MAJOR STRUGGLES AND REVOLTS IN KERALA – PALIYAM SATHYAGRAHA

 

PALIYAM SATHYAGRAHA

 

Paliyam Satyagraha—(1947–48) is a memorable event in the history of the struggles for social equality in Kerala. Kerala Society was based on the rigid practice of caste system and social hierarchy. The Brahminical domination was strongly felt in the society and the majority of the landlords were Brahmins. The other upper castes were the Kshatriyas and the Nairs who also enjoyed special privileges and immunities. The avarnas and depressed classes such as Ezhavas, Arayas, Pulayas, Parayas etc. were subjected to several social disabilities.

They were denied social privileges and immunities like wearing gold ornaments and using certain types of clothes. The women or Lower caste were not allowed to wear blouses. Burdens of taxes always fell upon the lower caste. The Backward communities among the Hindus were also subjected to several other social handicaps. They were denied admission to temples, Schools and public services. The evils of untouchability, unapproachability and unseeability were practiced. The Members of the lower caste had to keep themselves at the prescribed distances from those of the upper castes. Many of the Public Highways were inaccessible to the members of the lower castes including the Ezhavas. The government jobs were not given to the lower castes up to the beginning of the 20th  century.

 

It is the first satyagraha which took after the independence in Kerala. To get open the road surrounding of the main residence (at chendamangalam) of Paliyath Achan ,the hereditary Chief Minister of cochin for avarnas. Paliyam satyagraha was officially inaugurated by C Kesavan on 4 December 1947 . Majority of Christian community supported the satyagraha. Women played an important role in satyagraha. Under the leadership of Yogakshema sabha,Namboothiri women P Priyadhatta,E S Saraswathi,I C Priyadhatta,Arya Pallam Arya thampuratti and Indira thampuratti played an important role. On 100 th day of satyagraha in March 1948 A G Velayudhan was killed in a police lathi charge. In April 1948 temple entry proclamation was done by Kochi Raja.Then all temples were thrown open to all Hindus irrespective of cast.After that the avarnas and non Hindus get right to walk along the Paliyam road.

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