Friday, April 20, 2007

Kootiyattam - Sanskrit Theatre of Kerala

Unesco hails it as “a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity,” but few Malayalees are aware of it.
Poet Thomas Gray lamented,
Full many a flower is born to blush unseenAnd waste its sweetness on the desert air
Nearer home we have the pithy Malayalam saying which means "the fragrance of the jasmine in the backyard goes unnoticed". This saying could aptly describe the fate of Kerala’s Sanskrit theatre form Kootiattam, perhaps the oldest Indian dance ensemble, which some fear is sinking into oblivion.

This near-crisis has prompted the UnitedNations Educational , Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to appeal to the world citizen to be responsible for the protection and promotion of Kootiattam which it describes as “a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.”
That it may be, but few Malayalees seem conscious of their great cultural heritage. Many are unaware that the more popular Kathakali has grown out of Kootiattam which, until recently, was not seen outside the exclusive circle of a few temples. And Kootiattam itself has evolved from Koothu, a solo dance recital. When one performer narrates the story, it is known as Koothu, but when more than one actor enacts a play, it is known as Kootiattam, meaning ‘acting in unison.’
There is some difference of opinion among experts about the date of origin of Kootiattam though they all agree it is ancient and had flourished for centuries. Some put it as early as 2nd century AD. Among them is K.P. Narayana Pisharoty, the foremost authority on the subject, who says that certain preliminaries point to the art having been in practice for more than 1800 years. Dr K.K. Raja, Director of the Adayar Library and Research Centre, believes that the Sanskrit stage in Kerala goes back to at least 9th or 10th century when King Kulasekhara Varman, himself an actor-cum-playwright, wrote and staged two dramas. He is also said to have reformed the Sanskrit stage with the help of his court poet Tolan. As Dr Raja himself points out if Kulasekhara Varman ‘reformed’ the theatre, it must have been in existence before, which shows the antiquity of this art form. Among his innovations is the introduction of a ‘Vidushaka’ (jester) to explain the Sanskrit passages in Malayalam. Before King Kulasekhara’ time, the dramas staged were mainly written by Bhasa, Kalidasa and Harsha, all non-Keralites. Most of the dramas enacted at the time were episodes from the epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata.
This actor-playwright is none other than the celebrated Vaishnava saint Kulasekhara Alvar whose ‘Mukunda Mala’ in praise of Lord Krishna is rated on par with the scriptures. It may be worth pointing out that he is the only Malayalee Alvar, is highly respected in Tamilnadu and other parts outside Kerala, and is one of the twelve Vaishnava Alvars. An incident related in Swami Thapasyananda’s book “Sankara Digvijaya” (on the life of Sri Sankaracharya (788-820AD), throws light on his extreme humility. Hearing about the wisdom and scholarship of the boy Sankara, who was then only seven years old, the King went to his house to pay his respects. It is said that on seeing the young prodigy, the King realized his innate divinity and prostrated before him three times. He also read three new dramas he had written to Sankara who was impressed with the King’s literary talents.

Unlike certain folk arts where the traditions were handed down from father to son, Kootiattam had manuals containing exhaustive details and instructions on production and acting technique for each of the plays.
Kootiattam is an art restricted to the temple. But there is some difference of opinion whether it is a temple ritual in the accepted sense. In any case it used to be performed only in the koothambalam, i.e. theatre specially built for the performance within the temple precincts. More than a dozen such theatres are still preserved in good condition. It is said that the koothambalams of Vadakkunath temple in Thrissur (Trichur) and the Koodalmanickam temple in Irinjalakuda are some of the best among them.
The role of the hero or other male characters can be played only by a Chakyar. Female roles are enacted only by Nangyars, the women of the Nambiar community. (For the uninitiated, they are exclusive communities of performing artists). Vocal music for the performance is also supplied by the Nangyars who keep the tala (rhythm) with a special type of cymbals. But the predominant musical accompaniment is the Mizhavu drum which is in the shape of a large spherical pot of copper with its small mouth sealed with tightly stretched hide. The drummer plays with bare hands. Other instruments used include Idakka, a small temple drum played with a stick, and Kuzhal (pipe).
It was mentioned earlier that performance of the Kootiattam used to be restricted to the temple theatres. But no more. The first performance outside the temple was at Calicut (Kozhikode) in 1960. The first non-Indian involvement in organizing a public performance was in 1962. This was arranged at the Kerala Kalamandalam and was organized by Dr Clifford Jones of the University of Pennsylvania whose interest in art and theatre is well-known. Other public performances followed. The first one outside Kerala was in 1963 in Madras followed by one in New Delhi.
As a Sanskrit drama, Kootiattam follows the rules enunciated in the Natya Sastra. This means that all the four components that bring a stage play to fruition are strictly followed. The four rules involve movement and actions of the body, controlled delivery of words in prose or verse, make-up, costume and adornment, and the projection of moods and sentiments. Great attention is paid to the make-up and attire of the performer. Readily available materials such as rice, charcoal, turmeric and certain types of flowers are used. Kathakali adoped the Kootiattam style of make-up, but refined it in course of time.

