A commemorative stamp featuring freedom fighter and communist leader P. Jeevanandham, known as Jeeva, was released on Saturday.

“He was a leader who knew the mind of the people and through his speeches, he ensured that people voted against the governments,” recalled CPI state secretary D. Pandian in his address in the function.

Mr Pandian, a close associate of Jeeva in the last 11 years of his life, said his self-denial and patriotism prompted Mahatma Gandhi to call him the “asset of the nation.”

“Jeeva was also a brilliant orator and exponent of Tamil literature,” he said recalling how the Kamban Kazhagam in Karaikudi allowed him to speak without setting any time frame.

CPI national council secretary D. Raja pointed out how Jeeva had assimilated the principles of Marxism and explained them to the layman through simple and powerful songs.

Senior CPI(M) leader N. Sankaraiah, who met Jeeva in Vellore jail in 1941, recalled how their struggles secured rights for the inmates of the prison.

“Unity among the communist parties and emergence of the Left movement as an invincible force in the State alone will be the greatest tribute to Jeeva,” he said.

CPI leader R. Nallakannu said Jeeva spread the ideas of socialism to every nook and corner of Tamil Nadu and was respected by leaders of all political parties.

The stamp was released by Shanthi Nair, Chief Postmaster General, Tamil Nadu Circle and received by senior communist leaders C.S. Subramaniam and Parvathi Krishnan.