Biography - Azhikodan Raghavan: (1919 - 1972)

Com. Azhikodan Raghavan popularly known as Com. Azhikodan was born on July 1, 1919 at South Bazar, a not very developed part of Kannur District. His father was Kuruvan, a document writer and his mother Prickachi. When he was two and half years old his father died. His only sister also died three years after her marriage. It was his uncle who brought him up.

He had his primary education from the Model Primary School attached to Kannur Govt. Training School. After passing Vth standard he was forced to discontinue his formal education. He had to take up some job to eke out his living. He became a helper in a bicycle & petromax shop owned by one Kunhikandi Achuthan. The young Raghu learnt beedi rolling also from Achuthan. Achuthan yielded another influence on the young Raghu. He was the follower of the Siddha cult and practised vegetarianism and pranayam. The young assistant also became a strict vegetarian and learnt pranayam.

The petromax lamp business was to be a turning point in the life of the youngman. Communist party meetings were held at night. It was Raghu who provided petromax lamps for such meetings. The curious youngman used to listen to the speeches and discussions in the party meetings. His mind responded to the political discussions and he gradually became politically conscious.

Beedi and cigar rolling was the means of livelihood of a vast number of people in those days. Beedi and cigar workers had a union. Chenoli Koran was the secretary of the Union. Raghavan had by that time become Com.Azhikodan Raghavan and he became an active member of the union. He was made the office secretary of the union office. Comrades like P. Krishna Pillai, A.K.Gopalan, K.P.Gopalan and C.H. Kanaran frequented the union office and organized the beedi workers of Kannur district. Com.P.Krishna Pillai who by that time had become the darling leader of the labour class became his role model. Under Com.P.Krishna Pilla's loving tutelage Azhikodan Raghavan grew up into a real communist.

He married Smt. Meenakshi, who was a teacher at Govt.U.P.School, Pallikkunnu on May 20, 1956. At the time of marriage he was living in a small rented house in South Bazar. The government of P.T. Chacko evicted him from there along with three other tenants. He had to shift to another small rented building in Pallikkunnu at a monthly rent o Rs.22/-. When the landlord died, the landlady pestered them to vacate the house. The state committee of communist party directed the district committee to help the comrade to construct a house of his own. The district committee managed to find him a small piece of land and provide and advance of Rs.500/-. But collecting an amount of Rs.5,200/- for the registration of the land was a stumbling block. Comrade O.Bharathan; Com.Pothodi Raghavan, the then Pallikunnu local committee Secretary; and Com.Palliyath Raghavan who was the then panchayath member, in spite of their best attempts could not collect the required amount. At that time a communist fellow-traveller of the area Sri.Govindan came to comrade's help. He offered his sister Kousu's gold ornaments worth 22 sovereigns either to be pawned or to be sold to find the required money. But the wish of the comrade to see him family live in a house of their own was not fulfilled. At the time of his martyrdom the house was under construction. His nonagenarian mother, wife and five children were living in a small rented house. Yet the enemies of the party with the help of a section of the press propagated that he lived in a palatial house and was a shareholder in a big bus transport company. After the death of Com.Azhikodan the construction of his house was completed by party's district committee and 22 sovereigns of Kousu which her brother so generously lent were also returned to her.

  • Com: P.Sundarayya :

    "I was with the comrade in Thrissur central joint in 1965. I saw him preserving silently patiently and never losing his cool to learn new things. It was he who prepared the press statements and resolutions about national and international happenings on behalf of the State committee of the party"