An Ode to the Gods Own Country.
My Efforts to know Kerala more closely, both Statistically & Factually.
When India was divided into many, on the basis of native languages, a tiny strip at the very south, the one sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea , the one where the natives spoke this beautiful language Malayalam, a state was born. Kerala, on November 1st 1956. The same date which we celebrate as Kerala Piravi. At my school, we were not allowed to speak in any language other than Malayalam on that particular day, or you could be handed the Joker Card! (its customarily passed among the sub junior students, those who speak anything other than English at Sainik School Kzm,and the one who has hold of it after the lunch is punished by their house captain).
The sight of the Sun hiding deep into the oceans at Kovalam beach, the sight of House boats afloat a picturesque Vembanad lake at Kumarakam, the sight of lowered fishing nets at Fort Cochin with a lazy sun slowly rising above the horizon at the Arabian Sea, the beautiful sight of tea plantations at the hill stations, are only some of those scenes that might leave a tourist “Awestruck”. In the year 1980, Kerala started its efforts to find revenue by promoting its tourism. By mid 1990’s Kerala had slowly become one of the first pick spots for tourists, both domestic & foreign. By 2007, Kerala had become the fastest growing tourist spot in the World. Kerala cuisine is well praised as one of the best in the world, known for their mouthwatering mix of spices. The festivals like Onam and Thrissur Pooram and local art forms like Theyyam, also had played a big role in taking Kerala way ahead in the tourism map of India. The competitive display of decorated umbrellas atop the ornate set of elephants between the two major temples at Thrissur and the amazing and thunderous display of fireworks that follow at the Thrissur Pooram are some of those things that are worth experiencing.
Since its incorporation as a state, Kerala has invested more on humane aspects and moral values and made sure each kid attended school with a pleasant smile at young ages, rather than clean the tables at hotels or carry bricks at factories. As a result of those efforts, Kerala now has a society where people respect the moral values of each other. The fresher water bodies and cleaner environments ensured a relatively healthier population than most other states at the same time. The efforts to promote education has paid off well too, making the state cent percent literate. Its found that nearly 1 out of every 3 malayalees are capable of communicating two or more languages. This might not be a big thing for you, but it really is a big thing in a country were 1 out of 3 are still nearly illiterate. (India’s literacy rate as a whole is still hovering around 60% only). Kerala is also tightly knit together by a network of National & State Highways and a end-end railway network.
For a state, as small as Kerala, and with a population of around 3 crores, the kind success and prominence the Keralites have achieved in all the fields is quite phenomenal. Kerala is cited to have the best standards of living in India and when this is matched with the cent percent literacy rate, you got to call it the best Society. Malayalees have been among the top democrats in India. Many renowned writers, artists and top scientists also leave their traces to Kerala. This state has also produced some of the finest acting talents as well as the many of the top cinematographers, directors and other technicians known to Indian Cinema. Even after 25 years since her performance at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, PT Usha is considered as the “Queen of Indian Track & Field”. Keralites have gone on to win Oscar and the Booker Prizes, have been nominated for the Nobel Prize, have held the highest office in the Indian Democracy and has even raced to the top of the United Nations Organization.
The thing that lets Kerala down as a state to some extends is their politics and the law and order systems. The political games and evils of corruption are well known, even to the kids. Kerala government lacks the ability to accomplish the projects at all, even if not at the expected time. People are least interested in Politics and they have almost zero faith in their law and order system. People are afraid to report a theft to the police because they might ask you for more, than what you actually lost. Its this impression, the public has about their politicians and their law and order. It has to change,for the good, not by words, but they have to prove us wrong by their actions. Yes!! They have to prove that the politicians and the law and order section are trustworthy too and they can implement changes too. As i said, it should not come from their mouths, but from their actions. In a country like ours, where a player turns into a national Hero by just the virtue of a 100 or a 5-wicket howl in a cricket match, the politicians must understand that if they stay and act honestly to take the country forward rather than fill their own pockets, their names will be hailed by the nation in the times to come.
Kerala has a near perfect mix of climatic conditions, the lovely lakes and the beautiful hill stations and the warm beaches and one of the most loving & hospitable locals. If the responsible leaders of the state govern the state with utmost honesty and pride, Kerala can be your answer to a Heaven down in this Earth. Kerala, The Gods Own Country.
Santhosh George Kulangara, a renowned malayalee, who has travelled all around the globe is now chasing his dream and is all set to travel to space as the 1st Indian Space Tourist. Let there be opportunities for not only all Keralites but all the Indians and all human beings to achieve even the craziest of their dreams!