Sree Narayana Movement and Social Transformation of Modern Kerala: A Bird’s-Eye View

  • Shaji Anirudhan Professor of History, University of Kerala, Kerala, India
Keywords: Colonial modernity, Missionary intervention, Aruvippuram prathishta, Civic rights movement, Abstention movement, Conversion threat


Among the various factors that contributed for the transformation of Kerala into a modern democratic society the role played by Sree Narayana movement was most significant. Realising that the political power was the master key to social progress, the leaders of the movement came into tacit understanding with non Hindus, made permutations and combinations with them to maintain and strengthen their position in the society. Through their protests, incessant conflicts and assertions, they succeeded in transforming the pyramidal social structure of Kerala into pillar structure. From the position of caste victims they could elevate themselves to the makers of their own destinies. They also succeeded in politicising the social relations. The philosophies and pragmatic approaches propounded by Narayana Guru for the material and spiritual advancement of the backward caste people of Kerala was found successful that contributed for the social transformation from structural relations to human relations and from caste hierarchical structure to inter-personal relations.

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