Communistkaary Without Membership: Howlath Beevi

[This is a translation of the autobiographical essay on the life of Howlath Beevi, a communist activist whose political life spans the decades from the 1950s to the present titled ‘Membershippillaatha Communistukaari’ in Alosyius D Fernandes and D M Scaria, Urumbettavar: Poraattangalile Sthreejeevitam, Alappuzha: Janajagrthi Publications, 2011, pp. 7-16. Howlath Beevi was a close aide of the legendary K R Gouri and followed her when she exited the CPM to form her own party.

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Red Post in a Hairdo: K Meenakshi and the Travancore Police

[This is a translation of the short piece ‘Mudikettinullile Chuvanna Kathukal’ in Alosyius D Fernades and D M Scaria, Orumbettavar: Porattangalile Sthreejeevitam (Alappuzha: Janajagrthi, 2011, pp. 23-27), on the communist labour leader of the 1940s from the Alappuzha district, a nerve centre of left mobilization of industrial workers in coir and cashew and agricultural workers, K Meenakshi. While hailed as a heroine of her times, she was more or less forgotten later, and came back to memory through the work of the feminist historian Meera Velayudhan. This piece simply uses her own first-person narration of her political life.]

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Remembering K Meenakshy: P K Medini

Translated by J Devika

A popular singer in communist meetings since the 1940s, P K Medini (1933-) represents the generation of working-class women who entered public life through left mobilization. She was born in Cheeranchira in the Alappuzha district in 1933  as the daughter of Kankaali. Her mother Paappy was a good singer. Her family was active in left union work She had to stop studies in Class 4, and then she became a coir worker at the age of 12 but was nurtured as an artiste by the cultural group formed by the union. Eighty-seven year-old Medini has been much-interviewed and documentaries have been made of her life. She continued her political career and was a panchayath president both at the village and block levels in the 1990s and after. Continue reading “Remembering K Meenakshy: P K Medini”

The Book of Mothers: P K Medini

[This is an essay by the legendary communist singer P K Medini (1933-  ) who was a participant in and witness to the massive worker and peasant mobilization in the Alappuzha district in the middle of the twentieth century. Translated by Jacob Cherian, the original appeared in the Mathrubhumi Weekly of 2012. The translation appeared on in 2012]

Read the article here.