The history of Slave Trade in Kerala. #Thread

There is a stone on the east side of the Kottayam Thirunakkara temple. Many people do not know the historical significance of this stone, known as Parachikallu (പറച്ചിക്കല്ല്).

167 years ago, slavery was ablolished in Travancore.
The practice of buying and selling people of the so-called lowest strata of the caste hierarchy as slaves prevailed in parts of Kerala till its abolition on 1853. Lower castes were attached to land & sold and bought with land in Kerala, like chattel slaves.

An inhumane practice
Thirunakkara Maidanam was one of the biggest slave market where scores of slaves (lower caste Hindus) were brought, lined up and sold to the highest bidder.

The stone (Parachikallu) is a monument of the suffering and cruelty towards the slaves.
Slaves were liberated in phases from 1812. On 1843, slavery and slave trade was banned in British India. Under pressure from the British, Travancore king Uthradam Tirunal banned all forms of slavery & slave trade in 1853.

Neighbouring princely state Kochi also banned it in 1872
Although slavery was banned, the conditions of lower caste Hindus didn't improve. Adivasis, Ezhavas and Dalits were still seen as second class citizens (denied temple entry & not allowed to walk on roads)

The era from 1880's - 1930's was seen as the revolt of the lower castes.
Malayali Memorial in 1891.
Villu Vandi Yathra in 1893.
Ezhava Memorial in 1896.
Agrarian Agitation in 1907.
Misrabhojanam in 1917
Vaikom Satyagraha in 1924.
Guruvayur Satyagraha in 1931.

The Agrarian Agitation of Ayyankali & Misrabhojanam by Sahodaran Ayyappan made a huge impact
In 1935, the lower castes threatened mass conversion if they were denied temple entry. KC Kuttan was the first Malayali to embrace Sikhism on April 1936 in Amritsar.

Travancore Temple Entry Proclamation came on Nov 1936, 83 years after slavery was abolished.
The lower castes of Malabar had to wait till 1947 for temple entry rights. On 2nd June 1947, Mahatma Gandhi & Lower caste Hindus entered the Guruvayur temple ending proscription on Avarnas that existed for many centuries.

This happened 15 years after Guruvayur Satyagraha.
Sources :

History of Travancore from the Earliest Times by Shungoonny Menon.

Emergence of slave caste by Kunjulekshmi Saradamoni

KK Ramachandran Nair's Slavery in Kerala

Modernity of Slavery by P. Sanal Mohan
Detailed write up in Malayalam.

newskeralaonline.org/parachikkallu-…
Colonel John Munro is a powerful figure in the history of Kerala.

dnaindia.com/india/report-h…
Kerala was one of the worst place in the Indian Sub-continent. Casteism was ripe.

It's transformation to God's own country is a story which can shock even the best of historians.
കോട്ടയം തിരുനക്കര ക്ഷേത്രത്തിന്റെ കിഴക്കുഭാഗത്ത് ഒരു കല്ലുണ്ട്. പറച്ചിക്കല്ല് (Parachikallu) എന്നറിയപ്പെടുന്ന ഈ കല്ലിന്റെ ചരിത്രപരമായ പ്രാധാന്യം പലർക്കും അറിയില്ല.

തിരുവിതാംകൂറിലെ അടിമവ്യാപാര നിരോധന വിളംബരം പുറപ്പെടുവിച്ചിട്ട് ഇന്ന് 167 വർഷമാകുന്നു.

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