13 June 2018 is the 109th Birth Anniversary of Comrade EMS Namboodiripad, former General Secretary, CPI(M), first Chief Minister of Kerala and one of the most respected ideologue of the Communists. His political life extending about eight decades were closely interlinked with the growth and progress of Kerala. A voracious reader, comrade EMS also wrote many books, articles, reviews, pamphlets etc. which have now been compiled and published in 100 volumes. It is a valued treasure.
He was closely connected with the P&T Trade union movement and attended many conferences of the union, including the All India Conference of the AITEE Union Class III held at Thiruvananthapuram in 1994, where I was elected as the General Secretary of the union.
His strictness for time and timely completion of any work is well known. This I have seen myself. Once I have the opportunity to travel with him from Calicut to Mangalore, where he was to address a meeting of NFPTE. He was continuously writing and by the time we reached Mangalore, he put the same in a cover, wrote the address and told me to post it immediately so that it will reach Chintha next day itself.
An interesting incident also happened. While addressing the meeting at Mangalore Head Post Office on the day, he saw the photo of Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, pioneer of the P and T TU movement, fixed on the wall and asked whose photo it is. When I mentioned that it was the photo of Babu Tarapada, Union leader, he smiled and commented: ‘ so, you have your union leaders’ photo in the Post Office also.’ I mentioned to him also that since there are no place in many Post Offices for holding meetings, we usually hold the same in the office,after office hours.
In his nearly seven decades of public life and revolutionary activities, E.M.S. Namboodiripad left an indelible imprint on the progressive and working class movement of the country. As a young man, he became active in the social reform movement against caste. He left college in 1931 to join the freedom struggle and was jailed in the satyagraha movement. From then on wards, he played an important role in the Congress movement and was one of the founders of the Congress Socialist Party in Kerala. In 1934 he became the all India joint secretary of the Congress Socialist Party. It is in this period that E.M.S. while leading the Congress Party as General Secretary of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Party became acquainted with Marxism. He was one of the five members who formed the founding group of the Communist Party in Kerala in 1936. E.M.S. Namboodiripad represented the coming together of the two streams, the anti-imperialist and the anti-feudal struggles, which laid the foundations for the development of a powerful communist movement in Kerala. He was one of the key proponents of Aikya Kerala which led to the formation of Kerala as a unified linguistic state.
We cherish his memory and our close association with him.Red Salute to Comrade EMS!