March 1st, 2016
Image Courtesy: oldindianphotos.in
EMS Namboodripad was a former chief minister of Kerala and has the unique distinction of having formed the first non-Congress government in independent India. Kerala is a benchmark in its achievements in the fields of education, health and social indicators – success which was largely down to the policies laid by Namboodripad.
EMS was from an upper-caste Brahmin family; his affection towards the working class brought him into the Communist movement. He fought casteism and directed all his efforts to the upliftment of the masses. He studied and wrote extensively about the economic and social problems facing Kerala, which included insufficient agricultural output, high unemployment, and overpopulation. After being elected, he enacted the Land Reform Ordinance and the Education Bill as soon as he became the chief minister of Kerala, landmark legislations that transformed Kerala’s society for good. The decentralisation of power and resources in the state and the spread of literacy all over Kerala was the chief aim of Namboodiripad throughout his stint as a politician in the Kerala state government.
In 1959, the Congress government in Delhi, fearing that communism would spread beyond Kerala, dismissed the Kerala state government through the infamous Article 356 and imposed presidential rule. It is widely reported that Indira Gandhi convinced Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to take the decision, a decision which Nehru was hesitant to take.
EMS Namboodiripad became a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1939. By this time, he had gained a strong foothold in the Indian National Congress and it was socialism that the politician worked towards establishing and believed in during his initial years in politics. His love and association with the working class of the society inspired EMS to adopt communism in his political ideologies. He gradually established the Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala.
He was also a versatile writer and has authored many books in English and Malayalam.