Changnacherry (Kerala) Feb 29 - P.K. Narayana Panicker, considered to be one of the leading lights of the Nair Service Society (NSS), the social organisation of the Kerala's Nair community, passed away here Wednesday afternoon, the society said. He was 82.
He had been ailing for some time and passed away at his home near here.
'I was near him when he breathed his last. He will be missed very badly,' said NSS general secretary Sukumaran Nair.
Panicker became the NSS treasurer in 1977 and the all-powerfull general secretary in 1983. He became the NSS president last year.
A law graduate, Panicker through his pleasing manners, won the hearts of all and in the 1970s as the founder president of the National Democratic Party (NDP) the flagship political outfit of the Nair community.
From 1994 onwards, after the NDP became a non-entity in Kerala politics, the NSS under Panicker maintained an equidistance from the rival fronts that have been ruling the state.
'His passing away will create a void in the secular fabric of the state. He was one who maintained a cordial relationship with all,' said state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala.