P. T. Bhaskara Panicker (1922-1997)

Visionary intellectual and activist. P T Bhaskara Panicker - Courtesy: PTB Memorial Trust

P T Bhaskara Panicker, visionary intellectual and activist, played a key role in shaping movements that made modern Kerala.

On the political landscape, this school-teacher shot into prominence in 1954 as the new President of the Malabar District Board -- the first communist in India to assume power by the ballot box. He was only 32 then, but his legendary leadership and progressive administration in Malabar district of Madras state, moulded the image of the Communist Party as one 'fit to rule', and helped the Party win legislative assembly elections in Kerala in 1957.

After retiring as Member of Kerala Public Service Commission, PTB pioneered social movements that shaped modern Kerala. Most notably, he was associated with the founding of the science literacy movement, and the spread of the library movement. An able organiser, he worked for and inspired the setting up of numerous voluntary organisations across Kerala, including KANFED (for non-formal education), INDIS (for inter-disciplinary studies) and Place Names Society.

He was also a sought-after editor of encyclopaediae and the author of several books in Malayalam. PTB's simple living, innovative ideas and infectious enthusiasm endeared him to his collaborators.

More information

  • P T Bhaskara Panikker Smritirekha (2001), a collection of Malayalam essays by eminent personalities and PTB's collaborators -- portrays PTB's activities as political activist, administrator, science literrateur, organiser, and educator.
    Published by: PTB Memorial Trust, Adakkaputhur, Palakkad, Kerala, India
    Price: Rs.100/- (excluding postage)

The book I am writing about P T Bhaskara Panicker
My article on P T Bhaskara Panicker Memorial Exam
The article at The Hindu newspaper's website ('Spirit of Inquiry')
More newspaper articles by the author
Contact the author

Copyright 2003-2011 Ashok R Chandran