Renaissance in Kerala: Important Leaders
Thycaud Ayya (1814-1909)
- Guru of Ayya Vaikundan, Sri Narayana Guru , Chattampi Swamikal and Ayyankali.
- Born in Madras
- His original name was Subharayan.
- First social reformer. He started “Panthibhojanam”(inter-dining) in Kerala
- Famous saying: “intha ulakathile oru jaathi oru matham orukadavul”
- Founder of famous Saiva Prakasha Sabha of chalai,Trivandrum .
Ayya Vaikundar (1820-1851)
- Worked for the upliftment of the Dalit Hindus.
- He is referred to as Sampooranathevan (Mudi sodum Perumal), adeva (a deity) according to his followers.
- Founder of Samathwa Samajam, a reform movement for nadar community.
Brahmananda Swami Shivayogi (1852-1929)
- Founded the Ananda Maha Sabha and Anandamatham (religion ofbliss)
- Founded the Asramam at Alathur in Palghat district
- Condemned caste barriers, penance, pilgrimages, idol worship etc.
- Works: Mokshapradipam, Anandasutram
Chattambi Swamikal (1853-1924)
- Nair reformist
- Born in Kannammola, Trivandrum.
- Real name was Kunjan pillai.
- Literary works: Advaita Chintha paddhathi, VedadikaraNirupanam, Pracheena Malayalam, Vedaantha Saaram etc
- Sanyasi disciples: Narayana Guru , Neelakanta Therthapada,Theerthapada Parmahamsa
- Quotation: The whole universe is one mind. Between mind andmind there is no vacuum
- Swamikal died at Panmana, Kollam. Chattambi swami memorial isalso at Panmana.
Sri Narayana Guru(1856-1928)
- Father of Kerala Renaissance
- Born in Chempazhanthy in an Ezhava family (VayalvarathuVeedu).
- The parents of Sree Narayana Guru were Madanasan andKuttiyamma.
- He met Chattampi Swamikal at Aniyur temple near Chempazhanthy.
- Erected a temple to Shiva at Aruvippuram in 1888. Last temple consecrated by Guru is at kalavancode, Alappuzha.
- S.N.D.P Yogam was founded in 1903 and Guru became the life time President and Kumaranasan as Secretary.
- The Vavoottuyogam started at Aruvippuram is considered as thepredecessor of S.N.D.P. Yogam
- Atmopadesh Satakam, Nirvriti Panchakam, Darsanamala, Jatimeemamsa ,Ardhanareeswara Sthothram, “Daiva Dasakam”,”Gajendra moksham vanchippattu”etc are the major litrerary works of Guru
- Guru founded Sarada temple at Varkala in 1915 and founded the Advaitasrama at Aluva on the banks of Periyar.
- Tagore met Guru at his ashram in Sivagiri in November 1922.Kumaranasan was the translator of their conversation.
- Gandhiji visited Guru at Sivagiri in 1925.
- Consecrated a mirror,with the message Om shanti, in atemple in Kalavankode.
- His famous saying was One Caste, one Religion, one God for man (gave at advaitasrama).
- Anandatheertha swamikal was the last sanyasi disciple of swamikal.
- Died in Sivagiri, Varkala.
- Only Keralite whose birthday and death anniversary are observed as holidays.
Dr Palpu (1863-1950)
- “Political father” of Ezhavas.
- Born in Petta , Trivandrum
- Palpu was the third signatory to the Malayali Memorial in1891.
Ayyathan Gopalan (1863-1949)
- Gopalan was born in Thalassery.
- He started the Kozhikode branch of Brahmosamaj in 1898.
- He also founded Chandavarkar Elementary School in Kozhikode toencourage education among Dalits.
- He was later honored with the title ‘Rao Sahib’.
Barrister G. P. Pillai (1864-1903)
- Govindan Paramaswaran Pillai, commonly known as Barrister G. P.Pillai, was born in Pallippuram, Thiruvananthapuram, India, in anaristocratic Nair family.
- The first person from Thiruvananthapuram to pass the Barristerexamination.
- He played a major role in the formation of Malayali Memorial in1891.
- He established the first English language newspaper in SouthIndia, the Madras Standard. He wrote many articles against theoppressive rule of Travancore Diwan CP Ramaswami Iyer.
- Pulaya reformer.
