C. Kesavan

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C. Kesavan (23 May 1891 – 7 July 1969) was the Chief Minister of Travancore-Cochin during 1950–1952.[1]

He was born in an Ezhava family in 1891 in the village of Mayyanad, near to Kollam in the then princely state of Travancore.[1]

Kesavan was influenced by the work of Padmanabhan Palpu, the social reform campaigner who was a member of the backward Ezhava community and a founder of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana association.[2] He became an activist for the Ezhava caste, seeking an improved socio-economic position for them, and in the 1930s he suggested that they should abandon Hinduism. Thus he was an atheist.[1]

Kesavan wrote an incomplete autobiography, consisting of two volumes that described his life up to the time of his political prominence. A third volume was planned to cover that later period but was unwritten at the time of his death. The work combined the story of his own life with a wider narrative concerning the plight of the Ezhava caste of which he was a member. Udaya Kumar says that his "early memories are tinged with two lines of injustice: the discrimination he suffered as an Ezhava boy on the streets and other public places, where he was forced to defer to upper-caste people, and the unjust exercise of authority by the elders and the upper sub-divisions within the Ezhava caste".[1]

The Kollam Corporation Town Hall was named the C. Kesavan Memorial Municipal Town Hall in Kesavan's memory. It is a decades-old building situated on the National Highway passing through the Cantonment.[3][1] The building is now one of the main venues for several cultural events and meetings.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kumar, Udaya (2009). "Subjects of New Lives". In Ray, Bharati. Different Types of History. Pearson Education India. pp. 322–323. ISBN 9788131718186. 
  2. ^ Kumar, Udaya (2009). "Subjects of New Lives". In Ray, Bharati. Different Types of History. Pearson Education India. p. 326. ISBN 9788131718186. 
  3. ^ "C. Kesavan's statue unveiled in Kollam". The Hindu. 2008-06-14. Retrieved 2017-07-04. 
  4. ^ "New rent for town hall to be ratified today". The Hindu. 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2017-07-04. 
  5. ^ "A bridge to bypass choking traffic". The Hindu. 2014-01-19. Retrieved 2017-07-04. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Parur T. K. Narayana Pillai
Chief minister of Travancore-Cochin
Succeeded by
A. J. John, Anaparambil