Pinarayi invites Stalin to celebrate centenary of Vaikom Satyagraha next year

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (left) welcomes Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Nagercoil on Monday. Photo: Twitter/@mkstalin

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Tamil Nadu counterpart MK Stalin have agreed to come together for the centenary celebration of the Vaikom Satyagraha, a historic agitation that paved way for the Temple Entry Proclamation in the princely state of Travancore.

The nonviolent movement that began in March 1924 -- demanding the right of members of lower castes to walk on the roads leading to the Vaikom Temple, now in the district of Kottayam -- will mark its 100th anniversary next year.

Addressing an event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the 'Thol Seelai Porattam' (maar marakkal samaram - Upper Cloth Revolt) at Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu CM Stalin remembered the contributions of social reformist 'Thanthai Periyar (EV Ramasamy) in the Vaikom Satyagraha.

He urged Pinarayi to make the centenary a joint celebration of Kerala and Tamil Nadu "to commemorate the struggles of our predecessors".

Pinarayi in his speech extended a formal invite to Stalin to the centenary celebrations.

The Vaikom Satyagraha was a turning point in the struggle for equal rights vis-a-vis the access to Temples by people of all castes. Mahatma Gandhi took part in Satyagraha in March 1925 and held discussions with the Travancore royalty.

Spiritual leader Sri Narayana Guru took part in the Satyagraha along with a host of prominent activists, notably, K Kelappan, TK Madhavan and KP Kesava Menon.

The Vaikom Satyagraha was a precursor to the Temple Entry Proclamation in 1936 abolishing the ban on low caste people's entry to temples in the Princely State of Travancore.

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