Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker

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Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, also known as Kallaseril Velayuthan Panikker, (07/01/1825 – 03/01/1874) was an Ezhava warrior of the 19th century in Kerala, India, who fought against oppression by the upper castes.

Panicker, son of Kallisseri Perumal Chekor of the renowned Kallissery Tharavad lived in the village of Mangalam in Alappuzha district and today has folk-hero status in that area. Stories claim him to have been tall, muscular and fair-skinned, and to have held sway over other local members of the Ezhava caste to which he belonged to and for whom he acted as a protector. Resisting restrictions imposed on him due to his caste, he walked on public roads and demanded that those he protected should do the same. By providing cloth for lower caste women, he also opposed the royal decree that they should not cover the breasts and, the folklore says, killed some upper caste men who attempted to strip the women of the material. Sri Velayudha Panickeris associated with the ACHIPUDAVA Strike in Kayamkulam, and the MOOKKUTHI CHANDHA in Pandalam. He was given the status of Panicken (modified to Panicker by the then Travancore King.

The anthropologists Filippo and Caroline Osella consider him to be a forerunner of Sri Narayana Guru in his desire to challenge the prevailing oppression of the Ezhavas.[1]

A research centre now exists called The Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker Research Foundation and Cultural Centre.[2] The temple which he built near to Managalam and in which he installed a Sivalingam in 1854 still stands.[1]

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  1. ^ a b Osella, Filippo; Osella, Caroline (2000). Social Mobility In Kerala: Modernity and Identity in Conflict. Pluto Press. pp. 156–157.
  2. ^ "Panicker Research Foundation and Cultural Centre". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 2005-05-01.