A pioneer of labour movements remembered

Former Ullal MLA and freedom fighter A Krishna Shetty was one of the pioneers of farmers’ movement in the district. He fought for the rights of the labourers from the unorganised sector, said CITU district secretary Vasant Achari.

He was speaking during the release of ‘A Krishna Shetty - Janamana Gedda Nayaka,’ authored by K R Shriyan, released at the Janashakti Utsava in Mangaluru on Sunday.

Shetty had actively taken part in the struggle for freedom. Also, he was part of major movements concerning welfare of farmers and peasants. He worked along with veteran communist leader B V Kakkillaya and united workers of unorganised sectors and made them realise the importance of associations towards fighting for their rights. He was also part of the Goa liberation movement.

Releasing the book on A Krishna Shetty, Kannada University (Hampi) professor Chandra Poojary lamented that despite fighting for people’s rights, Shetty did not come to limelight. His contributions should not be forgotten.

He said that the political parties have been dividing people for power. It is unfortunate that some religions are being looked down upon only to claim that a particular religion is greater. This kind of pessimistic communism adversely affects the society.

The special edition of Janashakti magazine ‘Sowharda Karnataka-60’ was released on the occasion.

About A Krishna Shetty

A  Krishna Shetty was the first MLA in the district who was chosen from the Communist Party of India (CPI). Born in Kotekar in 1910, he had his initial education in Kotekar and in St Aloysius College, Mangaluru. Later, he plunged into freedom struggle. He was brutally beaten up by the police and was even jailed for hoisting the tri-colour flag near Bunts Hostel in Mangaluru. From 1936, he started working towards uniting the unorganised sector labourers such as weavers and tile factory workers and lead several movements initiated by the CPI.

He continued his social activities in post independence era and in 1950s, he strongly opposed the exploitation of farmers by landlords. He was chosen the president of the first farmers’ conference in district in 1954. Shetty played a pivotal role in farmers' agitation in Mulki in the same year.

Shetty was a part of Congress and then joined Congress Socialist and Communist parties. He went on to become the president of Kotekar panchayat and taluk board member.

After contesting in the assembly and parliamentary elections in 1951 and 1957, he was elected the MLA of Ullal during 1962 assembly elections, to be the first elected MLA from the CPI. He passed away on July 23, 1972, a week after he lost the assembly elections in 1972.

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