Sorry for the late reply- blame it on the mental block. I was quite amused to read your mail. The parallels we share in our life story was amazing, but then the story of an average Malayali may not differ. The face of highly educated, impoverished state bound by the dogmas changed drastically with the oil boom. Sooner the IT revolution coupled with liberalization made Kerala into the highest consumer state with almost nothing to produce. In short a state simply thriving on the service industry.
The two reasons why Kerala could capitalize on the Gulf boom and IT era were – highly educated population and somewhat equal wealth distribution. Both the factors were totally absent from any other state, and they were slow to catch upon it.
Kerala rose from the cobwebs of racism and feudalism thanks to the forced land distribution and education. Even his hardcore critics would credit EMS and his first cabinet for the achievement. Kerala might be only one among the few states in India where socialism still survives, atleast partly. Arguably the reforms themselves would be the villains behind communism’s stifled growth.
Now a few facts behind the so called degradation of mainstream communist parties in Kerala.
Equating CPI(M)/CPI to communism: The ideology of ‘communism’ may not be so easy to define. Time and again intellectuals came up with their own versions of Communism thus changing the face of it. Even now debate rages on the shape of a perfect Utopian state. In India EMS one of the main ideologue of his era chose to marry off Communism to western Democracy. It faced opposition from a few comrades the percentage were few and none of them could market their views. Thus the ‘popular’ communism had to ‘compete’ with bourgeois, fundamentalists and pseudo socialists. This in turn led to dilution in the ideology and many unholy alliances. In return EMS was venerated to greatness.
The basic problem behind this is the weakness behind his ideology is concealed from popular eye. Neither can we say the mainstream communist parties in India are real communists, nor can we say EMS was a great Communist leader. So equating CPI(M)/CPI to communism is little off the mark.
The great flaws we see in them today is- Wedding between Consumerism and Communism AND Wedding between Religion and Consumerism. Both brought about a total degradation and erosion which ultimately resulted in the CPI(M)/CPI identifying more with others. There are no visible changes between any of the parties. Rather than influencing the mass population we see them identifying more with cultural, social and political diarrhea triggered off by liberalization.
In short I would rather abstain from saying
1. Communsim is outdated- because the global trends speaks a different story
2. EMS/ Nayanar were great Communists. They were just great leaders.