Kochi: P Parameswaran, one of the senior-most 'pracharaks' of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and former leader of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh, passed away in the early hours of Sunday, Sangh Parivar sources said. He was 91.
The founder director of the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram took his last breath at 12:10am while undergoing Ayurvedic treatment at Ottappalam in Kerala's Palakkad district, according to the sources.
Parameswaran, who had worked with leaders like Deendayal Upadhyaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani during the Jana Sangh days, was honoured with Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian award in 2018 and Padma Shri in 2004.
Fondly called as Parameswar ji by Sangh Parivar and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, Parameswaran was a prolific writer, poet, researcher and a widely-respected RSS ideologue. He was the Bharatiya Jana Sangh's secretary (19671971) and vice president (19711977), as well as the director of the Deendayal Research Institute (19771982), New Delhi.
Parameswaran was born in Thamarasseril Illam, Kayipuram in Muhamma in Alappuzha district in the year 1926 as the son of Parameswaran Illayath and Savithri Antharajam. He came into contact with the Janasangham during his student days in Thiruvananthapuram.
His body will be brought to the RSS headquarters in Kochi on Sunday morning for people to pay their last respects. The cremation will be held in Muhamma in the evening, the sources said.
Parameshwaran became an RSS pracharak in 1950, as per the direction of M S Golwalkar who was the Sarsanghchalak of RSS. He met Golwalkar, at the RSS meeting at Attoor in Tamil Nadu. He served as organising secretary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1957. He became and all‑India general secretary and later vice‑president of the Jan Sangh in 1968. He came back to Kerala in 1982.
He was instrumental in introducing the nationalism driven ideology of the Janasangh in the state at a time when the intellectual and political scenario of the state dominated by the ideologies of the Communism and Congress party.
During the days of Emergency, he courted arrest as part of the all India Satyagraha against it and was jailed for 16 months.
Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram was established by Parameswaran in 1982 "to promote nationalist thoughts among Keralites".
(With PTI inputs)