Comrade P Govindapillai, the tallest ideologue in the CPIM after EMS, died in Thiruvananthapuram 22nd November. He had been undergoing treatment at a private hospital owing to age related illness. He was 86.
Govinda Pillai, who is an author of several books on Communism, Marxism and international affairs had served as the chief editor of Desabhimani daily and weekly. A legislator who was part of the Travancore-Cochin assembly and Kerala Assembly. He was an MLA in the first Kerala Assembly of 1957 which voted communist party to power.
He joined the Communist party in 1946 and became a state committee member in 1953. During the split, Govindapillai chose to be with the CPIM along with AKG and EMS. A master with international affairs Govindapillai's columns in CPIM mouthpiece Desabhimani and Kairali TV had a number of followers. An avid book buff who spent hours continuously in reading, Govindapillai had a vast collection of books sourced from different parts of the world.
He had an active public life till a few days ago when was hospitalized.He also served as the chairman of Kerala Press Academy and Kerala State Film Development Corporation. Govindapillai is the recipient of several awards including the Kerala Sahitya Academy award for literary criticism.
Govinda Pillai’s last journey, from his residence at Subhash Nagar here to the AKG Centre and from there to VJT Hall, before the final leg to the electric crematorium, saw people from all walks of life, ranging from representatives of the State government and political parties to libraries, theatre groups, media, and students, paying their last respects.
Several hundreds lined up by the sides of the road as the funeral procession wound its way from VJT Hall towards Thycaud in the afternoon.
The respect ‘PG’ commanded from one and all was visible. People with different political persuasions poured in to pay their final tributes right from the morning. Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, Left Democratic Front convener Vaikom Viswan, CPI(M) district secretary Kadakampally Surendran, and former Minister M. Vijayakumar stood by the body throughout the day till he was consigned to flames at Shanti Kavadam, while more, including Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, CPI(M) Polit Bureau members S. Ramachandran Pillai and M.A. Baby, Communist Party of India State Secretary Pannian Ravindran, CPI leaders Veliyam Bhargavan, K.E. Ismail, and C. Divakaran, former Ministers T.M. Thomas Isaac, G. Sudhakaran, Kadannappally Ramachandran, K.P. Rajendran, E. Chandrasekharan Nair, and P.K. Sreemathy, CPI(M) leaders M.V. Govindan, Anathalavattom Anandan, A. Vijayaraghavan, and C.S. Sujatha, RSP leaders T.J. Chandrachoodan and A.A. Azeez, to name a few, were present at various points of the final journey that began at 11 in the morning.
Speaker G. Karthikeyan, Deputy Speaker N. Sakthan, Ministers Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, P.K. Kunhalikutty, and V.S. Sivakumar, poets Sugathakumari, Puthussery Ramachandran, and Ezhacheri Ramachandran and senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran were also among the hundreds who paid their tributes.The cremation took place at 4pm at Thycaud electric crematorium.