VAIDYAR AS SOCIAL REFORMERSri Kesavan Vaidyar was born when Kerala was witnessing a great social revolution and cultural renaissance under the inspiring leadership of Saint Sree Narayana Guru. Sree Narayana Guru’s compassion for the poor and the down trodden was boundless. He led a revolutionary movement against Caste system and every kind of discrimination between man and man. Sri Kesavaqn Vaidyar was instinctively attracted towards this movement. His first attempt was to enlighten the illiterate folk of his village. For this purpose, he founded Sree Narayan. Siva Sang ham in 1922, when he was just 19 years old. Soon aprayer hall was constructed with a view to disseminate the Guru’s message,” One Caste, One Religion, One god for Man”. A weaving Centre and a co-operative society also were founded for the welfare of the villagers. He worked as the secretary of all these institutions.
The S.N.D.P.Yogam, which is the first mass organization in Kerala, had been formed in 1903 and had two goals, one to push forward the renaissance movement started by Sree Narayana Guru and two, to bring forth the social emancipation of the untouchables. Kesavan became an active worker of this organization. A branch of the S.N.D.P.Yogam was opened in his village and Kesavan was elected as the Secretary. Soon he rose to the position of a member of the Board of Directors. He worked as an assistant to Sri. T. K. Madhavan, who gave the present shape and structure to S.N.D.P.Yogam. Finally Sri Kesavan was elevated to the highest position in the Yogam, namely its President, in 1966.
Kesavan Vaidyar was 20 years old when Vaikkam Satyagraha, the epic struggle against untouchability was launched under the auspices of the Indian National Congress. Mahatma Gandhi was the guiding star and K.P.Kesava menon, T.K.Madhavan, K.Kelappan and Mannath Padmanabhan were the front line leaders. Kesavan enrolled himself as a Satyagraha volunteer. Later when Sri. K. Kelappan began the Guruvayoor Satyagraha for temple entry, Kesavan went all the way from his village in
Central Travancore to Guruvayoor to take part in the sathyagraha. He has taken active part in many other agitations and struggles for the eradication of untouchability. He has also served as a member of the state Harijan welfare committee. Cochin
His involvement in the Vaikkam Satyagraha, brought Kesavan in contact with the national movement. He was attracted by the Congress ideals, But there was not much political activity in the princely state of Travancore in those days. So Kesavan busied himself in the constructive programme of the Indian National Congress. His field of work widened after a lull of six years when he settled down in the princely state of
. There in 1941, Praja Mandal came into existence and Kesavan become an active member. Praja Mandal was the counter part of the Indian National Congress. In the early forties two national calamities struck the state- one a cyclone and the other an epidemic of cholera. It was the Praja Mandal, not the Government, that organized effective relief work. And Kesavan was in the forefront in this work. He has served the organization as the Secretary of the Mukundapuram Taluk Committee. After the attainment of freedom, Praja Mandal merged with the Indian National Congress and Kesavan continued his work as a Congressman. He has been elected to the Trichur D.C.C. Gradually he lost interest in party politics. But he upholds the fundamental ideals of the national movement even now. Cochin