: : No, Kerala stands on its own as THE example to follow. The Swedes still live better than we do, by the way. And the poor in Kerala live longer than the poorest in America.
: No, it seems that Kerala doesn't stand on its own at all. It has funds coming in from the Indian government and from its own citizens working elsewhere in the world. So it doesn't support itself, and cannot be classified as a success.
Is that your primary definition of success? By that logic New Mexico is a failure and Hitler's Germany was a success. Great.
Here's some 1991 data*
In 1986 Kerela's per capita GNP was 63% of the all-India average; in 1991 it had risen to 90%. While remittances might explain some of this rise, it is only partial because we are comparing Kerela to the rest of India which certainly isn't forbidden to receive remittances from abroad as well.
Per capita GNP
Kerela - $298
Rest of India - $330
Does literacy count? -
Adult literacy rate (%)
Kerela - 91% (survey taken before latest literacy campaign)
Rest of India - 52%
(In 1989 the LDF government organized a campaign to establish full literacy throughout Kerela. The campaign was run first as a pilot program in Ernakulam District. 70,000 activists managed the campaign. It was then widened to the entire State. By the end of 1991 Kerela became the First state in India to achieve formal 100% literacy.)
Life expectancy: (in years)
Kerela - men 69, women 73.
Rest of India - 60 (combined men & women)
Infant mortality: (per 1,000)
Kerela - 17
Rest of India - 85
Birth rate (per 1,000)
Kerela - 20
Rest of India - 31
Kerela of course remains desperately poor. At one time (I forget which year) it ranked 9th poorest in the world! The land and social reforms which began in 1957 under the Communists, have broadened into a wide range of spheres - including sustainable and ecological development, increasing of women's rights, and working to end the Caste system. This is not to say there are no problems. There are many - among which is a very high unemployment rate.
It all depends on how you define "success".