India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
The Indian Express
The Indian Express is an English-language Indian daily newspaper. It is published in Mumbai by Indian Express Group. In 1999, eight years after the group's founder Ramnath Goenka's death in 1991, the group was split between the family members; the southern editions took the name The New Indian Express, while the northern editions, based in Mumbai, retained the original Indian Express name, with "The" prefixed to the title. The Indian Express is published at ten locations—Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Vadodara, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, Tirupati In 1932, the Indian Express was started by an Ayurvedic doctor, P. Varadarajulu Naidu, at Chennai, being published by his "Tamil Nadu" press. Soon under financial difficulties, he sold the newspaper to Swaminathan Sadanand, the founder of The Free Press Journal, a national news agency. In 1933 The Indian Express opened its second office in Madurai, launching the Tamil edition, Dinamani. Sadanand reduced the price of the newspaper. Faced with financial difficulties, he sold a part of his stake to Ramanath Goenka as convertible debentures.
In 1935, when The Free Press Journal collapsed, after a protracted court battle with Goenka, Sadanand lost ownership of Indian Express. Goenka bought the remaining 26% of the company held by Sadanand; the newspaper came under Goenka's sole control, taking the anti-establishment tone of the paper to greater heights. At that time, it faced stiff competition from the well established The Hindu and the Mail, as well as several other prominent newspapers. In the late 1930s the newspaper's circulation was no more than 2000. In 1939 Goenka bought another prominent Telugu daily newspaper; the name Three Musketeers was used for the three dailies. In 1940 the whole premises was gutted by fire; the Hindu, a rival newspaper, helped in re-launching the paper, by getting it printed temporarily at one of its Swadesimithran's press and offering its vacated premises at 2, Mount Road, which became the landmark Express Estates. This relocation helped the Express obtain better high speed printing machines; some claimed.
In years Goenka started the Mumbai edition with the landmark Express Towers as his office when he bought the Morning Standard in 1944. Two years it became the Mumbai edition of The Indian Express. Editions were started in several cities; the Financial Express was launched in 1961 at Mumbai, Kannada Prabha at Bangalore in 1965 and a Bangalore edition of the Telugu Daily Andhra Prabha, Gujarati dailies Lok Satta and Jansatta, from Ahmedabad and Vadodara in 1952. The Delhi edition started was when the Tej group's Indian News Chronicle was acquired in 1951, which in 1953 became the Delhi edition of Indian Express. In 1990 the group bought the Sterling group of magazines, along with it the Gentleman magazine. After Ramanath Goenka's death in 1991, two of the family members split the group into Indian Express Mumbai with all the North Indian editions, while the Southern editions were grouped as Express Madurai Ltd. with Chennai as headquarters. The Indian Express began publishing daily on the World Wide Web on 8 July 1996.
Five months the website expressindia.com attracted "700,000 hits every day, excepting weekends when it to 60% of its normal levels". The Indian Express Group has a Mumbai-headquartered division, which should not be confused with Express Publications Madurai, which has a South Indian chain of newspapers, including The New Indian Express a separate corporate entity from The Express Group; the Indian Express's main newsroom is in Noida. Mumbai is a bureau. A national desk brings out all editions in Delhi; the management, still sits in Mumbai. The Indian Express website
M. K. Sanu
M. K. Sanu is a prominent Malayalam literary figure, he is a retired professor, biographer, translator, orator, social activist and humanist. He has translated four and edited ten, he is a permanent member of International body for Human rights. He is the founding member of Mithram, School for Mentally Handicapped, in Mulanthuruthy village,Ernakulam District, Kerala. In 2011, M. K. Sanu won the Padmaprabha Literary Award, he is humanist. 1928 – Born at Thumpoli in Alappuzha, Kerala 1939 – Death of Father 1953 – Married to Retnamma 1955 – Joined Sree Narayana College, Kollam as Lecturer 1956 – Joined Maharaja's College, Ernakulam as Lecturer 1958 – Published first book of Translation, "Anchu Sastra Nayakanmar" 1960 – Published first book of Criticism, "Kaattum Velichavum" 1962 – Published first book of Biography, "Asthamikkatha Velicham" 1981 – Death of Mother 1981 – SPCS Award for the best Biography for the book "Sahodaran. K. Ayyappan" 1983 – Retired from College Service 1984 – Elected President of Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham 1985 – Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for the best Critical work for "Avadhaaranam" 1985 – Appointed as Director, Sree Narayana Study Centre, University of Kerala 1987 – Elected as MLA from Ernakulam Assembly Constituency 1988 – Abudabi Sakti Award for "Changampuzha Krishnapilla: Nakshatrangalude Snehabhajanam" 1989 – Kusumam Award for the Art of Editing for the work "Kusumathinte Kritikal" 1991 – Ezhukon Sivasankaran Award for "Changampuzha Krishnapilla: Nakshatrangalude Snehabhajanam" 1991 – Joined as Chief Editor, Kumkumam Weekly, Kollam 1992 – Vayalar Award for "Changampuzha Krishnapilla: Nakshatrangalude Snehabhajanam" 1992 – Sree Narayana Samskarika Award instituted by Sree Narayana Samskarika Samithi 1993 – Sree Narayana Jayanthi Award for the Biography "Narayana Guru Swami" 1994 – K.
