“They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive”
– Swami Vivekananda
It is one of life’s greatest blessings to cross paths with a towering soul so early in life.
Their life story is like an eternal light that sustains not only their timeless legacy, but
also inspires others to inculcate similar life values. In living many lives in just one life,
Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, President Ma. P. Parameswaran Ji has left a
lasting impact that will only reverberate with time. Shri P. Parameswaran Ji was a
living embodiment of Swami Vivekananda’s precept that ‘service to man is worship
of God’ A modern day saint, a visionary statesman, an intellectual giant and a figure
who was accepted across ideologies, Shri P. Parameswaran Ji’s passing away, has
saddened many people across the country.
Shri P. Parameswaran Ji was born on 1927 at Cherthalai in Alappuzha district of
Kerala, He graduated from University College, Thiruvananthapuram in BA (Hons.) in
History. 1 His enormous love for Mother India took him to the arena of nation building
at the young age of 23, when he joined as a pracharak (full-time organizer) of the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh 2 . From 1957 onwards, he took various positions at
Bharatiya Jana Sangh , first at the state and later national level. It was in 1968 that he
became an AllIndia General Secretary and later VicePresident of the Jan Sangh 3 . He
was among the many leaders who were imprisoned during the Emergency in 1975-
77. After the Emergency, he committed himself to the indomitable undertaking of
institutionalizing the task of nation building.
He became the Director of the Deendayal Research Institute at New Delhi, where
remained in until 1982, when he decided to return to his home state, Kerala and give
shape to an all new organization, Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram. The Kendram
headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram, is aimed at national reconstruction through
study and research and has many centres in the state 4 . In 1995, Shri P.
Parameswaran Ji came to head the work of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, a
spiritually oriented service mission guided by the national ideals of renunciation and
service. The Vivekananda Kendra works in the field of education, culture, natural
resources development, rural welfare and development, medical research among
others across India, with special focus on Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland
and Andaman Islands.
Shri P. Parameswaran Ji authored more than 20 books through his life in
Malayalam and English, on various social, cultural and religious themes. His most
prominent books include ‘Sri Narayana Guru the Prophet of Renaissance’,
‘Bhagavad Gita– Vision of a New World Order’, and ‘Heart Beats of Hindu Nation’.
He also authored many landmark papers such as ‘Marx and Vivekananda- A
Comparative Study’, ‘Shri Shankara and Islam’, ‘Hindutava and Other Ideologies’
among others. As a journalist, he ceaselessly wrote for decades, particularly
columns in Yuva Bharati, a journal of the Vivekananda Kendra, which he also
edited. His simple and lucid style of writing ensured that the young minds absorbed
many of the complicated concepts easily. He spoke not to win the approval of his
audience, but to impart what he thought they should know.
Shri P. Parameswaran Ji worked tirelessly to put an end to the political violence in
Kerala and outlined the idea of ‘ideological debate’ over ‘violence’. For his valuable
contributions to the society in Literature & Education, the President of India
awarded him the Padma Shri in 2004. He later also received the second-highest
civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2018. He has also been awarded the
Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for his book titled ‘Disa Bhotathinte Darshanam’.
Shri P. Parameswaran Ji was a luminary and worked alongside many Indian giants
like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Lal Krishan Advani among
His enormous legacy is also reflected in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s memorial to
him that “Shri P Parameswaran Ji was a proud and dedicated son of Bharat Mata.
His was a life devoted to India’s cultural awakening, spiritual regeneration and
serving the poorest of the poor. Parameswaran Ji Ji’s thoughts were prolific and his
writings were outstanding. He was indomitable! An institution builder, Parameswaran
Ji nurtured eminent institutions such as the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram,
Vivekananda Kendra and others. I am fortunate to have interacted with him many
times. He was a towering intellectual. Anguished by his demise. Om Shanti”. 5
Shri P Parameswaran Ji, through his unpretentious and unassuming life, inspired
thousands of young souls to dedicate themselves to the selfless service of this great
nation. Truly, he was a ‘Rashtra-Rishi’ who worked selflessly for his nation for
decades, and his message will remain entrenched in our hearts forever!
Writer – Nikhil Yadav is a State Youth Head at Vivekananda Kendra , Uttar Prant .
He obtained his Masters in History from University Of Delhi and is pursuing COP in
Vedic Culture from Jawaharlal Nehru University .