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The Kerala model will lead India one day

The Kerala model is about human development, sustainability, improving living standards, socialist policies, democratic decentralisation, women empowerment, secularism and progressive thinking.

Published: 19th May 2021 11:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2021 10:19 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a meeting held as part of the election campaign of M Swaraj in Thripunithra, Kochi. (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a meeting held as part of the election campaign of M Swaraj in Thripunithra, Kochi. (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

The LDF’s slogan for the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections was “LDF for sure”. We were very sure that the people would give us a landmark victory. Through its welfare programmes and good governance, the party had ensured that there was no anti-incumbency factor working against it. It was during the reign of C Achutha Menon that the famous Kerala model for sustainable development was recognised by the UN. This was enhanced and given special characteristics by the LDF government.

It was proven that the Kerala model was capable of resisting Covid-19. It was not simply a medical victory. It was about ensuring that nobody would remain marginalised as a result of the virus.

According to social critic and philosopher Noam Chomsky, it was the way by which Kerala tackled Covid that made it different. When the pandemic created additional destruction by widening the gap between the rich and poor, the free market crony capitalist economy was found to be helpless in combating the impact. It became mandatory for governments to make full-fledged interventions. That’s where the Kerala model succeeded.

In India, 66% of the people go to private hospitals for medical care due to the non-existence of public healthcare setups in many places and the mismanagement of the existing government ones. The governments that refrained from interventions ensured that the health sector was dominated by private players. Since the private sector lacks the bandwidth to counter the impact on the economy, most states have fallen into the grip of Covid. The collapse of the economy devastated the lives of common people. Poverty, hunger and loss of income widened the inequalities. But here again, Kerala is an exception. It tops the states in public healthcare, thanks to a strong and efficient health system. The government has a firm hold on health infrastructure and the whole sector—a reason why it was highly responsive and efficient during the pandemic. We were able to bring the death rate under control and people received the best care without having to spend a lot of money.

Thanks to five years of the LDF, our PSUs are in great shape. The whole public sector was utilised to the maximum. The oxygen plant set up by Kerala Mineral and Metals Ltd (KMML) ensured that there is an oxygen surplus in the state. To make sure that no one remained hungry, community kitchens were opened in all panchayats. The government started distributing free ration kits to people. While several states failed to utilise the free ration given by the Centre, Kerala distributed not only those ones but also kits of its own.

Kerala upholds a holistic leftist model amidst a crony capitalist world. After the 2008 global crisis, the Stiglitz report suggested making structural changes in economies. Eminent economists suggested empowering the public sector and regulating the market more rigidly. But capitalist literatures and makers of the right-wing collective consciousness neglected such warnings. In the beginning of the 90s, Nobel Laureate American economist Kenneth J Arrow wrote about why the free market should not control the medical sector. But the world, and even India, failed to listen.

PM Narendra Modi went forward with an economic model that focused on disinvesting PSUs and uprooting the reservation system. His policies pushed for privatisation and gave no importance to the lives of people. Poverty, hunger and inequality grew, and unemployment reached the sky. The purchasing power of people was destroyed and social security schemes were erased. Farmers were given low prices for their products and are now subjected to the brutal free market.

To all these problems, the Kerala model is an alternative. In it, education is free and universal. Farmers are given higher MSP along with royalty. PSUs are preserved, running on profit and nourishing the economy. Hospitals with the best infrastructure and services are ensured. Strong PDS ensures zero hunger. The Kerala model is about human development, sustainability, improving living standards, socialist policies, democratic decentralisation, women empowerment, secularism and progressive thinking.

The prime factors for the LDF’s victory are excellence in governance and welfare programmes:

1. Public sector units that were running on loss started making profits. The units that were shut down were reopened. They contributed Rs 12,908 crore to the state treasury and Rs 881 crore to the Union as profit share.

2. 1,589 Maveli supermarkets and 95 Sabari medical stores that sell groceries and medicines at a discount are operational under the Civil Supplies department. 88.6 lakh ration card holders were given free ration.

3. Kerala became the first state to give royalty to farmers. Nearly 5,000 acres of barren land was converted for agricultural use. It gives the highest MSP for agri products in India.

4. 4,265 landless Scheduled Tribe families were given land. In five years, 1,77,112 families have been bestowed with absolute ownership of land.

5. Financial and material assistance to marginalised communities were increased and hi-tech schools were constructed. We are aiming to turn Kerala into a knowledge society.

What makes Kerala’s success shine better is its ability to overcome the hurdles put up by the Centre. Here’s an account of how the BJP-led Centre treated Kerala:

1. In 2014-15, the Central share for MGNREGA in Kerala was Rs 158 crore, which was reduced to Rs 71 crore in 2016-17.

2. In the 2015-16 Budget, Kerala received a share of 0.91%. But in 2021, the share was reduced to 0.61%.

3. From 2011 to 2014, Kerala received more than Rs 1,000 crore for Central programmes. It was reduced by 35% during the NDA rule.

4. The fund for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan came down from Rs 413.43 crore to Rs 206 crore.

5. Kerala was excluded from the calamity fund list even though we faced two floods.

6. It demanded Rs 2,101 crore as financial help during the 2019 floods but received only Rs 52.27 crore.

7. The estimated loss due to the 2018 flood was Rs 26,718 crore, but the Centre sanctioned only Rs 2,904 crore.

The NDA government used Central agencies like the NIA and CBI to tarnish the state government. With the moral support of the CPI, the LDF readily took a stand against the agencies. Finally, the people of Kerala were convinced of the bias and another anti-Communist agenda bit the dust.

The new government would continue the welfare schemes and move forward with the anti-fascist agenda. The Kerala model will lead India in the future. Until then the model and the state of Kerala will be a nightmare to all right-wing forces in the country.

Kanam Rajendran
CPI Kerala Secretary



Comments(4)

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  • realist

    fake communist news.... kerala is running becoz of the sweat of NRI working in Gulf..... the useless people in the state cannot even export coconut oil
    3 months ago reply
  • Keralite

    Don't worry all the Facade and smokescreen of the Kerala Model will be run to the grounds within next decade
    5 months ago reply
  • Sinan ak

    Nice
    6 months ago reply
  • bengalurian

    LAMO. We do not want Kerala model in Karnataka
    6 months ago reply
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