He played a key role in building the Communist movement in Karnataka
Freedom fighter and veteran Communist leader Bevinje Vishnu Kakkilaya died of brain haemorrhage at a private hospital here in the early hours of Monday. He was 93. He is survived by four sons.
He was a member of the Rajya Sabha for two years representing the Madras Province and an MLA in the Karnataka Assembly for two terms. Mr. Kakkilaya led many agitations against injustice to farmers and labourers and played a key role in building the Communist Party of India and its students' wing, the All-India Students' Federation in the State. He was the secretary of the Karnataka State committee of the CPI.
Mr. Kakkilaya was in the forefront of the Karnataka unification movement having served as general secretary of the Akhanda Karnataka Rajya Nirmana Parishat.
He is also credited to have played a major role in the formulation of the land reforms legislation during the regime of D. Devaraj Urs. Mr. Kakkilaya headed an advisory committee set up by Mr. Urs on land reforms.
He led a 50-member team to help liberation of Goa where he faced the brutality of the Portuguese police.
Mr. Kakkilaya was jailed twice — first during the Quit India movement in 1942 and later in 1946. After Independence, he went underground when his party was banned in 1948 but was arrested in 1950 in Davangere. He worked as editor of the party mouthpiece Kembavuta weekly from 1986 to 1991. According to his long-time associate P.K. Krishnappa, Mr. Kakkilaya had walked out of a wealthy family in Bevinje in Kasaragod district in Kerala to join politics.