According to her family, the 101-year-old leader's condition is improving.

Kerala Communist leader KR Gowri Amma in a white dress posing for a picture
news Health Friday, April 23, 2021 - 12:47

KR Gouri Amma, veteran Communist leader of Kerala, has been admitted to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram due to fever caused by a viral infection on Thursday. The 101-year-old leader is in the Intensive Care Unit—however, her niece Beena Kumari confirmed with TNM that her condition is stable and improving. Before being hospitalised, Gouri Amma was staying at her residence in the city’s Vellayambalam for the past several days.

Born in June 1919 Pattanakkad village of Alappuzha, Gouri Amma was an important part of the rise of Communism in Kerala. In 1957, KR Gouri Amma became the Revenue Minister in the state’s first democratically elected Communist government, headed by stalwart EMS Namboodiripad. During her tenure, she passed the revolutionary Land Reforms Act, which set the ceiling on the amount of land a family could own. This paved the way for the landless farmers to claim excess land, which in turn sowed the seeds of destruction of the feudal system.

Read: The story of Gowri Amma: One of Kerala's tallest woman politicians turns 100

After the Communist Party of India split in 1964, she joined the CPI(M). However, in 1994, Gouri Amma was expelled from the CPI(M) due to “anti-party” activities. Following this, she floated her own political outfit named Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithi, or JSS, which went on to join the Congress-led United Democratic Front, the political rivals of the CPI(M)-led Left Democraric Front. In 2021, she stepped down as the General Secretary of the JSS due to poor health.

When Gouri Amma turned 100 years old in 2019, the Kerala government had announced year-long birthday celebrations in the state. Apart from her impressive political career, the leader also has the credit of being the first woman lawyer from the Ezhava community, an Other Backward Class community, in the state. During the 1987 Assembly elections, it was widely believed that Gouri Amma would become the Chief Minister of the state. However, this did not come to pass.

Gouri Amma is the longest-serving MLA of the state after KM Mani, the late Kerala Congress (M) supremo. Gouri Amma contested in 11 Assembly elections and won eight times. She has handled an array of portfolios as a minister in 1957, 1967, 1980 and 1987.


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