18 June, 2021

What Congress & CIA Brought Down

The first Communist government’s welfare measures were not socialistic but democratic reforms

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
What Congress & CIA Brought Down

Sonic Boom

  • Seventy years ago, Chuck Yeager, a USAF pilot and World War II veteran, became the first person to break the sound barrier. He was test-flying the Bell X- 1 experimental rocket plane over Rogers Dry lake in ­California. He flew the plane just over Mach 1 at an altitude of over 40,000 feet.


Sixty years ago, in April 1957 to be precise, the first Communist ministry was formed in Kerala. The Communist Party, along with independents supported by it, won 65 out of 126 seats in the assembly election. This was an event that attracted worldwide attention since it was the first time a Communist party had won a majority in a parliamentary system to form a government.

There was an earlier precedent of a Communist party being elected to government before Kerala—that was in the Republic of San Marino in 1945. But San Marino is a tiny, ­independent enclave in north-eastern Italy, with a ­population of less than 30,000 at that time. Moreover, it was a coalition government of...

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