May 08, 2022

TN: Comrade MNS Venkataraman

V B Ganesan

COMRADE MNS Venkataraman (65), Tamil Nadu state secretariat member of CPI(M), passed away due to cardiac arrest on May 1 at 10.45 pm. He was returning to Madurai after addressing a May Day meeting at Cumbum, Theni district. He was travelling in a bus and on the way when he felt uneasy, and the bus crew helped him with a drink at a roadside shop where he took his last breath. He is survived by his wife, Padmini, and son, Surya.

Born on May 17, 1957, in M Reddiyapatti village, Comrade Venkataraman graduated with B.Sc. (Geology) at Tuticorin. He started his public life in SFI and became CPI(M) taluk secretary of Aruppukkottai in 1981-82. He functioned as Virudhunagar district secretary of Tamil Nadu Kisan Sabha for many years and led many victorious farmer struggles in the district. In 1994, he became Virudhunagar district secretary of CPI(M) and continued till 2001. He was at the forefront of many workers' struggles in various industries such as of firecrackers, weavers etc in Virudhunagar district. He was a tireless fighter for women's emancipation and notably obtained justice in the sexual assault case of Valayapatti Uma and the Aruppukottai Subhalakshmi sexual assault and murder case.

Comrade Venkataraman was elected to the state secretariat in 2001 and since then he has been in close contact with the young activists of the Party, progressive writers and artists. Until his death, he was deeply involved in Party organisation work and was in charge of almost all the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. He was very meticulous in planning Party activities and guided the activists in a straightforward and friendly manner.

Comrade Venkataraman was closely involved in the development of Theekkathir, the Party daily, and he was instrumental in bringing out many special issues on various occasions. He was the publisher of Theekkathir and acted as general manager of its administration until his death.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a condolence message that Comrade Venkataraman was a good organiser and executed all the responsibilities entrusted to him with commitment, until his death and it will be a great loss to the Party in Tamil Nadu. 

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat said in a condolence message that the sudden departure of Comrade Venkataraman is a great shock to everyone. He was a unique and dedicated leader of the Party in Tamil Nadu who led many movements of peasants and workers. He expressed his views very clearly with sharp political consciousness. His departure at this time will be a great loss to the Party in Tamil Nadu.

Veteran leader of the Party, N Sankaraiah said in a condolence message that Comrade Venkataraman was very simple and immensely contributed to the Party's expansion in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. He was an avid reader, a connoisseur of music, and was an expert in taking classes on Marxism lucidly.

A condolence meeting was held at his native village M Reddiyapatti on May 2 evening. CPI(M) state secretary K Balakrishnan, Polit Bureau member G Ramakrishnan, Central Committee members P Sampath and P Shanmugam, state secretariat members, state industries minister Thangam Thennarasu on behalf of the DMK, and state secretariat members of CPI paid rich tributes to the departed leader at the time of his cremation.