Purushothama Pai (83), RSS leader in Western Kochi since the late 1950s to late 1970s, passed away on November 2, 2020.
He was arrested during the initial days of Emergency and jailed for about 20 months under DIR. He has been ailing since the last one and half decades, thanks to the inhuman police torture he suffered during the dark days of Emergency. He was the Kochi district Shareerik Sikshan Pramkukh for more than a decade. He courted arrest twice for participating in the non-violent Satyagraha, conducted by the RSS-controlled Lok Sangharsh Samiti, the agitation against the fascist Emergency regime. Both times, he underwent inhuman police torture. As a result, after few years his health failed miserably and his normal movements became things of past.
Purushothaman lost his hearing impairment. During the Emergency days, he was a role model hero for all those who were engaged in the underground anti-Emergency activities. When he was arrested for participating in the Sathyagraha the second time he was tortured in cruller manner than the first. After the torture, the police officer asked him whether he would come again for similar agitation. His thundering reply that ‘if Sangh assigns he would come again’ shocked the police force in the station. The story carried by Kurukshethra, the underground newspaper published and distributed by Lok Sangharsh Samiti, gave hair-raising ecstasy for the underground workers and as well as all readers in the state.
For the past nearly ten years, his legs became almost paralysed which made him a dependent on wheel chair for his movements. Still he attended important Sangh programmes on wheelchairs with the help of his daughter-in-law. He had lost his wife a few years before.