this man was a warrior, an unsung hero. he showed the power of one lone individual, a wronged father, and he stood up against the might of the State and the congress party.
prof. warrier's son, rajan, a student of the regional engineering college, calicut, 'disappeared' during the emergency, in 1976 or 1977. he was whisked away from the college one night and never seen again. it is presumed that he was murdered in police custody, one among so many other 'disappeareds'. based on other jailed students' testimony, it is believed that rajan was tortured to death.
eachara warrier went looking for his son, and nobody would tell him what happened to him.
most fathers would have given up before the stonewalling of the State. but eachara warrier never did. he doggedly pursued the case in the courts, demanding that the police and the State produce his son. his habeas corpus petition finally brought down k karunakaran, the then home minister and later chief minister. a number of policemen lost their jobs, and despite denying any wrongdoing, the kerala government finally was told by the courts to give compensation to eachara warrier.
eachara warrier did not 'go gentle into that good night.' after 30 years of struggle, he passed away on april 13th. most appropriately, on martyrs' day, the day of the jallianwallah bagh massacre. it goes to show, we have exchanged one set of colonial masters for another set, that is about all 'independence' has achieved.
eachara warrier's story was the basis of shaji karun's 'piravi', the stunning malayalam film that is one of the most powerful i have ever seen. this is the only film that i have seen that affected me to the point of tears -- for the old man's plight moved me tremendously. he was hanging on in quiet desperation.
farewell, brave warrior! you were a hero to me.
|Eachara Warrier dies|
|Prof Warrier, who fought a relentless three-decade legal and social war to find out the truth behind his son's disappearance, was admitted to the hospital four days ago following respiratory complaints. His condition turned critical on Wednesday night. |
|His mortal remains were cremated at the ancestral place in Thiruvullakavu near Thrissur on Thursday evening. He is survived by two daughters Rema and Chandini. Hundreds of persons from all walks of life paid tributes to Prof Warrier. |
|Prof Warrier's 30-year-long fight against the Establishment, which would never reveal the truth about his son's disappearance, has been described as the symbolising all fights for justice that had taken place in Kerala during the period. |
|His son Rajan, a student of the Regional Engineering College, Kozhikode, was picked up by the police for alleged Naxal connections. He was taken to the Kakkyam police camp from where he never returned. He was allegedly tortured and murdered, but what happened to his body remains a mystery till today. |
|But the police and the Government maintained that Rajan was never taken into custody despite proof to the contrary. K Karunakaran was the Home Minister during the Emergency when Rajan disappeared. Prof Warrier's legal battle after his son's disappearance led to the resignation of Mr Karunakaran as Chief Minister in 1977. |
|Prof Warrier was born on October 28 at Cherpu in Thrissur district. He taught Hindi at many institutions including St Thomas College, Thrissur, Maharajas College, Ernakulam and Government College, Chittoor. |
|His wife Radha Warassiar lived 25 years after Rajan's disappearance but was never the same again. |
|During the last Lok Sabha elections, Prof Warrier had filed a defamatory suit against Mr Karunakaran's daughter and UDF candidate Padmaja Venugopal for some of her remarks on Rajan which had hurt his feelings. |
|Prof Warrier turned critical of the CPI(M) when there was a move by the party to strike a poll deal with the DIC(K) led by Mr Karunakaran. The agony of a father who never knew what happened to his son even after so many legal battles including those for habeas corpus prompted him to write a book Memories of a Father. Many movies had also been made about the Rajan incident. |