Caste, Nationalism and Communism in South India: Malabar, 1900-1948

Dilip M. Menon
Cambridge University Press
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From "In 1957, Kerala became the first region in Asia to elect a communist government parliamentary procedure. Dilip Menon's book traces the social history of communism in Malabar, the bastion of the movement, and looks at how the ideology was transformed into a doctrine of caste equality, as national strategies were reshaped by local circumstance and tinged by pragmatism. While existing literature concentrates on the intricacies of party policy, Dilip Menon explores the diversity of political practice within a particular region. He particularly analyses the relationship between landowners and cultivators, demonstrating their economic and cultural interdependence. Inequality and difference were tempered by a perception of shared symbols and values. As the author points out, the success of communism in Kerala lies in its recognition of this fact."