|Former MP and state Minister, Kerala, Annie Mascarene. Veethi|
By dint of hard work, dedication and commitments, Annie Mascarene, as a courageous woman chose a political path that was in those days, dominated by men and proved beyond doubt her capability and left a mark as a spirited woman freedom fighter and politician. She was in the forefront of historical freedom struggle in Travancore, despite facing several hurdles and hardship.
Annie Mascarene (6 June 1902 - 19 July 1963) was a well-known Indian freedom fighter from Kerala and an important member of the Indian National Congress. She was a Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram and she served as Secretary of the Travancore State Congress. Earlier, she was a member of Travancore State Assembly in1948.
Hailing from a well- educated "Latin catholic"
family in the then Travancore princely state
she had her education at Maharaja's College, Thiruvananthapuram where she was qualified for a double MA in History and Economics in 1925. Her father Gabriel Mascarene was a government official of the Travancore State. She took a law degree from Maharaja's College of Arts and Law, Thiruvanthapuram after her teaching stint in Ceylon.
|Freedom fighter and former minister of Kerala Wikipedia|
Four year later after India's freedom in 1947, general In the 1951 General Election to Delhi Parliament (Lok Sabha) came up. Mascarene stood for the Lok Sabha Seat as an independent candidate and led her campaign trail successfully, thus winning the trust of the people in her constituency. She became the first woman elected to the First Lok Sabha as an independent candidate from the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency. She also took the credit of being the first woman MP from Kerala State and one of only 10 elected to Parliament in those elections.
Her interest in politics, the experience she gained from well-known leaders and her involvement in India's independence movements, etc., made her become an efficient politician who could courageously fight for the needs of her people at Delhi. Further, her experience as a member of the Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly from 1948—52 and her brief stint as Minister in Charge of Health and Power in the Parur T K Narayana Pillai Ministry during 1949-1950 stood her in good stead.
Besides, at the national level, she became one of the members of the Constituent Assembly of India and served on its select committee that looked into the Hindu Code Bill, a covetous post she did well. In the second General Elections of 1957, unfortunately she could not do well for various reasons. The death of her mentor erstwhile colleague in the Travancore Congress, Pattom Thanu Pillai in the early 1960s
was a shock for her. Annie Mascarene died in
1963 and her grave lies at the Pattoor cemetery in Thiruvananthapuram. In every field she worked during her political career, she proved her skills and political acumen and never had she compromised on her ideology and principles. In the matter of stae integration, she refused to be cowed down by the then Diwan Sir C.P. Ramaswami Ayiyar, a great administrator and legal luminary. Sir C.P. for unknown reasons, was against Kerala joining the Indian Union, hence Ms. Mascarene earned the ire of Sir C.P.
According to Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, the woman leader from Travancore was one who had become the pride of the whole country.
|Annie Mascarene's bronze statue, Nagappa Sculptors|
Annie Mascarene's full size bronze statue, sculpted by Kishore Nagappa of Chennai, was approved by the State government and the city Corporation. It was made at a cost of Rs.20 lakh, half of which was provided by the State government. It was unveiled by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on 11 September 2013 near Government Women’s College at Vazhuthacaud in the presence of state Ministers and other VIPs.