Hibi Eden, the current Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly from Ernakulam Constituency since 2011 was only 27 when people of Ernakulam elected him as their representative. Defeating the Left Democratic Front candidate, Dr. Sebastian Paul with a margin of 32,437 votes which is the highest ever majority in the Assembly elections of the constituency, he made his entry into the parliamentary politics. He was the youngest member of the current Kerala Legislative Assembly till Sri. Sabarinath got elected in the Aruvikkara Bye Poll in August 2015.
Hibi Eden who has lived his childhood in the midst of the Congress workers and leaders, entered the political arena as the worker of Kerala Students Union(KSU) in 2003 when he joined Sacred Heart College for his pre graduation course. He was elected the President of Sacred Heart College Unit of KSU in 2003. In 2004, Hibi was nominated as the President of the Ernakulam District Committee of KSU and continued in the post till he was promoted as the President of the KSU State Committee in 2007. It was under his leadership, KSU organized a variety of programs and fought against the anti student policies of the then Left Democratic Front in the state.
Hibi Eden was noticed for the constructive and innovative style of protest he adopted in the fight against the government. In 2008, when the LDF government tried to infuse Communist and Marxist ideologies in the young minds through a chapter “Mathamillatha Jeevan” in the class Seven Social Studies text book, he led an aggressive campaign against the government in the entire state. Under his leadership, KSU brought out a parallel text book to protest against the government action. The LDF government had to withdraw the text book following the protest in which brutal force was used against the KSU workers and Hibi Eden himself suffered injuries and was sent to jail for 12 days and observed indefinite hunger strike in the jail.
During his tenure, he led the protest against the move to discontinue the bus fare concession to students in 2007 and the aggressive protests statewide forced the LDF government to roll back the decision. The protest for SC/ST students’ hostel renovation in 2008 helped to improve the deplorable living condition of the SC/ST students all over the state. When Arun Kumar, Son of the then Chief Minister Sri. VS Achuthanandan was awarded a PhD degree flouting the norms; the KSU protest forced the Government and University to withdraw the decision. The fight against malpractices in the Self Financing College managements in the state brought the issue to the public domain. In 2008, as part of the Educational Reforms and Curriculum Reforms struggle, Hibi led a campaign in the entire state which also organized a march to the residence of the State Education Minister. Hibi and the others were brutally assaulted by police in the strike against the fee hike and move to stop reservations in Self Financing College and many KSU workers including Hibi was hospitalized. The fight against Banks refusing student loans in 2006 united the public anger against the banks following which the government had to intervene.
Hibi’s organizational capabilities were at display in the KSU Golden Jubilee Celebrations organized in Cochin from 28th to 30th of May 2008. It might be the first in the history of KSU that a family get together named KSU Kudumbasangamam was organized as part of the Jubilee Celebrations in which more than 5000 former KSU leaders and workers with their families attended. The event was inaugurated by the then Union Defence Minister and Congress Working Committee Member Shri. A.K. Antony. In 2008, Hibi organized the State Camp of KSU in Charalkunnu from 3rd to 5th June 2008 which gave a direction to the KSU activities in the state. The camp was attended by several senior leaders including the then Union Minister Shri. Vayalar Ravi and other leaders. Priyadarshini, an exclusive women’s collective initiated by the KSU in September 2008 attracted the female students across the state who were not KSU members but apathetic to the Congress ideology. KSU also brought the Higher Education Reforms to the forefrontunder his leadership by organizing seminars across the state involving the senior academicians and student organizations.
In 2009, Rahul Gandhi’s hunt for the leadership of National Students Union (NSUI) ended with Hibi Eden. It was during his tenure, NSU(I) stepped into the path of a transformation by starting the democratic process in the organization. In his term he completed one round of internal elections in the entire country. This opened up the opportunity for the able NSUI workers to the leadership of the organization which was otherwise overpowered by the influential workers in the leadership. As NSUI President,he was a vocal advocate of students’ rights across the country.
Trade Union Activist:
Hibi Eden is also actively involved in the Trade Union sector raising his voice for the protection of labour rights. He is currently the President of Cochin International Airport Limited Workers Union, Modern Bread Workers Congress, Tata Ceramics Workers Congress and Hindustan Insecticides Limited Workers Congress.