People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXX

No. 18

April 30, 2006

COMRADE T K RAMAKRISHNAN

 

ONE of the veterans of the communist and peasant movements in Kerala, Comrade T K Ramakrishnan, died on April 21, 2006 in a hospital at Ernakulam.

 

Comrade Ramakrishnan was born at Eroor in Ernakulam district in 1922. Popularly known by his initials TK, he started his political journey by organising boat and quarry workers in Ernakulam district.  He joined the Communist Party in 1941. Before formally joining the Party, a unit of the Student Federation was formed in Thripunithura Sanskrit College under his leadership. He was expelled from the college for participating in the Quit India movement.

 

A gifted organiser, Comrade TK began organising the toddy-tapers and agricultural workers. Later, he concentrated his work amongst the peasantry. He was the leader of Kochi Zilla Karshaka Sangham, Thiru Kochi Karshaka Sangham and later on became the general secretary of Kerala Karshaka Sangham.. At the time of his death he was the all India vice president of All India Kisan Sabha.

 

Comrade TK was arrested and jailed several times. After the outbreak of the Second World War when there were large-scale arrests of communists throughout the country, he too was arrested and sent to the Viyyur Jail. He was brutally beaten up in the jail. During the India-China border dispute and later on during the Emergency too he was arrested and jailed.

 

Comrade TK contested twelve times to the Kerala legislative assembly and won nine times. He represented the constituencies of Kanayannur, Thripunithura and Kottayam. He became a cabinet minister thrice and was entrusted with important portfolios like home, fisheries, cooperation and culture. In 1954 he was also elected as the president of the Thrippunithura panchayat. He served as opposition leader during 1977-1980 and as LDF convenor in 1987. A committed communist Comrade T K Ramakrishnan proved himself as a good administrator and an able parliamentarian. He always worked among the people and loved them.

 

He determinedly fought against revisionist tendencies in the Party. During the time of the split in the Party in 1964, he was the secretary of the Ernakulam district of the undivided Communist Party. When the CPI(M) was formed he continued in the same position.. During the period 1970-78 he worked as secretary of the Kottayam district committee. A member of the central committee, he was relieved on health grounds, but continued to be a permanent invitee.

 

An art lover, Comrade T K Ramakrishnan was the author of a series of plays like Thyagabhavanam, Aradhana, Gramathakarcha etc. Through these plays he highlighted the social issues. He also wrote a novel named Kallile Theepporikal (Sparks in the Stone)

 

He is survived by his four daughters and a son. He had lost his wife Gouri a few months back.