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Gandhian Radhakrishna Menon dead

Staff Reporter



Freedom fighter Radhakrishna Menon.

MALAPPURAM: Well-known Gandhian and pioneer educationalist K. Radhakrishna Menon died at a private hospital in Kozhikode on Thursday morning. He was 83 and is survived by a son and four daughters.

Suffering from, among other ailments, asthma and dementia, Mr. Menon was in hospital for the past 10 days. He was on ventilator for about a week till he breathed his last. People from different walks of life paid their last respects — first at Seva Mandiram Post-Basic School, Ramanattukara, where the body was kept till 2.15 p.m., and later at his Dana Gram home. The cremation took place at Peringavu, near Ramanattukara, in the evening. Menon is viewed as an ideal Gandhian who, through his life, showed the world how the teachings of the Mahatma could be implemented in a modern world. Local people saw Gandhiji in Menon, learned about Gandhiji through Menon, and named him after Gandhiji.

When people described his friend Kelappan as Kerala Gandhi, Menon was called Ramanattukara Gandhi.

He was born on January 18, 1924, to Kurungottu Lakshmikutty Amma and Vapaya Kunhunni Menon, who was a circle inspector under the British rule. Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s close aide V.P. Menon was his uncle.

Menon did his B.A. (Hons) in economics from Madras Christian College, where he had friends like P.P. Ummer Koya and K.N. Raj. After his degree, he reached Kolkata and edited a paper called Sathi. From Kolkata, he reached Paunar Ashram in Mumbai, where he learned the crux Gandhian education ‘Nayee Thalim’. He realised that the real freedom of humanity could be achieved only through the Nayee Thalim basic education.

Menon spent several days with Gandhiji at Wardha Ashram and had close association with Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Kripalani, Kelappaji, Acharya Vinoba Bhave.

Menon is survived by a son and four daughters. His son M. Naveena Chandran is a doctor. His daughters Shailaja Mani is a retired professor, Geetanjali a teacher, Suchitra, a journalist and Lata rema ined with Menon throughout.

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