K. R. Gouri Amma

  (Redirected from K. R. Gowri Amma)

Kalathilparambil Raman Gouri Amma (14 July 1919 – 11 May 2021[4][5][6]) was an Indian politician and the first woman minister and first revenue minister of Kerala state. She was a Marxist revolutionary, advocate, author and diplomat. She was also one of the founding leaders of the Communist movement in Kerala. She headed the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS), a political party based in Kerala. Prior to the formation of JSS she was a prominent figure in the communist movement in Kerala. She was the first female law student coming from the Ezhava community. She was a minister in the communist-led ministries in Kerala in 1957, 1967, 1980 and 1987. She also became a minister in the Congress-led cabinet from 2001 to 2006.[7] She held the record for the second longest serving MLA in Kerala Legislative Assembly.[8]

K. R. Gouri Amma
Gouri Amma
Gouriamma at her residence in 2018.
Member of Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly
In office
Member of Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly
In office
RajpramukhChithira Thirunal Balarama Varma
1st Revenue Minister of Kerala
In office
5 April 1957 – 31 July 1959
GovernorBurgula Ramakrishna Rao
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byK. Chandrasekharan
Minister for Revenue, Sales Tax, Civil Supplies, Dewaswom, Social Welfare and Law
In office
6 March 1967 – 1 November 1969
GovernorV. Viswanathan
Preceded byK. Chandrasekharan
Succeeded byK. T. Jacob
Minister for Agriculture, Social Welfare, Industries, Vigilance and Administration of Justice
In office
25 January 1980 – 20 October 1981
GovernorJothi Venkatachalam
Minister for Industries and Social Welfare, Vigilance and Administration of Justice
In office
26 March 1987 – 17 June 1991
GovernorP. Ramachandran
Preceded byP. K. Kunhalikutty
Succeeded byE. Ahamed
Minister of Agriculture, Soil Conservation, Soil Survey, Warehousing Corporation, Diary Development, Milk Co-operatives, Agricultural University, Animal Husbandry and Coir
In office
17 May 2001 – 29 August 2004
GovernorSukhdev Singh Kang
Preceded byV. K. Rajan and Krishnan Kaniyamparambil
Minister of Agriculture, Soil Conservation, Soil Survey, Warehousing Corporation, Diary Development, Milk Co-operatives, Agricultural University, Animal Husbandry and Coir
In office
31 August 2004 – 12 May 2006
GovernorR. L. Bhatia
Succeeded byMullakkara Retnakaran
Personal details
Kalathilparambil Raman Gouri

(1919-07-14)14 July 1919[1][2]
Pattanakkad, Travancore State, British India
(now Kerala, India)
Died11 May 2021(2021-05-11) (aged 101)[3]
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Cause of deathSepticemia
Resting placePunnapra Vayalar Martyrdom Memorial
Political partyCommunist Party of India,
Communist Party of India (Marxist) and
Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy
Spouse(s)T. V. Thomas (1957–1977)
ParentsAarumuriparambil Parvathiamma (mother) Kalathilparambil Ayyappan Raman (father)
RelativesSusheela Gopalan
Alma materHigher Secondary School Kandamangalam, Tirumala Devaswom Higher Secondary School, Maharaja's College, Ernakulam, St. Teresa's College Ernakulam and Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram
AwardsKerala Sahitya Akademi Award
WebsiteGovernment of Kerala

Early lifeEdit

Gouri was born in Pattanakkad village, Cherthala in the Alappuzha district of Kerala as the seventh daughter of Arumuriparambil Parvathiamma of Cheruparambil and Kalathilparambil Raman in an aristocratic Ezhava family, Kalathilparambil - Arumuriparambil.[1][9] She attended schools at Thuravoor and Cherthala and completed her college education at Maharaja's and at St. Teresa's College with gold medal both in Ernakulam. She also received a law degree from Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. Her father was her inspiration throughout her life, and her family gave 132 acres of land to the Kerala government.

Political lifeEdit

K. R. Gouri Amma[10] was elected to the Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly in 1952 and 1954. In 1957 she was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly. Since then she has been continuously elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1960, '67, '70, '82, '87, '91 and 2001 and served as minister in various ministries. Gowri Amma was involved with the Kerala Karshaka Sangham from 1960 to 1984.[8] She was also the leader of the Kerala Mahila Sangham from 1967 to 1976.[8]

Early political lifeEdit

She is one of the longest serving politicians in Kerala politics.[7] Under the influence of elder brother and trade union leader K. R. Sukumaran, she entered the vibrant world of politics at a time when women hardly found themselves in politics. Starting her public life through trade union and peasant movements, Gouri was jailed on a number of occasions for participating in political activities.[11] She was elected to the Travancore Council of Legislative Assembly in 1952 and 1954 with an overwhelming majority against sitting MLA, P. K. Raman.

