What is happening in Communist Kerala? Since this Indian state elected a Communist government this?
What is happening in Communist Kerala? Since this Indian state elected a Communist government this year, rumours have been rife of fear and violence. But, from the communist leaders themselves, comes the cry that this is merely subversive propaganda.
Union Defence Minister Krishna Menon recently visited Kerala to see for himself why the communists had gained control -- and what they were doing with it.
In Trivandrum, the capital, the communists are putting on a brave show of goodwill. The Chief Minister, Mr. M. M. S. Namboodripad, meets the people and their deputations freely, listening to their complaints. But the problems of poverty cannot be overcome in a day and there are the usual strikes and demonstrations by the workers.
Recently the government introduced a bill which would empower them to direct the course of education completely. This step brought in its wake a series strong protests. Shots of demonstrators shouting anti-education bill slogans are seen in sequences.
The casual visitor, however, might find the state quite peaceful.
The fishermen and the children by the sea seem to maintain the ageless attitudes they held when the English first landed on those same Kerala beaches.
An incidental to the formation of a communist government was the marriage of two of the new ministers -- Mr. T. V. Thomas, Labour Ministry, and Miss Gouris, Revenue Minister. Their marriage proposal appeared on the party agenda and took place after official party OK:
Their romance dates back nine years when they met at a secret communist party meeting in Shertalai. That meeting was led by the present chief minister. Both Mr. and Mrs Thomas have been in jail for their communist activities, in 1948. They were arrested again in 1951, but released on their election to the state assembly.
Mr. Menon arrived in Trivandrum on August 21. One of his first engagements was a meeting with the new communist cabinet with whom he spent two hours. He addressed a public meeting while accompanied by the Chief Minister, Mr. Namboodripad.
The eyes of all India are on Kerala. The communists realise this and are keen to beat other Congress Ministries in a race to efficiency.