ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Moon Minus Six Pence

Moon Minus Six Pence (From a Correspondent) IN THIS LAND of serene cocoanut- groves and shafts of sunlight falling through the slender bodies of these trees, yet another experiment in political futility and frustration seems to be in the offing. The election lies barely a month ahead, the fourth in Kerala in ten years. But for all practical purposes, the voting has already taken place; all parties have lost; and Kerala is passed back to the nation, an intractable political problem. Is it democracy that has failed here or hcve the people of Kerala failed democracy Nowhere else in India are the political lines so sharply drawn, streamlined by caste, religion, ideology and money. Americans and other foreigners whom yen see at almost every fashionable guest house or better claws hotel, having a close look at Kerala on election eve, are quite puzzled. So are you, a brief visitor from the North, Here every hotel boy knows everything about every political party; knows, too, whom he is going to vote for. I picked up a conversation with a bearer at a guest house, a Christian who spoke enough English, to make himself understood. Taking no chances with my ignorance, he explained the latest subtle changes in political alignments ("Kerala Congress is Christian, but Catholic Church support Congress, and I too"). He was going to vote Congress as ho had done in 1965; not merely he, but his five brothers and their 'families' too. "Who will win ?" I asked; and pat came the reply, "The Communists", which he corrected after a pause, his face split by a wily smile, "EMS".

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