As chief minister, EMS pioneered radical land and educational reforms in Kerala, which helped it become the country's leader in social indicators. It is largely due to his commitment and guidance that the CPM, of which he was Politburo member and general secretary for 14 years, has become such a domineering political force, playing a vital role in India's new era of coalition politics.
Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad was born on 13 June 1909, as the fourth son of Parameswaran Namboodirippad and Vishnudatha Antharjanam, at Elamkulam, in Perintalmanna taluk of the present Malappuram district into an aristocratic upper-caste Brahmin family.In his early years He is being the close friend of Comrade Sr.P.M.MATHEW, 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 organisation of progressive Namboothiri youth. During his college days, he was deeply associated with the Indian National Congress and the Indian independence movement.
He was well known for his stammer. When asked if he always stammered, he would reply, "No, only when I speak."
He was a writer and author of several literary works and his book on the history of Kerala is notable. He described Mahatma Gandhi as a Hindu fundamentalist.
In 1934, he was one of the founders of Congress Socialist Party, a socialist wing within the Indian National Congress, and 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 working class led him to join the Communist movement. The Indian government considered him to be one of the founders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala, forcing him to go into hiding. During the 1962 Sino-Indian war, he was among 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 was the leader of the Kerala state committee of CPI(M). He served as a member of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the CPI(M) until his death in 1998. EMS became general secretary in 1977, a designation he held until 1992. A Marxist scholar, he influenced the development of Kerala, of whom he was the first Chief Minister.
A Communist-led government under E. M. S. Namboodiripad resulted from the first elections for the new Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957, making him the first communist leader in India to head a popularly elected government. It was one of the earliest elected Communist governments, after Communist success in the 1945 elections in the Republic of San Marino (a city-state surrounded by Italy).) It was also the first time for a regional party in India to win state elections. On 5 April 1957 he was appointed as the first chief minister of Kerala. His government introduced the Land Reform Ordinance and Education Bill. In 1959, the Central Government dismissed his government through the controversial Article 356 of the Indian Constitution following "The Liberation Struggle".
Indira Gandhi convinced Nehru, who was hesitant to dismiss a democratically elected government, to make such a decision. Central Intelligence Agency's involvement in the ouster has been long suspected. Declassified CIA documents show that the first Communist government concerned them and "preventing additional Keralas became an important argument for augmenting U.S. assistance to India". According to the biography of former US Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, "the election results rang alarm bells in Washington"
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. He wooed the Muslim League by promising them a district of their own. This time his tenure lasted for two and a half years, and he created a separate district called 'Malappuram' during this term as per prior agreement. Soon after becoming Chief Minister again, on 31 January 1968 he inaugurated Asia's first mechanised coir factory called Floorco in Pozhikkara, Paravur.
Namboodiripad was the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 1960 to 1964 and again from 1970 to 1977. His vision of decentralisation of power and resources (People's Plan) and the Kerala Literacy Movement influenced Kerala society. He authored several books in English and Malayalam. Chintha Publication, Kerala has published all his books under the title, "E M S Sanchika". He also was well known as a journalist.
E. M. S. lead 2 ministries in KeralaE. M. S. Namboodiripad ministry term 1
E. M. S. Namboodiripad ministry term 2
During the 1962 Sino-Indian war, other parties portrayed left-wing parties as pro-China, since both were Communist. Namboodiripad stated that the left was focused on solving the border dispute through talks.
Namboodiripad, Kesari Balakrishna Pillai, Joseph Mundassery, M. P. Paul and K. Damodaran were architects of "Jeevat Sahitya Prastanam", renamed Purogamana Sahitya Prastanam (Progressive Association for Arts and Letters). Though the party considered Kesari one of the visionaries of the Progressive Movement for Arts and Letters in Kerala, serious differences of opinion emerged between full-time Communist Party activists and other personalities, namely Kesari and Mundassery. In this context, Namboodiripad famously accused Kesari of being a "petit-bourgeois intellectual", an appellation he retracted. Namboodiripad also acknowledged some of the earlier misconceptions of the Communist Party with respect to the Progressive Literature and Arts Movement. This debate is known as "Rupa Bhadrata Vivadam", an important milestone in the growth of modern Malayalam literature.
Despite his age and failing health, E.M.S. was still active in political and social fields. He actively campaigned during 1998 Lok Sabha elections. Soon after the election results came, he suffered pneumonia, and was admitted to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, where he died at 4 PM on 19 March 1998, aged 88. He was cremated with full state honours in Thycaud electric crematorium in Thiruvananthapuram. He was married to Arya Antharjanam and had two sons and two daughters.
Three more deaths occurred in his family within five years after his death, starting with his daughter-in-law Dr. Yamuna in August 2001, and later followed by his wife Arya Antharjanam in January 2002 and ending with his son E.M. Sreedharan, a well-known chartered accountant and one among the proponents of the People's Planning Programme, in November 2002. His grandson (Sreedharan's son) Sujith Sankar is an upcoming film actor, who appeared in limelight through the role Jipson in the 2016 Malayalam film Maheshinte Prathikaaram.