Minister in the first ministry of Kerala StateEdit

She became Revenue Minister in the first communist ministry in 1957, headed by E. M. S. Namboodiripad (EMS). In the very same year she married T. V. Thomas, a prominent politician and also a minister in EMS' government. In the first Communist Ministry, K.R. Gouri Amma served as Minister for Revenue, Excise and Devaswom from April 1957 to July 1959.

Council of Ministers (1957–'59)

After the split of Communist Party in 1964, K. R. Gouri joined the newly formed Communist Party of India (Marxist). But her husband, T. V. Thomas, stood with the Communist Party of India.[7] This created fissures in their relationship and soon they parted owing to the differences in their political views.

Land Reforms Bill in KeralaEdit

The Land Reforms in Kerala is one the greatest achievements of Gowri Amma. It was she who piloted the revolutionary Land Reforms Bill for the Communist Government. One of the first things the Communist Ministry did was to promulgate an Ordinance banning evictions of all tenants and kudikidappukar throughout the state. In due course a comprehensive Agrarian Relations Bill was drafted and piloted by the Minister for Revenue, K.R. Gouri Amma. The Bill sought to confer ownership rights on land to tenants including sharecroppers and fix a ceiling for the land a land owner could possess. It also had provisions for distributing the surplus land taken from the landlords to the landless poor. The vested interests rallied around them all kinds of reactionary, religious and communal forces and launched the so-called 'Liberation Struggle'. The Government was successful in passing the Agrarian Relations Bill in the Assembly before it was dissolved, but the Bill failed to get the President's assent.

The 1960–'64 United Front Government (anti-Communist) prepared a new Land Reform Bill giving several concessions to the landlords and taking away many of the benefits conferred upon the peasants in the Agrarian Relations Bill. The people of Kerala and K.R. Gowri Amma had to wait for another ten years before a Land Reform Bill abolishing landlordism and giving land to the tillers was passed and fully implemented.

Minister in the 2nd E. M. S. Namboodiripad MinistryEdit

In 1967 elections the Left Democratic Front Government under the Chief Minister-ship of E.M.S. Namboodiripad came to power. In it, K.R. Gouri Amma served as Minister for Revenue, Sales Tax, Civil Supplies, Social Welfare and Law from March 1967 to October 1969. She moved a number of progressive and radical amendments to the Land Reforms Bill passed by the previous Government. When it was implemented, landlordism was abolished in Kerala. 3.5 million tenants and about 500,000 Kudikidappukar were made owners of their land. More than one lakh acres of land was declared as surplus land and was distributed among the agro-labourers in rural areas.

Minister in the first E. K. Nayanar ministryEdit

From 25 January 1980 till 20 October 1981 K.R. Gouri Amma was made Minister for Agriculture, Social Welfare, Industries, Vigilance and Administration of Justice Minister in the First E. K. Nayanar ministry.[12]

Minister in the second E. K. Nayanar ministryEdit

In the Second E. K. Nayanar ministry (1987–1991) also she was made Minister for Industries and Social Welfare, Vigilance and Administration of Justice. After this ministry she had some differences with the party and later ousted from the Communist Party (Marxist) in 1994.[13]

Janathipathiya Samrakshana SamithyEdit

In 1994 she was expelled from the CPI (M).[9] Following this she established a new political outfit named Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS).[14] JSS went on to join the United Democratic Front, the arch-rivals of the Left Democratic Front to which CPI (M) belongs.

Minister in the third A. K. Antony ministryEdit

She served as the Minister of Agriculture in the third A. K. Antony ministry (17 May 2001 – 29 August 2004).

Minister in the first Oommen Chandy ministryEdit

Oommen Chandy was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Kerala on 31 August 2004 after the controversial resignation of A. K. Antony two days earlier, on 29 August 2004. Gouri Amma served as the Minister of Agriculture, Soil Conservation, Soil Survey, Warehousing Corporation, Diary Development, Milk Co-operatives, Agricultural University, Animal Husbandry and Coir in the first Oommen Chandy ministry (31 August 2004 – 12 May 2006) also.[15]

Later yearsEdit

Even though Gouri Amma was engaged in political conflict with the Communist party for many years, she came closer to the party in her last days. She is the last member of First Communist Ministry to remain influential in Kerala politics. KR Gouri Amma got the most revered adieu for a Communist. She was cremated at the Valiya Chudukad in Alappuzha, where the martyr's memorial of the historic Punnapra-Vayalar agitation is located where Communist stalwart like P Krishna Pillai, R Sugathan, George Chadayammuri and incidentally, Gouri Amma's husband and Communist leader TV Thomas, were laid to rest. According to some sources, Gouri Amma had in the past years expressed her wish to be cremated there.[16]