The stage is decorated with bunches of plantains, coconut fronds, clusters of tender coconuts and coloured cloth considered auspicious. A tall lamp is lighted, even if the performance is during the day. The purappadu (beginning) and the preliminary rites are performed on the stage before the actual performance of the drama.
Then the performance itself. At a time only a single act from a drama is staged. The actual staging of a whole act lasts three to five nights. The introduction of characters etc can take up to twenty to thirty days.
The speech is limited to a few lines of Sanskrit poetry, but each line is explained and illuminated with hours of finely detailed story-telling. It is a marvel how the Chakyar treats a single scene as a full-fledged drama. The elaborate exposition of a single verse can take up to two hours of acting while a whole play may require up to forty days for total presentation. The face with its delicately wrought eye, cheek, brow and lip movements and the elasticity of the face muscles are used to depict a wide variety of contrasting emotions.
It is a general belief that when an actor identifies himself completely with the character he represents, he gets transformed into that character, albeit temporarily. This story, claimed to be true, is narrated by Mr L.S. Rajagopalan in his book Kudiyattam: Preliminaries and Performance.
It was in the 1970’s. At that time only Brahmins were given prasadam directly in hand by temple priests, others have to pick it up from designated places. The Chakyars, being non-Brahmins, were not given prasadam in hand, but on the first day of a Kootiattam performance, he is entitled to that privilege. A Kootiattam performance was scheduled at the Guruvayur Temple. Sri Kunjunny Chakyar of Kuttanchery went to the sopanam in the costume of Hanuman to receive the prasadam. The junior priest on duty refused to give it directly to him insisting that it was a privilege restricted to Brahmins. The Chakyar kept his cool and told the priest, “You should remember that you are not talking to a Chakyar but to Sri Hanuman.” The priest was not impressed. Kunjunny Chakyar came away without taking prasadam.
As ill-luck would have it, the priest’s young son died in an accident within four days. The news spread panic among the priests. After the incident, the priests were prompt to give prasadam directly to the Chakyars in costume.

