With deep regret I record the death of C.V. Nair, former Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of India, at Thiruvananthapuram. He was 87
The brief note which has appeared on the obituary pages of Malayalam newspapers today does not do justice to his life and work.
C. Vijayan Nair was a young Lecturer in the Economics department of Mahatma Gandhi College, Thiruvananthapuram, when I joined there as a Final Year B. Sc Mathematics student after completing the First Year at the tempestuous campus of the Sree Narayana College, Kollam. Since I didn’t study Economics, I was not his student. But I had occasion to develop a long and abiding friendship with him.
He was among the small band of teachers who used to gather at the Statue Junction almost every evening, after classes. Along with a couple of other students I used to join them.
Students organized a Mock Assembly in the college. The Treasury Benches and Opposition Benches were occupied by students but we picked C. Vijayan Nair for the Speaker’s chair. The Mock Assembly was a roaring success and there was demand for a Mock Parliament. This time we got M. Prabha, a rising Advocate, to act as Speaker and two teachers, Vijayan Nair and Lawrence Lopez, led the ruling party and the opposition.
C.V. Nair had to leave the job as the management disapproved of his action in organizing the first Private College Teachers Association. He found a berth at the Cooperative College but that also did not last long, and he moved out of Kerala.
He worked for a while at an Institute of Economics in Hyderabad. When I visited him there, he told me that though he did not have a doctorate he was a guide to Ph.D. students there.
Later he joined the Reserve Bank of India as Rural Credit Officer and rose to be one of its Executive Directors. He was an expert on rural credit and the cooperative movement. He was active in the Reserve Bank Officers Association, too. He represented it in the negotiations with the management.
The RBI lent his services to the government at one stage to help set up the Rural Electrification Corporation in New Delhi. He served as its first Secretary.
Babu Vijayanath, son of Desabhimani T.K. Madhavan, who was instrumental in drawing Gandhi’s attention to caste-based discrimination in Travancore, has written in his memoirs about a night trip he undertook to Chidambaram railway station while studying at Annamalai University. Gandhi was travelling by a train which was to pass through the station and he wanted to meet him. C.V. Nair, who was also a student there at the time, was with him, he says.
On retirement from the RBI, Vijayan Nair returned to Thiruvananthapuram and led a quiet life.