Global capitalism keeps communist Kerala alive

Pardoxical as it may seem, the glitzy television commercials call communist Kerala, “God’s Own Country”.

Keralites (74 years) live as long as the Americans (77 years) because it spends 46 per cent more than the average Indian state on health. The state’s literacy rate (91 per cent) almost kisses America’s (99 per cent) because it spends 36 per cent more than the average Indian state on education.

Left wing economists like Amartya Sen, Jean Dreze and Prabhat Patnaik love to talk of the “Kerala Model”.

But given the chronic 20 per cent unemployment, one in six Keralites work abroad. Its 1.8 million migrants send home $5 billion a year, mostly by working long hours in the scorching temperatures of the Gulf, and away from home and their families.

“Remittances from global capitalism are carrying the whole Kerala economy,” S. Irudaya Rajan, a demographer at the Center for Development Studies, a local research group, tells the New York Times. “There would have been starvation deaths in Kerala if there had been no migration. The Kerala model is good to read about but not practically applicable to any part of the world, including Kerala.”

Read the full story: Jobs abroad support ‘model’ state in India

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5 Responses to “Global capitalism keeps communist Kerala alive”

  1. clash Says:

    Wow, thanks to the “flattened world”, May be thats what Tommy Friedman; one of the looniest journo’s of our times might have told seeing Kerala. The article in Newyork Times eclipses all those revolutionary efforts Keralaites would have put in, to create a state which stands tall among the rest of Indian states. It is silly of them to attribute these achievements by Kerala to the money coming from abroad. If there was no social struggles which envisaged a egalitarian notion, nothing of this would have been possible.

    While they make no mention about the onslaught of liberalization and the struggle Kerala is going on now to maintain the status-quo or they were just content that many private hospitals and schools are opened up; people spend more money on education and health care these days.

    and nice to see an effort by you to grab a chance to vilify kerala. Being jingoistic alone wont earn you anything… it involves struggles and participation of people not arm chair journos and intellectuals.

  2. Pramod Biligiri Says:

    I don’t see what’s wrong with people migrating for jobs. To its credit the Govt. has provided good basic education and health care (though statistics may not tell the whole story in both). Trade unionism is a cultural problem, you can’t blame that on social sector spending.

    The article also says that Keralites were moving out for jobs even before Independence. If Kerala is exporting lots of labourers and also white collar workers, then the Govt. is not being partial to anyone. Maybe some capitalist political ideas will flow from Karnataka, Gujarat, Hyderabad and provide a boost to the middle and upper classes there.

  3. kaangeya Says:

    I would much rather listen to a superficial reporter like Tom Friedman, than gasbags like Sen, Patnaik, and Dreze. The modern tragedy that is India is in substantial measure due to its “intellectuals” most of whom have been ideologically blinkered twits starting with JL Nehru all the way to Amartya Sen. In the last few decades we have managed to churn out 3rd rate “economists” by the dozen typified by mediocrities like Prabhat Patnaik. The “Kerala Model”, as the NYT article rightly points out, is simply the result of good work done decades before the Left Loons descended on this unforunate state in the late 1960s. The Kerala polity is deeply riven on communal lines, with the Muslim communalists (thru the Muslim League) and Christian communalists (through the Congress and the numerous breakaway Kerala Congresses) having made deep inroads into the corridors of power. This has locked Kerala in the grip of pre-modern mercantile capitalists – with small trade, plantations, country liquor, and many other primary sector activites being controlled by groups affiliated to either of these communal groups. The Commies have therefore monopolised the support of the industrial and bureaucratic workforce which though well-educated remains the least productive and the most indisciplined anywhere in India utterly incapable of an honest day’s work. That is why the Keralite who leaves his state – be they Hindu, Muslim or Christian – is full of contempt for the Commie Crooks, and the two communal political. The Commie crooks run a business empire conservatively estimated to be worth Rs.4,000 crores – with its party mouthpieces like the Deshabimani openly soliciting kickback for favorable news coverage. Every agitiation organised in recent times seemingly against the “capitalist interests” is driven by the most petty motives on the part of the commie crooks. For isntance when the Commie crooks made a big song and dance about a soft drink factory drawing ground water resources, they were actually trying to keep the area free to set up an amusement park to be owned and operated by the Commie party. Kerala despite its glorious landscapes, learned people and its centuries of tradition – being the fount of modern mathematics, Sanskrit, and the arts, is in the grip of petty minded politicians, rapacious bureaucrats, and pea-brained poseurs passing themselves off as intellectuals.

  4. clash Says:

    Probably we should get all our “economists” accredited by the IMF and World bank, for them to be credible ones than being gas bags.

    “The “Kerala Model”, as the NYT article rightly points out, is simply the result of good work done decades before the Left Loons descended on this unforunate state in the late 1960s” – There was no “kerala” before 1956. Missionaries did play a role in proselytizing and to some extent education.Yes, this could kindle a lot of interest for NYT, so they made a point but stating this.

    “For isntance when the Commie crooks made a big song and dance about a soft drink factory drawing ground water resources, they were actually trying to keep the area free to set up an amusement park to be owned and operated by the Commie party” – This happened in Palakkad district, where as the proposed water theme park by CPIM was planned for Kannur. so there is a complete confusion about Geography in the above mentioned statement.

    CPIM in kerala is ruined but no one in Kerala will dispute that the first EMS govt was the best ever Kerala witnessed. Land reforms, Education and healthcare was consolidated by this Govt, but not any Maharajas who made schools and colleges for the upper castes.

  5. vsesh Says:

    High literacy rate in Kerala is not the out come of an effort of ten or twenty years. It can be traced back to the pre independence period. Even during the rule of maharaja education was given priority. Naturally they are way ahead of others as far as intellect is concerned.
    The trait of migration is in the social fabric of that particular state as a result of matriarchal system that prevailed since a long time where males were forced to migrate from their place of birth to that of his spouse after marriage. Naturally with a little modification the present day Keralite could move out like fish that moves from river water to sea water in search of job.
    It is to be noted that even an uneducated individual Keralite is a hard working and enterprising person He can with stand any amount of pressure and expose himself to an align environment. That is the reason one can find ‘Kaka hotels’ in the midst of jungles and remote places.
    Go to any private nursing home in south India; you are sure to come across a Malayalee nurse working for a very low salary. Just after a few years of experience they board the flight and land in an Arab country.
    Of course the affluence as a result of migration has brought in many sociological and psychological problems for the people of Kerala.
    It is nothing but generalization to call it a model for entire country

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