05 October Thursday

Inspiring generations

P MohandasUpdated: Saturday Apr 9, 2022

Moyarath Sankaran was the first Communist martyr under Congress regime who became prey to their Communist hunting in 1948.  He was a well known leader of the Communist Party and was one of the founding fathers of Congress in Malabar.  The official historian of Congress in Kerala, he wrote `A Brief History of Indian National Congress' in 1935, (the silver jubilee year of the Congress).

Moyarath Sankaran

Moyarath Sankaran

He started his political activity as a nationalist in 1917 and contacted leaders like K P Kesava Menon and Madhavan Nair. As a pioneering Congressman in Malabar, he rendered yeomen service to the cause of nationalism. He enrolled himself in the Calcutta Medical College as a medical student. He came into contact with the nationalist activists in Calcutta, where the movement was vibrant compared to other parts of India. Soon he was enlisted as a  dangerous' political activist.  Due to the continuous interference of the secret police he was compelled quit studies.  

He started his political activity in Malabar even before K Kelappan. He started a political newspaper `Kerala Kesari' from Vadakara, turning the place into the centre of political activity in the region. He was instrumental in organising Salt Satyagraha in Payyannur, the Northern Part of Kerala and piloted the Satyagraha Jadha from Kozhikode to Payyannur. He also played a prominent role in organizing the 4th KPCC conference in Payyannur in which Jawahar Lal Nehru presided over.  He joined Congress Socialist Party in 1934 and Communist Party in 1939. He was an intellectual as well as a great organizer and had written several books.

In 1948 during the period of the Communist hunting in connection with Calcutta Thesis, he was brutally attacked by a gang of Congress men in Edakkad  and handed over to the police who took him to Valapattanam camp. Moyarath died on the second day of brutal torture in the Kannur sub- jail. Instead of releasing his body to his relatives, it was buried at an undisclosed spot on the jail premises. The martyrdom of Moyarath Sankaran was the first instance of political murder in Kannur in independent India under the congress regime.

K P Narayanan

K P Narayanan

The first elected Communist 
Panchayat President

Chirakkal Panchayath in Kannur was formed in 1949. The first election was held in 16th of August, 1949. K P Narayanan, a Communist leader of Chirakkal was elected as President, becoming the elected Communist Panchayat president in India. Even the Radio Moscow transmitted that news.  It was a period of a country -wide ban on the party due to the Calcutta thesis. Voting right was restricted to literates above the age of 21. More than 600 people attended the voting.  It was a unique experience because the election was not through the system of secret ballot but by raising hands in public during that period.