Vaikom Satyagraha

Vaikom Satyagraha

News: The Vaikom temple street entry movement in Kerala, with a resonance in Tamil Nadu, began on 30th March 1924 at the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple.

Importance of March 30:
 It was a significant day in connection with Vaikom, a serene town in Kottayam, Kerala.
 The date marks the commencement of the centenary year of the Vaikom temple street entry movement that was launched in 1924, and a milestone in temple entry movements in India.
 The non-violent movement was to end the prohibition imposed on backward communities in using the roads around the Vaikom Mahadeva temple.
 It was the prelude to the temple entry proclamation of Kerala in 1936
 It was launched by leaders in Kerala such as T.K. Madhavan, K.P. Kesava Menon and George Joseph, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi. The movement was sustained and successfully conducted by Periyar E.V. Ramasamy.

Important events related to movement:
 The Vaikom movement consists of daytoday protests, arrests, of inquiries, jail terms and agitations.
 There was also the support of the higher castes for a 13-day march to the capital. A resolution was introduced in the Assembly in support of the free entry to the streets around the temple (Sanchara). But it was defeated.
 Mahatma Gandhi arrived to negotiate between the government, protesters and orthodox Hindus. Since Mahatma Gandhi insisted that it should be a local protest, requests to make it a pan-India movement failed.
 The traditionalists caused many troubles for the satyagrahis. It included counter rallies marked by violence. The resolution for the right to sanchara was defeated in the Assembly by the open support of the traditionalists. They were backed by the government and the administration.
 Tamil Nadu played a pivotal role in Vaikom Satyagraha. Periyar and Kovai Ayyamuthu, a firebrand leader, worked in tandem with leaders in Kerala. But they faced repressive action.

How did the movement conclude?
 The movement ended on November 23, 1925. The 19 leaders, including Periyar, Kesava Menon and T.K. Madhavan, was released on August 30, 1924.
 The rally by the upper castes that began on November 1, reached Trivandrum on November 13, submitting its memorandum to the Queen regent.
 Mahatma Gandhi held talks with the Queen of Travancore, social reformer Narayana Guru, traditionalists and police commissioner W.H. Pitt.
 On November 17, the satyagrahis announced their decision to withdraw their protest. On November 23, the government of the Travancore princely state declared that people could enter three of the four streets around Vaikom temple. 

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