Mannathu Padmanabhan – UPSC Prelims

Mannathu Padmanabham:
  • He was an Indian social reformer and freedom fighter from the south-western state of Kerala.
  • Sardar K M Panicker called him ‘Madan Mohan Malaviya of Kerala.
  • He began his career as a teacher in 1893 in a Government primary school.
  • In 1905 he changed his profession and started practicing law, in the Magistrates Courts.
Political and Social Contribution:
  • He took part in the Vaikom (1924) and Guruvayoor (1931) temple-entry Satyagrahas and the anti-untouchability agitations.
  • Vaikom Satyagraha was a movement in Travancore (modern-day Kerala) for temple entry of the depressed classes. It took place near the Shiva Temple at Vaikom, Kottayam district, Kerala during 1924-25. Vaikom was at that time a part of the princely state of Travancore.
  • Guruvayur Satyagraha was a Satyagraha (non-violent protest) to allow entry for untouchables into the Guruvayur Temple in present Thrissur district, which was then part of Ponnani Taluk of Malabar district, now part of Kerala.
  • He is regarded as the reformer and moral guide of the members of Nair community. He inspired the Nair community community members to end practicing bad and orthodox customs.
  • He led the Nairs to demand temple entry for all castes and to put an end to untouchability.
  • In 1914 he established the Nair Service Society.
  • He became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1946 and took part in the agitation against Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer’s administration in Travancore.
  • He was arrested for the Indian Freedom Movement on 14 June 1947.
  • In 1949, Padmanabhan became a member of the Travancore Legislative Assembly.
  • In 1964 he was instrumental in the formation of Kerala Congress, the first regional party in India.
Awards & Recognition:
  • He received Padma Bhushan in 1966.
  • He was honoured with the title Bharata Kesari by the President of India.
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