Thiruvananthapuram: Renowned Gandhian, Padma Shri awardee and freedom fighter P Gopinathan Nair (99) passed away here, following prolonged illness.
He was one of the founding members of All India Gandhi Smarak Nidhi that was chaired by former President Dr Rajendra Prasad. He was part of it for over six decades.
After Gandhiji's death, he joined Sarva Seva Sangh and Sarvodaya. K Kelappan was the chairman and Gopinathan Nair was the secretary in Sarvodaya's initial years.
Nair worked as the president of Gandhiji's Sevagram for 11 years. He had also initiated Acharya Vinoba Bhave's 'Bhoodan movement' in Kerala.
After the Maradu riots, Gopinathan Nair's intervention to restore peace was lauded. He functioned as the government's mediator during the riots that broke out in Kozhikode in 2002.
Nair also played a part in helping bring about normalcy following the Hindu-Sikh agitations at the national level.
During his childhood, Gopinathan Nair met Gandhi during his Kerala trip and took up the Gandhian way of life.