Schooling and Education - Sahodaran

AYYAPPAN GOES TO SCHOOL. It is a tragic fact of India’s social history that the majority of the people had been suppressed by the oppressive classes and denied even the basic Human Rights including education.

The southern stretch of western coast had, however, one great advantage; an enlightened Ruling family.

Sethu Parvathy Bai is an unforgettable figure in the history of educational endevours in Travancore. A great educational institution which had beginnings a century back, is a centre of quality education of international reputation. The educational reforms enveloped the whole State. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has discovered it, as is evident from proverbial recording in his “Discovery of India”. Panditji rightly pointed out the principles between this shining little State when large areas of Europe were still languishing in the darkness of ignorance.

The Travancore State stretched beyond Cochin Port at that time. The accompanying sketch will demonstrate the compassing geographical details.

North Parur was benefited by an education institution started as part of the process of enlightenment which started in Travancore. A High School, with dedicated teachers was a great boon and the greatest asset of this area.

Cherai where Ayyappan was born, did not at that time enjoy the facility of a High School in the various schools which were in the Vypin Island.

The bright boy with active interest in education, sought hand in the nearby High School at Parur. That was the first among the many steps he had in his educational career.

Easwara Pillai, who sacrificed his life for the students in the school had such a great tradition, taking the academic atmosphere to covetable stages.

This tradition of excellence in education was continued by his successor Rama Varma Thampan.

Rama Varma Thampan belong to an aristocratic family of upper caste of Kshatriya which occupied the second rank in the traditional four-fold tradition of Hindu community. The family was noted for its scholars and their literary contributions. The women in the family too had educational attainments and literary compositions to their credit. Rama Varma Thampuran was a great scholar from that family. Much more than that, he was a great thinker with literary views of progressive lines.

Very many details about Rama Varma Thampuran can be gathered from the biography of his daughter Lakshmi N. Menon, an illustrious Minister picked up by Prime Minister Nehru for holding the delicate fort folio of the time – External Affairs.

Thampan was a prolific writer, an active rationalist, and a respected social activist.

Ayyappan could earn the affection and good will of this great teacher. The early deciple of nerrudite teacher demonstrated his faculties to Rama Varma Thampuran. The teacher encouraged the deciple, inculcating in him the progressive thoughts of that era.

A passage from the biography of Lakshmi N. Menon will throw much light on the life and career of Sahodaran Ayyappan, particularly the joint efforts taken for effectively transmitting the messages of socialism and of the Soviet Revolution which shook the world.

The script published at page ….. in the biography of Lakshmi N. Menon is produced herewith for the benefit of the curious minded persons. It reads:

Every one was much impressed by the intellectual achievement of the boy and his capability in tackling problems of castes and its ill-effects.

Such was the quality of the deciple that they later became intimate friends!

Along with Rama Varma Thampuran, his student Ayyappan became a founder-member of the rationalists origin.

The teacher was always by the side of Ayyappan, when unjustly attacked by the conservatives and rational elements in his community. Suffice to say in this c0ontext that student Ayyappan disciplined in very many of his public activities. The deciple meaningfully named SAHODARAN. Rama Varma Thampuran contributed many articles to the publication of Sahodaran.

Thus we see the marching of a fiery youth of idealism closest to his heart and a oneness with the Institution. Sahodaran thus became a notable figure not merely among the Lawyers field but also among areas of highly obsolete and harmful fields. The fruits of this leader would be appreciated by a visit to Niyama Sameeksha premises.

A brilliant student, Ayyappan secured luster as one of the imaginative social revolutionaries of Kerala.

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