T Achuthan Award for the Best Cultural Activist 1997 – Asan Award for the Biography "Mruthyunjayam Kavyajeevitham" 1997 – Appointed to Sree Narayana Chair, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam 2002 – Sahodaran Award for the Biography "Sahodaran. K. Ayyappan" 2003 – Vyloppilly Award for the Biography "M. Govindan" 2005 – Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for total contribution to Malayalam Literature 2005 – Elected President, Vayalar Ramavarma Trust 2006 – K. C. B. C. Award for contribution to Malayalam Literary Criticism for the work "Asaanthiyilninnu Sannthiyilekku" 2007 – Kerala Sahitya Akademi's Eminent Membership 2009 – V. K. Rajan Award for the best Social Activist 2009 – Sree Narayana Award for Propagation of Sree Narayana ideals 2011 – Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for the biography "Basheer: Ekantha Veedhiyile Avadhoothan" 2012 – Pavanan foundation India's Award for 2011 for his Autobiography "Karmagathi" 2013 – Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the highest literary honour given by the Kerala government 2014 – Father Vadakkan Puraskaram Karmagathi – 2010 Mithram PRD Kerala awards
Sree Narayana Guru College of Advanced Studies, Nattika
Sree Narayana Guru College of Advanced Studies, Nattika is a private self-financing college in Nattika, Thrissur District of Kerala, India. It was founded in 2013-14, it operates below the Sree Narayana Trust. Sree Narayana Guru College of Advanced Studies, Nattika was brought forward under the watchful eyes of the Sree Narayana Trust; the institution was set up in 2014 at Nattika on an off-campus site. The institution only offers self-financing courses under the affiliation of the University of Calicut; the courses offered were three undergraduate courses. In time another undergraduate course and two post-graduate courses were added to the framework; the college campus is situated on a sprawling 5 acre plot nearby to the Sree Narayana College, Nattika. The campus has its own canteen situated nearby; the building was inaugurated in 2015 and the construction of the first and second floor commenced in November 2016. The construction concluded in the following December and the building was opened to the students and staff on 3 January 2018.
The building was inaugurated by Vellapally Natesan on 30 January 2018. The campus houses a computer lab with state of the art facilities for students and staff alike. Yearly elections are held to elect student representatives onto particular posts within the college, any form of politics is banned within the campus premises. Department of English BA English Literature with Journalism and Public Administration as complementary subjectsDepartment of Computer Application BCADepartment of Commerce BCom. Finance BBA Human Resource Management Department of English MA English LiteratureDepartment of Commerce MCom. Finance The institution offers a wide variety of extra co-curricular activities that enable students to grow more as an individual and have an identity of their own. Various clubs exists in the college to ensure this development in students; the clubs are: Service Club, IT Club, Tourism Club, Music Club and Film Club. Furthermore, the college encourages students to participate in various zonal sports and arts programmes within the university level.
Like all institutions affiliated to the University of Calicut, the college follows the Single Window System for admissions to the various undergraduate and post-graduate programmes. Through this Single Window System, eligible candidates can register on the website of the university and select their preferred courses and colleges, thereby starting the admission process. Sree Keralavarma College, Thrissur St. Thomas College, Thrissur Sree Narayana College, Nattika Christ College, Irinjalakuda Official website SNGCAS, Nattika
Chattampi Swamikal was a Hindu sage and social reformer. His thoughts and work influenced the launching of many social, religious and political organisations and movements in Kerala and for the first time gave voice to those who were marginalised. Chattampi Swamikal denounced the orthodox interpretation of Hindu texts citing sources from the Vedas. Swamikal along with his contemporary, Narayana Guru, strived to reform the ritualistic and caste-ridden Hindu society of the late 19th century Kerala. Swamikal worked for the emancipation of women and encouraged them to come to the forefront of society. Swamikal professed non-violence. Swamikal believed. Chattampi Swamikal throughout his intellectually and spiritually enriched life maintained a large number of friends from different regions of Kerala, he authored several books on spirituality and language staying with these friends. Chattampi Swami was born on 25 August 1853 at Kollur in southern Travancore, his father was a Nambudiri Brahmin from Mavelikkara, his mother was Nangamma, a Nair from Kannammoola.
