Sunday, November 23, 2008

P. T. Bhaskara Panicker (1921-1997)

പി റ്റി ഭാസ്കര പണിക്കര്‍
Visionary intellectual and activist.
P T Bhaskara Panicker, visionary intellectual and activist, played a key role in shaping movements that made modern Kerala. On the political landscape, this school-teacher shot into prominence in 1954 as the new President of the Malabar District Board -- the first communist in India to assume power by the ballot box. He was only 33 then, but his legendary leadership and progressive administration in Malabar District of Madras Province, moulded the image of the Communist Party as one 'fit to rule', and helped the Party win legislative assembly elections in Kerala in 1957. Later, PTB quit electoral politics and served as Member of Kerala Public Service Commission. After retirement, he pioneered social movements that shaped modern Kerala. Most notably, he was associated with the founding of the science literacy movement, and the spread of the library movement. An able organiser, he worked for and inspired the setting up of numerous voluntary organisations across Kerala, including KANFED (for non-formal education), INDIS (for inter-disciplinary studies) and Place Names Society. He was also a sought-after editor of encyclopaediae and the author of several books in Malayalam. PTB's simple living, innovative ideas and infectious enthusiasm endeared him to his collaborators.

More information

P T Bhaskara Panikker Smritirekha (2001), a collection of Malayalam essays by eminent personalities and PTB's collaborators -- portrays PTB's activities as political activist, administrator, science literrateur, organiser, and educator.Published by: PTB Memorial Trust, Adakkaputhur, Palakkad, Kerala, IndiaPrice: Rs.100/- (excluding postage)

The State Institute of Children's Literature (Government of Kerala), in its series on great personalities, has published a book on PTB in Malayalam.

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