"Until the lions have their own historians the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter...."
- Chinua Achebe

2015, ഫെബ്രുവരി 16, തിങ്കളാഴ്‌ച

Kumara Gurudevan - Prof. Dr. Suresh Mane.

Kumara Gurudevan
Along with Sree Narayana Guru and Mahatma Ayyankali, the place of Sree Kumara Gurudevan (Poikayil Yohannan, 1879 - 1939) the founder of 'Prathyakshz Raksha Daivs Sabha' (PRDS-!908) is also of prime importance. Born as a child of slaves, he struggled for a new identity for the scheduled castes in Kerala. His vision was a caste-less society. The PRDS, set up in 1908, was a concrete example of caste-less, creed-less and a cosmopolitan Dravidian society. The principles of the PRDS were,

1. To reject both the Christianity and Hinduism.

2. To believe that the God will incarnate to liberate the untouchables.

3. to believe in liberty, equality and fraternity of all.

4. To pray in the name of the creator but not to offer any sacrifice.

 PRDS is the one of liberation movements of untouchable or Dalit people in Kerala. The movement considered Hinduism was an oppressive political institution and Christianity was a dreaming force to identity crisis. PRDS could be rightly described as the protestant movement after the conversation of Dalits to Christianity. Kumara Grudevan himself had converted to Christianity initially but had found no difference between Hinduism and Christianity because system of gradation and degradation, untouchability was also prevalent among the Christians. He given his massage through songs. In one of his composition he said,

Church after church has come up in time,
I find distinctions still not removed
The master has a church
The serf has another
A church for Pulaya
A Church for Paraya
A church for "Moracken"
The fisherman.

He openly said that Christianity could not do away with caste distinctions. Due to radical methods
of Kumara Gurudevan he was implicated in several false cases and upper caste people - landlords also made in attempt to eliminate him.

Kumara Gurudevan told his followers that they were of Dravidian origin and were a set of people with no class of caste distinction. He stood for the social needs of all the untouchables and backward classes. Twice he was the member of Sree Moolam Praja Sabha. As a member, he made revolutionary and radical demands and appealed to the government to give.

1. Land of the landless
2. Financial aid for farmers
3. Permission to enter and study in public schools
4. Free education and Educational concessions
5. Free food and clothing
6. Reservation in government service
7. Appointment of the educated in all service etc.

The dimand enlisted him as one of the greatest visionaries and social reformers of the 20th century Kerala. Although PRDS and the movement of Kumara Gurudevan was in essence a protest movement or one of the several social revolts in the century in the subsequent period it assumed the form of religio-social organisation of lower caste people irrespective of their personal caste or religion. The followers of PRDS belive Kumara Gurudevan as the incarnation of God and they don't believe in any other God or Goddess.

PRDS have provided the unique alternative method to annihilate a caste by permitting inter-caste marriages between the followers of PRDS faith. Thus it has also work as the source of emancipation and unification of the depressed. Therefor in a dispute over the status of PRDS in the year 1966-67, in a case the District Judge give a ruling that PRDS is a Christian organisation but Justice Raghavan of the Kerala High Court overruled it by declaring that PRDS is not a Christian organisation. The Jude also observed that PRDS is not even a Hindu creed but only a new venture to start a new casteless creed for the depressed and the socially disabled communities. Even the Teaching of Kumara Gurudevan that not to have the ornaments of any kind on any part of human body could be seen as one of the method to build up the lost economy of downtrodden classes. In Kerala Kumara Gurudevanwas the first to open an English medium school for the untouchables.