A commemorative postage stamp on C. Achutha Menon, 4th Chief Minister of Kerala (1969-70, 1970-77) :
Issued on Jan 13, 2013
Issued for : The Department of Posts is privileged to issue a commemorative stamp on this remarkable leader who left behind the example of a distinguished and fruitful life for others to emulate.
Stamp/FDC : Gulistaan
Cancellation : Nenu Gupta
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.31 Million
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Chelat Achutha Menon
Born on Jan 13, 1913 at Puthukkad, Thrissur, Kerala, India
Died on Aug 16, 1991
- C. Achyutha Menon (1913-1991) is remembered for the brilliant development initiatives that he took as the Chief Minister of Kerala, which not only transformed the economy of the state but also stimulated a new intellectual awakening in the society.
- Born into a lower middle class family, the early part of his life was spent at Thrissur, a town in Kerala known for its cultural tradition. Though the young Achyutha Menon began practising Law at Thrissur, he soon heeded the call of the National Movement. He worked for the Congress initially, but joined the Communist Party, which was more aligned to his radical thinking in 1942.
- In the first Communist Ministry of Kerala that was elected to power in 1957, Menon was second in rank and held the Finance portfolio. When the party split, he was made the Secretary of the state unit of the Communist Party of India. Achyutha Menon was chosen to lead the coalition Government that was formed in the state in 1969.
- As a Chief Minister, Menon adopted a welfare approach rooted in the principles of socialism. Co-opting the services of science and technology for the overall development of the people was also central to his approach. Achyutha Menon set up Kerala’s first Science and Technology Department, and formulated a Science Policy Resolution. He also took the initiative to start a string of advanced research institutions that would help to take the fruits of science to the common people. These included the Centre for Development Studies (CDS), the Sri Chitra Tirumal Institute for Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), the Forest Research Institute (KFRI), the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) and the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS).
- Successful implementation of land reforms, which wiped out the vestiges of the old feudal order in the agrarian system was another significant achievement of Achyutha Menon as Chief Minister. His other noteworthy achievements were the nationalization of forest lands, the implementation of the Laksham Veedu programme (a housing scheme of massive scale for the homeless), the improvement of the working conditions of both industrial and farm labourers and the strengthening of the Public Distribution System.
- Achyutha Menon was a humanist whose universal vision often made him look beyond party interests. Though his faith in Communism was firm, he sought to place the communist vision in a broad perspective. He often expressed admiration for Gandhism for its positive aspects like the emphasis it placed on truthfulness, moral values and ahimsa. Achyutha Menon‘s intellectual pursuits were not confined to the domain of politics. He has a few short stories and plays to his credit. However, his essays and pen sketches were a greater contribution to literature wherein the sincerity of his prose, together with his uncomplicated style made him a widely read writer.
- He led an active intellectual life even after he stepped down from the position of Chief Minister in 1977 to lead a retired life. As a human being, he concerned himself with all that was happening around him. He raised his voice whenever he felt that justice and human dignity were being threatened, often chiding politicians in power and trying to reassure the common man. For more than half a century, he enriched the social, political and cultural life of Kerala with his presence.
- Text : P.N. Ranjit Kumar.