Positions heldEdit

K.R. Gouri Amma has been associated with numerous social and political movements:

  • President of Kerala Karshaka Sangam from 1960 to 1984.
  • President of Kerala Mahila Sangam from 1967 to 1976.
  • Secretary of Kerala Mahila Sangam from 1976 to 1987.
  • Secretariat Member of the CPI State Committee.
  • Established the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS) in 1994.
  • General Secretary of the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy.
K R Gowri Amma with a group of young volunteers of the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad at her residence in Alappuzha on 1 May 2015


Kerala Sahitya Akademi AwardEdit

She has published an autobiography titled Atmakatha,[17] which won the 2011 Kerala Sahitya Academy Award.[18]


Gouri Amma was admitted to PRS hospital Thiruvananthapuram due to fever, breathing trouble and urinary ailments, and died there from an infection on 11 May 2021, a couple of months before her 102nd birthday.[19][20][3]

In popular cultureEdit

Lal Salam is a 1990 Indian Malayalam-language political-drama film directed by Venu Nagavalli and produced under the banner K. R. G. Release. It stars Mohanlal, Murali, Geetha, and Urvashi in the lead roles. This movie was a major blockbuster in India, running in seven centres for more than 150 days.

The story revolves around two phases of the lives of three comrades - before and after the imprisonment of Sakhavu Stephen Nettooran (Mohanlal - inspired from Varghese Vaidyan), Sakhavu D.K. Antony (Murali - inspired from T. V. Thomas) and Sakhavu Sethulakshmi (Geetha - inspired From Smt. K. R. Gowri Amma) - members of the Communist Party of India (CPI).

In 2020, The Wire published a review of the acclaimed film noting that it had received cult status.[21]

Chief Minister K. R. Gowthami was a 1994 film based on the life of K.R Gouri Amma. This movie was made in 1994 after K.R Gouri was ousted from CPIM. The film stars Geetha, Vijayaraghavan, Devan and Sukumari in the lead roles.


  1. ^ a b "Members - Kerala Legislature". web.archive.org. 28 January 2021.
  2. ^ "JSS leader K R Gouri Amma, 102, no more". Mathrubhumi.
  3. ^ a b Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (11 May 2021). "Veteran Communist leader K. R. Gouri Amma no more". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Kerala State - Everything about Kerala". www.stateofkerala.in.
  5. ^ "K.R. GOURI AMMA :: STATE OF KERALA :: The Ultimate Destination of Kerala Information".
  6. ^ "Veteran of many political struggles, Gouri Amma turns 101 on Tuesday". The New Indian Express. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "The Pioneers: K.R. Gouri Amma". Frontline. 24 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  8. ^ a b c "Gowri Amma, one Kerala's tallest woman politicians, turns 100". The News Minute. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  9. ^ a b "K.R GOWRI AMMA". webindia123.com. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  10. ^ "Gowri Amma: The Best CM Kerala Never Had". outlookindia.com/. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  11. ^ "MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND COIR". niyamasabha.org. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  12. ^ "General Info - Council of Ministers since 1957 - Sixth Kerala Legislative Assembly". niyamasabha.org. Kerala Legislative Assembly, Thiruvananthapuram. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  13. ^ Kurian, Vinson. "Gouri Amma: An icon and inspiration for women in Kerala". @businessline. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  14. ^ "86-year-old Kerala minister ready for battle". The Times of India. 24 March 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  15. ^ "K.R. Gowri Amma success story". mahilalu.com. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  16. ^ gets the most revered adieu for a Communist, KR Gouri Amma (11 May 2021). "KR Gouri Amma gets the most revered adieu for a Communist". The News Minute. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  17. ^ "പുസ്തകപരിചയം: കെ.ആര്‍.ഗൗരിയമ്മ - ആത്മകഥ". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  18. ^ "Kerala Sahitya Akademi Awards announced". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  19. ^ "തൊട്ടടുത്തെത്തി വഴുതിയ മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിപദം; തള്ളിപ്പറഞ്ഞ്, പുറത്താക്കി പാർട്ടി". Manorama Online (in Malayalam). 11 May 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  20. ^ MK, Vaisakhan (11 May 2021). "കെആര്‍ ഗൗരിയമ്മ അന്തരിച്ചു, അന്ത്യം തിരുവനന്തപുരത്തെ ആശുപത്രിയില്‍ ചികിത്സയില്‍ ഇരിക്കെ". oneindia.com (in Malayalam). Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  21. ^ "Rewinding to the Times When Malayalam Cult Film 'Lal Salam' Swayed the Masses". The Wire. 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2021.

External linksEdit