Temple Entry Movements

The Aravipuram movement was of far-reaching importance in South India. Inspired by its success, a number of socio-religious reform movements were launched in the South. The Temple Entry Movement is the more prominent among them.

The struggle against the disabilities imposed on the avarnas or members of depressed classes in various parts of South India was being waged since the end of the 19th century. In Kerala, leading the struggle were several reformers and intellectuals such as Sri Narayana Guru, N. Kumaran Asan and T.K. Madhavan. In 1924, another beginning was made for opening the doors of the temples for the avarnas. After 1924 the anti-untouchability programme became a part of the Gandhian constructive programme, attracting to it a new popularity. The temple entry movement used the techniques developed in the course of the nationalist struggle. The temple entry movement was the Gandhian or nationalist approach to fight caste oppression.

As a result of the movement, in November 1936, the Maharaja of Travancore issued a proclamation throwing open all government controlled temples to all Hindus irrespective of caste. Madras also followed suit.

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