Pandit Karuppan(1885-1938)- Kerala Renaissance Notes


  • Pandit Karuppan was called the ‘Lincoln of Kerala’.
  • K.P. Karuppan (Kandathiparambil Paapu Karuppan) was born on 24 May 1885, at Cheranelloor, near Ernakulam into a lower middle class family of Dheevara fishermen community to Paapu and Kochu Pennu. 
  •  Karuppan’s formal education began at the age of five under Azheekkal Velu Vaidyan, a relative. Subsequently, Vadakke Valath Appu Asan, a local Guru, taught him Amarakosham, Sidhdharoopam, and Sreeramodantham, the basics of Sanskrit.
  • His first poem was ‘Sthothramandaaram’.
  • Karuppan's famous work Jathikummi, which criticised the prevailing caste system, was written in 1904 during the period of his study at Kodungallur Kovilakam. 
  • Jaathikkummi is a pioneering attempt in Malayalam literature questioning the caste system and untouchability.
  • Baalakalesam is one of Pandit Karuppan's significant works and it was written as part of the shashtipoorthi celebrations of the Maharaja of Cochin in 1919.
  • He organised the first Sabhā, Kalyanadayini Sabhā, at Anapuzha, Kodungalloor. Another Sabhā was Sudharma Sooryodaya Sabhā (Thevara), Prabodha Chandrodayam Sabhā (North Paravur), Araya Vamsodharani Sabhā (Engandiyoor), and Sanmarga Pradeepa Sabhā (Kumbalam) are other sabhās that Pandit Karuppan patronised.
  • Vaala Seva Samithi was established at Vaikom by Pandit Karuppan.
  • He wrote Aacharabhooshanam to generate awareness among the depressed classes against superstitions; the book was printed by the Government and distributed free of cost to the public.
  • Cochin Pulaya Maha Sabha was founded by Karuppan in 1913.
  • Kayal sammelanam of Karuppan was in 1913.

  • The Maharaja of Cochin honoured Karuppan with the title 'Kavithilakan' or 'Great Poet'.
  • Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran of Travancore conferred the title of Vidwan upon him in 1913.
  • Aggrieved by the death of Sree Chattambi Swamikal, Karuppan wrote a condolence poem namely ‘Samadhi Sapthakam’.
  • Karuppan was appointed Sanskrit Teacher at St. Theresa’s Convent Girls’ High School in Ernakulam.
  • Pandit Karuppan and wife Kunhamma lived in Sahithyakudeeram, a house near the St. Teresa's College, Ernakulam, with their only daughter Parvathy.
  • In 1935, he was appointed Malayalam Lecturer in the Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam
  • Pandit Karuppan passed away on 23rd March, 1938, at the age of 53.
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