V. T. Bhattathiripad
Vellithuruthi Thazhathu Karutha Patteri Raman Bhattathiripad (1896-1982), popularly known as V. T. Bhattathiripad or simply V. T., was an Indian social critic, well-known dramatist and a prominent freedom fighter who was a key figure in removing casteism and conservatism that existed in the Namboothiri community.
Bhattathiripad was born on March 26, 1896 to Thuppan Bhattathiripad and Sridevi Andarjanam in Kaippilly Mana at Mezhathur on the banks of river Nila in south Malabar. He belonged to the family of Agnihothri on his father's side and had the lineage of Adi Sankara on his mother's side. He encouraged widow marriage in the Brahmin society and tried to reform the conservative practices of the "Namboodiri community in particular and the society at large.". He conducted the first mixed-race marriage in the Brahmin society. He is credited with starting the progressive theater movement of Kerala during which "the stage and performance became a highly conscious social activity in the hands of social reformers and political activists". His drama Adukkalayilninnum arangathekku was a turning point in this context:
The year 1929 is most significant in the sense that V. T. Bhattathiripad wrote his play Adukkalayil Ninnu Arangathekku. It was the first play in Malayalam to have a definite and concrete social objective and which was produced in 1930 itself as part of a very powerful social reformist movement led by Namboodiri Yogakshema Sabha. The degenerate Brahmanical ideology and its social structure had its first powerful assault from within for the first time and the most fervent slogan of the period was for the transformation of "Brahmans into human beings".