The Education Bill Of 1957: A Re Look in to thee historical context

Dr. P.K. Michael Tharakan

It seems, if there is one other legislation which was so intensly debated in Kerala above the Education Bill of 1957, it was the Agrarian Relations bill which was presented by the first elected Communist Government which came to power under the leadership of EMS Namboothiripad. The resistance and the modes of protest adopted by it and the after effects have formed the important components of Kerala history itself. Eventhough our focus of discussion is the Education bill, the above mentioned legislative actions have attracted intense responses from certain quarters. It seems there were among those who supported the two bills who felt that such large scale protest would not have emerged had only one among the two bills were presented. In the context of such apprehensions,the discussion about the Kerala Education bill of 1957, seeks to probe into the issue of whether there were any socio-scientific or historic reasons behind the protest against there two legislations, which culminated in the ‘liberation’ struggle.

It is not only the intensity of protest that has resulted in such an enquiry. There are those who argue that certain earliest organisations which did not either support or seriously criticise the Education bill later decided to take up the leadership of the ‘liberation’ struggle because they felt that the Agrarian Relations bill will work against their economic and social interests. There is no doubt that certain components supporting the above said argument can be read from the socio-political context prevailed in Kerala at that time. But is it because of the urge for protection of interests and the disturbances created by certain eastiest forces that led to the evolution of a struggle which put pressure on the Central Government led by Jawaharlal Nehru, who was a strong supporter of democracy, to dismiss a Government which had majority in the assembly? Or, since the objectives of the Education Bill and the Agrarian Relations bill had structural relations, if both are implemented, the socio-economic structures which had prevailed in Kerala till that time who get dismantled new independent forces would emerge in their place that resulted in protest getting more intense against the government at that time? The paper seeks to fend an answer to there questions.