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M.N. Vijayan passes away

Staff Reporter

The end came at a press conference at Thrissur Press Club

Last moments: M.N. Vijayan, critic, while attending a press conference at the Thrissur Press Club minutes before his death on Wednesday.

Thrissur: M.N. Vijayan, critic, social activist and Marxist thinker, died at a private hospital here on Wednesday. He was admitted to the hospital after he fainted while addressing a press conference at the Thrissur Press Club. He was 77.

Prof. Vijayan complained of uneasiness while addressing the press conference organised by the Padhom Pratikarana Vedi at 12.25 p.m. He was accompanied by S. Sudheesh, columnist with Padhom, a journal edited by Prof. Vijayan that criticised alleged excesses of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

After speaking for five minutes, Prof. Vijayan wanted the air-conditioners to be switched off and was given a glass of hot water. He sipped the water and continued his speech.

“Everyone criticised the language put forward by the Padhom. Our political discussion centres on talk about language. (George Bernard) Shaw has said that only such language is listened to.”

He stopped abruptly. His eyes bulged and he fainted.

He was admitted to a private hospital at 12.40 p.m. Doctors declared him dead at 1.10 p.m.

“Cardiac arrest was the cause of death. For long, he was being treated for dilated cardio myopathy. Such patients are prone to cardiac arrest,” his physician G. Rajesh said.

Last press meet

The press conference he addressed was related to a criminal defamation case filed by Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad president K. Pappootty against D. Sreekumar, printer and publisher of the Padhom, Prof. Vijayan and Mr. Sudheesh.

The KSSP president’s complaint had said that an article written by Mr. Sudheesh in the May-June 2003 issue of the Padhom termed the Parishad “betrayers of sovereign rights of people and agents of imperialist expansion.”

The Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court acquitted the accused on September 28.

M.N. Vijayan was born on June 8, 1930 at Lokamalleswaram in Kodungalloor to Pathiyasseriyil Narayana Menon and Mooliyil Kochammu. He studied in Pathinettaralayam L.P. School, Kodungalloor Boys High School, Ernakulam Maharaja’s College and Ernakulam Law College. He post-graduated in Malayalam language and literature from Madras University and served as teacher in Madras New College (in 1952), Thiruvananthapuram University College (1959) and Thalassery Brennen College (1960). He retired in 1985.

His works include ‘Kesariyude Sahitya Niroopanangal,’ ‘Kesariyude Lokangal,’ ‘Naveena Chitrakala,’ ’Chithayile Velicham,’ ‘M.N. Vijayante Prabhashanangal,’ ‘Varnangalude Sangeetham,’ ‘Kavithayum Manashastravum,’ ‘Sheershasanam’ and ‘Adayunna Vathil - Thurakkunna Vathil.’ He was given the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 1982, but he rejected it later.

He was editor of the CPI(M) organ Desabhimani Weekly, and president of the party’s literary wing, Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sanghom, for long. He later headed the dissident Adhinivesa Pratirodha Samithy.

He is survived by wife, Sarada; son, V.S. Anil Kumar; and daughters Sujatha Balachandran and Sunitha Rajagopal. The body was kept at the Thrissur Press Club and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi for the public to pay their homage. It will be cremated on Thursday. He will be given a funeral with police honours at Kodungalloor on Thursday morning.

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