Comrade K. Damodaran
In this post under the section ‘Indian Communist Photos’, we publish a 1958 photo of Comrade K. Damodaran.
Photographer : James Burke
Source: Life Archive hosted by Google
Comrade K. Damodaran was a theoretician, writer and one of the founding members of the Communist Party of India in Kerala.
He returned to Kerala in 1937 and joined the Kerala Socialist Party and in May the same year formed the Kerala unit of the Communist Party.
He organized Coir and Beedi workers. He was imprisoned twice and released in 1945. In 1951, he was elected as the Taluk secretary of the Malabar unit committee of the Communist Party. He contested the assembly election in 1951 and the Loksabha election in 1957. Damodaran was elected to the central executive committee of the party in 1960. He took charge of editing the Navayugam weekly. All through these years he was intellectually active by way of writing articles and books, learning new languages and debating on various forums.
He became a Rajya sabha member (MP) in 1964. He visited many Asian and European countries including almost all of the communist nations. After the tenure, he devoted his time to a comprehensive research on the history of the Party at (JNU) under an ICHR fellowship. He died on July 3, 1976, in Delhi at the Safdarjung Hospital while he was still conducting this research.
Tariq Ali’s piece titled “Memoirs of an Indian Communist’ in the New Left Review throws light on many facets of Damodaran’s relationship with the Party and the dillemmas of a petty bourgeois outlook trying to come to terms with the Marxist-Leninist outlook.