INTERVIEW WITH KR. GOURI AMMA
About the development
agenda of the first E.M.S. Government?
At that time there
was no decentralisation. The gravest concern in Kerala
was related to the agricultural sector. The then ruling
leadership realized that and took agricultural sector
as the most important issue. The Agrarian Relation Bill
laid the foundation for the development of Kerala. The
two outstanding achievements of the E.M.S.Government were
the Agrarian Relation Bill and the Education Bill.
As the Revenue
Minister of the E.M.S. Government, could you explain more
about the Agrarian relation bill?
The Bill was framed
with the help of the then Advocate General Surya Narayana
Iyer, at the Munnar Guest House in 1957. The Bill was
published on 18th December 1957. When the Bill was left
to the consideration of the public, nearly 2000 amendments
were suggested by them. As the law was enforced, the farmer
got tenure ship of land. The farmer got three cents in
the corporation area, five cents in the Municipal area
and ten cents in the Panchayat area. The farmer toiled
hard. Agricultural production increased. Food security
was achieved. Prosperity became a reality.
Is a Second
Land Reforms Act necessary in the present state of affairs?
My humble opinion is
that a new Act is necessary. Today most of the farmers
leave their lands barren. Farming ceased to be a source
of income to the farmer. In the agricultural field there
were no major steps taken to increase productivity. The
law was implemented to make the farmer earn income through
hard work. The farmers need water, fertilizers, technology,
mechanisation etc. But they did not get those things.
The banned tenure system has returned. This is illegal.
This points out that the scope and aim of the Bill has
not been realised. Hence a new Act is inevitable.
Could you relate
the changes took place in administrative setup?
In 1957 there was only
one corrupt person in the secretariat. What is the situation
today? The Government servants believe as if the departments
belonged to them only. The servants and their unions should
change their attitude. The common people should get access
to the various Government departments. There should be
security to the life of the ordinary man. His living standard
should be increased. The officials who fail to solve the
problems of the public should quit.
the condition of women in Kerala in the last 50 years?
In the field of education
and career, women in Kerala have come out with flying
colours. Nevertheless exploitation and violence against
women increased considerably. Marriage expenses increase