K. Kelappan

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Kerala Gandhi
K. Kelappan
Born (1889-08-24)24 August 1889
Muchukunnu, Calicut
Died 7 October 1971(1971-10-07) (aged 82)
Nationality Indian
Other names Koyapalli Kelappan Nair, Kerala Gandhi
Education Graduate
Occupation Freedom Fighter, Teacher, Editor and Founder President of Nair Service Society
Known for Indian independence movement
Title Kerala Gandhi
Political party Indian National Congress
Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party
Spouse(s) T P Lakshmi Amma
Children T P K Kidav

K. Kelappan (24 August 1889 – 7 October 1971) was a founding member and president of the Nair Service Society, a reformer, an Indian freedom fighter, educationist and journalist. He is also known as Kerala Gandhi. Post independence he held various seats in Gandhian organizations.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kelappan was born in the small village of Muchukunnu in Calicut, Kerala.[2]

He studied in Calicut and Madras and graduated from the University of Madras before starting his career as a teacher at St. Berchmans High School, Changanassery. Kelappan was the founding President of the Nair Service Society and later became the principal of a school run by the society.[2]

As reformer[edit]

He fought for social reforms on one hand and the British on the other. He fought relentlessly against untoucahbility and caste-based discrimination.[3] Along with K. Kumar, he became the earliest in Kerala to remove the suffix to his name that implied caste-status.[4] He was called Kerala Gandhi.[2]

Role post independence[edit]

After independence he left the Congress Party and joined the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party and was elected to Parliament from the Ponnani Lok Sabha seat in 1952. At the end of his term, he left active politics and became a Sarvodaya worker and was actively associated with Bhoodan Movement in Kerala.[5]

Kelappan helped in starting Mathrubhoomi and was its editor for a number of years. He worked for unification of Kerala into a new linguistic state.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In his honour India Post released a Commemorative stamp in 1990.[6][7]


  1. ^ "K. Kelappan an unsung hero". The Hindu. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Freeindia > Biographies > Freedom Fighters > K. Kelappan". Freeindia.org. Sh. Kelappan Centenary State Committee Kerala. Archived from the original on 22 April 2003. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  3. ^ The History of Freedom Movement in Kerala (1885 - 1938) – Government of Kerala (Government Press - 1972) - P.K.K Menon – : Page 116
  4. ^ K. Kumarji Smaraka Grantham - 1974 - (K. C Pillai)
  6. ^ K. Kelappan Commemorative Stamp
  7. ^ Stamps, Commemorative Stamps