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Showing posts from November, 2012

At 17, V S Achuthanandan joined the Communist Party

Born on October 20, 1923, VS Achuthanandan joined the Communist Party in 1940 when he was just 17 years old.
Abject poverty and deprivation were the only things that flourished in Punnapra, Kerala, in those days. My father had a grocery shop close to our house so we did not suffer too badly when we were young. He was a social activist and a SNDP Yogam leader and respected by all.  He had leased some land from the landlords in Vendhalathara and cultivated it. He built a house there too. In this way, along with the grocery store, we could make ends meet.
Punnapra school had only up to class three, so I joined Kalarkode school to do class four. It was in an area where the upper caste lived and one had to walk past the temple to go to school. The elite would ridicule the less fortunate, beat and chase them away. Many children discontinued their studies. I was once attacked by the well-to-do students and they asked me. “Who are you to walk this way to school?” I tried to stand up to them and…