E. M. S. Namboodiripad
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|E. M. S. Namboodiripad|
|1st Chief Minister of Kerala|
5 April 1957 – 31 July 1959
|Preceded by||office established|
|Succeeded by||President`s rule|
6 March 1967 – 1 November 1969
|Preceded by||President`s rule|
|Succeeded by||C. Achutha Menon|
|General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist)|
April 8, 1978 – January 9, 1992
|Preceded by||P. Sundarayya|
|Succeeded by||Harkishan Singh Surjeet|
13 June 1909|
Perintalmanna, Madras Presidency, British India
|Died||19 March 1998
|Political party||Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Communist Party of India (before 1964)
|Children||Two sons, two daughters|
|Residence||A house at Thiruvanthapuram, that the Communist party rented for him|
|Source||Government of Kerala|
Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad (13 June 1909 – 19 March 1998), popularly EMS, was an Indian communist politician and theorist, who served as the first Chief Minister of Kerala state in 1957–59 and then again in 1967–69. As a member of the Communist Party of India (CPI), he became the first non-Indian National Congress chief minister in the Indian republic. In 1964, he led a faction of the CPI that broke away to form the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM).
As chief minister, Namboodiripad pioneered radical land and educational reforms in Kerala, which helped it become the country's leader in social indicators. It is largely due to his commitment and guidance that the CPM, of which he was Politburo member and general secretary for 14 years, has become such a domineering political force, playing a vital role in India's new era of coalition politics.
Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad was born on 13 June 1909, as the son of Parameswaran Namboodirippad, at Elamkulam, in Perintalmanna taluk of the present Malappuram district into an aristocratic upper-caste Brahmin family. In his early years, he was associated with V. T. Bhattathiripad, M. R. Bhattathiripad and many others in the fight against the casteism and conservatism that existed in the Namboothiri community. He became one of the office bearers of Valluvanadu Yogaskshema Sabha, an organisation of progressive Namboothiri youth. During his college days, he was deeply associated with the Indian National Congress and the Indian independence movement.
He was a writer and author of several literary works and his book on the history of Kerala is notable. He was well known for his stammer. When asked if he always stammered, he would reply, "No, only when I speak." He described Mahatma Gandhi as a Hindu fundamentalist. 
In 1934, he was one of the founders of Congress Socialist Party, a socialist wing within the Indian National Congress, and elected as its All India Joint Secretary from 1934 to 1940. During this period, he was also elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly (1939).
He remained committed to socialist ideals, and his compassion towards the working class led him to join the Communist movement. The Indian government considered him to be one of the founders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala, forcing him to go into hiding. During the 1962 Sino-Indian war, he was among leaders who aired China's view on the border issue. When the CPI split in 1964, Namboodiripad stood with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)). He served as a member of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the CPI(M) until his death in 1998. Namboodiripad became general secretary in 1977, a designation he held until 1992. A Marxist scholar, he influenced the development of Kerala, of whom he was the first Chief Minister.
Election to state government
A Communist-led government under E. M. S. Namboodiripad resulted from the first elections for the new Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957, making him the first communist leader in India to head a popularly elected government. It was one of the earliest elected Communist governments, after Communist success in the 1945 elections in the Republic of San Marino (a city-state surrounded by Italy).) It was also the first time for a regional party in India to win state elections. On 5 April 1957 he was appointed as the first chief minister of Kerala. His government introduced the Land Reform Ordinance and Education Bill. In 1959, the Central Government dismissed his government through the controversial Article 356 of the Indian Constitution following "The Liberation Struggle".
Indira Gandhi convinced Nehru, who was hesitant to dismiss a democratically elected government, to make such a decision. Central Intelligence Agency's involvement in the ouster has been long suspected. Declassified CIA documents show that the first Communist government concerned them and "preventing additional Keralas became an important argument for augmenting U.S. assistance to India". According to the biography of former US Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, "the election results rang alarm bells in Washington"
He became the Chief Minister of Kerala for the second time in 1967 as the leader of a seven-party coalition including the Muslim League. He wooed the Muslim League by promising them a district of their own. This time his tenure lasted for two and a half years, and he created a separate district called 'Malappuram' during this term as per prior agreement. Soon after becoming Chief Minister again, on 31 January 1968 he inaugurated Asia's first mechanised coir factory called Floorco in Pozhikkara, Paravur.
