Mangaluru, Oct 28, 2016: K P Madan Master- Yes, this name sounded too unfamiliar to many until this Gandhi Jayanthi when the Octogenarian freedom fighter was honoured at a ceremony held in Mangaluru on behalf of Seva Dal. Although a frail looking man, Madan Master is a great personality who exudes zeal, zest and confidence. He minces no words when he speaks about the current political scenario and happenings in the nation.
Hailing from Perla in Kasargod District, Madan Master is a man of many facets. He is not only a freedom fighter, but also a progressive farmer, a teacher and above all a friend, philosopher and guide to many.
Madan Master who was married at an early age, joined the St Aloysius College later on to pursue his degree course. It was during this time that he was deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and joined the freedom struggle in true patriotic spirit. Madan Master also got an opportunity once to meet the Mahatma and interact with him. He has actively participated in the Quit India Movement and this is said to be the greatest turning point in his life.
During the course of freedom struggle. Madan Master participated in several protests held in different places of Mangaluru. There were times when arrest warrants were also issued against him. In order to evade arrest and to pursue education he left Mangaluru and remained underground for some time in Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. There he learnt the Morse Code Course which was useful in sending telegram in those days. He then duly secured a job in the Railways and served as Assistant Traffic Operator for several years in Bengaluru, Jalandhar, then Madras, Mettupalyam, Kodaikanal and other places.
After India attained Independence he returned home town and ventured into farming and cultivated paddy, sugarcane, arecanut, pepper and cashew.
In due course of time when the Satyanarayana School at Perla was upgraded and it needed a Physical Instructor, Madan Master left for Madras where he underwent Physical Education Training at YMCA. Upon completion of training he served the Perla School as an English teacher and as Physical Instructor for 19 years before resigning in favour of his own disciple who eventually became a teacher.
A honest man that he is, he even wrote to the government that he did not need pension as he had sufficient income from farming. Madan Master who has great concern for the poor, downtrodden and the neglected sections of the society has strived hard along with Abbas Master of Enmakaje to eradicate untouchability and to work towards the education of Koragas and Dalits. If Madan Master encouraged Dalit boys to go to schools, his contemporary Abbas Master used to name Dalit boys after Hindu God and enroll them in schools.
When the first Communist Government assumed office in Kerala upon independence, he took the initiative in constructing houses for the Koraga tribals living in forest areas. He also strived to a great extent to help the tiller become the owner of the Land under Land Reforms Act.
A humble man who always dons Khadi and leads a simple life, Madan Master is a man greatly revered by the then Kerala Chief Minister E S Namboodirippad who himself used to visit Perla to meet him. An incident that proved that he never craved for power could be recollected here.
Though both the CPI and the CPI(M) had offered Madan Master tickets to contest assembly elections, he instead chose to propose the name of his friend Ramanna Rai who was then in prison during emergency, and later ensured he became an MLA.
Though he was elected unopposed to Enmakaje Gram Panchayat several times and even won several elections vested interests never gave him an opportunity to head the Panchayat President. Madan Master has also played an instrumental role in rejuvenating and upgrading the Perla Co-operative Society into a Bank.
A simple, humble and unassuming personality, Madan Master with a wealth of experience behind him, is an inspiration and guiding light to the present generation.