CPI(M) leader Sivadasa Menon dead

Sivadasa Menon

Sivadasa Menon

Veteran  Communist Party of India (Marxist)  leader and former Minister T. Sivadasa Menon, 90, died at a private hospital in Kozhikode on Tuesday. He was under treatment for age-related illnesses.

The funeral will take place at his daughter’s house at Manjeri on Wednesday morning. Mr. Menon is survived by daughters Lakshmi and Kalyani.

Mr. Menon had held positions in the party State committee and secretariat. He was Palakkad district secretary of the CPI(M) for a few years from 1980.

Elected to the Assembly from the Malampuzha constituency in 1987, 1991, and 1996, Mr. Menon was a minister for two terms in the Left Democratic Front governments led by E.K. Nayanar. From 1987 to 1991, he was Minister for Power and Rural Development. He held the key Finance Minister’s portfolio from 1996 to 2001. He also excelled in the Assembly as deputy chief whip of the Opposition.

Mr. Menon’s electoral triumph to the Assembly came after three consecutive failures in his Lok Sabha attempts from Palakkad in 1977, 1980, and 1984. While he lost to A. Sunnasahib in 1977, it was V.S. Vijayaraghavan who defeated him in 1980 and 1984.

“But we were very good friends. Menon was a man with high integrity,” said Mr. Vijayaraghavan in his condolence message.

Born in 1932 to a rich family in Mannarkkad, Mr. Menon was attracted to communist ideals and the revolutionary movement in Valluvanad. After acquiring undergraduate degree from Government Victoria College, Palakkad, he got B.Ed degree from Government Training College, Kozhikode.

He worked as headmaster at K.T.M. High School, Mannarkkad, until he resigned to contest the Lok Sabha in 1977. Mr. Menon played a key role in strengthening the Communist Party in Mannarkkad and neighbouring regions.

He was Syndicate member at Calicut University for a few years. His electoral foray began in 1961 when he successfully fought his uncle in the Mannarkkad civic body election under the banner of the Communist Party. Mr. Menon was known for his humorous use of Valluvanadan slang mixed with Mapila Malayalam.

He shifted his house to Palakkad when he became CPI(M) district secretary in 1980. He had faced an attack by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh during his tenure as district secretary.

Mr. Menon was brutally beaten up by the police during a march he led to the District Police Chief’s office in Palakkad in protest against the police action against tribespeople during the Muthanga agitation. He had suffered injuries on his head and limbs in the police action. When the police refused to take him to the hospital, Mr. Menon was carried in a handcart by his party comrades.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 6:40:17 pm |