K Kelappan(1889-1971) - Kerala Gandhi

K Kelappan was a reformer, an Indian freedom fighter, educationist and journalist.

He was a founding member and first president of the Nair Service Society(NSS).

He is also known as Kerala Gandhi.




Kelappan was born in the small village of Muchukunnu at Koyilandy in Calicut, Kerala.

K Kelappan led Salt Satyagraha in Kerala from Calicut to Payyannur in 1930.

He was the leader of the Guruvayur Satyagraha  took place in (1931–32. K Kelappan was the Secretary of Guruvayur Satyagraha Committee. He undertook a hunger strike for 12 days, until it was abandoned because of a request from Mahatma Gandhi

He is the first Satyagrahi from kerala to participate in the Individual Satyagraha Movement(1940-41) launched by Gandhiji.

In April 1947, Kelappan presided over the Aikya Kerala Conference (AKC) held at Thrissur.

K Kelppan was the KPCC President at the time of Indian Independence.

After independence he left the Congress Party and joined the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party and was elected to Parliament from the Ponnani Lok Sabha seat in 1952.

Kelappan was also led the agitation at Thali Temple at Angadipuram and Thirunavaya.

Kelappan has served as the editor of popular newspaper Mathrubhumi.

He called the formation of Malappuram district as ‘the birth of a mini Pakistan’.


He formed ‘Malabar Kshetra Samrakshana Samiti’ to renovate and restore numerous small and great temples of Malabar which had been demolished during Tipu Sultan’s invasions.

In 1990, Indian Postal Department published postage stamp in the memory of K.Kelappan.

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