A massive attempt to glorify the activities of the communist party and Pinarayi Vijayan is going on. A recently published article in the prominent American daily The Washington Post wrongly attributed the historic progress of health and education in Kerala achieved over the past years to the success of communism through the 30-year-long CPI (M) rule.
The ‘Kerala Model‘ to fight against COVID-19 is not a communist model. Factually, the advancement of Kerala on the enlightened education and public health arena long precedes the communist era, starting from the period of erstwhile princely states. We need to think about why the States of Bengal and Tripura, after many years of continuous communist rule, do not show the same system. The success story of Kerala simply manifests the State’s vision, modernity, unity and mutual efforts — rooted in the spirit of renaissance, progressive thoughts, science, arts and hard work since the pre-independence period.
The incredible work done by social reformers, scientists, the Nehru government, Five-Year Plans, the Congress governance over the years, and other successive alliances has led to the development of the present Kerala Model. Communists too, have contributed to it. So clearly, it has been a non-partisan effort.
The period of Congress-led government during the long 25 years between 1961 and 1986 is considered the highest growth period in Kerala’s healthcare sector. The government established medical colleges, improved infrastructure, and increased the number of hospital beds in government hospitals from 13,000 to 36,000. The successive governments, both Left and the United Democratic Front, till today, continued this culture.
The present LDF government has worked extraordinarily, compared to many other Indian States and external regions. At some point, though it is truly disgraceful that a Chief Minister like Pinarayi Vijayan has deployed a bigoted cyber army, similar to the right-wing army and PM Narendra Modi, to project the image of a superman, even after side-lining an exceptional colleague of his own cabinet — a proud woman, Health Minister Shailaja Teacher.
The MPs of Kerala include Rahul Gandhi, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Hibi Eden, and V.K. Sreekandan, who have done exemplary work to combat COVID-19. Dr Tharoor is the man who spearheaded rapid testing of samples in Kerala. Hence, the development model of Kerala is a model of unity, inclusiveness and progression.
The people of India recently learned of the level of BJP’s corporate IT cell, with the party taking full credit for the long list of achievements India made over the past 70 years, starting from the legacy of Pandit Nehru, through multiple Congress, UPA and non-Congress governments.
Obviously, the Keralites are now showing the world the best approach i.e. the Kerala Model to combat the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone must congratulate the doctors, nurses, medical staff, para-medical staff, health workers, police personnel, volunteers, the Chief Minister, Health Minister, public, and the entire political leadership of the state; including the opposition led by Ramesh Chennithala for standing together after putting aside all differences.
It’s quintessential to give due respect and credit to the great reformers of the erstwhile Travancore and Cochin Kingdoms and the democratic post-independence governments led by both Left Front and the Congress party. Just like the famous saying “Rome was not built in a day,” the successful Kerala Model of development was not built in a few days, months or years, and it can be substantiated by several historical facts and pieces of evidence. Projecting the iconic and inclusive Kerala Model as a communist model is unfair, wrong, and a grave injustice to many of the social reformers, Gandhians, Nehruvians, liberals, and centrists whose contributions are indomitable.
It’s time for a united action at various realms, to fight and overcome this terrible ordeal through sincere work and correct information. Moreover, elected governments are constitutionally bound to serve the people with responsibility. Any petty attempt to make political scores and vote bank, using crores of money for PR and advertisement in the midst of a deadly pandemic, is completely condemnable.