Friday, February 26, 2010

Journalist Bhaskaran

K. Bhaskaran
First Keralakaumudi Agent of Nedumangad.

                                       Nedumangad, Feb 27, 2010

Popularly known as a Journalist and community activist Bhaskaran was a household name in Aryanad and Nedumangad during 1940-1995. As a first Agent and correspondent of Kerala Kaumudi Malayalam daily in Nedumangad and Aryanad, he served most part of Nedumangad and later limited his agency to Aryanad. He was one of the first and a very popular journalist in the region.

More than 25 years he had a news paper Agency & distribution office in Nedumangad at Kacheri junction and the building was owned by Mr. R. S. Assari, a Malayalam teacher at Nedumangad High School and a promoter of Kathakali. The office was shared with Mr. Chandrasekharan Pillai who was a well known document writer in Nedumangad. Many whom he associated and kept very close relation in Nedumangad were R. S Assari, Chandrasekharan Pillai, Balakrishnan Pillai of Our Tutorial College, many Kathakali artist including Keerikkad Sankara Pillai, Bharathannoor Raghavan Pillai, Pulimathu Raghavan Pillai and more. Friendship with Mr. R S Assari continued because of their love for Kathakali and promoting it. They actively involved in Trivandrum Kathakali Club Programs and attended monthly Kathakali program at VJT Hall in Trivandrum.

Almost all in Aryanad kept a very close relation with Bhaskaran. But few are very helpful to him in everyday life and social activities. They are Dhamodharan Panicker (Taylor Chellappan Panicker) and Sadasivan Panicker (Textile shop), Dhamodharan Sir, Bhaskaran Vaidyar, Goudaman, and Sadasivan Sir are few among many to mention.

People who lived in Nedumangad, Uzhamalakkal and Aryanad were closely associated with Bhaskaran and shared their views until he became sick. Bhaskaran lived a simple life but cared almost everything around him. As a journalist he was respected by all. As a leading agent of Kerala Kaumudi, Bhaskaran was known to Mr.K. Sukumaran, Editor, Mrs. Madhavi Sukumaran, K. Sukumaran, Manager and entire editorial staff in the 40’s to 60’s.

Bhaskaran also contributed most of his spare time in helping and assisting in Aryanad’s early social and cultural developments. Along with many dedicated and selfless citizens of Aryanad, K.Bhaskaran was also in the forefront in raising needed funds and getting Government approval for schools, Panchayath office, Police station and Government hospital in Aryanad.

Bhaskaran was always in the forefront in organizing and supporting cultural events such as Drama, Dance, Kathakali, Villadichan Pattu and festivals in 7 temples around Aryanad. He represented in almost all community related committees in Aryanad. Mr. K. Viswanathan Director of Mitraniketan, Vellanad remembered Bhaskaran as a freedom fighter and a very gifted actor. Mr. Viswanathan says when they were young they both acted in many drama’s and took part in fighting for India’s independence. Later, Government of Kerala awarded Bhaskaran with Freedom Fighters pension and “Actors” Pension.

Bhaskaran was born on February 20, 1921 at Kunninpurathu Veedu, Aryanad, and Kerala, India. He was the second child of Mrs. Kochu Appy and Mr. Kochappy. Bhaskaran attended school at Aryanad Luthargiri School and also learned tailoring. His elder brother was Mr. Kuttan Panicker. Until both got married they lived together with their mother in the Kunninpurathu veedu and Mr. Kuttan Panicker and family continued their life in the family home.

Kuttan Panicker and Bhaskaran were part of a large family spread all over Aryanad to Balaramapuram and Neyyattinkara, and beyond. Their grandmother was Ms. Parvathy, who got married to Mr. Narayanan of Valiyaveettu Vilakom, Pongummoodu in Maranalloor Panchayath. Many families in Aryanad have a link to Parvathy and Narayanan. Parvathy lived at Vadakkathil, Kunninpurathu, Aryanad in 1850’s.

Bhaskaran married Ms. Thankamma on December 7, 1944. She was the daughter of K. Krishnan Panicker and Janaki of Maruthinmoottil, Kallikkad – Neyyardam. Krishnan Panicker was a landlord and owned several acers of land and managed farming in Kallikkad- Neyyardam. Thankamma was the first child of Janaki among 8 children. The one half of property in which Neyyar Dam was built in 1955 was then managed by Thankamma’s father Karuvachy K Krishnan Panicker.

Bhaskaran and Thankamma had 11 children, but only 10 survived. The surviving children are: Aravindakshan ( New York), Hymavathy (Pettah, TVM), Radhakrishnan ( Vikasnagar, TVM) ( Sreekumar ( Aryanad) , Shobhanakumari ( Tholoor, Aryanad) , Girijakumari ( Tholoor, Aryanad) , Lathakumari ( Kallikkad) , Vinodkumar (Peyad, TVM), Subhakumari ( Bharathanoor) and Meenakumari ( Cherthala).

Mr. K Bhaskaran was one of the oldest life members of the SNDP Yogam. The life membership number 7140 issued to K Bhaskaran on July 4th 1953 was signed by the then General secretary Mr. K. Karthikeyan. K. Bhaskaran was also a member of SNDP Yogam Nedumangad and Aryanad branches. Bhaskaran and Thankamma family visited Sivagiri during the Theerdhadanam and other auspicious days. Sree Narayana Guru was his leading light and he spends time with others in organizing Bhajana and related activities under the guidance of Mr. Dhamodaran Sir, in Aryanad.

Rewarding and Remarkable life:
While managing a large family and also supporting others, Bhaskaran faced with economical setbacks in the late 60’s. He also had a Taylor shop in Aryanad and it was closed in the late 70’s.

With their limitations and limited resources Bhaskaran and Thankamma managed the family. They also provided basic education and sent few children to college. Marriages were arranged and conducted for all 10 children. Bhaskaran and Thankamma lived simple life, but let others to live well.

In 1985 Bhaskaran suffered stroke and partially paralyzed. Proper medical care and with assistance from many family members and neighbors he spend rest of his life at home.

On December 11, 1995 at the age of 74 Bhaskaran bid farewell. Including family and friends several thousand came to pay their last respect. His memories still lives around us and we continue to follow his path to live and lead.

Bhaskaran-Thankamma Memorial Trust: To honor the life and contributions of Journalist K Bhaskaran and Mrs. Janaki Thankamma, a memorial trust was constituted in Aryanad on November 20, 2008 by their 10 Children.

Visit:, Ref: B Aravindakshan

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