Marxists played no role in Kerala’s social movements, but appropriated them

    “Marxists claim parentage of everything except their illegitimate children (born of liaisons during their underground days).” (pl see PS below)

    An internet joke

    The Leftists often take credit for all good things in Kerala such as high literacy rate, excellent living standards, social indicators and economic development. Many North Indians and academics seem to buy into these false claims. The truth is that they have played practically no role in Kerala achieving this feat. If at all they have done anything, it is to stand on the way of progress and plant red flags in front of every industrial units in the state.

    Kerala has always had very high literacy rate, higher than all other states in India. For instance, “The rate of male literacy in 1901 was 22 per cent, highest in India, and in Travancore’s nine small towns, it reached 36 per cent, higher than that of Calcutta. By 1905, there were more than 20 Malayalam and English newspapers, and among most castes in most desams, there were men able to read the newspapers aloud in coffee shops and by the roadside.” (The Decline of Nair Dominance by Robin Jeffrey) Another account says among upper caste Nair and Syrian Christian males the literacy rates in 1850s were about 80 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively. During this period literacy rate among Nair women was about 80 per cent. Swami Vivekananda had spoken about deliberations he had with women of Kodungalloor Kovilakam in Sanskrit when he visited the state.

    Kerala has a traditional village school system – asan pallikkoodams — much before the advent of Christian missionaries, thanks to Buddhists. Besides Kerala has witnessed many social, religious and democratic movements which also had contributed to high levels of awareness about education. In later years, those who contributed to the high rates of literacy were social leaders such as Sree Narayana Guru, Mahatma Ayyankali, Christian missionaries, Mannathu Padmanabhan and others.

    Communist leaders often wax eloquent about social movements. But the interesting fact is that they have not participated in any of these groundbreaking revolutionary movements that took place in Kerala that paved the way for creation of an equitable society.

    For instance, some of the landmark struggles that changed the social landscape of Kerala are: Breastcloth disturbances (1859), land rights movement (1865), Anti-untouchability movement (1917), Vaikom Satyagraha (1924), Guruvayoor Satyagraha for entry of lower castes to the temple (1931) and Temple Entry Declaration (1936). All these movements took place before the Communist Party was formed in 1939.  To be fair to the Communist party, its leaders – AK Gopalan and Krishna Pillai – took part in Guruvayoor Satyagraha. But interestingly they participated in that agitation as Congress members not as Communists. In his autobiography, AKG says he was only a volunteer and the agitation was led by Gandhian Kelappan. The CPI(M) was formed in 1964 after the split of CPI.

    All these years, the Marxists have been the beneficiaries of these social movements, though they have not been part of any of these. With their superior propaganda machines they managed to appropriate all these movements.

    (PS: Malayalam author Paul Zacharia, who spoke about sexual escapades of Communist stalwarts of yesteryears, was bashed up by young comrades. Then CPI(M) state secretary and current Chief Minister Vijayan, the defender of free speech, defended the cadre.–natural-outburst-/566729/) 



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