Dr. Manjusha R Verma
It’s the 212th birthday of Vaikunthaswamy, a social reformer, thinker, founding father of the Equality Society, the primary civil rights group in Travancore, a feminist activist and a spokesman for the primary agrarian rebellion. He is among the foremost creators of Renaissance Kerala. . Generally known as Muthukutty, Ayya and Ayya Vaikunthaswamy, he was born on 12 March 1809 in Swamithoppu close to Suchindram in Kanyakumari district. His dad and mom nicknamed him ‘Mudichoodum Perumal’. However Swarnadharshyam pressured his dad and mom to alter the title. Thus, Mudichoodumperumal turned referred to as Muthukkutta.
Following the Jain-Buddhist custom, the Vaikunthar Equality Society was totally different from all of the social reform actions of the time, because it strongly opposed the racial inequalities that existed in South Travancore and sought to ascertain social equality. When the clerical regimes turned the socio-political and financial beneficiaries of India’s apartheid custom, B.C. The reactions that happened as early because the sixth century might be traced again to the Traditions. At one time components of South India, together with Kerala, got here underneath this custom. Based by the Vaikunthaswamys in 1837, the Equality Society embodies the essential tenets of the Sramanic custom, specifically non-violence, equality and fraternity. He known as on the decrease castes in Travancore to chorus from doing ‘pressured labor’ which was performed with out pay.
Vaikunthar was not a social reformer who stood for his personal caste. The egalitarian society he began by uniting eighteen racial teams was sturdy towards the socio-economic construction through which one caste dominated over one other. He additionally established socio-cultural and academic facilities for the Avars, who weren’t allowed to enter temples and different locations. The mirror is the idol of his husbands who opposed the priesthood and idolatry. The battle for ladies’s freedom in Travancore is among the most notable struggles for ladies’s freedom. Freedom of costume is among the most basic rights of a person. Nevertheless, there have been sturdy agitations in Travancore in 1828 and 1859 for the rights of the Channar ladies who had been denied that freedom.
Girls of shade had been required to pay a excessive value for jewellery, a lease for fish, and a fundamental value for employment. Nadar ladies who transformed to Christianity in 1813 (c. 988) and 1821 gained their freedom of costume, however in areas resembling Iraniyal and Karkulam Vilavankot, ladies in overcoats had been attacked. Vaikuntha interventions have influenced the mixed agitations of Hindu-Christian-Nadar communities. He urged males to put on turbans and ladies tops as symbols of self-respect.
Firstly of the nineteenth century, there have been a few hundred sorts of taxes. The backyards had been paved with timber and timber. He organized farmers to protest towards such unscientific tax assortment and marched to Thiruvananthapuram. Because of this, the tree was lower down. Thus he was capable of develop into the initiator of the agrarian battle not solely in Kerala but in addition in South India itself. In a time of racial and gender discrimination, the implementation of what he described as a balanced weight loss program created a revolution. He had a blended meal with all of the folks belonging to totally different castes and religions.
He didn’t hesitate to sharply criticize, together with the monarchy. In his historic Suchindram speech, he known as on all Avarnas to arrange towards the state and towards immorality, no matter caste. The Sovereign complained to the King about this, and he was imprisoned for 100 and ten days. The actions of the Vaikunthas proved that even the Maharaja was topic to sharp criticism if he acted unjustly. We’re nonetheless amazed that the King of Travancore at the moment was able to name himself ‘Neeshan’. Vaikunthaswamy’s fashion of working is to instantly intervene in social points and to wage a relentless battle towards the situations that have to be rectified. His multifaceted actions had been each anti-racial and anti-colonial. It was such a coordination that made him a directional social reformer and the hotbed of the renaissance.
(The writer is an Assistant Professor, Division of Historical past, Tirur Thunchathezhuthachan Malayalam University)
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