Cherthala, the birthplace of C.K. Chandrappan, Communist Party of India State secretary who died in the State capital on Friday, has been home to many high-profile political leaders, including the Union Ministers A.K. Antony and Vayalar Ravi and K.R. Gouri, Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithi leader.
Mr. Chandrappan had a special relationship with these political stalwarts of his own land. He, as also Mr. Ravi and Mr. Antony, had his school education at Sree Narayana Boys' High School in Cherthala.
It was Mr. Ravi who first defeated him, in 1987, in the Cherthala Assembly constituency. A fighter like his father, C.K. Kumara Panikker (also known as Vayalar Stalin for his daring leadership in the Punnapra-Vayalar uprisings), Mr. Chandrappan sprang back in the next Assembly elections in 1991 to defeat Mr. Ravi. However, he had to taste defeat at the hands of Mr. Antony in 1996 and in 2001.
Cherthala elected a CPI representative in the last two Assembly elections, a fact that might have been music to Mr. Chandrappan's ears.
Mr. Chandrappan was born in the Chirappanchira family, but like his father, he renounced wealth to work among the working class and the poor.
Many of his party colleagues remember him as a hard-working MP who took pains to study the issues before presenting them before Parliament or for that matter in any forums. Many in Cherthala take pride in the courage of Mr. Chandrappan, who, like his father in erstwhile Travancore, did not fear the bullets while participating in the Goa liberation struggle against the Portuguese.