Kerala

P.K. Narayana Panicker passes away

P.K. Narayana Panicker, longtime general secretary, present president of the Nair Service Society (NSS) and one of the moderate voices that dominated Kerala's social life for the past three decades or more, is no more. His end came at his residence on Wednesday. He was 81.

Born to a middle class family in Changanassery in central Kerala as the eldest of seven children on August 30, 1930, Mr. Panicker started his life as an advocate but had to opt out to take the mantle of the NSS as he was called by the leaders of the community to lead the organisation, which was passing through a difficult phase.

His entry into the NSS leadership came in 1978 as the treasurer. His election to the top post in the organisation came five years later in 1983 under the shadow of the controversies surrounding the appointment of the former general secretary and NSS heavyweight Kidangoor A.N. Gopalakrishna Pillai as the High Commissioner of Singapore.

Even as he headed the NSS, Mr. Panicker was chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP), which remains defunct.

It was on June 25, 2011 that he resigned as general secretary and was elected president.

Mr. Panicker's tenure will be remembered for the love-hate relationship he maintained with the Congress and its leader K. Karunakaran and also for the contributions he made in the legal battles on the reservation issue.

He was also instrumental in liberating the organisation from being a minor partner in one of the political coalitions and taking it to its earlier glory by espousing the policy of ‘equidistance.'

He will always be remembered for the basic decency he kept in public life.

In the 1990s, when communal equations in the State reached a boiling point on the Babri Masjid and the Creamy Layer issues, Mr. Panicker's was one of the sober voices which kept Kerala's social life sane.

His funeral will be held on his residential premises at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 6:50:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pk-narayana-panicker-passes-away/article2946107.ece

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