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. He was 91.
The founder and director of the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram (BVK) breathed his last at 12.10 am while undergoing Ayurvedic treatment at Ottapalam in Kerala's Palakkad district, according to sources.
Born in 1927 in Muhamma, Alappuzha district, Parameswaran joined the RSS during his student days. Fondly called as Parameswar ji by, Parameswaran was a prolific writer, poet, researcher and a widely-respected RSS ideologue.
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.
He was the Bharatiya Jana Sangh's secretary (1967-1971) and vice president (1971-1977), as well as the director of the Deendayal Research Institute (1977-1982), New Delhi. In 1982, he established the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram "to promote nationalist thoughts among Keralites" and aimed at â€˜national reconstruction through study and researchâ€™ and as a centre for moulding public opinion in favour of national needs.
He has also been associated with the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, and has served in various capacities in the governing body of the Kendra, according to the BVK website. He also won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for his book titled Disa Bhotathinte Darshanam.
During the days of Emergency, he was arrested as part of the All India Satyagraha against it and was jailed for 16 months.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan paid his condolences. The CM said that Parameswaran was a theoretician who dedicated his life for the ideology he believed in.
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, sources said.