Skip to main content

What makes Kerala different

Malankara Dam's reservoir [in Kerala, a few km from my house]


Kerala is quite different from the other states in India. The difference is not just about literacy or economic development or health infrastructure. There is much else that marks out Kerala as unique.

Kerala’s religious demography comes to mind first. According to the 2011 census, 55% of people in Kerala are Hindus, 27% are Muslims and 18% are Christians. Yet Kerala is seen by a lot of Indians as a Christian state if only because the state consistently opposed the kind of communal politics played by the BJP. Even Mr Modi’s histrionics failed to move the Malayali hearts.

Mr Modi took his own revenge on the state too. Kerala was hit by severe floods in 2018 and 2019. The Modi government pretended not to see the devastation. Even the state government’s pleas for deserved assistance in a federal system fell on deaf ears. Let alone that, Mr Modi went to the extent of denying the help that came from foreign nations. He was right to say that India does not accept foreign aid as a policy. But he was immensely wrong in refusing to extend the required assistance to the state in the direst times. And Malayalis don’t forget; after all, the elephant is the state’s official animal.

When Mr Modi’s party and its thugs ravaged North India with the vehemence of savage invaders in the name of the holy cow and its excreta, the Malayalis filled the social media with trolls that carried the aroma of beef roast. When Mr Modi and his party tried to impose Hindi and its culture on the whole of India, the Malayalis learnt English and took up jobs abroad. Today the economy of the state is held up largely by the money sent from abroad by Malayalis.

One look at the government hospitals in Kerala alone will convince anyone from outside the state about the state’s difference from the rest of the country. The government hospitals in the state are run with meticulous efficiency and hygiene and they can compete with any private hospital. And they provide absolutely free treatment to every patient irrespective of their economic status.

Kerala leads in many ways without making much fuss about it. We don’t spend millions of rupees advertising our achievements. We spend our money to do something good for the people, especially the backward classes. You won’t find any slum in Kerala. You won’t find visible poverty. The government cares for the people. I don’t think there is any other state in the country which spends a good bit of its revenue on migrant labourers, for their education as well as physical welfare. There are about 35 lakh migrant workers in the state.

When COVID-19 hit the country, it was Kerala that showed the way. The state imposed restrictions on people’s movement even before the country did. The state told the people what to do and what not to. The state followed every person who came from outside and quarantined everyone who was suspected of infection. The state made free food available to all the people irrespective of their economic status much before the country thought of doing the same.


That’s how Kerala is different. There’s a lot more to say. But I don’t want to sound boastful. I wrote this in response to fellow blogger Anita’s prompt for this week’s Indispire: What is that one thing you would like to share about your village, city or state that many are not aware? Do you try to create awareness? #StateInfo

Comments

  1. Very true, Sir. I had an opportunity of visiting Kerala in 2016, and I was mesmerized by everything there, from people to cleanliness. It is truly God's own country, and I like the points you have put up here, including the self-sustainable concepts of the state! Great write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have lived in many parts of India. I returned to kerala only in my old age. I'm happy I did.

      Delete
  2. Key aspects that sets the state apart underscored in the article ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kerala shows how everyone can be taken care of. If only the others learnt!

      Delete
  3. Same here sir. I've lived in different parts of country just came back to Kerala to settle down and I appreciate the Government of the state, its way of doing things differently. Proud to be a Keralite! Still there are many things I have to learn about the state. It's good to learn and appreciate this place in the eyes of a beginner !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you'll like it in Kerala. The state has certain well-oiled systems and vigilant media, above all a politically aware people.

