Who was Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, on whose life Malayalam movie Pathonpatham Noottandu is based?

Source: The post is based on the article Who was Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, on whose life Malayalam movie Pathonpatham Noottandu is based?published in Indian Express on 15th September 2022.

What is the News?

The recently-released Malayalam film Pathonpatham Noottandu (‘Nineteenth Century’), has earned both critical acclaim and audience approval. It is based on the life of Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, a social reformer from the Ezhava community in Kerala.

Who was Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker?

He was a social reformer from the Ezhava community in Kerala who lived in the 19th century.

He was one of the most influential figures in the reformation movement in the state. He challenged the domination of upper castes or ‘Savarnas’ and brought about changes in the lives of both men and women.

He was given the title of ‘Panicker’ by the then-king of Travancore in 1869. 

What are the contributions of Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker?

He is credited with building two temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, in which members of all castes and religions were allowed entry. 

In 1858, he led the Achippudava Samaram strike at Kayamkulam in Alappuzha. This strike aimed to earn women belonging to oppressed groups the right to wear a lower garment that extended beyond the knees. 

In 1860, he led the Mukkuthi Samaram at Pandalam in the Pathanamthitta district for the rights of lower-caste women to wear ‘mukkuthi’ or nose-ring and other gold ornaments. 

He led the first-ever strike by agricultural labourers in Kerala named Karshaka Thozhilali Samaram. 

He also established the first Kathakali Yogam (area-based schools for the classical dance form Kathakali) for the Ezhava community in 1861.

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