He was formally named Ayyappan but was called by the pet name of Kunjan – meaning "small male baby" – by all. As his parents were not able to provide him formal education, he learned letters and words from children of his neighbourhood who attended schools, he learned Sanskrit by overhearing the classes at a Brahmin house nearby. Knowing his thirst for learning an uncle took him to the traditional school conducted by Pettayil Raman Pillai Asan, a renowned scholar and writer who taught him without any fee, it was there that he earned the name Chattampi on account of his assignment as the monitor of the class. In the 1870s Raman Pillai started a scholarly group named'Jnanaprajagaram' with experts on different subjects with progressive attitude, it served as a meeting place for many scholars of that time and facilitated Kunjan to acquaint himself with many great men. He could learn Tamil from Swaminatha Desikar and philosophy from Professor Manonmaniyam Sundaram Pillai during his participation in'Jnanaprajagaram'.
Kunjan Pillai was introduced into the science of yoga by the Thycaud Ayyavu Swamikal a scholar and yogi who used to give lectures at'Jnanaprajagaram'. While so a wandering sadhu who came to his village temple initiated him into spiritual world by giving the Balasubramanya Mantra. Mastering this mantra gave him a new vigour and zeal and he assumed the name Shanmukhadasa due to his deep devotion of Subramanya; as the burden of supporting the family fell on him, Kunjan Pillai took to many manual works. For many days he served as a labourer carrying building materials for the construction of Government Secretariat building in Trivandrum. For some time he worked as a document writer and as an advocate's clerk, he stood first in a test for clerical posts in Government Secretariat Trivandrum conducted by Sir T Madhava Rao the Divan of Travancore State. But he left the service after a short while as it curtailed his freedom and prevented his wanderings for spiritual exploitations and research. In one of the Philosophical Conferences organised annually by the Travancore Kings at the Palace complex adjacent to Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple Kunjan Pillai met Subba Jatapadikal from Kalladaikurichin in Southern Tamil Nadu.
Both were impressed by the other and Kunjan's wish to learn at Kalladaikurichin under him was granted. He spent many years learning under Subba Jatapadikal. There he acquired deep and extensive mastery of all sastras in Sanskrit, he learned Siddha medicine and martial arts. During this period he was influenced by the works of Kodakanallur Sundara Swamikal a great Advaitin, he translated his work Nijananda Vilasam containing the cream of Vedanta into simple Malayalam to guide spiritual aspirants. After completing his studies under Subba Jatapadikal he spent long periods of learning under a Christian priest. In a secluded church in Southern Tamil Nadu assisting the priest he learned Christian meditation and learned Christian Religion and philosophy, he lived with an old Muslim well versed in Qur'an and Sufi mysticism who taught him the main tenet of Islam. Kunjan acquired proficiency reading Qur'an in the traditional way. Leaving him he wandered for months with many avadutas in Southern Tamil Nadu and travelled all over India.
These days revealed to him. At the end of his wanderings and quest Kunjan Pillai was led to self-realisation by an avaduta whom he met at a wayside in Vadaveeswaram a village in Tamil Nadu with whom he lived for many months in the forests without any contact with the outside world, it is believed. He returned to Kerala as saint. Swamikal's prominent disciples are Narayana Guru, Neelakanta Theerthapada and Theerthapada Parmahamsa. In 1882, at the Aniyoor Temple near Vamanapuram, Swamikal met Nanu Asan known as Narayana Guru. Asan was three years younger in search of spiritual guidance. By Swamikal was well-versed in yoga and spiritual matters and their meeting proved to be the start of a profound and cherished companionship, although the two were of different temperaments In those days Nanu Asan was a soft-spoken introvert and Swamikal was an outspoken extrovert, they travelled for many months together. Swami introduced Asan to all arts and sciences he had mastered and gave him the Balasubrahmanya mantra.
