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Southern States - Kerala-Thiruvananthapuram

Tearful homage to Arya Antharjanam
By Our Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JAN. 3. In an atmosphere filled with the memory of the CPI(M) ideologue, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, people from various walks of life paid a tearful homage to his wife, Arya Antharjanam, who died at a private hospital here this morning.

The body was brought to the AKG Centre around 9.30 a.m. Earlier, as per the wish of Arya Antharjanam, her eyes were donated to the Ophthalmic Hospital here. The Leader of the Opposition, V.S. Achuthanandan, the CPI(M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPI(M) leaders, T.K. Ramakrishnan and the Desabhimani general editor, K. Mohanan, draped the body with the party flag and kept it in the hall for about two hours for the leaders and the public to pay their respects. The garlanded photograph of EMS placed on the wall in the hall of the AKG centre was a silent witness to the proceedings.

The Transport Minister, K.B. Ganesh Kumar, was the first among the Ministers who arrived at the party headquarters to pay homage. The Mayor, J. Chandra, the Cooperation Minister, M.V. Raghavan, the Information Minister, M.M. Hassan, the Finance Minister, K. Sankaranarayanan, the Culture Minister, G. Karthikeyan, the Rural Development Minister, C.F. Thomas, the Education Minister, Nalakath Soopy, the UDF convener, Oommen Chandy, the Speaker, Vakkom Purushothaman, the MLAs, Aryadan Mohammed, K.Radhakrishnan, Varkala Kahar, K. Mohan Kumar, K.P. Rajendran, Neelalohithadasan Nadar, V.S. Sivakumar, MP, the CPI leader, Panniyan Ravindran, the CPI(M) leaders, M. Vijayakumar, Kadakampally Surendran, V. Sivankutty, M.A. Baby, M. Sathyanesan, A. Sampath, P.K.Gurudasan, Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan, the RSP leader, K. Pankajakshan, Varkala Radhakrishnan, MP, the cine actor and director, Venu Nagavally, the film director, Lenin Rajendran, the SFI leaders, M.B. Rajesh and K.N. Balagopal and the DCC president, N. Peethambara Kurup and the Congress leader, T. Saratchandra Prasad, were among the leaders who paid homage.

The family members were unable to control their grief when the noted surgeon and the family friend of EMS, P.K.R. Warrier, came to pay homage. Despite his ill-health, a grief-stricken Dr. Warrier, came to the AKG Centre, accompanied by his daughter, Anasuya. Dr. Warrier, who stayed a few seconds near the body of Arya, was unable to control his grief.

The death of Arya Antharjanam was a personal loss for Thankam Sarma, wife of the late Sharmaji, who had worked as private secretary of EMS during his first tenure as Chief Minister. The sister of the late Communist leader, C. Unniraja, Ms. Thankam Sharma who had been a close associate of Arya from her childhood days, also was also seen sobbing.

The former Chief Minister, E.K. Nayanar, was unable to console his wife, Sarada, who started weeping standing with folded hands in front of the body of Arya.

The Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, arrived at around 11.30 a.m. to pay respects and console the family members. Tears rolled down the eyes of the daughters, Mrs. Malathi and Mrs. Radha as the body was taken to the Thycaud crematorium for the funeral. One could also see the weeping grandson kissing his grandmother as the body was taken for the funeral.

The body was taken to the crematorium at Thycaud at 11.45 a.m where the pyre was lit by her sons, E.M. Sreedharan and P. Sasi.

Wreaths were placed on behalf of the CPI(M) local committees, media and service organisations.

Born to Thekkedath Illath Raman Bhattthiripad and Neeli Antharjanam at Kudamaloor in Kottayam district, Arya Antharjanam was given in marriage to EMS on the initiative of her elder brother, Vasudevan Bhattthiripad. At the time, EMS was a frontline leader of the Yoga Kshema Sabha and a campaigner for widow remarriage.

Arya Antharjanam's marriage to such a person was not to the liking of several of her conservative relatives. Arya Antharjanam soon became a pillar of support for the Marxist leader and shouldered the responsibility of running the family during the turbulent 40s and 50s when EMS was underground for about six years.

The EMS-Arya Antharajanam couple are survived by two daughters and two sons including the CPI(M) State committee member and Deshabhimani Resident Editor, E.M. Sreedharan.

The CPI State general secretary, Veliyam Bhargavan, the former Chief Minister, P.K. Vasudevan Nair, the RSP general secretary, K. Pankjakshan, the Kerala Congress(J) chairman, P.J. Joseph, the Ministers, G. Karthikeyan, M. M. Hassan, M.K. Muneer and K.B. Ganesh Kumar have condoled her death.

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