Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Koyapalli Kelappan

Kozhikode, Kerala

August 23, 2021


Koyapalli Kelappan was an educationist, journalist, independent activist and a politician. During the course of the Indian Freedom Struggle, he led the Indian National Congress in the state of Kerala. Due to his close association with Mahatma Gandhi, the people of Kerala came to know of Gandhian ideals essentially through his person. Hence, he came to be known as Kerala Gandhi. He worked hard for the upliftment of harijans and abolition of untouchability.

Upon the call of Gandhi for boycotting the British, Kelappan decided to give up his studies and dedicate himself in the service of the Motherland. He kept fight at two fronts – on the one hand with the evils in society, and British colonial rule on the other. He was an ideal Satyagrahi, who led the Payyanur and Calicut Salt Satyagraha. He was chosen as the first satyagrahi from Kerala in the Individual Satyagraha Movement launched by Gandhiji. In addition to this, he also played a prominent role in the Vaikom Satyagraha and Guruvayoor Satyagraha in the year 1932.