Remembering a patriot

The freedom struggle brought to the fore the leadership qualities in individuals. The erstwhile Malabar region, made up of the districts in northern Kerala, had many illustrious personalities who made personal sacrifices for the country. A. Sujanapal, Congress leader and the former Minister for Tourism, says: "Blessed were the social workers who got the opportunity to participate in the freedom struggle." Sujanapal's father A. Balagopal was one among them.

A contemporary of Kelappan, Moidu Maulavi, Mohammed Abdu Rahman Sahib, Kozhipurathu Madhava Menon, A.P. Kuttimalu Amma, C.K. Govindan Nair and K.A. Damodara Menon, Balagopal left an indelible imprint on the history of the freedom struggle.

A book on him brought out by the A. Balagopal Memorial Trust takes us through his life and times. Balagopal held official posts also and served as Member of the Malabar District Board, MLA and chairman of the Local Library Authority. For nearly five decades, he was a striking presence in the social and cultural scene, being an active participant in the library movement and other community welfare activities. The book titled 'Ormakalile Babyettan' has 25 articles by leading lights in the social and cultural arena, including E.M.S. Namboodiripad, Arangil Sreedharan, Sukumar Azhikode, Thikkodian, V. Parukutty Amma and socialist leader K.P. Mohammed.

Balagopal's father, Ayathan Gopalan, was the founder of the Brahma Samaj in Kerala. Balagopal studied at St. Joseph's High School in Kozhikode. He later did a course in automobile engineering at an institute in Chennai before plunging into the freedom struggle. Like other patriots of his time, hHe was jailed by the British authorities for taking part in the freedom movement. When he was interned in the central prison in Kannur and Vellore, he was with the former Presidents V.V. Giri and Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy and Communist leader A.K. Gopalan. In the Indian National Congress, hHe served as the District Congress Committee secretary and was a member of the executive committee of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee when C.K. Govindan Nair and Abdu Rahhiman Sahib held the post of president and E.M.S. Namboodiri, secretary. In the Assembly, he represented Chevayur.

Balagopal, Babyettan to his friends, died in 1989. 'Ormakalile Babyettan,' published by the A. Balagopal Memorial Trust, keeps alive the memories of a true patriot.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 3:17:11 PM |

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