These were the formative years of A
Sahodaran K Ayyappan was a social reformer, rationalist and politician from Kerala, India. He was born in Cherai, a Vypin Island, was an outspoken follower of Sree Narayana Guru. In 1917, he organized a Misra Bojana in Cherai. Ayyappan formed an organization called Sahodara Sangam, started the journal "Sahodaran" and was the first editor of the magazine "Yukthivadhi". Sahodaran Ayyappan was born on August 22, 1889, in Cherai, Vypin Island, Ernakulam district, to a traditional aristocratic Ezhava family, his parents were Annuli. Ayyappan's father died when Ayyappan was a child, he started his career under the guidance of his elder brother Achuthan Vaidyar. After finishing his primary school education in Cherai and North Paravoor, Ayyappan did his pre-university course at the Malabar Christian College, Kozhikode, he discontinued his education shortly after starting due to poor health. He began speaking in public places stressing the need for social reforms. At this time he had the opportunity to interact with Sree Narayana Guru.
With Narayana Guru's encouragement he decided to continue his studies and finished his B. A. from Maharaja's College, Ernakulam, in 1916. He met the poet Kumarasan during this time, it was during this time he began opposing the caste system. At Cherai, in 1917, Ayyappan organized a Misra Bhojanan; the feast was organized under the aegis of the Sahodara Sangham, an organization that Ayyappan himself had organized for the purpose of eradicating what he deemed to be the evils of casteism. The feast was attended by about 200 people including members representing the so-called untouchable caste Pulayas; this was opposed forcibly including Ezhava lords. For a while thereafter, his detractors sarcastically called him Pulayan Ayyappan, a name which he took as an honor. From on, Ayyappan came to be known as Sahodaran Ayyappan. On 15 May 1921, Nārāyana Guru sent a message of support to Sahodara Sangham during their annual conference, supporting "inter-caste marriages and community feasts". By this time, he had acquired a law degree from the Government Law College, Trivandrum.
His consuming passion was still directed towards effecting radical reforms in society. With this aim in view, he started the journal Sahodaran from Mattancherry, containing articles and poems. Sahodaran continued to be in print until 1956. An inquisitive soul from childhood, Ayyappan's mind kept probing beyond caste and other dogmas, he established himself as a rationalist. He was the editor of the magazine Yukthivadi, started in 1928. Ayyappan wrote the caption of this magazine "Yuktiyenthy Manusiante-Budhisakthi Ghanichathil-Labhichathallathillonnum-Lokavijnana Rasiyil" as well as many other poems; as a rejoinder to Sree Narayana Guru's famous slogan Oru Jati, Oru Matham, Oru Daivam Manushyanu, Ayyappan proclaimed his slogan of Jati Venda, Matham Venda, Daivam Venda Manushyanu. Despite such atheism, he had deep respect for the guru. Amidst his relentless work in the field of effecting social reforms, Ayyappan found time to work in trade unions and be active in politics, he is one of the founding fathers of the trade unionism in Kerala.
In 1928, Ayyappan was elected to Cochin Legislative Council of which he continued to be a member for the next 21 years. During his first tenure in the legislative council, Ayyappan showed his commitment to progressive programs. On one occasion he demanded; this was a controversial point in Indian society, which at the time overwhelmingly favored arranged marriages. He served as a minister two times in the Cochin Legislative assembly and one time in the Thiru-Kochi assembly. A R Narayanan, a presidency college alumnus, served as his personal assistant. Ayyappan was appointed to the ministry by the Maharaja on 9 September 1946, he resigned from the Cabinet, along with Panampilli Govinda Menon and C. R. Iyyunni, when Home Minister, T. K. Nair used the police force to put down labor popular agitations. In popular elections in October 1949, the Prajamandalam Party secured an overwhelming majority and Ikkanda warrior was elected as the leader of the party. Panampilli Govinda Menon, Sahodaran Ayyappan and C.
