Kaniyan caste in Kerala where Gandhi did

Gandhiji's Historical Kerala Visits

 

In 1922, when riots happened in Malabar, Gandhiji decided to visit the place. From Chennai, he started his journey along with Mohammed Ali. But Ali was arrested at Voltaire station and permission of Gandhiji to visit Malabar was dismissed. But as a part of freedom struggles and movements for dalits, Mahatma Gandhi has visited Kerala 5 times. In 1920 - 1 day, 1925 - 12 days, 1927 - 8 days, 1934 - 13 days and in 1937 for 9 days marked his Kerala visit. Through this article I would like to briefly mention those visits to Kerala and historic events associated with it.

Guru-Shishya Samagamam

On 1927 October 14, great poet Vallathol Narayana Menon reached guest house of Thrissur to see his guru. Gandhiji had already heard about Vallathol, his patriotic songs and famous poem written by him, assuming Gandhiji as his guru. They had a small chat and when Vallathol left the guest house, it was like a dream come true to him.

Sacrifice of Kaumudi

1934 January 13 Vadakara. Gandhiji stopped his speech requesting people to provide monetary fund. Suddenly a girl of 16 went to the stage and gave one gold bangle to him. She requested for his autograph and when he was about to give it, she began to take her ornaments one after the other and gave them to Gandhiji. Even though Gandhiji said, one bangle is enough she handed over her 2 bangles, chain and even ear rings. She even promised him that she will never wear ornaments thereafter. Gandhiji commented that more than her golden ornaments, her sacrifice is really worth.

Gandhi and Ayyankali

That historical moment took place on January 14, 1937, 4 pm - the last time when Gandhiji visited Kerala. Venganoor, native place of Ayyankali was about 15 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram main city. Ayyankali was then fighting for equal rights for Dalits of Kerala. Temple entry proclamation of Chithira Thirunal Maharaja made such a meeting possible.

Gandhi and Narayana Guru

On 1925 March 12, Gandhiji visited Narayana Guru at Sivagiri Ashram. He wanted to meet that person who fought against social inequalities and superstitions that existed in the society then. Swami gave his support to Vaikam satyagraha by Gandhiji.

Gandhiji at Mathrubumi

He visited Mathrubhumi press at Kozhicode on 1934 January 13. He unveiled K. Madhavan Nair’s painting and did a historic speech there.

In Gandhiseva Sadan

1934 January 13, he reached Pakkanarpuram Gandhiseva Sadan, established by K. Kelappan (in 1924), popularly known as Kerala Gandhi. The venue and the roads leading to the place were fully crowded.

Temple opened by Kasturba

During 1934 visit, Kasturba Gandhi also assisted her husband. On January 10, she opened Kaimadam Ayyappan temple to dalits. It was for the first time in India when a temple had been opened to Dalits.

Visits to Sabaryashram

He visted this institution three times - 1925 March 17, 1927 October 15 and 1934 January 10. It was this institution in India that organized classes in a single classroom where people belonging to all religions and castes were allowed to sit. Extremely pleased with this move, Gandhiji stayed at the ashram in the year 1925. The classes were started by lighting a lamp before Gandhiji's picture.

His last journey to Thirunavaya

After the assassination of Gandhiji, as per Kelappaji's request, Nehru granted permission to bring Gandhiji's ashes to Thirunavaya. On February 12, 1948, the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, was washed in Bharatappuzha at Thirunavaya. After that, every year Thirunavaya Sarvodaya Mela is organized on the dates, February 10-12.

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