Thursday, December 15, 2016


Prof Joseph K Alexander Chairman , IIPA Kerala Regional Branch
Inaugural speech At he Seminar at The NSS College for Women -
 Karamana -07-10-2016.

When a group of beings; animals or men happen or decide to live together there arise the need for dos and don’ts so that the elbow of one does not hit at the nose of another. This is a Universal truth applicable even to the planets, stars and galaxies. Every one of them moves in their own orbit as per rules of the Universe or God. In human society this is more necessary. Unlike animals or shoals of fish which move under the natural ethics and morality instinct endowed in them, man has an additional capacity – the freewill. So ethics and morality rules may be violated by men. Imposition of moral rules is a necessity in every human society: more so in healthier wealthy so called civilised societies.
In the formation of a state there is a social contract says the theorists Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Every individual has to sacrifice a part of his absolute sovereignty to the state so that it emerges powerful to protect them from internal squabbles and external attacks. So the state maintains a police force or army. To maintain peace the state insists on certain rules and regulations. Thus rules- dos and don’ts emerge not only in political but also in religious groups.  In Sir Thomas Moore’s Utopia, Plato’s Ideal State, religious groups like Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Mahabharata and Ramayana etc there are rules for the maintenance of a peaceful society . God gave Ten Commandments to Moses. Githa specify the real duty or role of man in this life.
In the early stages of the formation of the state every citizen strictly follows the ethical and moral rules of the society like “puthanachi”. Later with more peaceful, secure and leisurely life they tend to neglect them. As in dialectics the peace generates its own antithesis of distrust. Now the important issue discussed all over is how to enforce ethics and morality in governance of modern states..  
We had direct democracy in Athens and Sparta of Greek History. Since our population and land area of most of the states are large unlike them, we copied Parliamentary Democracy of Briton. In the early stages parties had difficulty in getting candidates to represent each county / constituency. .They were to be persuaded to stand for election. Now even in Briton suitors are cringing before political leaders for candidature because of fringe benefits and under the table black money income. In India we have multi-party system and now coalitions of them to govern us.

Page 2

Our Parliamentary constituencies have more than ten lakhs of voters. To reach them within a fortnight after the declaration of the election date, each candidate require huge amounts of money which no one can muster for himself. True, the political party will give some which will not be enough to meet his needs. Business corporations and magnates with vested interest seek the candidates with funds to finance them. If he is elected he has to repay the debt by resorting to corrupt  out of the methods. This corruption is the greatest bane in parliamentary system of government. Despite it is far better than monarchy, dictatorship, autocracy and all other forms of governance.
Corruption is the greatest curse in civil society. Corruption exist all over the World in different degrees Tranparency International in their study says that of the  173 countries examined, India is now 75th in the group of less corrupted countries.
India has taken many initiatives to strengthen our ethical and moral frame work; some of them are:

Code of Conduct for Ministers and Civil Servants, accountability to parliament, Right to Information Act, creation of Lokpal, Lokayuktas, Vigilance Commission, National Investigative Agency, right to public service delivery act and so on..Despite they are all ineffective in curbing corruption.

In the wake of the two World Wars and despite the creation of UNO, World Bank and other international bodies, distrust and wars were happening in many parts of the World. So in 1960s the Club of Rome was created and financed by the international community to find a method to establish peace in the Word. After a detailed study of the World situation the club created a formula ZPG= ZEG. This club was later closed and one leader of them Herman Khan joined as leader of another think tank in Hudson Institute in USA. Someone asked him that World Peace is not anywhere near and the resources of the World are being depleted so fast that the future is bleak. Then Khan replied that human ingenuity is such that he can jump over any hurdle that emerges. Like-wise whatever rules and regulations are passed or implemented, man’s ingenuity can jump over to fatten his pocket with corrupted under-the table transactions..Yet creation of as many watch dogs as possible is a necessity to generate awareness of the need for ethics and morality in governance.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Dear Prof. Alexander,
"Another which distinguished our family in the earlier social history was generous, kind and just treatment extended to untouchables and labourers, who suffered deprivations in the caste –ridden past. An interesting anecdote about vadukas and Kanianthra Ninan Chandy Tharakan bears testimony to this."
Would you kindly tell me what this testimony was?