- Born in Venganoor, Thiruvanantapuram
- Advocated for the right for Pulayas to walk along thepublic roads in Travancore
- In 1907 he founded the Sadhu Jana Paripalana Yogam, which laterbecame Pulaya Maha Sabha
- Gandhiji visited Ayyankali in1934 and called him “Pulayaraja”.
- He was nominated to Srimulam Prajasabha in 1910 and remained inoffice for 25 years.
- He was the first person from depressed classes to be nominatedto Tranvancore legislative Assembly.
- Leader of first strike of Agriculture labourers in Travancore.
C Krishnan / Mithavadi Krishnan (1867-)
- Started a newspaper called Mithavaadi (“Reformist”)which got name as the “Bible” of the socially depressed.
- Active leader of SNDP.
- He was the main organiser of the Thali Road Strike against various social prejudices.
- After converting to Buddhism, he campaigned to convert theEzhavas to Buddhism. As part of it, he started Mahabodhi Buddha Mission in Kozhikode. He conducted Maha Buddha Conference in 1925 at Kozhikode. A Buddha temple was also built by him.
- He was against the Indian National Congress and Mahatma Gandhi.He wanted the freedom of the oppressed classes to be attained before the nation achieved freedom.
Kumaran Ashan ( 1873 – 1924)
- Got title as MAHAKAVI from madras university. Kumaranasan was the only poet in Malayalam who became mahakavi without writing amahakavyam.
- Disciple of Sri Narayana Guru.
- Served as SNDP Secretary
- Worked in Vivekodayam Newspaper.
- Joseph Mundassery called him as “Viplavathinte Sukranakshtaram”.
- Redemeer was the name of boat which caused death of ashan
Vakkom Moulavi (1873 -1932)
- Founder and Publisher of Swadeshabhimani, Muslim Scholar,Social leader and reformer.
- Father of Muslim Renaissance
- Publications:The Muslim 1906 ,Al-Islam(1918) and Deepika(1931).
- Moorkkothu Kumaran (1874- 1941)started publishing aneducational journal named ‘Vidyalayam’ and was also the first editor of ‘Deepam’ magazine
- Poykayil Yohannan /Poyakayil Appachan/ Kumara Guru (1878-1939)
- Born in Eraviperoor, Pathanamthitta.
- Famous Dalit activist, poet and founder of Pratyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha(PRDS): founded in1909)
Mannathu Padmanabhan (1878 – 1970)
- Founded Nair Service Society 1n 1914
- Born in Perunna, Changanacherry.
- First president of Travancore Devaswam Board.
- Involved in Vaikom Satyagraha, Guruvayoor Satyagraha, IndianNational Congress and Vimochana Samaram
- He was honored with the title Bharata Kesari by the Presidentof India
- Mannam Memorial is located in changanacherry.
- Sardar KM Panikker praised him as “Madan Mohan Malaviya ofKerala.”
- Autobiography : Ente Jeevitha smaranakal
Swami Vagbhatananda (1885-1939)
- Founder of the Atmavidya Sangham, a group of professionals andintellectuals who sought change.
- Born in Thiyya community.
- Sivayoga Vilasam is the famous magazine started byvagbhatananda.
- “”Awake remember the creator Arise and fight against injustice”” — was the message printed in front page of the magazine
Pandit Karuppan (1885- 1938)
- Known as Lincoln of Kerala.
- Born in Cheranallor, ernakulam in Dheevara community.
- His famous work Jaathi kummy,’Balakalesham’ and ‘Udyanavirunnu’were against untouchability..
- Kerala Varma Valiya Koi Thamburan conferred the title of”Vidwan” in 1913.
- Kochin Maharaja gave title as “Kavithilakan”.
- Founder of Araya Samajam.
T. K. Madhavan (1885-1930)
- Social reformer, journalist and active member of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP)
Involved in Vaikkom Sathyagraha.
- He met Gandhi at Tirunelveli, and persuaded him to support vaikkom sathyagraha.
- A monument was raised in his honor at Chettikulangara.
K P Keshava Menon (1886-1978)
- He was born in Tharoor village of Palakkad as the grandson of the Maharajah of Palghat and as the son of Bhiman Achan.
- He was a member of the Home Rule League under Annie Besant.
- He was the founder of Mathrubhumi, a popular daily newspaper which earned the second place in circulation in Kerala.
K Kelappan (1889-1971)
- K. Kelappan was a founding member and president of Nair Service Society.
- He is also known as Kerala Gandhi.
- After independence he left the Congress Party and joined the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party and was elected to Parliament from the Ponnani Lok Sabha seat in 1952.
