30 July, 2021

Lone Female In The Hilly Terrain

At 18, K. Ajitha trekked Kerala forests as a Naxal. Today, she is an active feminist.

Lone Female In The Hilly Terrain

In November 1968, deeply influenced by the Naxalbari incident in West Bengal, a group of revolutionaries in Kerala attacked two police stations in north Kerala which historically came to be known as the Thalassery-Pulpally attacks. The Thalassery attack failed, but the one under Arikkad Varghese on the Malabar Special Police camp at Pulpally killed two cops. It sowed the beginning of the Naxal movement in Kerala. The only female revolutionary in that group was the 18-year-old K. Ajitha. Trekking in the bitter cold through the deep forests of Wayanad, in pants and a blouse and a thin jersey, she was among the few in that group that refused to desert the path they had chosen to liberate the peasants from the shackles of slavery and misery. Many of her comrades had dropped out of the mission as the police closed in on them. This fledgling Naxal group also attacked the houses of landlords and distributed the grain and money found there among the tribals and workers of the land.

Ajitha was born to Marxist-Leninist followers Kunnikkal Narayanan and a Gujarati schoolteacher...

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