The Kerala Model

In anticipation of my upcoming vacation, I have been doing a lot of reading about India's history, politics, cultures, and the like.
One of the more interesting items I have come across is a continuing debate over the so-called "Kerala Model".

What is the Kerala Model? According to the most important information source in the universe, it is:

a set of economic practices developed in India's state of Kerala. These practices have resulted in the state attaining a high level of standards in human development, while compromising on its industrial development. This anomaly of high social development despite economic backwardness, is variously known as the Kerala model, or the Kerala phenomenon.

I think we all can agree that this description is dry, to say the least. What it all boils down to is, why does the most literate, healthy, and egalitarian state in India also have the lowest per capita income?

The modern theory is that investing in health and education for all citizens will result in a growth in production, yet Kerala is not following this pattern.

(Personally, I suspect that if the people that measure this sort of thing used the 'median', rather than the 'mean' average, Kerala would be rated substantially higher.)

Putting Economics aside for now, I intent to start my vacation in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, for two reasons:

1. There is a well known university there, and I hope to plunder their bookshop for books on pre-Raj Indian history. (Weirdly enough, all the Indian histories I have read, inevitably written by Britons, seem to devote approx. 6 pages to India before the Europeans, and the rest of the book to the Raj.)

2. 'Thiruvananthapuram'. This city used to be called Trivandrum, but relatively recently they changed it to Thiruvananthapuram which translates as, more or less, 'City of the Sacred Serpent' (whose name is Anantha, BTW).

I don't know how you, gentle reader, make your vacation choices, but for me this makes Thiruvananthapuram a must-visit place on my 'adventure holiday' itinerary, just because of the cool name.

(Addendum: For some reason 'City of the Sacred Serpent' reminds me of the "Conan the Barbarian" movie. I can't explain why this would be. Inquiring minds need to know!)


Anonymous said...

20th Anniversary Edition
Conan The Barbarian
Fangs of the Serpent Dagger

PALGOLAK said...

I think you might be on to something there. But wasn't the tower that Conan and the chinese guy raided called the "Tower of the Sacred Serpent", or conceivably, the city the tower was located in the "City of the Sacred Serpent"?

That would be why the slave girls didn't seem to mind being eaten by the giant snake, IIRC...