39. TOURS – WITHIN AND OUT SIDE KERALA.
Period after becoming Circle Secretary of E.III Union Kerala Circle was full of organisational tours, within Kerala and outside. Participated in Branch and divisional conferences, even ordinary meetings. It was necessary, specially after restoration of unity. Tours were mainly in trains and sometimes in buses. These tours were used to meet new comrades, encourage them in to union activities.
Went and attended conferences/ meetings in Karnataka and T.Nadu circles on invitation from comrades there. The places include Mangalore, Uduppi, Kundapuram, Mysore, Virajpet, Mercara, Hubli, Hassan etc. Comrades R.G.Bhandari, P.Mukundan, M.Sadanand, N.Balan, B.Narayan Rao, P.Appaji, P.P.Rajan, S.Narayanan and others took initiative for this.
In T.Nadu, attended meetings at Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruppur, Salem, Coonoor, Ootty, Palladam, Mettuppalayam, Udumalpet, Dharmapuri, Pondicherry, Villupuram, Cuddalore etc more than once. Comrades N.Gopalakrishnan, Puthiyavan, P.Abhimanyu, S.Chellappa, Umapathy, Raju, Modandoss, Ramasamy, Babu Radhakrishnan, Easwaran, Ambrose, V.R.Chandrasekharan, E.Gopal, Narayanasamy, Balasundaram, Kuppusamy and many other comrades took initiative for these tours. Many of these Comrades attended Kerala Circle Conferences also.
In one circle conference in T.Nadu, Circle Secretary T.Nadu, Com. S.Jagannathan told that ‘ I am the Circle Secretary of T.Nadu, but Com. Namboodiri, Circle Secretary, Kerala visits here more than me.’
There was a reason for these many tours. T.Nadu and Karnataka were strong holds of OPG group. It was necessary to strengthen our forces there. These tours helped. A lot of young workers rose to leadership, increasing our influence.
Tours were not easy. Trains and buses were main mode of travel. From railway stations and bus stands, our comrades will take me on cycle and luggage on another. Stay will be in lodges where our comrades are staying. Mat and pillow. Workers stayed in simple way. In Ootty, Coonoor etc. our comrades provided me with warm clothes.
I did not know Kannada language and spoke in English. Broken Tamil in T.Nadu. Managed.
Once when visiting Mysore, a meeting of CPI(M) was being held in Town Hall. Com. EM.S.Namboodiripad, former Chief Minister, Kerala and PBM of CPI(M) was in stage. Within minutes of his starting speech, he left there, probably felling unwell. I went where he was staying, which was nearby. The Red volunteer allowed me to enter, when disclosed identity. EMS was feeling very sick. They had arranged medicine, conjee etc. He was happy to meet me there. Sat for a while and returned. ( to be continued)