This incident is briefly referred to in my English edition of the KANIANTHRA FAMILY HISTORY PUBLISHED on Jan 1st 2000. That is an abridged international edition of the original book in Malayalam published in 1991. My website KANIANTHRA FAMILY SITE- Home page – last pages contain Family Traits- you can read the incident-- there in brief.
The incident happened in the life of Nina Chandy Tharakan   1735-1800 and his son Chandy Kunju Thommy Tharakan-1765-1822 A D, my ancestors. Our ancestors were much ahead of the times in their approach towards the down trodden untouchables mainly because of their Christian tradition and teachings.

The son married Pallikadavil Annamma. The new bride hardly 10 or 11 years old –as was the custom--came into a large family of her husband AND FATHER-IN- LAW.-Besides the  family members there were another forty vaduka family members- over a hundred of them including women and their children-. Loitering in the house and AND were being fed at the meal times.
ANNAMMA GOT DISGUSTED  in pushing around  in the welter of Vaduka women and children  AND  went to her home declaring that she will return only after these Vaduka families were settled elsewhere in their own huts.
Vaduka is the name given to pulaya- pariah dalits working for their master and got converted to .Christianity. They and their women work in the family paddy farms and coconut groves and earn their food. Their children get free meals from the master.
Chandy Kunju Thommy Tharakan in two years time got these Vadukas settled in separate huts on his lands in the village. Annamma immediately returned to her husband for their family life.
Prof. Alexander

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


IIPA Seminar paper- presented on 05-12-2015 in the Anchal College  Seminar hall as inaugural lecture.
Kerala culture over its centuries of history is one of compromise and consensus. The historical vein of its Politics since the formation of the Kerala State has two veins: socio-political-economic one up-man ship of religious oriented communities and conflictive politics in day-to-day encounters of the two political coalitions LDF and UDF. The recent LSG elections has projected a new fighter into the arena ; the BJP augmenting its strength by the offer of support by Sri Vellappalli Natesan’s BGDS claiming adherence of the entire Ezhava community, KPMS and other dalits. This new contender may bring a compromise of the two former warring LDF & UDF to project a joint programme and platform. Possibilities of Development will continue to be bleak as long as the conflictive politics exist. In other words, Development will be speedy only when the political parties join to put a common front against all opposing caucuses and hindrances as in the neighbouring States.
Kerala, God’s own country, is famous for compromises, fusion of cultures, races, languages, religions, beliefs and new ideas that creep into its geographical area. The native  believers of “nature –gods” compromised with the Aryan personified gods, Rama-Vishnu-Maheswara  trio and their Ramayana, Mahabharatha stories;  just as the Buddhists, Jains,  Egyptians, Romans, Aryans, Cretans, Greeks,  Assyrians,  Jews and Chinese attracted by our exotic spices traded , mingled, married and fused  into our historical milieu.
Consensus even in political ideology is our history.  Kerala is the home of coalition Govts. Sri C. Achutha Menon successfully coordinated it in his Govt of 1970-1977. In Kerala, it is difficult for a single party to contest and win even a single seat, because the voter perception is towards voting for a front. It became a model for the rest of the country including the Central Govt.. Kerala politics devolved through two strains of practises of One-upmanship and Conflictive politics.