Namboodiripad was the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 1960 to 1964 and again from 1970 to 1977. His vision of decentralisation of power and resources (People's Plan) and the Kerala Literacy Movement influenced Kerala society. He authored several books in English and Malayalam. Chintha Publication, Kerala has published all his books under the title, "E M S Sanchika". He also was well known as a journalist.
Sino-Indian war and split in the Communist Party
During the 1962 Sino-Indian war, other parties portrayed left-wing parties as pro-China, since both were Communist. Namboodiripad stated that the left was focused on solving the border dispute through talks.
Association with Progressive Movement for Arts and Letters
Namboodiripad, Kesari Balakrishna Pillai, Joseph Mundassery, M. P. Paul and K. Damodaran were architects of "Jeevat Sahitya Prastanam", renamed Purogamana Sahitya Prastanam (Progressive Association for Arts and Letters). Though the party considered Kesari one of the visionaries of the Progressive Movement for Arts and Letters in Kerala, serious differences of opinion emerged between full-time Communist Party activists and other personalities, namely Kesari and Mundassery. In this context, Namboodiripad famously accused Kesari of being a "petit-bourgeois intellectual", an appellation he retracted. Namboodiripad also acknowledged some of the earlier misconceptions of the Communist Party with respect to the Progressive Literature and Arts Movement. This debate is known as "Rupa Bhadrata Vivadam", an important milestone in the growth of modern Malayalam literature.
Namboodiripad died on 19 March 1998, aged 89. He was married to Arya Antharjanam and had two sons and two daughters.
- Singh, Kuldip (2 April 1998). "Obituary: E. M. S. Namboodiripad". The Independent. Retrieved June 2013.
- BHASKAR, B. R. P. (16 November 2004). "Book Review: Namboodiripad's writings". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi, p 294
- K. M. Tampi (17 May 2001). "A colourful personality fades out from the Kerala scene". The Hindu.
- Smita Mitra and John Mary (14 March 2011). "Streaming Syllables". Outlook India.
- London Review of Books, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v19/n15/letters, "Pankaj Mishra’s Diary (LRB, 19 June) was an absorbing read, but he is a trifle too kind to the Economic and Political Weekly and Frontline as voices of genuine radical dissent. Both are of Stalinist-Maoist pedigree and should the country’s Communist Parties achieve exclusive power at the national level, neither journal is likely to promote the right of dissent it enjoys in India today. One Frontline columnist, the octogenarian Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader E.M.S. Namboodaripad, described Mahatma Gandhi as a Hindu fundamentalist."
- Olle Törnquist (1991). "Communists and democracy: Two Indian cases and one debate" (PDF). Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars) 23 (2): 63–76. doi:10.1080/14672715.1991.10413152. ISSN 0007-4810.
The first democratically elected communist-led government in India actually came to power in 1957 in the southwest-Indian state of Kerala. Two years later this government was undemocratically toppled-by the union government and the Congress-I party with Indira Gandhi in the forefront. But the communists were reelected and led several of the following state governments.
- Sarina Singh; Amy Karafin; Anirban Mahapatra (1 September 2009). South India. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74179-155-6. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- K.G. Kumar (12 April 2007). "50 years of development". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Manali Desai (27 November 2006). State Formation and Radical Democracy in India. Taylor & Francis. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-203-96774-4. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- Madan Gopal Chitkara; Baṃśī Rāma Śarmā (1 January 1997). Indian Republic: Issues and Perspective. APH Publishing. p. 134. ISBN 978-81-7024-836-1. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Alan James Mayne (1 January 1999). From Politics Past to Politics Future: An Integrated Analysis of Current and Emergent Paradigms. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-275-96151-0. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Moynihan, Dangerous Place, 41
- Godbole, Public Accountability and Transparency: The Imperatives of Good Governance, 84.
- Nair, Naveen (28 June 2007). "How CIA ousted Left govt in Kerala". IBN Live. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Schaffer, Ellsworth Bunker: Global Troubleshooter, Vietnam Hawk, 67
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to E. M. S. Namboodiripad.|
- Bakshi, S. R. (1994), E. M. S. Namboodiripad: The Marxist Leader, New Delhi: Anmol Publisher, ISBN 978-8-1704-1703-3
- P. Govinda Pillai (2007), E. M. S. Namboodiripad (in Malayalam), New Delhi: National Book Trust
- Multiple authors (1998), History Maker: E. M. S. Namboodiripad (1909-1998), Chennai: Frontline
|Chief Minister of Kerala
|Chief Minister of Kerala
C. Achutha Menon
|Party political offices|
|General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Harkishan Singh Surjeet