Current Affairs

Vaikom Satyagraha

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Background of Satyagraha:

» Christian missionaries, supported by the East India Company, had expanded their reach and many lower castes converted to Christianity.

» Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal, took many progressive reforms (Introduction of a modern education system with free primary education for all – even lower castes).

» Forces of capitalism and these reforms created new social hierarchies.

» Role of Women: Periyar’s wife Nagammai and sister Kannammal, played an unprecedented role in the fight.

» Arrival of Gandhi ji: Mahatma Gandhi arrived at Vaikom in March 1925, held a series of discussions with leaders of various caste groups and met Maharani Regent at her Varkala camp.

» The Vaikom Satyagraha was officially withdrawn on November 30, 1925 after consultations between Gandhi ji and W.H. Pitt (Police commissioner of Travancore)

Outcome of Satyagraha:

Three out of the our roads surrounding the temples were opened up for everyone, but the fourth (eastern) road was kept reserved for brahmins.

Vaikom Satyagraha (UPSC)