Nonagenarian Communist leader Koothattukulam Mary (P.T. Mary), 93, is no more.

Her end came at a private hospital at Velloor, near Vaikom, where she had been admitted with age-related health problems.

The veteran leader had her political baptism as a student activist of the Travancore State Congress when she walked out of her classroom at St. John’s English Medium High School, Vadakara, shouting slogans, all alone. The ninth class student was protesting against the policies of the administration of the princely State of Travancore.

After completing her education, she continued as an active social worker. It was her contacts with people such as P. Krishna Pillai and E.M.S. Namboodiripad which led her to join the Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1948. She also met her future husband, C.S. George, through the party. As a full-fledged party worker, Mary was often in hiding, but within a year of her joining the CPI, she was jailed by the authorities as the party had been banned by then.

Her confinement continued for three years till she came out of the jail in 1951. But this was only one of her confrontation with the police brutality. A fiery activist, she was in and out of jails several times. Her activism had contributed immensely to the growth of the Communist movement not only in the Travancore area but also in Malabar. When the party split, Mary chose to continue with the CPI.

Mary had penned her memoirs titled ‘Kanaleriyum Kaalam.’

CPI leader and former Minister Benoy Viswom is her son-in-law. She is survived by daughters Shyla, Girija, Aysha, and Sulekha.

The cremation will be at the public crematorium near the Kottayam Collectorate at 4 p.m. on Monday.

Condolences

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan and CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan expressed their condolences at the death.

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