151st birth anniversary of Ayyankali

published on August 20, 2013

The 151st birth anniversary of social reformer Ayyankali is being observed today.

Various commemorative programmes have been arranged in the state capital in lieu of the event. Kerala Scheduled Caste Development Department organized a programme on Monday morning, where MoS in the Ministry of Labour,  Kodikunnil Suresh garlanded the statue of the great social reformer at Vellayambalam. A programme has also been organized in the evening at Venganoor, the birth place of Ayyankali. 

Ayyankali has always been remembered as a dynamic person who gathered support for his cause even from members of other castes. The positive influence he cast around even led to prominent landlords being members of his Praja Sabha.The crusader for liberation of the members of the downtrodden sects of society, Ayyankali spearhead a struggle for human rights of the ‘untouchables’.

The demands he raised has found expressions in international human rights documents well before their adoption. The movement he pioneered a movement for democratizing public places and asserting the rights of workers found roots even before the formation of any workers organisation in Kerala. 

As token of recognition of the relentless work he did, he was nominated to the assembly of Travancore namely, Sri Moolam Legislative Assembly, in 1910. With the support he received from other leaders and reformers of his community including Sree Narayana Guru, the members of his community finally were granted freedom to walk on public roads and allowed to join schools. And the most commendable achievement was the liberation of Dalit women, who finally won the rights to cover their bodies in public. 

Rightly hailed by EK Nayanar, the former chief minister of Kerala as “the first leader of people-led liberation and revolution”, Ayyankali, with his anti caste domination struggles stands a towering figure that led Kerala people to their progressive outlook today.

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