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E.M.S. Namboodiripad

E. M. S. Namboodiripad on an election poster in Kottayam

In office
5 April 1957 – 31 July 1959
In office
6 March 1967 – 1 November 1969

Born June 13, 1909(1909-06-13)
Perinthalmanna, Madras Presidency, British India
Died 19 March 1998 (aged 88)
Political party Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Spouse(s) Arya Antarjanam
Children 2 sons and 2 daughters
As of October 30, 2007
Source: Government of Kerala

Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad, (Malayalam: ഏലങ്കുളം മനക്കല്‍ ശങ്കരന്‍ നമ്പൂതിരിപ്പാട്) (June 13, 1909 – March 19, 1998), popularly known as EMS, was an Indian Communist leader and the first Chief Minister of Kerala. He was also the first non-Congress chief minister in independent India. He was renowned as a socialist and a Marxist theorist.


Personal life

EMS was born on June 13, 1909, the son of Parameswaran Namboodirippad, at Elamkulam, in Perinthalmanna taluk of the present Malappuram district. In his early years, he was associated with V. T. Bhattathiripad, M. R. Bhattathiripad and many others in the fight against the casteism and conservatism that existed in the Namboothiri community. He became one of the office bearers of Valluvanadu Yogaskshema Sabha, an organization of progressive Namboothiri youth. During his college days, he was deeply associated with the Indian National Congress and Indian Independence Movement.

He was a writer and author of several literary works and his book on the history of Kerala is notable.[1 ][2]


In 1934, he was one of the founder leaders of Congress Socialist Party, a socialist wing within the Indian National Congress and was elected as its All India Joint Secretary from 1934 to 1940. During this period he was also elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly (1939).

He remained committed to socialist ideals and his compassion towards the downtrodden working class made him join the ranks of the Communist movement. He was considered to be one of the founders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala, for which he had to go in hiding for some time. During the 1962 Sino-Indian war, he was among those leaders who aired China's view on the border issue. When the CPI split in 1964, EMS stood with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)). He served as a member of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the CPI(M), before becoming its General Secretary in 1977, a designation he held until 1992. He was a member of the party Politburo until his death.

Election to state Government

Communism in India

Communist Party of India

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Naxalbari uprising
Communist Party of India (M-L)
Liberation - New Democracy
Janashakti - PCC - 2nd CC
Red Flag - Class Struggle
Communist Party of India (Maoist)

Socialist Unity Centre of India

A. K. Gopalan
E. M. S. Namboodiripad
B. T. Ranadive
Charu Majumdar
Jyoti Basu
S. A. Dange
Shibdas Ghosh
T. Nagi Reddy

Tebhaga movement

World Communist Movement

Communism Portal
CPI/M election propaganda (E.M.S. 3rd from the left)

During his political career, EMS was defeated only once in the public elections, when he lost to K.P.Kuttikrishnan Nair (the founder leader of Trade Union Movement in India) of the Indian National Congress by a huge margin from the Kozhikode constituency. In 1957, EMS led the Communists to victory in the first election for the state government, making him the first communist leader anywhere to head a popularly elected government. It was also the first time a regional party anywhere in India to win state elections. On 5 April 1957 he was appointed as the first chief minister of Kerala. His government soon introduced the Land Reform Ordinance and Education Bill. His government was dismissed in 1959 by the Central Government, which invoked the controversial Article 356 of the Indian Constitution following what became later known as 'The Liberation Struggle'. He became the Chief Minister of Kerala for the second time in 1967 as the leader of a seven-party coalition including the Muslim League. This time his tenure lasted for two and a half years.

EMS was the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 1960 to 1964 and again from 1970 to 1977. He influenced Kerala society by his vision on decentralization of power and resources (People's Plan) and the Kerala Literacy Movement. He authored several books in English & Malayalam. Chintha Publication,Kerala has published all his books in title, E M S SANCHIKA. He was well-known as a journalist also.

Sino-Indian war

During the 1962 Sino-Indian war, when left wing parties were under attack for their pro-China stance, he attacked the other side for their anti-China leanings. He laid stress on the significance of solving the border dispute through talks.[1 ]


EMS died on March 19, 1998. He was married to Smt. Arya Antharjanam and had two sons and two daughters.

The E.M.S. Memorial Co-operative Hospital in Perinthalmanna


External links

Preceded by
Chief Minister of Kerala
Succeeded by
Pattom Thanupillai
Preceded by
R. Sankar
Chief Minister of Kerala
Succeeded by
C. Achutha Menon


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