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Drums, prayers, Theyyam & CPM flags painting state red — the colours of Kerala election

Kerala’s geography changes every hundred kilometres, making the cliche so true of Kerala — This is truly God’s own country.

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Cochin: Covering the election in Kerala is unlike any other in the country.

The vigil against Covid-19 remains a top priority, with health workers posing like mannequins when you land at Thiruvananthapuram airport.

Second, people only speak Malayalam — very little Hindi or English. Once you get past the language barrier, it is amazing to see the courtesy that parties opposed to each other tooth-and-nail offer their political opponents.

Fourth, the chicken roast is better than anywhere else in the world. Fifth, CPM party flags are everywhere, in villages and urban areas — a lesson in how to paint the state red and not allow any saffron to intervene. And as for the geography that changes every hundred kilometres. The cliche is so true of Kerala — This is truly God’s own country.

CPM candidate I B Satheesh (left) and general secretary Sitaram Yechury (right) in a poll chariot | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
CPM candidate I.B. Satheesh (left) and general secretary Sitaram Yechury (right) in a poll chariot | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Kerala's health workers in PPE suits welcome you when you land in Thiruvananthapuram airport | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Kerala’s health workers in PPE suits welcome you when you land at Thiruvananthapuram airport | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Theyyam dancer at the head of the Sitaram Yechury parade in Peyyad Junction, Thiruvananthapuram | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Theyyam dancer at the parade for Sitaram Yechury in Peyyad Junction, Thiruvananthapuram | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Students at the Cotton Hill government girls school in Thiruvananthapuram, whose parents variously work as electrician, tailor, help in a provision store, etc, study 3 languages (Malayalam, English & Hindi) and compulsory IT classes. This and 43000 schools across the state have been refurbished by the Left Front government | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Students at the Cotton Hill government girls school in Thiruvananthapuram, whose parents variously work as electrician, tailor, help in a provision store, etc, study 3 languages (Malayalam, English & Hindi) and compulsory IT classes. This and 43,000 schools across the state have been refurbished by the Left Front government | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Sreemayi, a transgender woman looks at herself in the mirror before a TV panel discussion on 'women and politics' | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Sreemayi, a transgender woman looks at herself on her phone before a TV panel discussion on ‘women and politics’ | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Atul Pratap and his mother Omana own 'FoodBox,' a small hotel in Thiruvananthapuram which serves amazing chicken roast and beef curry | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Atul Pratap and his mother Omana own ‘FoodBox,’ a small hotel in Thiruvananthapuram, which serves amazing chicken roast and beef curry | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

The office of Sobha Surendran, the BJP candidate from Kazhakootam constituency, who got the ticket after fighting against her own party leaders. She will take on CPM heavyweight Kadakampally Surendran, outgoing minister in charge of the Sabarimala shrine | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
The office of Sobha Surendran, the BJP candidate from Kazhakootam constituency, who got the ticket after fighting against her own party leaders. She will take on CPM heavyweight Kadakampally Surendran, outgoing minister-in-charge of the Sabarimala shrine | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

CPM party flags in Choonadu village in central Kerala | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
CPM party flags in Choonadu village in central Kerala | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

CPM party flags are everywhere in Kerala -- here in the middle of a coconut-palm oasis | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
CPM party flags are everywhere in Kerala — here in the middle of a coconut-palm oasis | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Hoardings in a Kerala village outside Cochin. Along with the Left and Congress candidates, note the hoarding of the candidate of the TwentyTwenty party, a new outfit floated by the Kitex company, whose symbol is -- what else, the pineapple |Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Hoardings in a Kerala village outside Cochin. Along with the Left and Congress candidates, note the hoarding of the candidate of the Twenty20 party, a new outfit floated by the Kitex company, whose symbol is the pineapple | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

A woman waits for customers in a Kerala village | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
A fruit seller waits for customers in a Kerala village | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Party flags at a roadside fruit and vegetable stall in Choonadu village | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Party flags at a roadside fruit and vegetable stall in Choonadu village | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who hopes to win this election again for the Left Front, attends a yoga camp in his village Pinarayi in Kannur district in north Kerala | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who hopes to win this election again for the Left Front, attends a yoga camp in his village Pinarayi in Kannur district in north Kerala | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Praying at Kerala's oldest mosque in Kozhikode, the Mishkal Palli, built in the 13th century by Nakhuda Mishkal, who traded spices between India, China and the Arab world | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Praying at Kerala’s oldest mosque in Kozhikode, the Mishkal Palli, built in the 13th century by Nakhuda Mishkal, who traded spices between India, China and the Arab world | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

Drummers lead the procession for the CPM candidate I.B. Satheesh in Thiruvananthapuram | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint
Drummers lead the procession for CPM candidate I.B. Satheesh in Thiruvananthapuram | Photo: Jyoti Malhotra | ThePrint

(Edited by Debalina Dey)

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2 COMMENTS

  1. People here only speak malayalam.
    But everyone understand basic English thanks to the high literacy. though some will have trouble speaking back.
    Try it with auto drivers here . Be warned some will over charge you…. but they are decent folk they don’t misbehave .. we mullus are generally nice .. except for the sangies they are horrible.

  2. Fact check: Cheraman Palli in Kodungallur, Thrissur, believed to be built in 7th century, is Kerala’s, and India’s, oldest mosque, not Mishkal.

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