‘Vanniya Kula Kshatriya’ and imitated upper caste customs like the taboo on
Ezhava Movement The untouchable Ezhavas of Kerala, under the
leadership of Nanu Asan (also known as Narayan Guru), began in the early
20th century a movement, known as the ‘SNDP yogam’ (Sri Narayan
Dharma Paripalana Yogam). Its twin objectives were to abolish
untouchability and to build a simplified system of rituals regarding worship,
marriage and funerals. They also imitated some of the customs of the higher
castes. In the latter period they became the firmest supporters of the
communists in Kerala.
Nair Movement In the state of Travancore the intermediate caste of Nair’s
(numerically the dominant caste) started in the late 19th century a strong
movement against the social and political domination of the Nambudri
Brahmins and the non-Malayali Brahmins (Tamil and Maratha).
C. V. Raman Pillai organised the Malayali Memorial (1891) which
attacked Brahmin predominance in government jobs. His historical novel
Martanda Varma (1891) attempted an evocation of the lost Nair military
glory. His group was, however, easily accommodated within the official elite
by the late 1890’s.
After 1900, however, a more energetic Nair leadership emerged under K.
Rama Krishna Pillai and M. Padmanabha PilIai. The former edited the
Swadeshabhimani from 1906 till 1919 when its attacks on the court and
demands for political rights led to his expulsion from Travancore.
Padmanabha Pillai founded the Nair Service Society (1914) which worked
for the social and political advancement of the Nair’s.
Satyashodak Movement It was a movement started by Jyotiba Phule in
Maharashtra. Phule, through his book Ghulamgiri (1872), and his
organisation Satyashodak Samaj (1873) proclaimed the need to save the
lower castes from the hypocritical Brahmins and their opportunistic
This movement was dual in character. That is, it had an urban elite-based
conservatism (the trend representing the desire of the urban-educated