Poykayil Johannan (also called as Poikayil Kumara Guru Devan) (Eraviperoor, 17 February 1878 – 1939), known as Poykayil Appachan alias Poykayil Kumara Guru Devan, was a Dalit activist, poet, Christian preacher and the founder of the socio-religious movement Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha (“God’s Church of Visible Salvation”).

Johannan was born 17 February 1879, to parents Kandan and Lechi of the Paraiyar (“Pariah”) community, at Eraviperoor, Pathanamthitta, India. He was named Komaran at his birth, born as a slave to a Syrian Christian family of the name Sankaramangalam. He was later renamed Kumaran.

In that period, Dalit communities practiced untouchability among themselves. Recognising the commonalities among the Paraiyar, Pulayar (Cheramar) and Kuravar communities, Johannan sought to create a sense of unity among them. Johannan left the Sankaramangalam family, intent on organising the Christian Dalit communities.

After this realization, Yohannan decided to leave the religion of Christianity and form a new organization for the liberation of Dalit community members. With this conviction in his mind, he formed a new organization by the name Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha (PRDS). From this point in time, he was referred to as Poikayil Appachan or Kumara Gurudevan. After the formation of a neo-reformist organization, Poikayil Appachan met people from different communities personally and educated them about the need for living in a dignified way. For this purpose, he exhorted his followers to liberate themselves from the clutches of caste equation through the twin powers of education and enlightenment.

Poykayil Yohannan was also a member of another Dalit advocacy group by the name Sadhujana Paripalana Sangham, which was floated by Saint Ayyankali to further the cause of the group. He was nominated to the Sree Moolam Praja Sabha for two times. It is the Legislative Council of the Princely state of Travancore.

Poikayil Yohannan was a Dalit leader, a poet and a social reformer from the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. He was also a Christian preacher who was highly concerned about the welfare of the depressed classes in the state. In the initial days of struggle against the caste discrimination, Johannan believed that the members of the Christian communities would lend their helping hand to his caste members. Some years later, he learned in a hard way the existing caste discrimination in those Christian Communities. Hence, he decided to form an organization to support the cause of his fellow caste members. This organization was christened as Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha. Johannan encouraged both Christian converts and Hindu Dalits to take membership of the organization. By pooling the resources donated by the members of the organization, a land bank was made. This land bank was used to construct numerous institutions for the benefit of its members. Because of the dedication and good work shown by him, Yohannan was twice nominated to the Sree Moolam Praja Sabha. At the Praja Sabha, he made a forceful presentation on the plight of Dalits in the state and suggested some measures to improve their living conditions.


  1. Poikayil Yohannan was also known as?

Answer : Poikayil Appachan and Kumara Gurudevan


2. Founder of Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha (God’s Church of Visible Salvation)?

Answer : Poikayil Yohannan


3. Headquarters of Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha (God’s Church of Visible Salvation)?

Answer : Eraviperoor (Pathanamthitta)


4. Yohannan was nominated to the Sreemoolam Prajasabha in?

Answer : 1921 and 1931


5. Poikayil Yohannan was also known as?

Answer : Pulayan Mathai


6. The first person to open an English medium school for Dalit Community?

Answer : Poikayil Yohannan


7. Adilahala is related to?

Answer : Poikayil Yohannan


8. The book “Ratnamanikal”  was written by?

Answer : Poikayil Yohannan

9. Died on

Answer : 29 june 1939


10. The book “Unknown Subjects: Songs of Poikayil Appachan (Translation)” was written by?

Answer : Ajay Sekhar


11. The book “Poikayil Yohannan” was written by?

Answer : M.R.Renukumar

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