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K Kelappan

Freedom fighter

K. Kelappan( August 24, 1889-October 7, 1971) was born in a small village of in Muchukunnu Village in Calicut in Kerala. He studied in Calicut and Madras and graduated from the Madras University.He began his career as a teacher at in S.B High School Changanassery and was the founder President of Nair Service Society later he became the Principal of a school run by the society . He fought for social reforms on one hand and the British on the other. He was a great revolutionary, social reformer and crusader for justice to the backward classes. He was called Kerala Gandhi.

He joined studies in Law at Bombay which he gave up to join the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Freedom movement. During the Malabar rebellion he faced a group of rebels who came to loot the Ponnani Treasury and persuaded them to retreat by appealing to their good sense. He gave the lead to the Payyannur and Calicut salt Satyagraha and was chosen as the first Satyagrahi from Kerala in the individual satyagraha movement launched by Gandhiji. He played a dominant role in the famous Vaikom Satyagraha and was the leader of the Guruvayoor Satyagraha in 1932. It was at Gandhiji's request that he ended his fast at Guruvayoor. He went to jail several times during the freedom struggle including the Quit India Movement. He worked hard for eradication of untouchability and worked for upliftment of Harijans and set up many Harijan hostels and schools in Kerala. He was in the forefront of Swadeshi Movement and did his best to build up a base of Khadi and Village industries.

After independence he left the Congress Party and joined the Kisan Masdoor Praja Party and was elected from the Ponnani Lok Sabha seat in 1952 later he quit politices and engaged only in social work and never aspired for position or power. He was the President of almost all major Gandhian organisations like Kerala Sarvodaya Sangh, Kerala Gandhi Samarak Nidhi, Kerala Sarvodaya Mandal and Gandhi Peace Foundation, Calicut. A part from above he was an educationist as well as an accomplished and forceful journalist. He helped in starting 'Mathrubhoomi' and was its editor for a number of years. He worked for unification of Kerala into a new linguistic state. .

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