Anathalavattom Anandan (22 April 1937 – 5 October 2023) was a prominent Indian politician and trade unionist closely associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Throughout his life, Anandan was known for his leadership roles in various trade unions and his representation in the Kerala Legislative Assembly. He held key positions and made significant contributions to the coir industry and its workers.

Personal Life: Born in Anathalavattom in Thiruvananthapuram district, Anandan was the son of V. Krishnan and Nani Amma. He tied the knot with Laila, and the couple was blessed with two children, Jeeva Anandan and Mahesh Anandan. Anandan’s journey on earth concluded on 5 October 2023, at the age of 86.

Political Career: Anandan’s foray into politics began during his school days, eventually joining the Communist Party in 1956. He displayed his leadership qualities early on by organizing coir workers and leading various trade union protests. His active participation often led to his arrest and injuries. Notably, during the Emergency in India, Anandan went underground for 18 months and faced arrest in November 1976.

Anandan’s dedication saw him elected as the President of CITU Kerala State unit and a member of CPI(M) Kerala State Committee. He was also known for his significant contributions to the coir industry, both in leadership roles and in promoting Coir Geotextiles worldwide. His political journey also saw him representing Attingal Constituency in the Kerala Legislative Assembly on three occasions – 1987, 1996, and 2006.

Awards: Throughout his illustrious career, Anandan was honored with various awards recognizing his contributions:

  1. Coir Mitra Award – 2016
  2. Coir Millennium Award – 2000
  3. Coir Award 2009 – Kerala State government
  4. Coir Award 2010-11
  5. C. Kesavan Memorial Award – 2016
  6. N. Sreekandan Nair Puraskaram – 2018
  7. INA Hero Vakkom Khadar Award – 2021

Anandan’s life stands as a testament to his dedication to the upliftment of the downtrodden and his commitment to the causes he believed in. His contributions to the political and trade union landscape of Kerala remain an inspiration for many.