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Updated: July 17, 2013 02:59 IST

Ambal Ramamurti passes away

Special Correspondent
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Communist leader P. Ramamurti and his wife Ambal with former CPI (M) State Secretary A. Nallasivan. His daughters Ponni and Vaigai are in the file picture.
Communist leader P. Ramamurti and his wife Ambal with former CPI (M) State Secretary A. Nallasivan. His daughters Ponni and Vaigai are in the file picture.

She was freedom fighter and wife of late CPI (M) leader P. Ramamurti

Ambal Ramamurti, freedom fighter and wife of late CPI (M) leader P. Ramamurti, passed away here on Tuesday.

She was 87 and is survived by daughters Dr. Ponni Ramamurti and senior advocate R. Vaigai.

True to their revolutionary beliefs, P. Ramamurti and Ambal had an inter-caste marriage in 1952. Ramamurti was then leader of the opposition in the Madras Legislative Assembly. Their marriage was presided over by EVR Periyar, rationalist and social reformer, and it was a ritual-free wedding referred to as a ‘self-respect’ (suyamariyadai) marriage.

Ambal and her siblings were drawn to the freedom struggle and the Communist movement at a very young age, as their home in Tiruchi was the centre for secret meetings of the Communist Party.

Her mother Jagathamabal was actively involved in the party’s underground activities. Ambal and all her four siblings – brother Mani, sisters Gnanam, Rajam and Yamuna – became party members and married party comrades outside their caste.

Ambal travelled to Bombay along with Gnanam a year later to work in the Communist Party headquarters there, putting together an archive on Communism and Marxism.

She was the first librarian of the undivided Communist Party in Bombay in the 1940s. She was a voracious reader and a scholar in Tamil and English and translated several political documents and books.

When the Communist Party was banned by the British, she became an active member of the underground movement. Disguised as vendors of flowers and vegetables, she and her sisters would hide hand-written pamphlets in baskets and distribute them.

She was imprisoned in the 1940s along with her mother and three sisters at Villupuram.

She worked in the State Electricity Department and was closely associated with the ASK Iyengar in the Harbour Workers’ Union and with Anandan Nambiar and M. Kalyanasundaram of the Southern Railways Labour Union, which was later renamed as Dakshin Railways Employees Union.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National

Ideal and ideological great couple

from:  Pn
Posted on: Jul 17, 2013 at 07:36 IST

Selfless revolutionaries... Waiting for a editorial / oped on PR & Ambal

from:  Muralidharan
Posted on: Jul 17, 2013 at 05:23 IST

Red Salute Comarade!!!!!!!!!!!!!

from:  Bharathidasan
Posted on: Jul 17, 2013 at 05:21 IST

This is a very informative obit article. Though people of my generation know P. Ramamurthi ( who was a great parliamentarian) and Nallasivan, who was trade union leader , nothing much was known about PR's wife Ambal. In the 60s and 70s, PR and AK Gopalan were active firebrand members who always raised common man's issues in Parliament. My condolences to PR's daughters.

from:  V. Nathan
Posted on: Jul 17, 2013 at 05:15 IST

Ms,Ambal Ramamurthy was a real communist and nationalist.In those days She and her Communist party played key role in real nationalism,but now still we faces cast discrimination.Ms,Ambal Ramamurthys death is really a loss to the Indian nationalism,I pray GOD to give strength to her family members to over come the loss.

from:  V.Shanmuganathan
Posted on: Jul 17, 2013 at 03:14 IST
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