K R Gouri (affectionately called Gouriamma) was an old-time Communist leader and former Kerala minister also known as the iron lady of Kerala passed away in Thiruvananthapuram at the age of 102.
She was a female communist icon and an inspiration for generations of Kerala women.
About Gouri Amma:
- She was born on July 14, 1919 in Alappuzha district. She studied law. Later she became a member of Communist Party of India.
- She played a leading role in fighting for the rights of unprivileged sections and labourers.
- She fought against the Travancore Divan Ramaswamy Aiyar in Punnapra Vayalar struggle.
- She was subjected to physical torturing by police for a number of times.
- In 1948, she contested against Thiru-Kochi from Thuravur constituency. Unfortunately, she lost the elections.
- However, she won in the elections held in 1952 and 1954.
- In 1957, when the first election to Kerala Assembly was conducted, Gouri Amma successfully contested and became the first revenue minister of the state.
- She had contested 17 elections in her life.
- She won 13 of them.
- She held ministerial posts in six governments. They are as follows:
- She was a Minister in Communist-led Council of Ministers in 1957, 1967, 1980, and 1987.
- She was the Minister for Agriculture and Social Welfare in the EK Nayanar Ministry from January 1980 to October 1981.
- From March 1987 to June 1991, she was Minister for Industries, Social welfare, Vigilance and Administration of Justice in the second Nayanar Ministry.
- She played a major role in several reformative legislations passed. It includes the Lands reforms act. The act was enacted against the expulsion of landless from government land.
Communist party split:
- When the communist party split, Gouri Amma stood with the reformists.
- On the other hand, her husband chose not to leave the CPI.
- The couple separated in 1965 on ‘ideological’ grounds
Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithi:
- In 1994, Gouri Amma was ousted from the CPM due the difference of opinion in leadership.
- She thus formed her own party called the Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithi.
- She then aligned with the Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) and became a minister.
- In 2016, due to difference of opinion in leadership, she left UDF.