Ayyankali (28 August 1863 – 1941) was a social reformer who worked for the advancement of those people in the then princely state of Travancore, British India, who were treated as untouchables. His efforts influenced many changes that improved the social wellbeing of those people, who are today often referred to as Dalits.
Ayyankali was born on 28 August 1863 in Venganoor, Thiruvananthapuram, Travancore. He was the oldest of eight children born to Ayyan and Mala, who were members of the Pulayar community of untouchables. Although the family were relatively well-off compared to other Pulayars, having been given 5 acres (2.0 ha) of land by a grateful landlord, the children were encouraged to adopt the customary occupation of agriculture. Members of the Pulayar community generally were rural slaves at this time.
The region in which Ayyankali lived, which now forms a part of the state of Kerala, was particularly affected by social divisions during his lifetime and was described by Swami Vivekananda as a “mad house” of castes. The Pulayars were regarded as the lowest group of people in the kingdom and they suffered badly from oppressive discrimination, in particular from members of the powerful Nair caste.
Suffering from this social injustice caused Ayyankali to join with like-minded Pulayan friends. These young people gathered at the end of their workday to sing and dance to folk music that protested the situation. Some joined him in forming a group that challenged and threatened members of the upper castes whenever an opportunity arose, sometimes attacking them physically. His popularity earned him the names of Urpillai and Moothapullai.
Ayyankali later became a member of the assembly of Travancore, known as the Sree Moolam Popular Assembly (SMPA) or Praja Sabha.
Ayyankali died on 18 June 1941.
In November 1980, Indira Gandhi unveiled a statue of Ayyankali at Kowdiar square in Thiruvananthapuram.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR PSC EXAMS
2. Who is known as Pulaya Raja ?
3. The title Pulaya Raja given by ?
4. The founder of Sadhu Jana Paripalana sangham ?
5. The journal of Sadhu Jana Paripalana Sangam ?
6.The first editior of Sadhujana paripalini ?
8. Ayyankali started Kudipallikodam at ?
9. The year which Ayyankali met Sree Narayana Guru in ?
10. The founder of Kochi Pulaya Sabha ?
12. Villuvandi Samaram begin and end in?
13 . The leader of Thonooramand Samaram(1915) ?
14. Thonooramand Samaram is also known as ?
15. The leader of Kallumala Samaram ?
16. Kallumala Samaram took place in?
17. First Dalit person become member in Sree Moolam Praja Sabha ?
18 . Ayyankali died on ?
20. The headquarters of Kerala SC and ST Development Corporation is situated in?
21. Who called Ayyankali as the Great Son of India ?
22. The statue of Ayyankali situated at ?
24. The Architect of the statue of Ayyankali ?
25. The year which Kerala Government started Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme ?
26. The year which Indian Postal Department published postage stamp in the memory of Ayyankali ?
28. Which University sets up a chair in the name of Ayyankali?
29. The Prime Minister who attended 152nd birth anniversary of Ayyankali ?