) from the 7th Congress in 1964. He was elected to the Polit Bureau at the 14th Congress in 1992.


He served as the secretary of the Kerala state committee of the CPI(M) from 1972 to 1980 and again from 1992 to 1996. In all these positions, he played a notable role in building the Party and expanding its mass influence.


E K Nayanar began his legislative career in 1974. He was elected to the Kerala assembly six times. He served as the chief minister three times, the last term being from 1996 to 2001. He was the longest serving chief minister in Kerala for a total of 11 years.


Nayanar was a popular speaker who could convey the Party’s message in a manner which could be understood by people at all levels. He was a man with an earthy sense of humour which endeared him to the people. He was a capable journalist having edited the Deshabhimani daily and written innumerable articles in regular columns.


As a Communist leader, Nayanar was above all a man of the people. His forte was to be with the people and to communicate with them. He was one of the leaders in Kerala most liked by the ordinary people. In the Party, Nayanar was known for his warmth and friendliness to all the cadres and members. Along with leaders like A K Gopalan, E M S Namboodiripad and C H Kanaran, Nayanar will be remembered for his immense contribution to the Communist movement in Kerala.


In his death, the CPI(M) and the Left movement have lost an experienced mass leader and dedicated Marxist. The Polit Bureau pays homage to this indomitable leader and beloved colleague. It offers heartfelt condolences to his wife Sharada teacher, his two sons, two daughters and other family members.