Dr Palpu (1863-1950)


  • Dr. Palpu was born on 2nd November 1863 at Petta in Thiruvananthapuram. He was the first medical graduate from Ezhava community in Travancore.
  • Dr. Palpu was a relentless fighter for the cause of the Ezhavas in Kerala.
  •  Sarojini Naidu praised him one of the greatest revolutionaries in India. He was the founder of ‘Travancore Ezhava Sabha’.
  • It was the efforts of Dr Palpu marked the beginning of the long drawn out struggle to be waged by the backward classes within the Hindu community in Travancore for securing social equality and justice. Thus he has a prominent position among the leaders of Renaissance of Kerala. 
  • As there was no opportunity for him to serve in Travancore government service, he joined the medical service of the neighbouring state of Mysore.
  • Dr.Palpu was the third signatory in the Malayali Memorial (1891), a mass petition signed by 10038 persons submitted before Sree Mulam Tirunal, the King of Travancore which marked the beginning of the united social effort in the state to press the demands of the backward classes.
  • On the initiative of Dr.Palpu a mass memorial signed by 13176 members of Ezhava community was presented to Sree Mulam Tirunal on 3rd September 1896. This document known as Ezhava memorial of 1896 demanded that the Ezhavas should be made beneficiaries of all those rights and privileges which were being enjoyed by their brethern who had become converts to Christianity.
  • The Government’s reply to the Ezhava memorial was too equally frustrating and reactionary in tone and content.
  • Disappointed by he attitude of the Government of Travancore, another memorial was submitted before Lord Curzon, the Viceroy when he visited Travancore. This is known as Ezhava Memorial of 1900.
  • Dr. Palpu took initiative to establish Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam in 1903. It was the advice given by Swami Vivekananda to associate with some spiritual person in his effort to fight for the rights of the Ezhavas that drew him to Sri Narayana Guru.
  • He called Kumaranasan as ‘Chinna Swami’.(‘Periya Swami’ was Narayana Guru)  He passed away on 25th January, 1950.
  • Dr. Nataraja Guru, who founded Sree Narayana Gurukulam for the propagation of the ideals of Sri Narayana Guru was the son of Dr. Palpu.
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