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  • 15 September, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker

Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker

Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker is the subject of the recently released Malayalam film Pathonpatham Noottandu, which is also known as "Nineteenth Century."

Image Source - Journals of India

About Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker

  • He was a nineteenth-century social reformer from Kerala's Ezhava community.
  • He was born in Kerala's Alappuzha district to a wealthy family of merchants.
  • In 1869, the then-king of Travancore bestowed upon him the title of "Panicker."
  • Social Reforms: He fought against the Savarnas' dominance over the higher castes and changed the lives of both men and women.
  • He made some of his most important contributions while advocating for the rights of women from Kerala's underprivileged areas.
  • He was the strike leader for the Achippudava Samaram at Kayamkulam, Alappuzha, in 1858.
  • This walkout sought to provide women from marginalized groups the freedom to dress in lower clothing that reached their knees.
  • This was expanded upon in 1859 to include the Ethappu Samaram, a battle by women from lower castes for the right to wear an upper body garment.
  • He organized the Mukkuthi Samaram in 1860 at Pandalam in the Pathanamthitta district to support lower-caste women's rights to wear nose rings and other gold jewellery.
  • These struggles were crucial in upending the social order and elevating the status of women from lower socioeconomic classes in public life.
  • In addition to addressing concerns pertaining to women, Panicker organised the Karshaka Thozhilali Samaram, Kerala's first successful agricultural labourers' strike.

Additional Contributions

  • He is also credited for the construction of two Shiva temples, which were open to people of all castes and religions.
  • In addition, he founded the first Kathakali Yogam (local school for the traditional dance style Kathakali) for the Ezhava community in 1861. This resulted in another first for the Ezhavas and other underdeveloped communities—a Kathakali performance.
  • He was also an expert in the Keralan martial art known as Kalaripayattu, which is also one of the oldest of its kind in India.

First Kerala Renaissance martyr

  • Panicker, who was 49 years old, was killed in 1874 by a group of men from the upper caste. As a result, he qualifies as the Kerala Renaissance's "first martyr."
  • The Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker Research Foundation and Cultural Center was opened by the Kerala government in Thiruvananthapuram in 2005.

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Source: The Indian Express

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