Text in Malayalam
year 1957 is a watershed in the socio-political life of
the State of Kerala, as well as India. Eventhough Communists,
who represent ideologies which run totally counter to
the interests of the ruling class, assuming power through
the parliamentary democracy mode, was shocking and surprising
to many, it was not acccidental and was part of a historical
process. At the international level it was a process spanning
over almost two centuries. At the national level it was
the end result of imbibing of the progressive political
consciousness which emerged and grew since the beginning
of the twentieth Century. This transformation is closely
related to the perspective of the political movements
and social struggles which emerged as a result of this
progressive political consciousness. The shift in the
perspective of a large section of people of Kerala is
the major reason which resulted in this historical moment.
Progressive ideologies, eventhough formed in other societies,
exerted its influence directly and indirectly. So it is
not all surprising that different progressive and revolutionary
ideologies played a role in the consciousness formation
of the Kerala society.
French, English and American revolutions are the theree
most important historical moments which had profound influence
the world over. It was during the nineteenth century which
saw the emergence of socialist ideologies. Marxian ideologies
led to revolutionary political transformation in the twentieth
Century. By the 1950s one third of the people the world
over was under the Socialist system. These developments
had profound influence over India and Kerala.
It was in the 1920s that Communist ideology started influencing
politics in the Country, with the formation of the Communist
party. When the freedom movement with the Congress at
the helm led the path of class collaboration to fight
colonialism,the Marxists tried to enjoin struggle against
imperialism and class struggle. This attempt, eventhough
at a limited scale, succeeded in revolutionising the anti
colonial struggle. But the Indian national leadership,
succumbing to the pressure of the British rulers, at this
juncture, divided the country and earned independence.
As a result Indian politics entered a new phase.
In the context of these national level trends, socio-political
consciousness in Kerala emerged with its own novelties.
Renaissance is the phenomenon which had significant role
in the formation of present Kerala. Contrary to what happened
in other regions, reniassance in Kerala was not limited
to upper castes alone. Narayanaguru who was a symbol of
Kerala renaissance, was himself an Ezhava.
Compared to other regions the Communists were able to
exert influence over the freedom struggle movement in
Kerala. The reason for this influence bare was that they
were able to chart a different path remaining within the
mainstream movement led by the Indian National Congress.
The reason for the Communists upsurge was that they were
able to integrate struggles against imperialism, feudlism
and rule of the king. This context resulted in the creation
of a general progressive consciousness.
The most important part of this progress was that it resulted
in the development of class consciousness and urge for
struggle among workers, farmers and other toiling masses.
The most important occasion of the resultant upsurge was
the resistance which took place in Punnapra Vayalar. Progressive
tendencies which evolved in the literary-cultural field,
also had played a role in the evoluton of this situation.
Communists actively participated in the formation of the
dream – unified Kerala. If there was an ideological
figurehead for unifed Kerala, that was EMS Namboothiripad
who wrote the famous work named “Kerala –
The Malayalees motherhood” The socio-cultural and
political traditon during fifty years of Kerala society
is a pointer to 1957. The Communists assuming power can
be considered as a normal political transformation of
formation of Kerala.
There has been umpteen, academic and political analysis
done on the strengths and weaknesses of the first Communists
Ministry headed by EMS Namboothiripad. More will take
place in future also. But the most important positive
aspect of that ministry was that it was able to unsettle
the super structure prevailing in the Kerala society.
It is the policies and activities of this Ministry that
has played the most important role in the shaping of contemporary