- He worked for unification of Kerala into a new linguisticstate.
V T Bhattatiripad (1896-1982)
- Key figure in removing castism and conservatism from the Namboothiri community.
- Famous Work: Adukkalayil ninnum arangathekku
- Autobiography: kannerum Kinavum.
A K Gopalan (1904-1977)
- Ayillyath Kuttiari Gopalan , popularly known as A. K. Gopalan or AKG, was an Indian communist leader and first leader of opposition in India.
- His autobiography In the Cause of the People has been translated into many languages. His other works include For Land,Around the World, Work in Parliament, and Collected Speeches, all in Malayalam.
P Krishnapillai (1906 – 1948)
- Kerala’s First Communist, Founder of the Communist movement in Kerala.
- In 1931 he became the first non Namputhiri Brahmin (he was from Nair Community of Kerala) to ring the temple bell of the Guruvayoor temple.
Kuriakose Elias Chavara(1805 – 1871)
- Born in kainakari, Kuttanad
- Beatified 8 February 1986, Kottayam by Pope John Paul II
- Canonized :23 November 2014, Rome by Pope Francis
- Major shrine :St. Joseph’s Syro-Malabar Dayra Church, Mannanam,Kottayam
- He played a major role in educating the people of the lower ranks of society.
- Founder of Nasrani Deepika 1846 from St Joseph Press, thefirst Malayali press.
- In 1864, while he was serving as the Vicar General of SyrianCatholics, he ordered to start a school along with every church(palli) which was successful in making free education available foreveryone. Thus schools in Kerala came to be known as pallikudam.
- He founded an Indian religious congregation for men, now knownas the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. (CMI)
- He founded, the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, the firstreligious congregation for women in 1866 (CMC)
Mampuram Thangal (1752-1845)
- Yemeni Islamic scholar who settled at Mambaram
- Inspiration behind major mophla outrages like Eranad riot (1836, 1837), Paruthan Riot
Sahodaran Ayyappan (1889-1968)
- Followers of Sree Narayana Guru.
- Brain behind Yukthivadi journal.
- Founded Sahodara Sangham for Ezhavas and Vidhya Poshini.
- Renaissance leader who became minister in travancore -cochin.
- Started the concept of Misra bhojanam.
- No Caste, No Religion, No God for Human-beings is his famousquote.
Pampady John Joseph(1887-1940)
- Founder of the socio-religious movement Cheramar Mahajana sabhafor Dalits.: 1921
- Joseph said Pulayars were the original inhabitants of Kerala and hence he re changed the caste name to Cheramar – which means thepeople of Kerala.
- Joseph initiated Sadhujan Dootan, a Magazine, in 1919, in which he wrote inspiring articles.In his famous book Cheruma Boy, Josephquestioned the Syrian Christian’s discrimination against the untouchable Christians
Makthi Thangal (1847-1912)
- The first Malabar Muslim to write a book in Malayalam namedKadora Kodaram in year 1884.
- Muslim reformer; supported western education.
C V Kunjuraman (1871- 1949)
- Born in Kollam.
- Kunjuraman was a journalist, reformer, advocate and writer.
- He was an organiser of Samudaya Parishkara Sabha which tookplace at Paravoor in 1904.
- He also conducted Matha Parivarthana Prakshobham in 1936.
- He was also the founder of Kerala Kaumudi, one of the majornewspapers in Kerala. Ragaparinamam, Ente Sreekovil, Panchavadi and India Charitra Sangraham are his major books.
Velukkutty Arayan (1894-1969)
- Founder of Araya mahajana karayogam.
- Participated in Vaikkom Sathyagraham
Kuroor Neelakandan Nambhoothirippad (1896- 1981)
- He was a reformer and journalist.
- He founded the newpaper Lokamanyan in 1920.
- He was one of the founding directors of Mathrubhumi newspaper.
- He took part in Vaikom Satyagraha.
- He opened the Pavakkulam temple, which used to be managed byhis family, to the untouchables during the temple entry movement.
T R Krishna swami Iyer (1890 -1935)
- Known as untouchable Brahmin.
Swami Ananda Theerthan (1905 – 1987)
- His real name was Ananda Shenoy.
- He was close to Sree Narayana Guru and worked againstcasteism.
- He assumed his new name at Sarada temple at Sivagiri in 1928.
- He established Sree Narayana School in Payyannur in 1931.
- He promoted intercast-marriage through the Jathinashini Sabha,founded in 1933