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Veerendra Kumar awarded K Chandrasekharan Memorial award

Saturday, May 6, 2017,19:10 IST By anju A A A

Kozhikode | Chairman and Managing Director of Malayalam daily ‘Mathrubhumi’ M P Veerendra Kumar was today presented with the seventh K Chandrasekharan Memorial Award for his contribution to the nation as a socialist.

Former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy presented the award, instituted by Kasargod-based Chandrasekharan Memorial Trust, in memory of socialist leader K Chandrasekharan.

“Chandrasekharan was a true socialist leader who treated both his supporters as well as opponents equally and I see his qualities in Veerendra Kumar,” he said.

Chandy said Kumar is a multi-faceted personality, who has made his contributions to the nation as a socialist, parliamentarian and administrator.

The Congress leader also presented the winner with a purse of Rs 11,111 and a plaque.

A Rajya Sabha member, Kumar served thrice as Press Trust of India (PTI) Chairman and is at present a Director in the premier news agency.

He is also the Kerala unit president of Janata Dal (United).

He was selected for the award by a a three-member panel of judges, headed by C K Sreedharan.

In his acceptance speech, Kumar stressed the need for all secular forces to come together to fight the growth of fascism.

“Facist forces are growing strong nationwide. All secular forces, including the Congress, Communists and socialists should come together to fight against their growth,” he said.

Recalling his 19-month long association with Chandrasekharan during the Emergency when they were imprisoned in Kannur central jail in the state, he said, “Chandrasekharan did not come out on parole even once during the period, though there was a provision for it”.

“Chandrasekharan was a political leader who never compromised on his principles,” he added.

M K Raghavan, MP, presented the citation to Veerendra Kumar.

The eminent Malayalam author was selected for the award considering his contributions to the nation as a socialist, parliamentarian, administrator and travel writer.

Other prominent personalities who have been presented with the award include ex-minister and CPI leader E Chandrasekharan Nair, former KPCC leader V M Sudheeran, former union minister K V Thomas and IUML leader M K Muneer.