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Kerala, 1947-1957 : a study of some significant factors leading to the Communist victory in 1957

Varghese, Mary Theresa N.

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In 1957, the State of Kerala, the southernmost of the Indian States in the Indian Union, made world history by becoming the first State to vote a Communist Government into power by democratic means and constitutional procedure. The success of the Communist Party in Kerala raised several interesting and significant possibilities and questions. The progress of Communism in India and indeed anywhere in Asia, assumes a special significance in a complex situation that affects international as well...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorVarghese, Mary Theresa N.
dc.date.accessioned2014-01-23T05:31:44Z
dc.date.available2014-01-23T05:31:44Z
dc.identifier.otherb12926759
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/11244
dc.description.abstractIn 1957, the State of Kerala, the southernmost of the Indian States in the Indian Union, made world history by becoming the first State to vote a Communist Government into power by democratic means and constitutional procedure. The success of the Communist Party in Kerala raised several interesting and significant possibilities and questions. The progress of Communism in India and indeed anywhere in Asia, assumes a special significance in a complex situation that affects international as well as national affairs. In emotive terms, in the stubborn tendency to see all things in black and white, in terms of "democracy" vs 'totalitarianism, the success or failure of Communists and Communist Governments, is viewed with extreme concern. This concern becomes all the more urgent when it is focused on India, the largest democracy in the world, and to many the hope of democracy in Asia. More important however, is the question of how and why this State, which boasts the highest literacy rate in India, and is one of the most enlightened of Indian States in terms of standards of education, voted in a Communist Government. This action by an electorate that is unusually politically conscious in terms of awareness of issues, and by a people noted for their individuality, is significant. Since the inception of India as a sovereign nation in 1947, the party in power has been the Indian National Congress. So overwhelming has been the support given to this Party, and so lengthy its term of office, that India has been practically governed by one-party rule A viable opposition, particularly at the State level, was almost nonexistent, Congress being almost like a vast monolith on the political scene. If Actons dictum on the corrupting effects of power is valid, then one can perhaps apply it to the Congress Governments which have tended, especially at the local level, towards corruption, inefficiency, disunity and factionalism. Fortunately for Indias party system, and for Congress itself, the beginnings of an effective opposition were starting to make themselves felt by 1957, and at the State level even presenting a challenge to the monopoly of Congress rule, in many cases the challenge coming from the Communists. Thus the enquiry into how the Communists won is necessarily also an enquiry into how Congress behaviour had weakened its hold over Kerala.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.titleKerala, 1947-1957 : a study of some significant factors leading to the Communist victory in 1957
dc.typeThesis (Masters)
dcterms.valid1970
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)
dc.date.issued1970
local.contributor.affiliationAustralian National University; Department of History
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d74e4b400de5
local.mintdoimint
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