Digital District Repository Detail | Digital District Repository | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Digital District Repository Detail

The Jhansi ki Rani of Travancore

Kottayam, Kerala

August 09, 2021


Accamma Cherian was born in a small hamlet in Kanjirapally, Travancore (present-day Kerala) in 1909. Though a teacher by profession, she quit her job to join India’s freedom movement.

In Kerala, the freedom struggle was primarily led by the Travancore State Congress. The people of Travancore led by the Travancore State Congress decided to hold a public demonstration. The Dewan of Travancore using his discretionary powers suppressed the agitation in August 1938. This gave birth to a Civil Disobedience Movement, the first of its kind in Kerala. Leaders of the party were imprisoned, and the movement fell to pieces. It is said that just before the arrest of the President of the party, he nominated Accamma Cherian as his successor as he found her to be a bold, daring, and charismatic woman.

She organized a massive rally to put pressure on the rulers to release the jailed leaders and to install a responsible government in Travancore.

In October 1938, Accamma was entrusted by the party to organise the Desasevika Sangh (Female Volunteer Corps). She travelled tirelessly across the country and appealed to the women to join as members of the Desasevika Sangh. Her untiring efforts led to a surge in the number of women volunteers in the local bodies.

Post-Independence, she was elected to the Travancore Legislative Assembly in 1947, and once she quit active politics in 1967, she served as a member of the Freedom Fighters’ Pension Advisory Board.