Biographies of Sahodaran Ayyappan

Vypeen figured prominently in the course of the deliberations of the Lawyers Forum for Social Justice held at Mavlankar Auditorium, New Delhi on 2nd and 3rd March, 2008.

Justice K. Sukumaran, Executive Chairman, in his presidential address referred to the various social revolutions which took place in Kerala, to earn for it the covetable title ‘GOD’S OWN COUNTRY’.

Sree Narayana Guru, the saint social reformer and Sahodaran Ayyappan, Guru’s disciple and a fiery social revolutionary were some among the most distinguished leaders of the social movement which ultimately lead to the opening of public roads for use by the backward classes, and threw open the temples for worship bythe backward classes.

The delegates and others, who numbered more than one thousand, desired to know more about these distinguished personalities. They were pressing a demand for a biography in English, particularly of Sahodaran Ayyappan.

There are biographies of Sahodaran in Malayalam, the first one by Advocate K.A.Subramanian and the second by Prof. M.K.Sanu, former M.L.A. In addition, an anthology containing articles by the socio-political leaders and literary men of the time was prepared by an eminent historian and scholar-writer, P.K.Balakrishnan.

Any informed citizen of Kerala would have browsed through these books, particularly the book of Prof. Sanu.

As demanded pressingly and persuasively by the delegates, a biography of Sahodaran Ayyappan is being compiled hurriedly though, to have it released on Ambedkar Day of 2008, 14-4-2008.

We would solicit information on Sahodaran Ayyappan and his activities from all those who possess such biographical details, directly or indirectly.

Some aspects relevant in the context would be:

1. Cherai, now a tourist centre, where he was born. The Sahodaran Memorial Trust functions there.

2. About Vypeen island in general, as his revolutionary movement of inter-dining which started from there.

3. Allied topics would be the Government High School, Parur where he studied, connections with liberal minded rationalist thinker and Head Master of the school Shri Rama Varma Thampan.

4. Similarly his association with Vignana Vardhini Sabha, Cherai and HMDP Sabha, Moothakunnam and Rama Varma School where he was a Teacher and where K.C.Abraham, former Governor of Andhra Pradesh was also a Teacher.

5. Matters pertaining to the Gosri Bridge, connecting Vypeen with Vallarpadam, Bolghatty Island and Ernakulam land. This was the project conceived of exclusively by Sahodaran Ayyappan as Minister for PWD, Cochin State, 45 years back.

6. Sahodaran’s functioning as a Minister in Cochin State and Travancore-Cochin State.

7. Sahodaran’s great contribution as an editor of the paper ‘Sahodaran’ and later as a columnist in Kerala Kaumudi, the mouth piece of backward classes.

8. The activities as President of the SNDP Yogam, the harsh criticism made by him against Diwan C.P.Ramaswamy Iyer’s despotic rule, the later reconciliation and joint ventures beneficial to the community, earning for the backward classes a prominent position in society.

9. His crucial role in Vaikom Satyagraha and the friendship with Periyor E.V.Rama Swamy Naicker, who contributed massively for making the agitation an ultimate success. There are profused references in Periyor’s writings of those days, about Sahodaran. Periyor declared that Sahodaran was the only social leader who could be trusted!

10. ‘Reservation is the supreme panacia for social justice ills’ – declared Sahodaran. It has continuous relevance even now. V.P.Singh expressed sentiments on reservation meaning much more than a job and salary; it has a participatory role in governance of the country and a share in the exercise of sovereign powers. These remarks made in Harward earned international acclaim and made coverage in the Media. Yet these were the sentiments expressed by Sahodaran 50 years back.

11. Events and incidents begins small, projecting this central idea could be kindly conveyed to us.

Whatever materials available reflective of his thinking and evidenciery of his action would be extremely helpful.

The information could be mailed to:

Any help in this matter would be a valuable material for posterity to note, and for present generation to evaluate their relevance in the context of the uncompleted social-justice revolution in India.

The help in this regard will be sincerely and deeply appreciated and gratefully acknowledged. (More about Sahodaran Ayyappan at: INHERITED GENIUS) [Feature]: Sahodaran Ayyappan)

(JUSTICE K. SUKUMARAN), (Office Address, Delhi).
Executive Chairman,
Lawyers’ Forum for Social Justice,
D-1/176, Lajpat Nagar,
NEW DELHI-110 024.

Phone: 011 29810045, 29815529. FAX # 011 29819843.

Cochin Residence:-

Market Road,
COCHIN-682018. Phone: 0484 2390625

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