One-upman ship
The Christian community though only 16-17 % of Kerala Population of the state (Along with the powerful Latin community (4.25%).) was getting an upper hand in the society because of Christian Missionaries who came with western colonialism and English education in the 18th century.
Rani Lakshmi Bai appointed Col. Munro, resident representative of the British Empire –as Dewan (1811-1814) of Travancore State.   Col. Munro a non- catholic protestant Christian- fascinated by the Syrian Christians wanted to help them. His idea was to make them later adherents of his religion.  He supported their Pulikottil Joseph Remban who masterminded English education in the State by starting the Orthodox Theological Seminary (Old Seminary) in 1815.   Munro persuaded Rani to give land and money to Remban, who  became Malankara Metran in 1815. He soon passed away) . His successors particularly Pulikottil Joseph II Mar Divanasios (Head of the Church for 44 years, 1865-1909)started and encouraged parishes and individuals to start schools all over the Malankara Church.
This education in English medium became a springboard for that community to  Govt. employment and entrepreneurship in plantations and SS industries, migration to Ceylon, Malaysia, Burma and even S.Africa in search of employment . This made them (the Syrian Christians) to regain their social superiority – lost during the Portuguese colonialism. They became relatively prosperous and cognisable entity in Kerala politics. They had innumerable Schools, Colleges and health centres in the pre 1956 decades.
 The venerable leader of the Nair community (13 % of the population) Sri. Mannathu Padmanbhan  preached and persuaded the Nair community to emulate Christians. He started Colleges and hospitals. The formation of the Nair Service Society (NSS) gave them natural leadership in Kerala politics,. With the leadership of Sri Narayana Guru - social and religious reformer-   Ezhavas  (23%) got the impetus to organise a powerful lobby . This SNDP during the chief minister ship of Sri R. Sankar ventured into starting Colleges and hospitals for one-upmanship in Kerala society and politics.  Muslim Community‘s (26%) followed, by starting Muslim Educational Society (MES) and their Colleges and schools. They are now pushing their community to be the topmost in all spheres..Ayyankali’s  Pulaya Community also organised their KPMS and are waging for their rightful place in Kerala politics like other smaller communities. This competitive one-upmanship uplifted social awareness and human development index (HDI) of Kerala on the basis of literacy, longevity and per capita income (PCI). one upmanship proved to be a boon in the onward march of Kerala
Kerala Political parties were Indian National Congress (State version merged in) and its splinter group Communist Party. The competitive one-upmanship created many divisions within these two. Now no single party can win even one seat in the elections. Therefore, they coalesce into groups at the time of election and form two opposing fronts UDF and LDF. Once voted to power, parties in each front continue their in fight in each group to get seats in the ministry.  .
 Conflictive politics.
Since 1970s Politics in Kerala is dominated by two coalition fronts: the Communist Party of India(Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Indian National Congress  led United Democratic Front (UDF), alternatively  succeeding the ruling coalition in the general  five year periodic elections. In the 2011 elections, the constituents of these fronts were as follows.
Indian National League - Supported LDF -Won 1 Seat
·        Indian National Congress
·        Indian Union Muslim League
·        Kerala Congress (Mani)
·        Kerala Congress (Jacob)
·        Kerala Congress (Secular)
·        The number of Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithy
·        Communist Marxist Party

Source -internet

CPM is a cadre party. Any who violate its regulations are forced out or liquidated. To retain the ranks and their morale they conduct regular propaganda and virtual meetings, samarams and dharna against real or fake issues. They do it even for outmoded mores of living in the pretext of protecting the livelihood conditions of the working class. Bar license corruption, Sarita- Biju Ramesh Solar case, management- labour issues and corruption of the UDF/ LDF parties are only a few sample issues. . For increasing readership, media of all hues fan the flame and keep the society on toes.
 On the other hand, UDF is a loose federation. Aaya Rams and gaya rams even on very silly issues is their nature. Their propaganda machinery is weak and in- fights of the components are frequent. This make it a weak  front. Muslim league and one or two Kerala congress groups alone are steady in their support of the front. Small splinter groups in Kerala Congress is still undecided as to whether they are left or right
 Corruption in the form of collection for election campaigning is there in both fronts. Candidates have to meet their voters over ten to fifteen lakhs with in 14 to 18 days before the election. Therefore, they resort to all modern expensive methods of campaigning. In LDF, the collection is more centralised than in the UDF where each individual collect funds for his own election dues.  
Both fronts appeal to the main vote banks -the lower middle class and the poor. More over each front want to outdo the opposition in offering social development and amelioration programmes so that the political manifesto of both fronts looks alike. Situational exigencies force them to do so.  Therefore, Kerala is projected as a state with left oriented politics—whether true or not?

