KARACHI: Veteran peace activist Biyyathil Mohyuddin Kutty, better known as B.M. Kutty, passed away in the wee hours of Sunday. He was 89.
Family members said he suffered from protracted illness and paralysis. He is survived by a son and two daughters. His funeral prayers were offered in Masjid Abu Hanifa in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on Sunday afternoon before his burial in Paposh Nagar graveyard.
Born at Tirur in India’s Kerala state in 1930, he belonged to a family of agriculturists. During his student days, he joined the Kerala Students Federation and attended Mohammedan College in Chennai, where he studied science for four years.
Soon after independence, he came to Pakistan for a brief visit but never went back. He found a country where he thought there was enough space for him to tread the difficult path of left politics.
He was jailed during the dictatorships of Gen Ayub and Gen Zia as well as during the country’s first democratically elected government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
He was associated with the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, Pakistan Peace Coalition and Association of Peoples of Asia.
His association with Mir Ghous Bux Bizenjo remained unaltered until the veteran Baloch politician breathed his last 30 years ago. He edited late Bizenjo’s autobiography and had been latter’s political adviser for decades and secretary to Mr Bizenjo when he was Balochistan’s governor.
Mr Kutty was also said to be part of the league entrusted to author the country’s first Constitution.
However, after a rift inside the National Awami Party over the issue, Mr Bizenjo, and thus Mr Kutty, distanced themselves from the committee designated to author the constitution.
He was also the joint secretary-general of the Movement for Restoration of Democracy for three years, which spearheaded two popular movements against Gen Zia’s dictatorship. His autobiography Sixty years in self-exile: No Regrets; A Political Autobiography was published in 2011.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a Facebook post stated that Mr Kutty had fought for improving relations between India and Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2019