Ayurveda - A vibrant kerala tradition

The Indian sub-continent abounds as it were in a variety and diversity of health traditions. It is perhaps the longest unbroken health tradition which has not only a stream of practitioners but also a textual and theoretical backing in terms of the Ayurvedic and other herbal healing systems. They have made their presence felt even outside India such as China, Thailand, Caombodia and Indonesia. The most remarkable thing about Indian medical tradition is that it prevails at two different levels, namely the classical system and the folk system. Classical system refers to the codified systems such as Ayurveda, Sidha and Unani traditions. They are characterized by institutionally trained practitioners, a body of texts and highly developed theories to support their practices. Folk system refers to an oral tradition passed on from father to son or mother to daughter or from guru to sishya in tens and thousands of our villages through the ages.
Origin of AyurvedaAyurveda evolved in the foot hills of The Himalayas some 5000 years back. Because this knowledge is believed to have emerged into human consciousness from the Infinite Field of Being which is the common reality of all souls, it is said that it was taught to people by the Gods. The ‘rshis’ or scholars codified their observations and experimentation and the first known text book were called Charaka Samhitha. [Charaka is the name of the compiler and ‘Samhitha means the collected information] This is considered as the best available knowledge to treat general disease conditions. Another branch of experimental knowledge was codified by Acharya Susrutha and it is called Susrutha Samhitha. This compilation contains details of surgical practices and procedures. That is why Acharya Susrutha is considered Father of Surgery by many people.
Ashtavaidya families[ eight families who practice Ayurvedia as an oral tradition] play a key role in maintaining Kerala’s status as the most authentic Ayurvedic practice with scientific Panchakarma [five fold cleansing therapy] practice and Kerala special therapies such as pizichil[oil bath] Njavarakkizhi[rice pudding therapy], Sirodhara[oil dripping for the head] .
Ayurvedic practice which is popular in Kerala is based on one text called Ashtanga Hridayam by Vagbhata. Acharya Vagbhata redacted the whole system of Ayurveda revising the entire Ayurvedic literature in a single text , first as Ashtanga Sangraha, which was condensed with some revision as Ashtanga Hridayam.[ Ashtanga- eight branches, Hridayam means heart or the essence]. Eight families practice this knowledge as an oral tradition with their expertise in each of the eight branches. Those eight families are Pulamanthol, Alathiyoor, Kuttanchery, Thrissur thaikkattu, and Elayidathu thaikkattu, Chiratamon, Vayaskara and Vellodu. Kerala Ayurveda is considered the best Ayurvedic practice with its detailed description of ‘poorva karma’ [pre treatment measures lik! e oil bath, steam bath, njavarakkizhi, sirodhara etc] and ‘panchakarma’ [five fold cleansing therapy].
Eight branches [or Ashtangas] of ayurveda
Kayachikithsa [General medicine]
Bala Chikithsa [Pediatric medicine]
Graha chikithsa [Psychiatric medicine]
Oordwanga chikithsa [E N T]
Salya Thanthram [Orthopedic medicine]
Salakya Thanthram [Ophthalmology]
Damshtra chikithsa [Toxicology]
Rasayana Vajeekaranam [Geriatrics and Nutrition]
Kerala is popular for its authentic practice of both these classical and folk systems. Classical practice dates back to the time of Maharaja Chithira Thirunnal who took the initiative to open up an Ayurvedic school in Trivandrum. Now Ayurvedic studies are organized by all of our universities[Kerala, Mahathmagandhi,Calicut and Kannur universities] under the guidance of Central Committee for Indian Medical Systems.
Ayurvedic practice mainly includes:
Home remedies and cures for common ailments.
Knowledge and beliefs regarding foods-pathyam and apathyam , i.e.foods to be preferred or avoided during specific diseases or conditions or diet for proper recuperation.
Individuals/families specializing in the treatment of specific diseases[eg.jaundice, asthma etc].
Knowledge of diagnostic procedures.
Knowledge of preventive measures.
Knowledge of ritucharya or adaptation of food and regimen to suit all the six seasons.
Knowledge of dinachrya or daily routine.
Yoga and other physical cultural practices of a preventive nature.
Special treatments for poisoning[snake and others], effective treatments for bone setting and ottamooli [single drug treatment] therapy for certain conditions like migraine and liver disorders.
Pancha karma or five fold purification therapy.

Dance in Kerala

Kerala, God’s own country, the land of coconuts, the land of greenery with its swaying palms, dancing paddy fields and green trees is sandwiched between the vast Arabian sea and the rising Sahyadri hills. With the climatic condition helping agriculture the people of Kerala had enough time to evolve a culture, typical to the flora and fauna of the region.
An early morning stroll amid the paddy fields takes you to a world of infinite joy. We can hear apart from nature singing and dancing people doing the sadagams (practice). We can hear pattu sadagam (vocal practice) Vayitharri (syllables) Mai sadagam (body exercises) Nrithabhyasam (dance practice) Kannu sadagam (eye exercises) etc. Sometimes it makes one wonder whether this is Indraloka or heaven with the celestial beings involved in the practice and perfection of various art forms.
Kerala is a rich storehouse of varied tradition and a distinct culture. There appears to be a constant interaction between nature and mankind, between the God and Mankind, and God is worshipped through nature, religious ceremonies and through dance. The dance in Kerala can be divided into the ritual form, dramatic form, narrative form and the spiritual form.

The most primitive form of dance in Kerala is the ritual form; wherein man himself becomes God or spirit and dances in frenzy, sometimes even blessing the devotees. Example: Theyyam, Pambinthullal, Vellichapadthullal etc.
In the dramatic form the dancer enacts the role of different Gods and Goddess and conveys to the audience the different mythological stories highlighting their characteristic traits. Example: Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Krishnanattam etc.
There is yet another form; the narrative form, wherein the dancer narrates the story of the great epics through dance, music or narration such as in Ottamthullal, Chakiarkoothu, Kaikottikali etc. In ottamthullal and chakiarkoothu lot of humor is added to make the stories interesting and meaningful, by interweaving present-day topics so that people are aware of the happenings and relate to the great epics or puranas.

