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Vaikom Satyagraha (വൈക്കം സത്യാഗ്രഹം)

Objective of the satyagraha

  • The lower caste people had no rights to walk through the public roads adjacent to Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. So, a satyagraha was conducted. The objective of the satyagraha was to get admission to public roads for people belonging to lower castes.

  • It was the first movement against untouchability in India.


When and Where?

  • Satyagraha was conducted in Vaikom Mahadeva Temple during 1924-1925.


Course of Events

  • In 1923 INC session at Kakinada, T.K Madhavan presented a resolution against untouchability (അയിത്തോച്ചാടന പ്രമേയം). It was passed in INC.

  • In 1924, a satyagraha committee was formed by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee.

  • Everyday, people from upper and lower castes started to enter the temple. After that, they were arrested by the police.

  • The same process repeated every day.

  • From Tamilnadu, E.V Ramaswamy Naikkar participated in the satyagraha and were arrested. Because of this, he is also called Vaikom Veerar (വൈക്കം വീരർ).

  • From Punjab, the Akalis came to help the satyagrahis. They gave free food to the satyagrahis.

  • Acharya Vinobha Bhave visited Vaikom as a representative of Gandhi.

  • As per the suggestion of Gandhi, rallies of upper castes were conducted in support of satyagraha (സവർണ ജാഥ).

  • From Vaikom to Travencore, a rally of upper caste people was conducted under the leadership of Mannathu Padmanabhan.

  • Similarly, from Nagarcoil to Travencore, a rally was conducted under the leadership of M.E Naidu.

  • In 1925, a resolution was presented in the Travencore Legislative Assembly to give admission to all public roads for people from lower caste. But, the resolution was failed in the assembly.

  • In 1925 March, Gandhi visited the satyagrahis. After that, he made discussions with the Dewan and Regent Rani Sethu Lakshmi Bhai. As a result of these discussions, police stopped arresting the satyagrahis who are entering the temple.

  • Due to the increasing support to the satyagraha, in November 1925, all the public roads which are adjacent to the temple were opened to lower caste people except the roads in the eastern side.

  • In 1928, all the roads were opened for people from lower castes.

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