Remembering Mahatma Gandhi’s Kerala visits on Martyrs’ Day

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 30 : Martyrs’ Day is observed every year on January 30 to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. On this occasion, Kerala remembered Gandhi on his 73rd death anniversary on Saturday. He had paid five visits to the state and the first one was regarding his most cherished issue of ‘Hindu-Muslim’ unity.

Gandhi was assassinated on this day in 1948 by Nathuram Godse.

In his first ever visit to Kerala, Gandhi reached Kozhikode from Trichy by train and then went to the coastal town of Malabar on August 18, 1920. He had a series of meetings with Hindu and Muslim leaders and discussed the importance of the Khilafat movement, besides fighting the British and throwing them out of the country.

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Senior Congress leader and Chairman of Gandhi Centre, V.S. Hareendranath told IANS: “Mahatma Gandhi was a towering personality who always stood for communal amity as well as religious dialogues and also worked for the downtrodden. It was very clear that during the Khilafat movement his main plank was of Hindu-Muslim unity, which he emphasised at Kozhikode during his 1920 visit, as per records available with us.”

Gandhi addressed a mega rally of 20,000 people at Vellayil beach in Kozhikode on the evening of the same day. K. Madhavan Nair who later became the first KPCC president, translated the Mahatma’s speech.

Gandhiji’s second Kerala visit in 1925 was on March 8, and he stayed in the state till March 19. He met several prominent personalities during the visit. The prime focus of his visit was the Vaikom satyagraha which was for the entry of the lower castes to the Vaikkom Mahadeva Temple.

The Mahatma visited Sivagiri and met the spiritual leader Sree Narayana Guru and also stayed at Varkala.

During his third visit to the state, he reached Thrissur on October 14, 1927 and met students of Sarvodaya school, Thrissur and inspired them to wear Khadi as part of the nationalist movement.

It was during this visit that a girl, Kaumudi walked boldly to the stage from where the Mahatma was addressing the students and removed all her gold ornaments and donated them to him. She also pledged not to wear gold anymore. Gandhiji had later written an article in Harijan by the title “Kaumudi Ka Tyag”.

The Mahatma on his fourth visit to Kerala reached Shoranur, Palakkad on January 10, 1934 with his wife Kasturba Gandhi. She opened the Kaimadham Ayyappa temple to Dalits and this was the first temple opened for the Dalit community in India.

Gandhiji visited the Matrubhumi press at Kozhikode during this visit and unveiled a photograph of K Madhavan Nair, the first KPCC president who had passed away by then.

The fifth visit of the Mahatma was from January 12-21, 1937 and the main purpose was mostly to participate in the Temple Entry Proclamation declared by the Travancore Maharaja Sree Chithira Tirunal Balaramavarma on November 12, 1936.

Hareendranath said: “Mahatma Gandhi had shaped the modern Kerala very well, as we can see right from the Khilafat movement visit in 1920 till his visit to Travancore for the Temple Entry Proclamation, he was touching on social subjects and striking a chord with the people of the state and that is his greatness.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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