A. Ouseph were his colleagues in the cabinet. Ayyappan was minister for a brief time in the Paravoor TK ministry, but soon resigned from active politics and concentrated his energy into social and cultural activities. At this time, his PA was A R Narayanan, interested in social reforms, he was respected by all types of people across society because of his selfless social work and on account of his impeccable personal integrity. He was reclusive for the last 15 years of his life. On 6 March 1968, Ayyappan died. Sahodaran Ayyappan Statue and Sahodaran Ayyappan Road, Kerala, India. Sahodaran Ayyappan Smaraka Yogam College. Konni, Pathanamthitta District, India. Established in 1995. Sahodaran Ayyappan Smarakam. Cherai, India. Sahodaran Ayyappan Memorial Training College. Puthen Kavu, Puthotta. Sahodhara Bhavanam, Cherai, Ernakulam Sahodarante Padyakrithikal __ by K. Ayyappan __ Vishvavijnanakosham, 1970 edition. Sahodaran Ayyappan __ Majeed Gulistan __. __ M. K. Sanu ___. Sahodaran K Ayyappan _ by M. K. Sanu __ (Publi
The Ezhavas are a community with origins in the region of India presently known as Kerala. They are known as Ilhava, Irava and Erava in the south of the region; some are known as Thandan, which has caused administrative difficulties due to the presence of a distinct caste of Thandan in the same region. The Malabar Thiyya group have claimed a higher ranking in the Hindu caste system than do the others, although from the perspective of the colonial and subsequent administrations they were treated as being of similar rank; as well as being agricultural labourers, small cultivators, toddy tappers and liquor businessmen, some Ezhavas were involved in weaving and some practised ayurveda. Ezhava dynasties such as the Izhathu Mannanars existed in Kerala; the Chekavar, a warrior section within the community, were part of the militias of local chieftains and kings. There were renowned kalaripayattu experts among Chekavars. According to legend and some Malayalam folk songs, the Ezhavas were the progeny of four bachelors that the king of Ceylon sent to Kerala at the request of the Chera king Bhaskara Ravi Varma, in the 1st century AD.
These men were sent, ostensibly. Another version of the story says that the Sri Lankan king sent eight martial families to Kerala at the request of a Chera king to quell a civil war that had erupted in Kerala against him, it has been suggested. This theory is based on similarities between numerous of the customs adopted by the two groups with regard to marking various significant life stages such as childbirth and death, as well as their matrilineal practices and martial history. Oral history, folk songs and other old writings indicate that the Ezhavas were at some point in the past members of the armed forces serving various kings, including the Zamorins of Calicut and the rulers of the Cochin dynasty. Cyriac Pullapilly has said. A theory has been proposed for the origins of the caste system in the Kerala region based on the actions of the Aryan Jains introducing such distinctions prior to the 8th-century AD; this argues that the Jains needed protection when they arrived in the area and recruited sympathetic local people to provide it.
These people were distinguished from others in the local population by their occupation as protectors, with the others all being classed as out-caste. Pullapilly describes that this meant they "... were given kshatriya functions, but only shudra status. Thus originated the Nairs." The Ezhavas, not being among the group protecting the Jains, became out-castes. An alternate theory states. Although Brahmin influences had existed in the area since at least the 1st-century AD, there was a large influx from around the 8th-century when they acted as priests and ministers to invading Aryan princes. At the time of their arrival the non-aboriginal local population had been converted to Buddhism by missionaries who had come from the north of India and from Ceylon; the Brahmins used their symbiotic relationship with the invading forces to assert their beliefs and position. Buddhist temples and monasteries were either destroyed or taken over for use in Hindu practices, thus undermining the ability of the Buddhists to propagate their beliefs.
The Buddhist tradition of the Ezhavas, the refusal to give it up, pushed them to an outcaste role within the greater Brahminic society. This tradition is still evident as Ezhavas show greater interest in the moral, non-ritualistic, non-dogmatic aspects of the religion rather than the theological; the social anthropologists Filippo and Caroline Osella say that the Ezhavas "... consisted in the mid-nineteenth century of a small landowning and titled elite and a large mass of landless and small tenants who were illiterate, considered untouchable, who eked out a living by manual labour and petty trade." A. Aiyappan, another social anthropologist and himself a member of the caste, noted the mythical belief that the Ezhava brought coconut palms to Kerala when they moved from Sri Lanka, their traditional occupation, or avakasam, was tapping the sap of such palms. This activity is sometimes erroneously referred to as toddy tapping, toddy being a liquor manufactured from the sap. Arrack was another liquor produced from the palms.
In reality, most Ezhavas were agricultural labourers and small-time cultivators, with a substantial number diverging into the production of coir products, such as coconut mats for flooring, from towards the end of the 19th century. The coastal town of Alleppey became the centre of such manufacture and was controlled by Ezhavas, although the lucrative export markets were accessible only through European traders, who monopolised the required equipment. A boom in trade for these manufactured goods after World War I led to a unique situation in twentieth-century Kerala whereby there was a shortage of labour, which attracted still more Ezhavas to the industry from outlying rural areas; the Great Depression impacted in particular on the export trade, causing a reduction in price and in wages though production increased, with the consequence that during the 1930s many Ezhava families found themselves to be in dire financial circumstances. Some Ezhavas were ship making. Many were employed as sentinels in the palaces of Cochin and Travancore.
Syrian Christians of Kerala, who were privileged in the pre-colonial period to have their own private armies, recruited Ezhava members due in part to this traditi