Kerala Formation Day 2023: Separating myth from reality on 'God's Own Country'
Kerala Day, also known as Kerala Piravi Day, is observed annually on November 1 to commemorate the formation of the state of Kerala in 1956. The Malayalam word "piravi" means birth. Thus, Kerala Piravi means the birth of Kerala.
The three former states of Travancore-Cochin, Malabar and Kasaragod merged on this day to form Kerala. To commemorate Kerala Formation Day, the state government organises a number of official events. On this day, the Chief Minister of Kerala hoists the state flag. Parades and other cultural events are also held throughout the state.
Kerala Formation Day also serves as an opportunity to reflect on the state's progress and achievements since its inception. It is also, at the same time, essential to debunk myths and reflect on the facts about the state.
Kerala Formation Day: Myths & Facts
- Kerala Do Not Have Industries
The myth that Kerala lacks industries is untrue. Kerala has a highly industrialised and diverse manufacturing sector. The state is home to many large and medium-sized industries, as well as many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Kerala's manufacturing sector is diverse, with industries such as textiles, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. Kerala is one of the leading IT destinations in India with a number of multinational IT companies based there. Kerala has a thriving startup ecosystem and is home to a number of successful IT startups.
Kerala has large and medium-seized industries, including Cochin Shipyard Limited, Hindustan Insecticides Limited, Indian Rare Earths Limited and Travancore Cochin Chemicals Limited.
- Every Food Is Made In Coconut Oil
While it is popularly believed that all dishes in Kerala are made up of coconut oil in ‘God’s Own Country’, the truth is completely different. Although coconut oil is a popular cooking oil in Kerala, it is not the only one. Depending on the dish, other oils such as vegetable oil, groundnut oil, sesame oil and ghee are also used.
Coconut oil, for example, is commonly used in vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes such as sambar, rasam, fish and chicken curry. However, sweets are mainly prepared with ghee or butter. Furthermore, some Kerala dishes, such as appam and kappa, are prepared without the use of any oil.
- Most People Are Communists And Not Secular
While Kerala has a history of strong left-leaning political movements and the rise of several communist leaders, it is not accurate to say that the majority of Kerala residents are communists. Kerala's political landscape is diverse, with a wide range of ideologies represented by various political parties on the Left and Right. As much as the Left parties, Congress also holds a significant vote share in the state.
In fact, Kerala is one of the most secular states in India. Kerala has a long history of religious tolerance and secularism. Furthermore, Kerala is known for its religious diversity, with significant Hindu, Muslim, and Christian populations. Religious coexistence has a long history in the state, and secularism has been actively promoted. The government has implemented a number of policies to ensure religious freedom and communal harmony among its diverse population.
- People Are Intellectuals With Scholars All-Around
Yes, the myth that people in Kerala are highly intellectual is a persistent one. It is often based on the state's high literacy rate and its reputation for producing scholars and intellectuals. However, it is important to note that this myth is not entirely accurate.
While Kerala does have a high literacy rate, and it has produced some notable scholars and intellectuals, it is important to remember that these individuals are the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of people in Kerala are not scholars or intellectuals.
In fact, a 2019 study by the Centre for Development Studies found that Kerala has a significant problem of "functional illiteracy," meaning that a large number of people in the state are able to read and write, but they do not have a good understanding of what they are reading. The study found that nearly 40% of adults in Kerala are functionally illiterate.
Despite its high literacy rate, Kerala still faces some gender equality challenges. Dowry and women, for example, are underrepresented in the labour force and in government.
- Kerala Is Most Developed State
Kerala is varied and diverse state with a lot to offer. However, it is not without its difficulties. The state is dealing with a variety of issues, including unemployment, poverty, and environmental degradation. Overall, Kerala is a developed state with many accomplishments to be proud of. However, it is critical to remain realistic about the state's development and to recognise the challenges it faces.