Lastly there is the spiritual form wherein the dancer through her dance conveys her longing to be united with God. This dance signifies the longing of a mortal to be united with the immortal. In other words craving of the atma to join the Paramatma. This is the highest form of bhakti namely the shringara bhakti .The constant endeavor of prakruti to join purusha; this is the underlying rasa or emotion of Mohiniattam. The union of feminine and masculine forces has resulted in creation. The feminine force is prakruti and the masculine purusha. Feminine is atma and masculine Paramatma.
This is the reason why many of the great poets, kings and mendicants assume the female form and write intensely, ardent, passionate love poems about the love and longing which they have for God. The highest form of union is between man and women, through love, which leads to sexual act, and the resultant is creation. Since God is the man, the poets both male and female assume the female form. Most of the mohiniattam dance lyrics expresses in its variation the theme of separated lovers longing and their passion.

Kerala - An introduction

Kerala is located between north latitudes 8 degree 18' and 12 degree 48' and east longitudes 74 degree 52' and 72 degree 22', this land of eternal beauty encompasses 1.18 per cent of the India. The land area of kerala is about 38,863 sqkm, with a total population of 31,838,619. It is about 3 per cent of the country's population. The population density of the state is about 655 people per square kilometer, About 16 per cent of the people live in the cities. Most of the others live in large, semi-urban villages.
The ancient history of Kerala is shrouded in the mists of tradition. The most popular legend would have it that the land crust that forms the State was raised from the depths of the ocean. Parasurama, the Brahmin avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, had waged an epic series of vengeful wars on the Kshatriyas. Came a moment when Parasurama was struck by remorse at the wanton annihilation he had wrought. He offered severe penance atop the mountain heights. In a mood of profound atonement, the sage heaved his mighty axes into the midst of the distant ocean. The waves foamed and frothed as a prawn-shaped land extending from Gokarnam to Kanyakumari surfaced from the depths of the sea to form the state and hence the sobriquet - " Gods Own Country".

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kerala – A Historical Perspective

