Bhagavathi Kinattinkara, Elsa, and Educated Kulasthreekal : From the Memoirs of ‘Jooba’ Ramakrishna Pillai

[Perhaps the only source readily available about working class and dalit struggles in Thiruvananthapuram of the 20th century is the memoir of the freedom fighter, fashion-maker, and avid trade union organizer, ‘Jooba’ Ramakrishna Pillai (1910- 2005), titled Ente Ormakkurippukal (Mitraniketan Press, 1989). Always a narration from the ground, his memoirs are those of street-struggles. ‘Jooba’ was the suffix he earned in the 1930s for having popularised the north Indian long shirt, the jubba — in Thiruvananthapuram. It was initially identified as the mark of the subversive and the nationalist but soon became popular with government officials and soo even the Maharajah of Travancore embraced the ‘jubba’ (but with a touch of the sherwani, notes Pillai).

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19th Century Malayali Dalit Women, Missionaries and the Quest for Faith in Christianity: Vinil Paul

Translated by J Devika

The entry of Kerala’s dalit people into Christianity was made possible by the three missionary organizations that arrived in the 19th century: the London Mission Society (LMS) (arrival: 1806), the Church Missionary Society (CMS) (1816), and the Basel Mission (BM), which reached Malabar in 1836. The missionary archives reveals that the individuals who joined the centres set up by missionaries were mostly dalit women. Continue reading “19th Century Malayali Dalit Women, Missionaries and the Quest for Faith in Christianity: Vinil Paul”