The announcement was made by the CM after inaugurating the celebrations organised by the Kerala Dalit Federation on the occasion of Ayyankali’s 156th birth anniversary.

VJT Hall in Thiruvananthapuram to be renamed after social reformer Ayyankali
news Culture Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 09:23

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday announced that the Victoria Jubilee Town Hall or the VJT Hall, as it is popularly known as, in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, will be renamed after social reformer Ayyankali. The announcement was made by the CM after inaugurating the celebrations organised by the Kerala Dalit Federation on the occasion of Ayyankali’s 156th birth anniversary.

According to a report by the Times of India (ToI), the VJT hall, which was built in 1896, in connection with the 50th year of Queen Victoria’s coronation, also happened to be the venue where Ayyankali, in 1912, delivered his historic speech demanding equal rights for the oppressed community.

As per a report by The Hindu, the VJT hall, on October 22, 1904, had hosted the first meeting of the Sri Mulam Popular Assembly, whose sole objective was to let the government know about their problems and needs, as well as to understand the policies of the government.

Pinarayi Vijayan, as per the ToI report, was quoted to have said, “Though our society has moved ahead, condition of the oppressed remains the same. In this 21st Century, even in a progressive state like Kerala, honour killings take place. The murder of Kevin is an example.” The CM went on to add that Kevin’s case goes on to show that there are still dark recesses in the Kerala society.

The Kerala CM has on several occasions cited examples of personalities like Ayyankali in his speeches on renaissance during the LDF government’s explanatory meetings on their stand regarding the issue of women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple. On being asked as to whether the government has softened their campaign on invigorating the renaissance values, Pinarayi stated that the government has plans for a combined movement against retrograde practices and that “emancipation can’t be achieved by organising seminars and symposiums.”

Pinarayi also added that the government has no intention of abandoning the measures to develop the renaissance values in the state.

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