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Temple Entry Movement in Kerala

  • Date Submitted: 05/26/2011 12:17 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47 
  • Words: 1596
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‘Temple Entry Movement in Kerala During the Early 20th Century
Balu G Nair,
Word Count- 1472.
“Day after day they gathered before the bars of the forbidden road and asked for admission. In rain or shine, they sat there silent witnesses against what they considered to be an unfair tradition”.
Temple entry movement was one of the most important events in the annals of Kerala history. It brought a new light into the dark lives of the so- called ‘untouchables’ or the lower castes. The movement which was spearheaded by the Kerala wing of the Indian National Congress was ably assisted by the entire progressive section of the civil society of Kerala. It was a socio- religious reform movement which reformed the lives of the ‘avarnas’ or the lower caste people. The movement went through a number of steps. The right for ‘untouchables’ to enter the temple roads and use other spaces which were exclusively meant for the ‘savarnas’ or the upper caste people were the initial demands of the agitators who later on raised the demand for temple entry. The movement was not confined to a single event. It went through a number of stages in the form of Vaikkom Satyagraha which took place in 1924, the Guruvayur Satyagraha of 1931, the Temple Entry Proclamation of Travancore in 1936 and the declarations in Kochi and Malabar later on which gave the lower castes access to temples. The movement was not confined to any single section of the society even though it was for the cause of a particular section of it. The movement, even though it went through a lot of tense moments, never turned violent and was marked by its peaceful nature. The movement assumes much importance in the modern era when the demand for allowing non Hindus into temples in Kerala has gained much attention. This essay traces the origin and development of temple entry movement, the effect it had on...


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