Memories of C. Achutha Menon, a leader who can show the light to the emerging political leadership about the possibilities of a politician when he/she touches a level of enlightened worldview, resounded at the concluding function of the year-long celebrations in connection with his birth centenary here on Sunday.
Inaugurating the valedictory function, organised by the C. Achutha Menon Foundation, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi recalled how curious all political observers were in 1970 when Achutha Menon’s name came to be discussed as the Chief Minister of the State immediately after the elections then. Here was a man who did not want such ego-enhancing positions of power. His possibilities were not known. Yet when he assumed charge, he turned out to be a great administrator and Chief Minister.
Mr. Ravi said the Cabinet under Achutha Menon had several powerful political personalities. That was a Cabinet of heavyweight leaders and Achutha Menon had to perform the role of a leader of leaders. There was also the challenge of handling a coalition of several parties. He was a man of few and precise words, soft-spoken, and yet he did all these famously well.
Mr. Ravi said Achutha Menon, as Chief Minister, was seldom known to have resorted to political rhetoric. His speeches at the National Development Council had always placed Kerala’s demands forcefully in front of the Centre, while at the same time not losing sight of the national realities.
Mr. Ravi said none remembered Achutha Menon as just a politician. He was being remembered more as the best Chief Minister Kerala had seen. The Union Minister said it would be good for the upcoming generation of politicians to study from Achutha Menon’s life how, with confidence coming from detached commitment to the cause of the common good, a politician could transcend the ordinary. Try to emulate him, Mr. Ravi told those who consider politics as their calling.
Chief Postmaster General of Kerala Circle Shobha Koshy released a commemorative stamp in connection with the centenary of Achutha Menon, by handing over the stamp to the Union Minister at the function.
Former Minister and senior CPI leader C. Chandrasekharan Nair presided over the function.