K. R. Gowri Amma

K. R. Gowri Amma (born 7 July 1918)[1][2] is an Indian politician from Kerala. She heads the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS), a political party based in Kerala, India. 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.[3] She is the second longest serving MLA in Kerala Legislative Assembly.[4]

K. R. Gowri Amma
കെ. ആര്‍. ഗൗരിയമ്മ
K.R. Gouri Amma in 2013.JPG
1st Revenue Minister of Kerala
In office
5 April 1957 – 31 July 1959
In office
6 March 1967 – 1 November 1969
Minister for Revenue, Sales Tax, Civil Supplies, Social Welfare and Law
In office
25 January 1980 – 20 October 1981
Personal details
Born (1918-07-07) 7 July 1918 (age 102)
Pattanakkad, Travancore, British India
Spouse(s)T. V. Thomas
Alma materMaharaja's College, Ernakulam
WebsiteGovernment of Kerala

Early lifeEdit

Gowri was born at Pattanakkad village in Alappuzha district of Kerala as the seventh daughter of K. A. Raman and Parvathi Amma in an aristocratic Ezhava family.[5] She attended schools at Thuravoor and Cherthala and completed her college education at St. Teresa's College, Ernakulam and at Maharaja's College, Ernakulam. She also received a Law degree from Government Law College, Ernakulam.

Political lifeEdit

K.R.Gouri Amma 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.[4] She was also the leader of the Kerala Mahila Sangham from 1967 to 1976.[4]

Early political lifeEdit

She is one of the longest serving politicians in Kerala politics.[3] Under the influence of elder brother and trade union leader 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, Gauri was jailed on a number of occasions for participating in political activities.[6] 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. Gauri joined the newly formed Communist Party of India (Marxist). But her husband, T. V. Thomas, stood with the Communist Party of India.[3] 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 Reform 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. Gowri 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 first E. K. Nayanar ministry (1980-81)Edit

From January 1980 to October 1981 K.R. Gowri Amma was made Minister for Agriculture, Social Welfare, Industries, Vigilance and Administration of Justice Minister in the First E. K. Nayanar ministry.[7]

Minister in the second E. K. Nayanar ministryEdit

In the Second E. K. Nayanar ministry (1987–91) also she was made Minister for Industries and Social Welfare, Vigilance and Administration of Justice. During the 1987 elections she was projected as the candidate for Chief-ministership. But when the Ministry was formed she was sidelined and later ousted from the Communist Party (Marxist) in 1994.

Janathipathiya Samrakshana SamithyEdit

In 1994 she was expelled from CPI (M) on charges of anti-party activities.[5] Following this she established a new political outfit named Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS).[8] JSS went on to join the United Democratic Front, the arch-rivals of the Left Democratic Front to which CPI (M) belongs.

Minister in third A. K. Antony ministryEdit

She served as the Minister of Agriculture in the third A. K. Antony ministry.

Minister in 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 on 29 August. Gowri Amma served as the Minister of Agriculture in the first Oommen Chandy ministry also.[9]

Other political activitiesEdit

  • K.R.Gowri 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 CPI State Committee.
  • Established the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS), in 1994.
  • General Secretary of Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy.
K R Gowri Amma with a group of young volunteers of the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad at her residence in Alappuzha (May 1, 2015)


Kerala Sahitya Akademi AwardEdit

She has published an autobiography titled Atmakatha which won the 2011 Kerala Sahitya Academy Award.


  1. ^ Kerala Legislative Assembly site
  2. ^ Kerala Legislative Assembly old site
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c www.thenewsminute.com https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/story-gowri-amma-one-keralas-tallest-woman-politicians-turns-100-104044. Retrieved 16 May 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b "K.R GOWRI AMMA". webindia123.com. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  6. ^ "MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND COIR". niyamasabha.org. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  7. ^ "General Info - Council of Ministers since 1957 - Sixth Kerala Legislative Assembly". niyamasabha.org. Kerala Legislative Assembly, Thiruvananthapuram. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  8. ^ "86-year-old Kerala minister ready for battle". The Times of India. 24 March 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  9. ^ "K.R. Gowri Amma success story". mahilalu.com. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010.

External linksEdit