Former BMS chief R Venugopal dies in Kerala

    Former BMS National President and veteran RSS Pracharak R Venugopal passed away on Wednesday at state RSS headquarters in Kochi. He was 96. He had served as chief editor of Kesari also.

    Venugopal has been suffering age-related ailments. The death occurred in Madhava Nivas. He was among the first batch of Kerala’s Sangh pracharaks. P. Madhavan, T.N. Bharatan, T.N. Marthanda Verma and Kumaran were others. Till then, non-Keralites were pracharaks of RSS in Kerala. This ‘first batch’ was groomed by none other than Dattopant Thengadi. He set up the sakha in Kerala in 1942.  

    Venugopal belonged to Nilamboor royal family in today’s Malappuram district. The university degree holder left that affluent life and came out to embrace the pains, hunger, struggle, stress and strains of a Sangh pracharak. He has once told this correspondent that starvation, and sleep on the railway platforms were the routines of a Pracharak’s life during those days.

    Last rites will be held at Pachalam crematorium on Thursday at 12 pm.

    Venugopal was also a leader who represented India twice at International Labour Organisation. His mortal remains will be kept till 12 pm at state’s headquarters Madhava Nivas for public display to pay last respects.

    Venugopal was born in 1925 as the son of Kochunni Thampuran and Nannikutty Amma of Palakkad. He completed his studies from Victoria College, Palakkad and Banaras Hindu University. After his higher studies, he decided to work as pracharak of RSS.

    He was instrumental in making Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the largest labour organisation in the world. He represented twice as a representative of labour movements at Geneva. Venugopal was noted for having a good personal relationship with all the trade union leaders. Venugopal was the first non-communist labour leader to visit China.