Staff Reporter

Says it was only a labour uprising

Alleges its aim was to create a foothold for Communists

Says no Communist leader lost his life in the stir

KOLLAM: Congress leader M.M. Hassan on Saturday said that the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising was a historical blunder committed by the Communists.

Inaugurating a seminar on “Punnapra-Vayalar and R. Sankar” organised here on Saturday by the R. Sankar Cultural and Education Society, he said that the agitation was only a labour uprising and not in any way a freedom struggle as painted by the Communists.

Mr. Hassan said that soon after deceiving the Quit India movement, the Communists started functioning as the fifth column of the British.

Later, when it became clear that India’s freedom was inevitable, the Communists orchestrated the Punnapra-Vayalar agitation to overcome the guilty complex of taking sides with the British. “Where is the need for another freedom struggle when it has already become clear that India will gain Independence,” he asked.

The agitation also had a hidden agenda of establishing a foothold for the Communists in the erstwhile Travancore region and martyrs were required for that. Poor and ignorant people were virtually thrown before CP’s police only to be gunned down for realising that agenda, he alleged.

Mr. Hassan said that except for poor labourers and peasants, not a single Communist leader lost his life in the uprising. In order to achieve their goals, the Communists misguided the poor and got them killed. He wanted the Communists to have the sagacity to admit that the uprising was a historical blunder.


Sankar had taken the lead to work out a compromise so as to save the people of his community from getting slaughtered. But the Communists rejected it.

He said that the criticism of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan against Sankar in this connection appear to be oblivious to historical truths.

Delivering the keynote address, the former head of the History Department of the University of Kerala T.P. Shankarankutty Nair said that Punnapra-Vayalar was nothing beyond a labour uprising.

Out of the six main demands raised at the agitation, an end to CP’s rule was the last demand. The five demands before it pertained to labour aspects. Prof. Nair also alleged that the uprising was a cruel ploy to help the Communists get a foothold in Travancore.