The recently-released Malayalam film Pathonpatham Noottandu (‘Nineteenth Century’), directed by Vinayan, has earned both critical acclaim and audience approval.
About ‘Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker’ –
It is based on the life of Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, a social reformer from the Ezhava community in Kerala who lived in the 19th century.
Born into a well-off family of merchants in Kerala’s Alappuzha district, Panicker was one of the most influential figures in the reformation movement in the state.
He challenged the domination of upper castes or ‘Savarnas’ and brought about changes in the lives of both men and women.
The social reform movement in Kerala in the 19th century led to the large-scale subversion of the existing caste hierarchy and social order in the state.
Panicker is credited with building two temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, in which members of all castes and religions were allowed entry.
In 1858, he led the Achippudava Samaram strike at Kayamkulam in Alappuzha. This strike aimed to earn women belonging to oppressed groups the right to wear a lower garment that extended beyond the knees.
In 1859, this was extended into the Ethappu Samaram, the struggle for the right to wear an upper body cloth by women belonging to backward castes.