MAJOR STRUGGLES AND REVOLTS IN KERALA – EZHAVA MEMORIAL

 

EZHAVA MEMORIAL

 

Ezhava Memorial by Dr Palpu is a mass memorandum signed by Hindu Ezhava community in 1896.  Ezhava Memorial, similar to Malayali Memorial, is a mass petition submitted by Ezhava caste to the Government of Kerala to allow the educated community people to enter government service jobs.

Dr Padmanabhan Palpu took the initiative to prepare the petition and get it signed by more than 13,000 representatives of the Hindu Ezhava community.

As Dr. Palpu was irritated by the humiliating reply from the authorities, that is, stated that since the Ezhavas were generally uneducated, it was better for them to pursue their present occupations like cultivation, coir making, and toddy tapping than trying to get education, he frequently visited the state to organize the backward people to protest against the callousness of the rulers. He realized that organized protest was the only way to put an end to the inhuman discretion that the Govt. practiced against the majority of its own people. He soon formed the ‘Greater Ezhava Association’, and more than 300 hundred people attended its first meeting held at Thiruvananthapuram. The meeting decided to submit a mass petition to the govt. signed by ten thousand Ezhavas demanding the abolition of the discrimination against them. Dr. Palpu himself took the initiative to get the signatures, and on 1896 Sept. 3rd the petition, the historically famous ‘Ezhava Memorial’, signed by 13176 people was submitted to the Govt. In the memorandum Dr. Palpu enumerated as an example the humiliations that the members of his own family had to suffer from Govt.

The Ezhava Memorial was submitted on 3rd September 1896, signed by 13,176 members of the Ezhava community under the leadership of Dr. Palpu.

The Ezhava Memorial requested the Maharaja to confer on the Ezhavas the same rights and privileges which were being enjoyed by those of their caste who had become converts to Christianity.