Pampady John Joseph

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Born Pampady Joseph
(1887-05-23)23 May 1887
Pampady, Kottayam
Died 14 July 1940(1940-07-14) (aged 53)
Occupation Teacher
Nationality Indian
Citizenship Indian
Alma mater Trukkakara Mission School
Subject Dalit Liberation
Notable works Sadhujan Dootan (Periodical), Cheruma Boy
Spouse Saara

Pampady John Joseph (Pampady, 1887-Jul 1940), known as Pampady John or Pampady Joseph, was a Dalit activist and the founder of the socio-religious movement Cheramar[1] MahajanSabha. [2]

Early life[edit]

Joseph was born in 1887 at Pampady, Kottayam to his father was Pampady John. His father was a Christian who was converted from Pulaya (then untouchable) caste to Catholic Christian. Joseph was educated up to the sixth standard at Trukkakara Mission School. He came to Kottayam in 1910 and then to Thiruvananthapuram in 1918. For sometime he served as a teacher[why?].[2] Joseph felt that the Catholic Church[where?] was not treating newly converted Christians as equals to their Syrian counterparts, leading to dissatisfaction among the converts. Pampady John organized Cheramar Mahajan Sabha on 14 January 1921 to protest against the traditional attitude and customs of the caste Hindus and caste Hindu converts. In Cheramar Mahajan Sabha, caste Christians as well as untouchable Hindus were allowed to be the members.[2]

Cheramar Mahajan Sabha[edit]

Joseph believed that the Pulayars were the original inhabitants of Kerala and hence he changed the caste name to Cheramar, which means the people of Kerala. The Sabha's intention was to struggle against the Hindu mentality and obtain their lost rights. He thought that the Cheramar, Pulayar, Parayar and Kuravar are the Adi Dravida races of India. [2]

Joseph initiated the Sadhujan Dootan magazine in 1919, in which he wrote inspiring articles. It was published until 1924. [2]

Joseph, in his book Cheruma Boy, questioned the Syrian Christian's apathetic and discriminatory attitude towards the untouchable Christians.[2]

Joining Shri Moolam Legislative Assembly, Travancore[edit]

On 8 June 1931, he became a member of the Shri Moolam Legislative Assembly, Travancore. Joseph presented a memorandum to the British Parliament on 24 April 1935 and pleaded it to accord all the civil rights to untouchables on a par with the others. As he found untouchable Christians not getting equal privilege and treatment in the Church, Joseph advised to construct own Churches and temples. Along with Ayyankali and Poykayil Appachan,Pambady John Joseph acquired land and distributed among Dalits.[2]


  1. ^ People of India :A-G Volume 4. Oxford University Press. 1998. pp. 2871–2872, 3745. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rāmacandra Kshīrasāgara (1 January 1994). Dalit Movement in India and Its Leaders, 1857-1956. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd. pp. 287–. ISBN 978-81-85880-43-3. Retrieved 10 May 2012.