What's New :
A recently-released Malayalam film PathonpathamNoottandu is based on the life of ArattupuzhaVelayudhaPanicker, a social reformer from the Ezhava community in Kerala in 19th century.
Who was ArattupuzhaVelayudhaPanicker?
- He was a social reformer from the Ezhava community in Kerala who lived in the 19th century.
- He was born into a well-off family of merchants in Kerala’s Alappuzha district.
- He was given the title of ‘Panicker’ by the then-king of Travancore in 1869.
- Panicker was murdered by a group of upper-caste men in 1874 at the age of 49. This makes him the ‘first martyr’ of the Kerala renaissance.
Panicker’s role in initiating social reforms:
- Panicker is credited with building two temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, in which members of all castes and religions were allowed entry.
- One was built in his own village Arattupuzha in 1852
Post Death Recognition:
In 2005, the Kerala government inaugurated the ArattupuzhaVelayudhaPanicker Research Foundation and Cultural Centre in Thiruvananthapuram
- One in Thanneermukkom in 1854, another village in the Alappuzha district
- Some of his most significant contributions were in protesting for the rights of women belonging to Kerala’s backward communities.
- In 1858, he led the AchippudavaSamaramstrike at Kayamkulam in Alappuzha.
- This strike aimed to earn women belonging to oppressed groups the right to wear a lower garment that extended beyond the knees.
- In 1859, this was extended into the EthappuSamaram, the struggle for the right to wear an upper body cloth by women belonging to backward castes.
- In 1860, he led the MukkuthiSamaram at Pandalam in the Pathanamthitta district, for the rights of lower-caste women to wear ‘mukkuthi’ or nose-ring, and other gold ornaments.
- These struggles played an important role in challenging the social order and in raising the dignity of women belonging to the lower strata of society in public life.
Verifying, please be patient.