Kerala an overview


The State of Kerala which lies on the southern most part of India with a population of 32 million and a and a land area of 38563 sq; kms is unique in so many respects.


 Its uniqueness could be explained as

1. Picturesque surroundings with abundant rainfall, rich in cash crops with a global trade, long coast lines, rivers, canals, forest regions etc;

2. Our people are individualistic in nature in comparison with rest of India, venturesome and enterprising with the result at least 2 million amongst them have migrated to different parts of the globe and their annual remittances alone comes to 16 billion US dollars (Rs 1,05000 crores).


3.Our quality of life is greater in terms of high literacy rates, better health care, low infantile mortality, a unique male female ratio of 49: 51,higher life expectancy, higher per-capita availability of goods and services etc;

 

But --------

during the last 60 yrs of 'Democratic Rule' whether it is of the Socialist/ Marxist variety we find


1. An all pervasive corruption and a steady fall in values. Hard work and entrepreneurship, which are the twin engines of growth anywhere in the world, are not only not encouraged but also looked down upon.

 

2. Productive sectors of the economy like agriculture and industry are totally neglected and show no signs of improvement.

 

3. The state finances are in a very bad shape. Of the total annual revenue earnings more than 90 percent is spent on 3 items of expenditure viz: salary, pension, and interest on borrowings. The total debt burden of the state has reached an all time high of Rs 100000 crores .Yet no effort is made to control and regulate the finances.


4. Although the state has reached high literacy levels the level of unemployment is such that we have 45 million unemployable young men and women, which is about 10 percent of the all India unemployed. While there is massive unemployment amongst the "educated youth" of the state people from neighboring states and countries find gainful employment in Kerala- a paradox indeed.


5. According to one estimate 40 % of the total population still remains below the poverty line.


6.There is very little infrastructure development in the state during the last 60 yrs and our roads are turning in to killing fields with 8 lives getting snuffed out in road accidents every day. For the 1st time in the history of Kerala , the number of deaths due to road accidents crossed the 4000 mark in 2016 and Kerala is the 2nd most accident prone state in the country after Maharastra.


7. Of all the Indian states we have the highest number of public sector undertakings (110 ) In India which is a permanent drain on our resources. Till 2004 all of them have together incurred a loss of 6000 crores- still we maintain it as a holy cow.


8. According to World Health Organization (WHO) Kerala is a paradox as far as health status is concerned. Our pattern of health is described as "Low Mortality High Morbidity syndrome".


9. Each year Kerala guzzles 8.3 liters of liquor per person, the highest in India and that is nearly 3 times the national average.


10. Kerala has the highest registered crime rate of 306.1 crimes committed per 1000 people per year as against the national average of 176.7 per 1000. The number of crimes committed against women has raised four fold in the past 7 yrs. 22.7 per cent of all Malayalee women suffer from some form of violence.


11. Kerala is number 1 in India as far as suicides are concerned. About 33 people per lakh of population commit suicide every year while it is only 13 at the all India level.


12. Lacks of cases are pending in various law courts awaiting settlements for years together. Our legal system is very slow moving and complicated which benefit only lawyers rather than ordinary people. In more than 80 per cent of the cases state is the defendant.


13. Although sex ratio in Kerala is ahead of other Indian states it might become negative soon. Our gender ratio for the 0 to 6 age group is down to 962 girls per 1000 boys in census 2001 as against 970 in 1991.


14. Although Kerala claims itself to be the most literate state in India, the quality of education we provide to our students is not beyond reproach.


15. Although Kerala quite often boast of a state which has implemented decentralization (Local Government)  at a faster rate than the other Indian states, according to a recent report published by Controller and Audit General there was absolutely no account for the 5585crores of rupees spent by the Panchayat Raj Institutions out of a total of 8741 crores of rupees given to them ever since People's Plan was initiated in 1997.


16. The number of Hartals and Bandhs conducted in the state is mind boggling. According to a study conducted by The Institute for Enterprise Culture and Entrepreneurship Development (IECED) in 2004 alone there were over 120 hartals resulting in a loss of 31,69,683 man days and as per the study conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) state industry is suffering a loss of Rs 650 to 700 crores per due to hartals and bandhs.


17. When compared to other Indian states Kerala enjoys better communal harmony and social peace. But the recent political killings in the Cannannore Dist; and events in Maradu points to the nefarious activities of the fundamentalist elements and politicians who are out to make political capital in muddled waters.


18. Alarming deforestation and accumulation of garbage and its disastrous consequences on environment and public health are matters of serious concern.


19. Kerala has a substantial percentage of population who are above the age of 60 and whose problems need special attention.


20. Politics of the state and governmental power keeps alternating with very little change in leadership style, programmes and policies between the congress led United Democratic Front and the Marxist led Left Democratic Front.

Both the fronts cannot escape from the responsibility of landing the state in the present predicament .The silent voiceless majority of people in Kerala who have undergone the tyranny of the political class during the last 60 yrs or so deserve a better treatment.


The genesis

of the present day problems can be traced to


1. A steady fall in values mainly due to the faulty governmental policies pursued in the past.


2. An all-pervasive governmental system in which fundamental freedoms, all kinds of human creativity are stymied or throttled.


3. Very bad leadership models whose only motivation seems to be clinging on to power positions to serve their own private ends rather than public good.


Under the circumstances what is needed is a new bold initiative with very clear policy prescriptions.


It was under these circumstances that the formation and effective working

of  Liberal Group - Kerala  assumes importance.

 

We are quite consious of our own limitations to undertake the mission on our own.Hence it shall be our endevour to collaborate with like minded groups else where.One such group identified in the area of community services and local area development(Panchayath) is "Prathyasha Movement" / 'A Movement of Hope' and the supporting group "Charity World Trust" located at Jimmy Padanilam Centre Changanacherry Kerala.