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B K Keayla

It is from Amit Sen Gupta’s note, “B K Keayla: A Personal Reminiscence” (EPW,18 December 2010) that I received the sad tidings of B K Keayla’s passing. I endorse every word of Sen Gupta’s tribute. Keayla was a gem of a patriot; patriots unfortunately are a suspect category in a regime which has economic liberalisation as its presiding deity.

I remember with gratitude the intense spadework he put in to help the Forum of Parliamentarians to fight the malevolent Dunkel proposals concerning patents and so-called intellectual property rights which the authorities were overeager to accept without demur. We knew we were fi ghting a losing battle, some amongst us parliamentarians would be about to lose heart. Keayla however never gave up and would egg us on for further rearguard actions. I remember too the constant flow of worthy advice from him while I was chairing the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce. We need more and more Keaylas in our midst to ensure that the country is not sold down the drain to external interests.

Ashok Mitra

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