      Delete
  4. I m a traveler such blogs really inspire me to explore more places . I also have to mention the way you have described every little thing is very informative and clear. thank you so much for writing such blogs. i recently visited Chennai and check into great resort check out Green Meadows resort http://www.greenmeadowsresort.com/ waiting for more such blogs about Chennai

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Aberration of Kali Yuga

Are we Indians now living in an aberrant period of history? A period that is far worse than the puranic Kali Yuga? A period in which gods decide to run away in fear of men? That’s a very provocative question, isn’t it, especially in a time when people are being arrested for raising much more innocuous questions than that? But I raise my hands in surrender because I’m not raising this question; the Malayalam movie that Maggie and I watched is. Before I go to the provocations of the movie, I am compelled to clarify a spelling problem with the title of the movie. The title is Bhramayugam [ ഭ്രമയുഗം] in Malayalam. But the movie’s records and ads write it as Bramayugam [ ബ്രമയുഗം ] which would mean the yuga of Brama. Since Brama doesn’t mean anything in Malayalam, people like me will be tempted to understand it as the yuga of Brahma . In fact, that is how I understood it until Maggie corrected me before we set off to watch the movie by drawing my attention to the Malayalam spelling

Karma in Gita

I bought a copy of annotated Bhagavad Gita a few months back with the intention of understanding the scripture better since I’m living in a country that has become a Hindu theocracy in all but the Constitution. After reading the first part [chapters 1 to 6] which is about Karma, I gave up. Shelving a book [literally and metaphorically] is not entirely strange to me. If a book fails to appeal to me after a reasonable number of pages, I abandon it. The Gita failed to make sense to me just like any other scripture. That’s not surprising since I’m not a religious kind of a person. I go by reason. I accept poetry which is not quite rational. Art is meaningful for me though I can’t detect any logic in it. Even mysticism is acceptable. But the kind of stuff that Krishna was telling Arjuna didn’t make any sense at all. To me. Just a sample. When Arjuna says he doesn’t want to fight the war because he can’t kill his own kith and kin, Krishna’s answer is: Fight. If you are killed, you win he

Kabir the Guru - 1

Kabirvad Kabirvad is a banyan tree in Gujarat. It is named after Kabir, the mystic poet and saint of the 15 th century. There is a legend behind the tree. Two brothers are in search of a guru. They have an intuitive feeling that the guru will appear when they are ready for it. They plant a dry banyan root at a central spot in their courtyard. Whenever a sadhu passes by, they wash his feet at this particular spot. Their conviction is that the root will sprout into a sapling when their guru appears. Years pass and there’s no sign of any sapling. No less than four decades later, the sapling rises. The man who had come the previous day was a beggarly figure whom the brothers didn’t treat particularly well though they gave him some water to drink out of courtesy. But the sapling rose, after 40 years! So the brothers went in search of that beggarly figure. Kabir, the great 15 th century mystic poet, had been their guest. The legend says that the brothers became Kabir’s disciples. The b

Raising Stars

Bringing up children is both an art and a science. The parents must have certain skills as well as qualities and value systems if the children are to grow up into good human beings. How do the Bollywood stars bring up their children? That is an interesting subject which probably no one studied seriously until Rashmi Uchil did. The result of her study is the book titled Raising Stars: The challenges and joys of being a Bollywood parent . The book brings us the examples of no less than 26 Bollywood personalities on how they brought up their children in spite of their hectic schedules and other demands of the profession. In each chapter, the author highlights one particular virtue or skill or quality from each of these stars to teach us about the importance of that aspect in bringing up children. Managing anger, for example, is the topic of the first chapter where Mahima Chowdhary is our example. We move on to gender equality, confidence, discipline, etc, and end with spirituality whi

Kabir the Guru – 2

Read Part 1 of thi s here . K abir lived in the 15 th century. But his poems and songs are still valued. Being illiterate, he didn’t write them. They were passed on orally until they were collected by certain enthusiasts into books. Vipul Rikhi’s book, Drunk on Love: The Life, Vision and Songs of Kabir , not only brings the songs and poems together in one volume but also seeks to impart the very spirit of Kabir to the reader. Kabir is not just a name, the book informs us somewhere in the beginning. Kabir is a tradition. He is a legend, a philosophy, poetry and music. I would add that Kabir was a mystic. Most of his songs have something to do with spirituality. They strive to convey the deep meaning of reality. They also question the ordinary person’s practice of religion. They criticise the religious leaders such as pandits and mullahs. Though a Muslim, Kabir was immensely taken up by Ram, the Hindu god, for reasons known only to him perhaps. Most of the songs are about the gr