Each front when sitting as the opposition decries the programmes being implemented by the ruling front as useless or being wrongly done or its terms and conditions are detrimental to the society. Their aim is to prevent the ruling front doing it and want them to be postponed so that the credit and peripherals can be reaped when they come into power in the ensuing election.
Because of this conflictive politics, each front when in power try to outdo the previous Government in their promises.. This overdoing  has led Kerala to the brink of economic disaster as faced by Mrs. Thatcher (1970-1990) of  Conservative party of England in the 1980s  It is the in-pouring of remittances of our expatriates from  outside  and Gulf countries (Rs. 72,680 cr in 2013-14) that keep the bubble of well being in shape.
A third party that emerged in the recent (2015) LSG election in Kerala is the BJP. It had been there in a very low profile. Now it is in power at the centre in Delhi and hence was able to wrench a sizable portion of the vote bank. BJP with militant RSS support is also a cadre party. It is projected as a Hinditua Party with communal oriented programmes.  Kerala has a tradition of secular politics and is famous for its communal harmony exemplified by the Hindu Temple, Muslim Mosque and Palayam Christian Church as a tripod in the heart of Trivandrum city. Such sites one can see in many other parts of Kerala. The religious harmony and toleration shown by each in the religious festivals is exemplary and emulatable.The Hindu rulers of the past gave land and money to other communities to put up their worship centres. The emergence of BJP into this harmony and tolerance may create disharmony .Moreover the CPM and militant BJP cadre parties may aggravate the conflictive politics into street clashes and disruption of the famous communal harmony of Kerala..
BJP with Vellappalli Natesan’s new BGDS of the Ezhava Community has created askance in others. With the emergence of this new opposition in the election arena, LDF & UDF having programmes that are more common may suppress their differences to oppose the new enemy. Thus, there can be a consensus to that extant in Kerala Politics.
Yet there is another possibility of a new kind of communal clashes spear headed by Hindus of BJP and non-Hindus of LDF led other communal groups. Still another possibility is that CPM may adopt a new policy of appeasing the Hindu religious oriented communist followers. Religion was taught by communists as opium of the masses to be abhorred. The CPM may now fear that BGDS support of the BJP may attract its Hindu ranks to BJP-BGDS coalition. Therefore, CPM may do a political somersault to appease Hindu ranks by permitting them to actively involve in the religious ceremonies of Hindu temples.
Economic Development is not mere Economic Growth in GDP or PCI .Changes in the mores and modes of production; change in the life style of the community must accompany. A typist must transform into a DTP expert, or a net casting angler must become a fish boat hauler of the sea belly or the hoe tiller must turn up as driver of a tractor or combine harvester. Such changes will not only increase phenomenally his income but also change the life style. That is Economic Development
 Therefore, Economic Development involves change from the old worldly traditional cumbersome and less productive to modern mechanised highly productive processes leading to much higher income. It is true that the typist has to undergo a short course in DTP or the angler learns boat driving and hauling the net in the sea etc. This type of change is the essence of Economic Development. Those who oppose this change on whatever pretext or ideology are  against Eco. Development.. 
When a farmer first introduced tractor tilling in Chathankery Puncha (upper Kuttanad, Kerala) in the 1950s , there was a clash between the  supporters  and opposers of change. One was beaten up and killed. When computer was introduced in the Govt Secretariat  Trivandrum, there was  strikes and samaram by one party. They were trying to obstruct Economic Development. They were like the Ludite revolutionaries (1811-1816), of England in the beginning of Industrial revolution. (( Ned Lud opposed technological changes. His group  went around and destroyed newly introduced mechanical looms)) Those who oppose technological changes and changes in traditional  life styles pull back onward march of humanity to improved and better life patterns. History prove that it is the technological revolution like invention of steam power, of electricity, of information technology, of nano  mechanics that made economic growth and modern civilisation possible.
Now the Vizhingam harbour constructions are being launched. Leaders of the coastal people oppose it on the ground that they will lose their employment and life style.  If that community and we want to reap the benefits of that mega project we have to change from our former life style to new like sewerages, transport of goods, handling  the containers  and earn a much higher income. Changes in technology create temporary unemployment for a few and  create millions on new types of employment. Society benefit by many fold increase in  jobs and income .Opponents to changes will enter into history as the Ludite revolutionaries of 21st century. It is this attitude and the conflictive politics that made Kerala to be 25 years behind the advanced States in India.

It is not ideological differences between the LDF & UDF that stall the economic development. The one-upmanship competition prompts them to oppose any project or programme of the ruling front and give imaginative idealistic unworkable projects and programme promises. They include them in the ensuing election manifesto and electioneering propaganda. Thus, ongoing projects are stalled. Once the same opposition win the election and are in power, they try to undertake the same projects they opposed; they implement and reap the benefits. The conflictive politics of Kerala has a twofold aim:1.  Defeat the ruling party,2.  Reap, and collect the benefits and advantages to themselves. No political coalition is exempt from this strategy. The mega projects get delayed for decades and are executed over a long period at phenomenally exorbitant cost over the years. In most other Indian states electioneering contests of political parties end with election. When development of the state is on stake, they join to make the project completed successfully and within time. No wonder that Chennai, Maharashtra, Gujarat  Punjab  etc .are far ahead of Kerala in implementation of infrastructure projects.
In conclusion it can be said that despite the very high HDI , literacy, knowledge ability, communal harmony and extremely suitable environment and educated labour availability, quick economic development of Kerala is doubtful. The conflictive politics has the other side. It may bring some sort of consensus between the warring LDF & UDF to fight the communal agenda of the BJP and .Natesan’s BGDS.