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Vaikom Satyagraha

Vaikom Satyagraha:

As the year 2024 marks the centenary of the Vaikom Satyagraha, Chief Minister of Kerala and Tamil Nadu jointly inaugurated the centenary celebrations.

  • Vaikom Satyagraha was a movement in Travancore (modern-day Kerala) for temple entry of the depressed classes.
  • It took place near the Shiva Temple at Vaikom, Kottayam district, Kerala during 1924-25. Vaikom was at that time a part of the princely state of Travancore.
  • The movement began on 30th March 1924.
  • At the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, there was a board that denied the entry of “lower caste” people (avarnas).
  • The Satyagrahis made batches of three and entered the temple.
  • They were resisted and arrested by the police.
  • Gandhiji, Chatampi Swamikal and Sree Narayana Guru supported the movement.
  • The movement gained prominence in the whole of India and support came from far and wide.
  • The Akalis of Punjab supported by setting up kitchens to provide food to the Satyagrahis.
  • Even Christian and Muslim leaders were in support of the movement. However, Gandhiji was not entirely convinced by this as he wanted the movement to be an intra-Hindu affair.
  • On Gandhiji’s advice, the movement was taken back temporarily in April 1924.
  • After discussions with caste Hindu people failed, the leaders again started the movement.
  • Leaders T K Madhavan and K P Kesava Menon were arrested.
  • E V Ramaswami Naicker (Periyar) came from Tamil Nadu to support the movement and then he was arrested.
  • On 1st October 1924, a group of savarnas (forward castes) marched in a procession and submitted a petition to the Regent Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bai of Travancore with approximately 25000 signatures for allowing entry to the temple for everyone.