Like the history of many other provinces of India, the history of Kerala is also unique in many ways. Because of its unique geographical position, it staged the meeting place for many types of people, many religions many ideas and ideologies. Travelers, merchants & rulers - people of various profiles visited and influenced the history of Kerala. History of Kerala is the story of the growth of a complex and sheltered society with Indian outlook and open to West-Asian influence.
The earliest people of Kerala were believed to be Megalith builders aged between 10th Century BC and 5th Century AD. Their language was most probably was an archaic form of Tamil. They built burial moments similar to megalithic monuments in west Asia and Europe including Menhirs, Rock cut chambers, dolmens with port hole cists, stone circles and specifically hat stones (Toppikallus), which were peculiar to Kerala.
Jainism was brought to Kerala during the period of Chandra Guptha mourya. The evidence of their presence in Kerala is the fact that some Hindu temples of today were originally Jain temples, the deites of some of the hindu temples like Kudalmanikkam Temple near Irinjalakuda is believed to be Jain saints originally.
During the period of Asoka, Bhudhists came to Kerala and established their temples and monasteries in different parts of the country. The following Hindu temples are believed to be once Buddhist shrines: the Vadakkunnathan Temple of Trichur, the Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple of Cranganore, and the Durga Temple at Paruvasseri near Trichur. A large number of Buddha-images have been discovered in the coastal districts of Alleppey and Quilon; the most important Buddha-image is the famous Karumati Kuttan near Ambalappuzha.
The first lighted period in Kerala History in called the Sangam Age (1-500 AD.) Collections of poems like Purananuru, Akananuru, Silappathikaram and Manimekhalai by poets like Paramer, Kapilar, Gautamanar, mamulanar and poetess Avvaiyar. The Sangam poems were secular. The poems give us information about the Chera kulas like Utiyam, Neducheralathan and Chenkuttawan. Their capital was vanchi (muziris), which was an important trading centre with Rome. There were harbours of Naura near Kannur, Tyndis near Quilandy, and Bacare near Alappuzha which were also trading with Rome and Palakkad pass (churam) facilitated migration and trade. The contact with Romans might have given rise to small colonies of Jews and Syrian Christians in the chief harbour towns of Kerala. The Jews of Kochi believe that their ancestors came to the west coast of India as refugees following the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century AD The Syrian Christians claim to be the descendants of the converts of St. Thomas, one of the Apostle of Jesus Christ. The tribal society was slowly moveing towards civilization.
A silent revolution was taking place in the social system of Kerala during the lastphase of Samgam Age. Brahmins from the Karnataka region started coming to Kerala. By about the 8th century, a chain of thirty-two Brahmin settlements had come up, which eventually paved the way for the social, cultural and political separation of Kerala from the Tamil country, in due course. A large number of the settlements were in Central Kerala. The process of Brahminisation or Sanskritisation began. Temples were constructed, Nambudiri community was evolved. Sankara the exponent of Advaita (monistic) philosophy lived in the 8thC.AD. The whole of Kerala came to be covered by a network of temple centered Brahmin settlements. Under their control, these settlements had a large extend of land, number of tenants and the entailing privileges. With more advanced techniques of cultivation, sociopolitical organization and a strong sense of solidarity, the Brahmins gradually formed the elite of the society. They succeeded in raising a feudal fighting class and ordered the caste system with numerous graduations of upper, intermediate and lower classes. In due course, the consolidation of these settlements and the establishments of their ascendancy gradually led to the evolution of a new Malayalee language and a new Malayalee culture, the separate identity of Kerala was in the making.
A new dynasty called Perumal of Mahodayapuram emerged in Kerala in the 9th Century AD. The capital city of mahodaya puram was built around the temple of Tiruvanchi kulam. A major part of Kerala was brought under the control of this dynasty. Perumal was the overlord (Keraladhinatha) of Kerala. Perumal had a Nair force under him.There were rulers like Sthanu Ravivarma, Bhaskara Ravivarman and RamavarmaKulasekhara. A network of landed aristocracy was evolved in Kerala. A peculiar type of feudal relationship was evolved. Each Nadu or District had its own hereditary or nominated governor called the Naduvazhi.
Kollam,the capital of Venadu was an important harbour. In 825 AD Kollam era (Malayalam Era) came into existance. Matrilineal (Marumakkathayam) system was developed. Trade and commerce flourished. Hill products were exported to West Asia. Caste system began to develop. Sections like Panas, Pulayas, and Parayar were deprived of all privileges.
Importance was given to Sanskrit language and many Sanskrit works were written in this period Tapathi Samvaranam and Subhadra Dhamanjayam are among them. Sankara Narayana was a famous astronomer. There was progress in temple architecture-and sculpture.
Of the many Nadus, three - Venad, Kozhikode and Kolathumody - became prominent. Venad in the south with the new capital, Thiruvananthapuram grew. Samuthiris with the new capital Kozhikkode was another major kingdom. Arab contacts of Kerala are also very ancient and it is believed that Islam came to Kerala as far back as the 9th century AD. Arab and native Muslims seemed to have played an important in the development of Samuthiri kingdom. Though smaller in size other two important kingdoms were Kochi in the middle and Kolothunadu in the North. In general, Jews, Christians and Arab Muslims played an important part in the development of trade and towns.
