Born On: 13 June 1909
Born In: Malappuram District, Kerala
Died On: March 19, 1998
Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad was an Indian Communist and the first non-Congress Chief Minister of Kerala. He played an important role in the Independence Struggle and was jailed a couple of times for this. He is one of the most important leaders that Indians remember today. It was under his able governance that Kerala united as a state. Also, it was under his leadership, that the Communist Party came to power in the very first elections of Kerala in the year 1957. During his tenure as a Chief Minister, he brought in major reforms in areas like education and land-tenure systems-and also fought against the terrible caste systems that prevailed in the communities of Kerala. The name of E.M.S. is therefore, etched in gold in the pages of Indian history and till date he is venerated for the services he had done to his state. Keep reading for more interesting facts of his life.
Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran or E.M.S. Namboodiripad was born on 13 June 1909. He hailed from an upper-caste Namboodiri Bramhins family of landlords. His birthplace was Elamkulam in Perinthalmannataluk in present Malappuram district. From a very early age, he was inspired by V.T. Bhattathiripad, M.R. Bhattathiripad and others who fought against the caste system and conservatism in the Namboothiri community. During his college days, he was significantly involved with the Indian National Congress and actively participated in the Indian Independence Movement.
In 1931, E.M.S. left college and joined the Indian Independence Movement. He was also jailed during the satyagraha movement. He was appointed as the all India joint secretary of the then Congress Socialist Party in the year 1934. It was during this period that E.M.S. was first exposed to the theories of Marxism. In 1936, with five other members, he formed the founding group of the Communist Party in Kerala. Later, the anti-imperialist and the anti-feudal struggles came together and laid the foundations for the development of the remarkable and powerful movement in Kerala, which has its impact even today. He played the key role in unifying Kerala as a linguistic state.
In the year 1939, E.M.S. was elected to the Madras (Chennai) Provincial Legislative Assembly. In the year 1941, he was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India. Later in 1950, he became the member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI and eventually was elected as its Secretariat. After the state of Kerala was formed, the first the Communist Party pulled off a major feat in the first elections. E.M.S. was then made the first Chief Minister of Kerala. His reign lasted from 1957-1959 when he was undemocratically dismissed from the ministry. In 1962, he was made the General Secretary of the united CPI and was later elected to the Central Committee and the Polit Bureau of CPI(M) in the year 1964. However, Nimboodiripad was elected the Chief Minister again in the year 1967 and stayed in power until 1969. In the year 1977, he was elected the General Secretary of Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
He was also a very well-known journalist and wrote many books sharing his experience and convictions that will always remain valuable to the people of Kerala. His books were in Malayalam and English and were published by the 'Chintha Publication' in Kerala under the title "E.M.S. Sanchika".
E.M.S. spent his lifetime working towards the goal of Communist movement. He has given nearly seventy years of public service working towards national independence and socialism. He was a well-versed Marxist theoretician and had made amazing contributions to the application of theories of Marxism and Leninism in the Indian context. He used these theories to revolutionize and unify the country as one single unit. His literary works on land relations, society, politics, Kerala, history, and Marxist philosophy are an important part of Indian literature.
Death came to this legend on 19 March 1998 on a Thursday afternoon in the form of bilateral pneumonia and secondary cardiac failure. He took his last breath at the age of 89, in the Cosmopolitan Hospital, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
The Communist ideas and theories of E.M.S. are the most important contributions to the history of Kerala. E.M.S. headed the movement of Aikya Kerala, which means United Kerala. He succeeded in bringing all the territories that belonged to the princely orders and the ones under direct governance of the British Raj, under one umbrella of 'Kerala'; thereby bringing the entire state under a common administration.
1909: Born in the Malappuram district, Kerala.
1931: Joined the struggle for freedom.
1934: Became the all India joint secretary of the then Congress Socialist Party.
1936: Formed the founding group of the Communist Party in Kerala.
1939: Selected to the Madras (Chennai) Provincial Legislative Assembly.
1941: Selected for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India.
1950: Became the member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI.
1957: Became the first Chief Minister of Kerala.
1962: Became the General Secretary of the united CPI.
1967: Again became the Chief Minister of Kerala.
1977: Elected as the General Secretary of Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
1998: Died in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.