Nation Other News 23 Sep 2016 Organiser for 1967 & ...

Organiser for 1967 & 2016 recalls differences: Chettoor Balakrishnan

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ANUPAMA MILI
Published Sep 23, 2016, 1:53 am IST
Updated Sep 23, 2016, 7:03 am IST
While he represented the Kunnamangalam constituency in 1967, now he is a national council member and in charge of the Smrithi Sandhya programme
Chettoor Balakrishnan
 Chettoor Balakrishnan

KOZHIKODE: He remembers the 1967 meeting as ‘Ganga flowing into Kerala’ as the participants from North India arrived in Kozhikode with their families, cooked their food and stayed here throughout the programme.  Chettoor Balakrishnan master,  along with O. Rajagopal,  had  attended the meeting that year and will also participate in the programme this time. While he represented the Kunnamangalam constituency in 1967, now he is a national council member and in charge of the Smrithi Sandhya programme, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will honour the leaders who were jailed during the Emergency period.

“This is the 52nd year that I have been with the party.  Time has brought many changes in the party as well as its leaderships. The new generation leaders may not understand the pains we suffered during that time. There was only a few number of followers in Kerala then  and there was literally a flow of participants from North India. They came with families and they preferred cooking food by themselves. Our duty was to fetch them onion, potatoes etc. for their North Indian diet,” Mr Balakrishnan recollects.

 

“There were no chairs, tables and air-conditioners like today. All of us were sitting on the floor for the meetings, including the leaders. We had less privilege as a party, and no influence unlike today. The salary from my teaching job as well as that of my wife had to be used for party work and social service,” adds Mr Balakrishnan. At 18, he started working for the Kunnamangalam constituency and at 70, he proudly recollects how that constituency has grown to be one of the prominent spaces for the BJP in Kerala. After  teaching at Malayamma aided UP school, he took voluntary retirement and turned to social service.

 

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Location: India, Kerala




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