The period from the 12thC to the beginning of 19thC is generally classified as the Middle Age in Kerala History. At the beginning of the 12th century, the cholas and pandyas attacked Kerala combined and the Chera Kingdom lost its central power. Kerala became a land of agricultural villages and each of them became under a Naduvazhi. Wars among Naduvazhis became common. Society transformed into a feudal one with a graded hierarchy, hereditary occupations and well-defined duties and responsibilities for each class of people. A new social system iof this age is the matrilineal form of inheritance. In spite of the predominantly agrarian character of society, trade and commerce flourished. Hill products from the Western Ghats carried down, by the many rivers, to the natural harbours on the Arabian Sea secured an expanding market in West Asia and Europe.
The arrival of Vasco - da gama in 1498 marked the beginning of a new era in Kerala History. This new era called Gama epoch he rated the age of colonization. The Portuguese wanted monopoly in spice trade, especially in pepper. The Portuguese demanded the expulsion of all Muslim traders. This resulted in war between the Portuguese and Samuthiris. Samuthiris naval force under the Kunjali Marakkar fought bravely against the Portuguese. The Dutch and French intervention in Kerala placed the Portuguese at disadvantage and by 1663 the Portuguese were diminished from Malabar Coast. The Dutch were prominent but later gave way to British supremacy. In 1682 the English settled Talassery and in 1694 at Anhuthengu. From these settlements they extended their influence all over Kerala. The Kingdom of Mysore led by Tippu Sulthan tried to invade Malabar but was defeated by the combined force of British and the local Kingdom. By the Treaty of Sriranga pattanam (8th March 1792) Malabar practically came under the British. The British signed treaties with rulers of Thirvithamkur and Kochi. These rulers accepted the supremacy of the British. All the early rebellions like that of Pazhassi Raja, Veluthampi, Paliath Achan and Kurichiyas against the British were crushed. All the Naduvazhies were brought under the control of the British.
The British rule in Malabar and British supremacy in Thiruvithamkur and Kochi resulted in far reaching changes in the life of Malayalis. Western education, Modern Judiciary, rule of law, new tenancy rules etc were introduced. Cash economy prevailed. The traditional society was shaken. Several vestiges of feudalism disappeared. Marthanda varma of Travancore and Sakthan Thampuran of Cochin crushed feudal aristocracy of Nairs. Kerala was on the whole undergoing a steady and gradual transformation in the 19th C. This century also witnessed the emergence of socio-religious reform movements. Sri Narayana guru, Chattampi Swamikal, Ayyankali, Vakkam Abdul Khader Moulavi, Vagbhatananda and others accelerated social reforms. Narayan Guru was the prior who campaigned against caste system, Brahmin supremacy and many social disabilities. This Renaissance in Kerala further gained momentum in the early decades of the 20th century. In this period rationalism and new trends in malayalam literature influenced the mind of the Malayalis.
Towards the close of the 19th C National movement was spreading in India. Many prominent persons worked for Indian National Congress from Kerala. G.P. Pillai, Sir. C. Sankaran Nair and Rairu Nambiar deserve mention. C. Sankaran Nair of Ottapalam was the first Malayali who president over the congress sessions. He was the president of the Amaravathi Session of the Congress in 1897. By 1919 Congress activities gained momentum in Malabar. Gandhiji's influence was increasing. Non co-operation and Khilafat movement and Salt Satyagraha fired up the national spirit in Malabar. Some of the early leaders were K. Kelappan, Muhamed Abdurahiman, K.P. Kesava Menon, and K. Madhavan Nair
Vaikkam Satyagraha, Guruvayoor Satyagraha and the ceremonial breach of the salt law strengthened the freedom movement in all parts of Kerala. In Thiruvinthamkur the nature of freedom movement was different. Their caste organizations played an important role in bringing out changes. These organizations agitated for social justice and adequate representation for backward classes in government jobs and in legislature. Slowly political organizations like the Travancore State Congress were founded. Some of the prominent leaders were TK Madhavan, C Kesavan, TM Varghese and Pattam Thanupilla. In Cochin, Prajamandalam was formed. Some important leaders were Ikkanda Warrier and Panampilly Govinda Menon.
Peasants and workers also formed their organizations. They agitated for reforms.By 1930s a strong leftist movement emerged in Kerala. Socialism and Communism influenced many leaders and the Kerala Provincial Congress Committee was dominated by leftists were under the leadership of EM.S. Nambuthiripad and P.S. Krishnapillai. When the world war broke out the rift between the Right and the left widened.
This resulted in the formation of the Communist Party of India in Kerala in 1939. The Quit India movement in 1942 had its impact in Kerala. There was great enthusiasm among students in Malabar. In Travancore the Communist launched a violent struggle against the constitutional scheme proposed by the Diwan C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer. The Punnapra Vayalar out break in A!apuzha under the leadership of the communists was part of this patriotic struggle.
When in 1947 India became free Malabar, Kochi and Travancore also became free and became part of the India Union. The Aikya Kerala Movement under the leadership of K.P. Kesava Menon and K. Kelappan demanded and worked for the linguistic state of Kerala. The same spirit is found in the book" Keralam Malayalikalude Mathrubhumi" written by EM.S. Nambudiripad. This dream of Aikya Kerala materialized with the reorganization of States on a linguistic basis in the light of the report of the States Reorganization Commission. It was decided to add Malabar district and the Kasargod taluk of south Canara district to Travancore-Kochi and to separate the Tamil-speaking southern region of old Travancore from Travancore-Kochi for inclusion in Madras State. On November 1, 1956, the new State of Kerala was formally inaugurated.