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E M S Namboodiripad


Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad, (June 13, 1909 - March 19, 1998), popularly knows as EMS, was an Indian Communist leader and the first Chief Minister of Kerala. Namboodiripad was one of the architects of unified Kerala. He was renowned as a committed socialist and a marxist theorist.

EMS was born on June 13, 1909, the son of Shri. Parameswaran Namboodirippad, at Elamkulam, in Perinthalmanna taluk of the present Malappuram district. In his early years, he was associated with V. T. Bhattathiripad, M. B. Bhattathiripad and many others in the fight against the casteism and reactionary 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 Indian Independence Movement.

In 1934, he formed the Congress Socialist Party, a socialist wing within the Indian National Congress and was 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 downtrodden working class made him join the ranks of the Communist movement. He was considered to be one of the founders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala, for which he had to go in hiding for many years. But when the CPI split in 1964, EMS stood with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)). He served as a member of Central Committee and Polit Bureau of CPI(M), before becoming its General Secretary in 1977, a designation he held until 1992. He was a member of Polit Bureau of the party until his death.

India achieved its independence in 1947 and the state of Kerala was formed in 1956. EMS was defeated in the public elections only once. That was during 1952 when he lost to K.P.Kuttikrishnan Nair (the founder leader of Trade Union Movement in India) of the Indian National Congress by a huge margin from the Kozhikode constituency. No other leader could ever defeat EMS throughout his life span. In 1957, EMS led the Communists to victory in the first election for the state government, making him the first communist leader anywhere to head a popularly elected government.On5th April 1957 he was appointed as the first chief minister of Kerala.He soon introduced the Land Reform Ordinance and Education Bill. His government was dismissed in 1959 by the Central Government, which invoked the controversial Article 356 of the Indian Constitution following what was known as the 'Liberation Struggle'. 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. This time his tenure lasted for two and a half years.

EMS was the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 1960 to 1964 and again from 1970 to 1977. He influenced Kerala society by his vision on decentralization of power and resources (People's Plan) and the Kerala Literacy Movement. He authored several books in English & Malayalam. Chintha Publication,Kerala has published all his books in title, E M S SANCHIKA . He was well-known as a journalist also.

EMS died on March 19, 1998. He was married to Smt. Arya Antarjanam and had two sons and two daughters.

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