The Three Magic Letters: Homage To A Giant
by Elizabeth Menon

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Kerala is paying homage to the veteran leader, who shaped its political destiny on several occasions, and the rest of India will be joining in, to mourn this charismatic leader. E. M. S. Namboothiripadu was born into a rich Brahmin family 89 years ago, who in later years donated everything he owned, to the Communist party. He was initiated into politics through his involvement in the Freedom Movement and early association with Indian National Congress. However, he was soon disenchanted with Congress and The Soviet Revolution captivated him. He was the world's first democratically elected Communist Statesman: the first Chief Minister of Kerala, a member of the politburo from '64 and it's General Secretary from'78-'91, a literary giant who has written more than 100 books on politics, cinema and language, to mention a few.

He was respected by all, irrespective of their political inclinations. Therefore, it is no surprise that an official state mourning was declared for three days; flags flying at half mast, State holiday on the day of cremation, and the postponed Kerala budget: a measure of the relevance of his mission and an endorsement of it by the people. He remained true to his ideals and principles till the very last moments of his life. The last article he dictated on the day he died was for' Deshabhimani', the party paper, titled 'The Congress, the BJP and the Left parties'. It is ironic that he died on the same day BJP took office! There was something beyond his political aspirations that attracted people; the three magic letters, 'E.M.S' represented the political and literary perceptions of people from different walks of life. He leaves a void that can not be filled.

© E Menon



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