Thursday, December 23, 2010

K Karunakaran

K. Karunakaran passes away, bringing curtains down on an era in Kerala politics.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A struggle has never been alien to K Karunakaran, the oldest leader of Kerala politics. Over the last fortnight, since his admission to a private hospital here, the veteran politician's fighting qualities were to the fore for a few final times. A week ago he came back from a near-death situation, and then defied medical logic by getting himself off the ventilator. He then braved a stroke, and went on to wage a final struggle over the past 24 hours before his body succumbed to the world's laws at around 5.30 pm today. The four-time chief minister of Kerala was 92.

That meant the end of an era for a man who had been perhaps the most visible political icon of Kerala in the second half of the 20th century, alongside such leaders as AK Gopalan, EMS Namboothiripad and EK Nayanar.

Karunakaran was a former union minister of state for industry as well, but it was his role in Kerala politics that created brand Karunakaran, better known as 'Leader', and marked by qualities like a fighting spirit, political shrewdness and administrative capabilities.

True to his self, Karunakaran fought both his detractors and the ailments that were conspiring to take his life, till the very end. He succumbed this evening, and left Keralites to ponder what the new century would have for the state if the state's politics had been played differently over the past half a century and more.

K Karunakaran

1918: Birth at Chirakkal, Kannur.
1935: Initiated into politics
1977: 81-82, 82-87, 91-95 Chief minister of Kerala
1993: Death of wife Kalyani Kutty Amma
1995-96: Union minister of state for industries
2005: Plays role in formation of Democratic Indira Congress (Kerala)
2006: Merges DIIC(K) with NCP
2008: Returns to Congress fold
2010: Passed away on 23.12.2010

My condolence, and may his soul rest in eternal peace - Prathap G Sharjah

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