Chennai

Mythili Sivaraman remembered

Political leaders, writers, activists and friends of CPI (M) leader and former vice-president of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) Mythili Sivaraman came together virtually on Sunday to remember her life and work.

“She donned several hats, and was one of the foremost voices in speaking for women and the working class. She was an exemplary thinker, leader and writer, and her demise is an immense loss to us,” said CPI(M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan.

Senior CPI Leader Nallakannu and veteran CPI(M) leader N. Sankaraiah spoke about Ms Sivaraman’s contribution to the CPI(M) party and her writings.

Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram said Ms. Sivaraman’s writings on the massacre of Dalits in Keezhvenmani were extremely important. “She will forever be remembered as a fighter. In what she spoke, her writings as well as her work at the field level, she was a fighter, and she did so much for the lives of women and the marginalized,” he said.

Stating that Ms. Sivaraman possessed an intellect al honesty, N. Ram, Director, The Hindu Publishing Group, said she was an inspiration to many youngsters. “Despite obstacles, she always kept working undeterred, focusing on the working class and the most vulnerable sections of the society,” he said.

Mr. Ram said she was an excellent writer and that her writing was not just limited to ideas and jargon but had a ‘descriptive richness’ to them.

“Her writings in both English and Tamil are rich resources. She managed to perfectly capture the struggles of the working class, their situation, spirit, heroism, vulnerability, losses and victories. All of these were truthfully documented, and she would draw lessons from it,” he said.

In a recorded message, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, said, “With the country going through a crucial time, Comrade Mythili’s presence would have been of great usefulness in advancing our movement, and in saving India and moving towards the creation and establishment of a society free from exploitation,” he said. He added that she combined her intellect with her activism, a rare and unique quality, which needed to be imbibed by the current and future generations.

Brinda Karat, CPI(M) leader, said her life and work provided not just inspiration, but concrete ways in which people can work towards a social revolution. “She reached out to many, many people — far beyond the range of organisations that she represented — and remained uncompromised in her ideology. Both as a theorist and as a direct participant in class struggles and social movements, she must be recognised. Her work had a direct impact in shaping the party policy in Tamil Nadu as well,” she said.

Speaking about the importance of a space for debate and expression and its role in protecting democracy, DMK MP Kanimozhi said Ms. Sivaraman’s life and work highlighted this.“We have been losing this space for debate and freedom of expression, be it on stage, on social media or even in the media, and need to work towards an inclusive space and growth. We should address this as a tribute to her as this is what will save us and the future generations,” she said.

Mythili Sivaraman’s long time friend, academician V. Vasanthi Devi recalled the friendship and camaraderie they had shared for 65 years. VCK Chief Thol. Thirumavalavan, V. Geetha, feminist historian and writer, scholar and theatre practitioner A. Mangai and CPI(M) leader G. Ramakrishnan were among those who also spoke at the virtual event.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:53:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/mythili-sivaraman-remembered/article34807507.ece

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