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AIKYA KERALA MOVEMENT

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

  • It was a movement for the unification of Malayalam speaking regions into a single state.

  • During the British period, the present day Kerala was divided into 4 units. They were:

    1. Princely state of ‘Travancore’

    2. Princely state of ‘Kochin’

    3. 'Malabar’ district in the Madras Presidency (It was under direct British rule).

    4. ‘Kasargod’ taluk in the South Canara district of Mysore state.

  • All the people in these four regions shared a common culture. Still, they were politically separated under different rulers.

  • Aikya Kerala Movement was aimed at integrating these four regions into a single state.

How Aikya Kerala Movement was started?

  • The INC session of Nagpur in 1920 decided to form ‘State Congress Committees’ on linguistic basis.

  • Following this, ‘Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee’(KPCC) was formed in 1920.

  • It was formed for all Malayalam speaking regions.

  • Thus, KPCC was comprised of people from Malabar, Kochin and Travancore.

  • From that time onwards, the people in these regions started to demand the formation of ‘Aikya Kerala’-a state for all Malayalees.

  • A series of political conferences were held under the auspices of KPCC since 1921. These conferences helped to bring political workers from all the three administrative units on a common platform and to make them think in terms of a United State.

Aikya Kerala Movement before 1940s

  • In 1928, ‘State People’s Conference’ was held at Ernakulam. The Conference was attended by delegates from Malabar, Kochin and Travancore. In this conference, a resolution was passed demanding the formation of a ‘United Kerala’ comprising all the Malayalam speaking regions.

  • In the same year (1928), a ‘Congress’ session was held at Payyannur under the Presidentship of Jawahar Lal Nehru. It passed a resolution requesting the national leadership of the Congress to take steps to constitute Kerala in to a separate province at the time of the framing of a Constitution for Free India.

  • During this period the activities for the formation of the Kerala State were restricted to the passing of resolutions in different platforms. Still those people, who had shown their interest in the national movement, generally agreed that there should be a separate state for the Malayalam speaking people.

Aikya Kerala Movement during 1940s

  • In the 1940s, people realized that, the independence would soon become a reality.

  • The movement for ‘Aikya Kerala’ has also gathered momentum during this period.

  • In 1945, a combined meeting of KPCC, Kochin State People’s Congress and the Travancore State Congress discussed the plans and programmes to be adopted for the formation of Kerala as a separate state.

  • In a message sent to the Kochin Legislative Council in 1946, Sri. Kerala Varma (also known as ‘Aikya Kerala Thampuran’), the then Maharaja of Kochin, expressed himself in favour of the early formation of a Kerala State comprised of Travancore, Kochin and Malabar.

  • The ‘Aikya Kerala Conference’ was held at Thrissur in April 1947 under the Presidentship of K.Kelappan. It was attended by hundreds of delegates from all parts of Kerala. The reigning Maharaja of Kochin, Sri. Kerala Varma, attended the conference. He spoke in favour of the establishment of a united Kerala State comprising of British Malabar, Cochin and Travancore. The convention demanded that the Kerala State should be formed with the princely states of Travancore, Kochin and the British occupied Malayalam speaking areas and Mahe. The conference passed a resolution moved by the Congress leader E.Moidu Moulavi, urging the early formation of Aikya Kerala and also elected a standing council of 100 members to follow it up by action.

Aikya Kerala Movement after Independence

  • After Independence, a Petition Committee under the leadership of K.Kelappan went to Delhi in February 1948 and submitted a memorandum to the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, requesting the immediate formation of the Kerala State.

  • The Constituent Assembly appointed a State Language Commission called the ‘Dhar Commission’ to enquire the problems related to the new state formation on linguistic basis and to submit report to the government. Accordingly, the Dhar Commission visited Kerala in 1948 and made detailed enquiries about the possibility of the Kerala State formation.

  • To persuade the Commission to hasten its work, another 'Aikya Kerala Conference' was held at Aluva in February 1949 and passed a resolution requesting the Central Government to form the new Kerala state without any delay. But the State Congress leader form Travancore, Pattom Thanu Pillai opposed the formation of a united Kerala State.

  • Dhar Commission did not recommend the formation of states on linguistic basis, rather it recommended the formation of states on the basis of administrative convenience.

  • As a result, the princely states of Travancore and Kochin were merged and a new state of ‘Thiru-Kochi’ was formed on 1st July 1949 for administrative purpose. The King of Travancore became the ‘Raja Pramukh’ of the new state. Even though, the King of the Kochin was offered the post of ‘Upa Raja Pramukh’, he refused it.

  • Many people were against this move of appointing the King of Travancore as the head of the new state. They also demanded the formation of a state comprising Malabar and Thiru-Kochi. As a protest to the Central Government, K Kelappan resigned from the Presidentship of Aikya Kerala Committee.

  • In November 1949, another Aikya Kerala Conference was held at Palakkadu under the Presidentship of ‘KP Kesava Menon’. It demanded for the formation of Aikya Kerala and to abolish the post of Raja Pramukh.

  • In 1953, Potti Sriramalu fasted until death for the formation of Andhra state for Telugu speaking people. Following this, a State-Reorganization Commission was set up under the Chairmanship of Fazal Ali.

  • Following the recommendations of Fazal Ali commission, the Kerala state was formed on 1st November 1956. The new state consisted of Travancore, Kochin, Malabar and Kasargod. The post of Raja Pramukh was abolished.

    • The Tamil speaking regions of Travancore were merged to Madras. These were the southern taluks of Tovala, Agastheeswaram, Kalkulam, Vilavankod and the eastern part of Shenkotta Taluk.

    • The Tamil speaking region of Malabar was also merged to Madras state. So Gudallur was merged to Madras.

Role of K Kelappan in Aikya Kerala Movement

  • Kelappan was the president of the Aikya Kerala Committee formed in 1945.

  • In the Aikya Kerala Convention held at Thrissur, Kelappan, as the President, stated that the Kerala state should be formed with Kasargod, Coorg, Nilgiris, Malabar, Kochi and Thiruvitamkur.

  • It was he who first of all stated that while forming a separate state, apart from language, geographical features and historical background also should be taken into consideration.

  • After Independence a petition committee under the leadership of Kelappan went to Delhi in February 1948 and submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister Nehru, requesting immediate formation of Kerala State.

  • When Thiru-Kochi state was made with 'Raja Pramukh' as its head, Kelappan resigned from the Presidentship of Aikya Kerala Committee as a protest.

  • So Kelappan stood for the formation of a state for Malayalees which was to be governed by representatives of the people.


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Midukkan Tony
Midukkan Tony
05 мар. 2022 г.

Thanks

Лайк
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