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Veteran star Ponnamma, politician M.A. John die.

former congress leader of kerala found dead in home

Thiruvananthapuram In a loss straddling two areas of life, Kerala lost a veteran film actress and a famed politician within the space of two days.

Aranmula Ponnamma and M. A. John, had been very popular in the state in their respective fields of films and politics, for decades.

The 75-year-old John's death came to light this morning when organisers of a public function reached his home at Kuriyanad in the Kottayam district after they could not procure his confirmation for participation in a function scheduled for yesterday.

House locked

When they found the house locked, they informed neighbours and managed to break in before finding John's body near the bathroom.

Doctors later confirmed his death, reportedly due to a heart attack. His wife had gone abroad to be with their children, and John had been alone at home.

John was among the most popular Congress leaders of the 20th century in Kerala, and was known for his upright ways.

His solid stand on various issues, marked by his uncompromising attitude to any corrupt ways, characterised his political activity. The same attitude led to his exits from different political outfits.

He was the founder of the Kerala Students Union, and a mentor for many of the state's present-day Congress leaders including Vayalar Ravi, A.K. Antony and Oommen Chandy. One of the best-known political graffiti in the past century was 'MA John will lead us', written across walls in the state in the 1970s during the time that he formed the 'Reformist Congress'.

In recent times, he had also joined the Democratic Indira Congress formed by the late K. Karunakaran and his son K. Muraleedharan, but left that party, too, on differences of opinion.

Just a day before John's demise, Malayalam cinema lost its symbol of motherhood, Aranmula Ponnamma, after a glittering career in the celluloid world that spanned six decades. She was 96.

During her illustrious career, she had paired with a variety of heroes ranging from Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair and Sathyan, to Prem Nazir and Mohanlal.

Successful roles

While she had all the trappings for being a lead heroine, she was somehow typecast as a mother in most of her movies from a young age itself. But she made a success of those roles, after coming into the film world at a time when even female roles were handled by male actors.

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Aranmula Ponnamma

Just a day before John's demise, Malayalam cinema lost its symbol of motherhood, Aranmula Ponnamma, after a glittering career in the celluloid world that spanned ?six decades.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Feb 23, 2011
Words:450
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