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Martyrs of various uprisings to be considered freedom fighters

GS Paper 1

Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.



A three-member committee was appointed by the Indian Council of Historic Research (ICHR) to review the entries in the fifth volume of the ‘Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947)’.



Previously, the committee had recommended the deletion of the Malabar Rebellion leaders Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji, Ali Musaliar, and 387 other ‘Moplah martyrs’ from the list.



About the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising:

  • It was a militant communist movement in 1946 in the Princely State of Travancore, British India against the Prime Minister, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer and the state.
  • This was a proper struggle against the declaration of ‘Independent Travancore’ by the then Travancore.


The significances of this revolt were:

(a) It was a unique agitation where the working class rose against the government.

(b) It saw the people of all classes up in arms against a common tyrant hence it dissolved class and religion distinction and induced unity among people.

(c) It resulted in establishing democracy in the region and also gave a decisive turn to the politics of the state.


Implications of the revolt:

  • Historians maintain this was a proper struggle against the declaration of ‘Independent Travancore’ by the then Travancore.
  • T K Varghese Vaidyan, a leader of the struggle, had gone on record saying it was a rehearsal for a larger revolution with the ultimate objective of establishing a “Communist India”.


Kayyur Incident:

  • In 1940, peasants there under the leadership of communists rose against the two local jenmis, Nambiar of Kalliat and the Nayanar of Karakkatt Edam.
  • Kayyur is considered the cradle of agrarian revolution in Kerala.


The Karivellur uprising:

It took place on December 20, 1946. The uprising was to fight the landlords who wanted to smuggle paddy from the village at a time of acute starvation.


Insta Curious:

Do you know about Patharughat: The forgotten peasant uprising of Assam in 1894? Reference



Prelims Link:

  1. The above mentioned revolts are related to?
  2. Who took part in them?
  3. What were the main demands?
  4. About ICHR.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and issues surrounding the Punnapara-Vayalar revolt.

Sources: the Hindu.