T. K. Madhavan

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T. K. Madhavan (1885—1930) was an Indian social reformer, journalist and revolutionary who was involved with the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP).[1] He came from Kerala and led the struggle against untouchability which was known as Vaikom Satyagraha.

Early life[edit]

Madhavan was born on September 2, 1885 at Karthikappally, son of Kesavan Channar of Alummoottil family and Ummini Amma of Komalezhathu family.


In 1917 he took over the daily newspaper, Desabhimani. He was the founder of the Temple Entry Movement, which fought for the entry of oppressed and low-caste communities to the temples of Kerala. In all his speeches he pressed for the right of temple entry for all.

In 1918 Madhavan was elected to the Sree Moolam Praja Sabha, a legislative council of Travancore. In the same year he made his maiden speech at the Sree Moolam Assembly in lieu of his uncle Komalezhathu Kunju pillai chekavar. He presented a resolution seeking permission of temple entry and right to worship to all people irrespective of caste and community.He moved the resolution for the eradication of untouchability in the kakkinada session of Indian National Congress in 1923. In 1924, Vaikom Sathyagraha was started under the leadership of Madhavan, K. Kelappan, and K.P.Kesava Menon to get the right of oppressed class of people to travel through the road in front of Vaikom Mahadeva temple. Madhavan and Kesava Menon were arrested and imprisoned. Finally, the Maharaja of Travancore agreed to open the road to all class of people and the Vaikom Sathyagraha was a great success. However, he had to continue his struggle for the temple entry. In 1927 he was made organizing secretary of the SNDP Yogam.

Meeting with Gandhi[edit]

He met Gandhi at Tirunelveli, and persuaded him to visit Vaikom. Vaikom Satyagraha was a struggle of the backward class people of Kerala for establishing their right to walk through the temple roads of Vaikom, a small temple town in South Kerala. Gandhi agreed to include the issue in the agenda of the Indian National Congress.


Madhavan died at his residence on April 27, 1930. A monument was raised in his honour at Chettikulangara. In 1964 T.K.Madhava Memorial College was founded at Nangiarkulangara.


  1. ^ Smith, Bardwell L., ed. (1976). Religion and Social Conflict in South Asia. BRILL. p. 38. ISBN 9789004045101.