History Of KPCC
THE freedom movement at the National level had a direct impact on Kerala’s political history. The Salt Satyagraha found its echo here. The Vaikom temple entry Satyagraha for permitting lower castes entry into the temple gained the recognition as a direct challenge to the existing political and hierarchical supremacy of the rulers and by extension the British rule. The very presence of Gandhiji and various people’s movements led by the congress party also contributed to the national movement for fighting against the British in Kerala. Congress leaders were in the frontline of all political movements to protest against British’s rule and ultimately freedom struggle in the state was become the struggle of congress to fight for the violated rights of people of the state especially millions of poor and marginalized class.
The Growth of the National Movement and the role of Congress
There were innumerable revolts against the British Supremacy from very early times due to their ruthless exploitation and domination and by the beginning of 19th century, the infuriated masses tried to throw off the burden of British domination. Congress party was one of the leading forces that questioned and fought against the atrocities of the British regime in the state. Congress party greatly agitated against the contemporary social iniquities such as untouchability and unsociability at that time.
Towards the end of the 19th century congress movement was spreading across India. Many prominent persons worked for Indian National Congress from Kerala. G.P. Pillai, Sir. C. Sankaran Nair and Rairu Nambiar were some among them. C. Sankaran Nair from Ottapalam was the first Malayali who presided over the congress sessions for years. He was the president of the Amaravathi Session of the Congress in 1897. By 1919 Congress activities gained momentum in Malabar. Gandhiji’s influence on state congress was increasing in 1920s. Non co-operation and Khilafat movement and Salt Satyagraha flared up the national spirit in Malabar. Some of the early leaders of freedom movement in Malabar were K. Kelappan, Muhamed Abdurahiman, K.P. Kesava Menon and K. Madhavan Nair.
Mahatma Gandhi provided the impetus to this national movement and had a remarkable influence on freedom struggle in the state. The lower strata of the society were considered as untouchables and were not allowed to enter even the temple roads of Kerala. The non-violent Guruvayoor Satyagraha movement and the Vaikom Satyagraha movement, led by Gandhiji helped the doorway of the backward social classes to the public roads adjoining the Vaikom temple. In 1936, the Temple Entry Proclamation was issued in 1936 by Sree Chithira Thirunal Balaramavarma Maharaja, the ruler of Thiruvithamkur and people of all castes were allowed in this temple.
In 1930, British imposed high revenues on salt also restricted the production of salt to the people in the country. This enraged masses throughout the nation and in Kerala, under the leadership of K. Kelappan, the law was confronted with resistance and salt was produced. In several places, particularly at Payyannur and Kozhikode, salt laws were broken and hundreds of agitators were arrested.Other eminent leaders like K.P. Kesava Menon, Muhammed Abdurahiman and K. Madhavan Nair also participated in all these movements in the state.
In Thiruvithamkur the nature of freedom movement was very different. The caste organizations played an important role in bringing out changes in Thiruvithamkur.In Thiruvinthamkur the caste organizations fought for social justice and proper representation of backward sections of the society in the legislature and government jobs. The Travancore State Congress was also founded and some notable leaders were T.K Madhavan, T.M Varghese, C Kesavan and Pattam Thanupilla fought for the violated rights of masses in the state under British rule. In Cochin, Prajamandalam came into existence and the significant leaders were Panampilly Govinda Menon and Ikkanda Warrier.