ALAPPUZHA: As the comrades in the state are observing the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the red flag with hammer and sickle painted on it, the name of its designer has faded into oblivion.
Simon Asan, the brain behind the crimson flag, had also spearheaded the efforts to gather together the fishermen in Alappuzha.
The red flag was first hoisted at the Vanivilasam hall near the YMCA on May 22, 1937, by V K Velayudhan, deputy leader in the Sree Moolam Assembly.
With the passage of time, the thriving port city has changed a lot. The Vaneevilasam Hall was converted into Radha theatre and then into a supermarket.
Asan, who remained a bachelor all his life, died in 1985 at the age of 85.
His family members remember him as an ardent Communist who dedicated his life to the party. He had also taken part in the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising.
“Asan was a true Communist. But, he gained nothing by being a party worker,” lamented Usha, daughter of Sreedharan, a companion of Asan. “Simon Asan, Sreedharan, Karunakaran, E G Varghese and others took great efforts to organise the fishermen living along the Alappuzha coast to protest at king’s rule,” remembers Raju Kurisinkal, a neighbour of Asan.
“Asan dedicated his entire life to the party and the people around him. Once he said that a true Communist should never get married and should live for the downtrodden.”
Asan remained in the Communist Party of India(CPI) after the party split in 1964. The AITUC workers of Vadackal constructed a memorial on the plot donated by K K Sreedharan. The party arranges a memorial meet every year on December 8.