Padma Vibhushan for P Parameswaran, an ascetic in white robes

For his admirers that include his ideological friends and foes alike, Padma Vibhushan for P Parameswaran, fondly called Parameswarji, is a matter of immense joy. Those who know him from close quarters will agree that it is not him but the award has honoured itself.  He was the bacon light of nationalist movements in Kerala. Recently addressing a function organized to celebrate P Parameswaran’s navati (completion of 90 years), RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagvat said, “As a Sangh pracharak, Parameswarji dedicated his life for the nation. His life is a role model to the Sangh workers.”

Parameswarji is one of the senior most Pracharaks in Kerala. He is currently the Director of Bharatiya Vichara Kendram (Kerala chapter of Prajna Pravah) and president of Vivekananda Kendra, Karyakumari. Despite his advanced age and poor health, he continues to be the guide, philosopher and ideologue of RSS and inspired movements in the state.

Parameswaran has been a swayamsevak since his school days in Alappuzha, his home district. During those days he developed deep interest in spirituality. It took him to Swami Agamananda, the chief of Sree Ramakrishna Ashram, Kalady, the birthplace of Adi Shankara. He received mantra deeksha from Swami Renganathananda, the late chief of Sree Ramakrishan Mission.

Parameswaran is many things rolled into one: he is an accomplished poet, powerful orator, social scientist and prolific author. Several elite Malayalam weeklies have carried his poems. Several gangeets (choruses), in Malayalam, were written by him. He was the mukhya sikhak of the sanghik addressed by MS Golwarkar on January 23, 2018 in Thiruvananthapuram.

After passing BA (Hons) with high marks, he plunged into Sangh activities. He became a full-timer in 1950. In 1958, he was made the state organizing secretary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Later, he rose to become the national secretary of Jana Sangh under Deendayal Upadhyay when he took over as the party president in December 1967 at Kozhikkode. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister, became president of the Jana Sangh, Parameswaran was the vice president.

Parameswaran spent several months in jail during the Emergency. Although he had an option to pursue politics, he chose intellectual activity. He became the Director of Deendayal Research Institute, set up by Nanaji Deshmukh.

Back in Kerala in 1981, he organized many programmes with the aim of uniting Hindus. Along with then RSS Pranth Pracharak K Bhaskar Rao and senior leaders P. Madhavan and Renga Hari, he successfully organized the mammoth Vishal Hindu Sammelan in April, 1982 in Kochi. Swami Chinamayananda, RSS leader Prof. Rajinder Singh alias Rajju Baiyya and Dr. Karan Singh took part in the function. In the same year he launched Bharatiya Vichara Kendram, which was inaugurated by Dattopanth Thengadiji. Since then he has been leading an eminent role in the intellectual horizons of Kerala. His contribution towards  propagation of Hindutva and nationalistic ideologies in the state have been unparalleled. He had many friends in the Communist party. His open debates with CPI(M) leader EMS Nambootirippad on an array of issues, including Ram Janmabhumi, have been unique in the realm of the ideological discussions.

Parameswaran always kept himself aloof from power politics. He was offered a Rajya Sabha seat in 1992 which he declined. Instead he suggested O Rajagopal for the post. Rajagopal became an MP from Madhya Pradesh until 2004 and served the country as an important minister in the Vajpayee government. However Parameswaran worked as the member of the Court (senate) of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, thanks to his keen interest in academia.

He has edited Kesari Malayalam weekly and Manthan in English. He is the editor of the monthly Yuva Bharati and the quarterly Vivekananda Kendra Patrika. He is the chief editor of quarterly research magazine Pragathi.  He has won many awards, which include:

  • Hanuman Prasad Poddar Award instituted by Bada Bazar Library, Kolkata in 1997
  • Amrita Keerti Puraskar by Sri Matha Amruthanandamayi Devi in 2002
  • Janmashtami Puraskar of Balagokulam in 2001

Parameshwaran is a prolific writer. He has authored many best-sellers such as Sri Narayana Guru, the Prophet of Renaissance, Sri Aravindan, Bhaviyude Darshanikan, Marx and Vivekanandan and Bhagavad-Gita, The Nectar of Immortality and Heart-beats of a Hindu Nation.

He was accorded Padma Shri in 2004. Indus Scrolls salutes this karmayogi who dedicated all his life for the nation’s cause.

Photo courtesy: Malayala Manorama