C. Achutha Menon – Biography

Shri Chelat Achutha Menon, a renowned leader of the Communist Party of India and a stalwart among the line of administrators, eminent economist, noted writer and a leader with spotless clean public life.He was the first Chief Minister of Kerala who could complete the tenure of office. He was in office for about seven years (1970-1977).

Born to Madathil Veettil Shri. Achutha Menon and Smt. LekshmykuttyAmma at Puthukkad, Thrissur on 13th January, 1913. Being a brilliant student, he studied on merit scholarship throughout his student life, and stood first in the SSLC examination in the then State of Kochi. After finishing the intermediate level in St. Thomas College, Thrissur, he continued his college education in Madras. There he won a gold medal for academic excellence and was a role model for other fellow students.

After obtaining Law degree, he accepted legal profession. But he gave up the profession and joined a full time worker of freedom movement. He joined Indian National Congress in 1935 and led the party as the Secretary of Cochin State Congress Committee. Soon he associated with Congress Socialist Party and then the Communist Party in 1941. He participated in freedom struggle, temple entry struggle etc. In the wake of Quit India movement, he was imprisoned for more than a year. He went underground for more than three years when the Government prohibited the functioning of Communist Party. He was elected to the Travancore State Legislature in 1952. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957, 1960, 1969 and 1970. He was the Minister of Finance and Agriculture in the first communist ministry led by E.M.S. Namboodirippad in the year 1957. In 1968 he was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He resigned his membership in the Parliament in 1969 to become the Chief Minister of Kerala. He implemented several basic reform measures in the State such as Land Reform Act; take over of private forest without compensation, law on agriculture labour, one lakh housing scheme, establishment of a number of scientific and research institutions. Even his opponents admit that he was the best Chief Minister of Kerala has ever seen. He enriched the field of literature too through his writings on literary criticism, reviews. He wrote many books.He died on August 16, 1991.

India post issued this stamp on 13th January 2013