People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 06

February 11, 2007

A Marxist Pathfinder

EMS Biography Released In Delhi


S K Pande 


A LARGE gathering of political analysts, scholars and admirers heard a variety of expositions on the multifaceted personality of late E M S Namboodiripad as a Marxist pathfinder --- one who could combine theory with practice, criticise, be criticised and yet be always innovative and at times satirical. The occasion was the release of a biography of late Comrade EMS in Malayalam, written by P Govinda Pillai.


The speakers included Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), who released the biography, published by the National Book Trust of India (NBT). Others to speak were Professor Namwar Singh (eminent literary critic), Professor Jayati Ghosh (School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University), N Madhavan Kutty (associate editor, New Indian Express) and Professor Bipan Chandra (chairman, NBT).


Recalling E M S Namboodiripad’s immense contribution to the communist movement in India, Prakash Karat said the late leader’s greatest ability was to relate, as a Marxist pathfinder, to all major issues that helped the Left movement in the country. Karat said the entire Left movement in the country owed a lot to EMS who played an important role in bringing the communist movement to terms with parliamentary democracy and decentralisation of power.


“EMS was pre-eminent among communist leaders to understand the conditions of Kerala in particular and India as a whole,” Karat added. Stating that P Govinda Pillai, a close associate of the late leader, was the best person to have written this book --- a “comprehensive and effective description” of Namboodiripad --- Karat said it was bound to evoke a lot of discussion in Kerala.
He said the author had made some observations about Namboodiripad, which could have been put differently by someone like him. He noted that Namboodiripad had the rare distinction of heading not only the undivided Communist Party of India but also the CPI(M) later.


Karat expressed the hope that the NBT would make available the book in English and other Indian languages so that people could learn more about EMS.


Namwar Singh recounted some facets of Namboodiripad’s personality and his contribution in promoting literary talent in party cadres. Jayati Ghosh dwelt on the socio-economic contribution and the relevance of Namboodiripad’s thought in contemporary politics. She said EMS had the ability to not only theorise but also explain it to party cadres and then translate the ideas into practical positions.


Historian Professor Bipan Chandra touched on the true combination of theory with practice followed by EMS. He noted some personal experiences to show how EMS lived a very austere and scholarly life, linking the past with the present and with a pointer to the future.


N Madhavan Kutty also threw light on several facets of the late leader’s personality. (INN)