There were darker times in the Indian history when the so called 'Untouchable' People were discriminated by the other dominant caste groups.The discrimination ranges from not letting them walk on the roads to not allowed to take up decent jobs. This Man was one of the renowned social reformers who was the first to revolt against the Evils caused to the Dalits.
Ayyankali, an ordinary uneducated farmer belonging to the Pulaya Dalit community of Kerala turned out to be one of the iconic Dalit heros of all time. He started his Rebellion by riding his cart on the roads which were prohibited for dalits those days. The gallantry of this illiterate low caste infuriated the so called higher caste crowd and they tried to attack him. This didn't stop this man , he spread the moment among the Dalit youths and they entered the Market where they weren't allowed. The movement slowly spread among all of Kerala Dalits and by 1900 they won their Rights to walk the Public Roads.
He wanted his people to be educated. He began the First school for Dalits which was burned to ashes by a group of Higher caste people . This did not defer his spirits but only buckled him up for more and more actions. He organised Mass movements all over Kerala and won the Right to Educationby 1907.
The public schools internally never practiced the Law which Mandated the admission of Dalits in all schools. They tried to nullify the law. But this Crusader went on, he urged the Farmers to boycott until they were given the basic rights like
· Right to Education for their Children
· Right to have break-hours during work
· Right to be use the Utensils in Tea shops(early they were given in coconut shells while the Dalits drop the money for it in a bowl filled with water. Meaning even their Money needs to be washed before it is touched)
· Right to be given correct wages and abolishment of Bonded labour
He unknowingly became the First Labour Activist in India. Unable to suppress the revolt the Government finally implemented the Dalit education Law by 1910. All this was the time when the Countless Dalits on the other parts of Country were silently victimized to Social Evils. He is certainly the lesser known Mahatma of our Country.