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Last Updated Friday September 22 2017 09:48 AM IST

K Kelappan and the freedom movement

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K Kelappan and the freedom movement K Kelappan during the freedom struggle. File photo: Onmanorama

There were a lot of leaders who were in the forefront of our freedom struggle in Kerala. K Kelappan, also known as the 'Kerala Gandhi' continued social reforms even after the country became independent. He passed away on October 7, 1971. We trace his footsteps.

Early years

Born in Muchukkunnu, a small village in Kozhikode, K. Kelappan was trained in 'Kalaripayattu' from a very young age. He completed his education from Madras and took up a job as a teacher. He was among those who worked behind the formation of the Nair Service Society (NSS). Later, he went to Bombay to read Law and it was then that he became inspired by Gandhiji. He quit his studies and joined the national movement.

Freedom movement

K Kelappan and the freedom movement The monument to mark the Salt Satyagraha. Photo: Onmanorama

When Gandhiji called for the Non Co-operation movement, K. Kelappan was one of the main leaders who joined in. He played a very dominant role in the Malabar region and courted arrest many times. In 1930, he led the Salt Satyagraha and marched to Payyanur beach and made salt. He also took part in the Vaikom Satyagraha and Guruvayoor Satyagraha.

And after

K Kelappan and the freedom movement K. Kelappan during a protest. Photo: Onmanorama

After the nation gained independence he was active in politics for a while. He was the president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee till 1950 and then quit active politics and he kept himself busy with the Sarvodaya movement. He edited newspapers and was the man behind the starting various educational institutes in the area. He was a visionary and was one of the main person who started the Rural Institute at Thavanoor near Kuttipuram. This is now under the Kerala Agricultural University.

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