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Kerala PSC - Majar Revolts in Kerala

Kerala PSC - Majar Revolts in Kerala

Attingal Revolt (1721)

  • Attingal Revolt was the first organised opposition in Kerala against the British.
  • In 1684 the English East India Company obtained some land at Anjengo to build a factory. Later the England merchants built a fort at Anjengo.
  • In course of time, the local population turned hostile to the English men because of their corrupt practices and overbearing conduct. In 1721, the local inhabitants attacked a party of 141 Englishmen and put them to death.
  • The resulting hostilities which lasted for six months ended only after the arrival of a British military unit from Tellicherry.

Battle of Kulachal (1741)

  • The famous battle fought at Colachel on 10th August 1741.
  • Marthanda Varma won victory over Dutch.
  • D'Lannoy, the Dutch commander captured by Marthanda Varma.
  • D'Lannoy later became the 'Valia Kappithan' of Marthanda Varma's army.

Pazhassi Revolts

  • This revolt was staged in two phases, the first phase, 1793-1797 and the final phase 1800-1805.
  • The revolt against the British in Malabar organised by Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja of the Kottayam Royal family shook the foundation of the British power in Kerala.
  • The first phase of the revolt was caused by the wrong revenue policy of the British.
  • The final phase of Pazhassi Revolt opened when the British tried to take possession of Wanad, which had been ceded to them by Tipu. Pazhassi Raja claimed that Waynad belonged to him and opposed the British move to seize it. This resulted in a prolonged struggle between him and the company.
  • On 30th November 1805 the brave lion of Kerala was killed in an encounter with the Company's troops, on the banks of the Mavila Thodu.
  • British officer, Thomas Harvey Baber was responsible for crushing the Pazhassi revolt.

Kurichiya Revolt (1812)

  • The army of the Pazhassi Raja was mostly composed of Kurichiyas and Kurumbars of Wayanad. They rose in revolt in 1812 to protest against the tax policy of the British Government.
  • The Kurichiya Revolt was truely a mass up-rising intended to check the official high handedness of the foreign master and their economic exploitation of the country.

Mappila Riots

  • Mappila outbreaks had their origin in agrarian depression and poverty.
  • In 1881 Mr. Logan was appointed as a Special Commissioner in Malabar. According to him, the real lord of the soil was Hindu Janmi and the Mappilas had no rights on land. This was the real cause of Mappila unrest.
  • The group of Mappilas murdered Hindu Janmis and desecrated Hindu temples.

Malabar Rebellion (1921)

  • The progress of the Khilafat movement alarmed the district administration in Malabar. The police tried to arrest the Secretary of the local Khilafat Committee. This led to wide spread riots, which engulfed the taluks of Ernad and Valluvanad. The Mappilas attacked police stations, looted government property and destroyed buildings. The rebellion was at last suppressed by the government with an iron hand.
  • Modern historians look upon the rebellion of 1921 as a part of the national upheaval against the British authority and not as a mere uprising of the Mappilas.
  • The Wagon Tragedy took place in connection with the Malabar rebellion.

Vaikom Satyagraha (1924-25)

  • The avarnas or untouchables were forbidden to walk along the approach roads to the Vaikom temple.
  • KP Kesava Menon, TK Madhaan, AK Pillai, Mannath Padmanabhan and K Kelappan, along with several other leaders started an agitation to win the right for the avarnas to use the approach roads.
  • This was the first major struggle in Travancore for the eradication of accountability.
  • The Satyagraha was withdrawn on the advice of Gandhiji.
  • By 1928 approach roads to all temples were thrown open to all Hindus, irrespective to caste. 

Guruvayoor Satyagraha (1931-32)

  • The aim of the Satyagraha was to get the Guruvayoor Temple opened to all Hindus.
  • K Kelappan was the leader of the Satyagraha and AK Gopalan was the Volunteer Captain.
  • After ten months, Kelappan began an indefinite fast, which was later given up on the advice of Gandhiji.
  • The Guruvayoor Satyagraha failed to achieve its immediate objective, but it produced a climate in favour of  the eradication of untouchability.

Nivarthana Agitation (1932)

  • The Nivarthana agitation was staged against the constitutional reforms of 1932 in Travancore. It demanded the representation of Ezhavas, Muslims and a section of Christians on the basis of population.
  • The prominent leaders of the agitation were C Kesavan, TM Varghese, NV Joseph and PK Kunju.
  • They formed an organization called Samyukta Rashtriya Samiti (Joint Political Congress).
  • After a bitter struggle, the government agreed to appoint a Public Service Commission to ensure proper representation to backward classes in the government services.

Electricity Agitation (1936)

  • It was organised in Trichur town in 1936 as a protest against the Cochin Government under the Diwan of Sir RK Shanmukham Chetti, to entrust the distribution of electric power in the town to a private company. Leaders were E Ikkanda Warrier and Dr. AR Menon.

Punnapra Vayalar Revolt (1946)

  • Diwan CP Ramaswamy Ayyar announced American Model constitution for Travancore.
  • Both the State Congress and Communist Party rejected the Scheme.
  • The Communist Party organised the people at certain strongholds for a revolt, especially at Punnapra in Ambalapuzha and at Vayalar in Cherthala.
  • The slogan "American Model Arabi Kadalil" rent the air everywhere in the state.
  • After a violent encounter with the rebels, the army crushed the Punnapra-Vayalar revolt.
  • The Dewan left the state after an attempt on his life in 1947 and the Raja decided to merge Travancore into the Indian Union.

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