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Posted by Archa Renu Baburaj 

I was born in Kerala to a family belonging to the Ezhava caste. We were considered untouchables. My communist governed state once had a history of practicing extreme, excruciating untouchability. The Ezhava community was asked to keep a 32 feet distance from the Savarnas at all times. Touching or even approaching the upper castes (Namboothiri, Nair, Kshatriya) by a member of my caste was considered “polluting”. The women belonging to my caste were denied the right to wear a blouse because covering up your breast was considered a “privilege”. We were a middle-class family. This meant I had friends both from the marginalised castes as well the upper castes. And so did my parents.

Touching or even approaching the upper castes (Namboothiri, Nair, Kshatriya) by a member of my caste was considered “polluting”. The women belonging to my caste were denied the right to wear a blouse because covering up your breast was considered a “privilege”.

I always knew we were from an oppressed caste, thanks to my well-read mother. She filled me in with the history of oppression and subjugation. However, 8-year-old me felt ashamed of belonging to this caste; the priestly castes and other higher castes seemed classier and were perceived as superior. As a kid, I felt everything was perfect in my life except my caste and I carried this feeling with me for a very long time. An 8-year-old had a bad case of internalised casteism.

My parents are ardent followers of Sree Narayana Guru, one of Kerala’s greatest social reformers from the Ezhava community. They always hung a photo of him on the wall, a common practice for most Ezhava families. As a teenager, I resented this. It was a constant reminder that I was different from my posh upper caste friends (most of them had their caste surnames). I wanted their surnames. Teenage me would see their Facebook names and wonder what a fulfilling life I would’ve led if I was born into a Savarna family. I grew up but I did not necessarily grow out of the casteism ingrained in my brain.

Even though my family had a lot of upper caste friends, there were plethora of instances where they would casually crack jokes with casteist undertones. A very vivid memory of one such incident was when we went over to our family friends’ home who belonged to the Nair caste. They had portraits of their ancestors hung up on the wall (guaranteed to give you an eerie feeling). During dinner, my mother joked about the portraits giving her the chills. This did not go well with them. Another woman belonging to the same Nair caste quickly jumped in and replied, “Well you need a family legacy for that, we all know where your family belongs.”

Also read: Calling Out The Shit Upper Caste People Say

My mother, being the sweet often docile person, remained quiet. Everyone else awkwardly laughed it off and brushed it aside. This was not subtle. This struck a chord with me. As I pursued higher education, I had still not completely come to terms with my caste identity. When people asked me what caste I belonged to, I felt a sense of humiliation and gave them the answer used by most of my Savarna liberal friends today, “I do not have a caste. I do not see it.”

As a teenager, I resented this. It was a constant reminder that I was different from my posh upper caste friends (most of them had their caste surnames). I wanted their surnames. Teenage me would see their Facebook names and wonder what a fulfilling life I would’ve led if I was born into a Savarna family.

Truth was, I did. I saw my caste as clear as day and I loathed it as much as I can and wanted to hide it from the world. Things did not change much when I started college except now my Nair friends thought I was Savarna just like they are. I never changed this false assumption. Isn’t this exactly what 8-year-old me wanted after all! Well, my “fairy-tale” didn’t last long as I realised this meant they would not filter their casteism, it wasn’t the subtle jokes anymore. My caste was made fun of, their blatant casteism was now straight on my face. This would range from my progressive Nair friends talking about how they are “lucky” their boyfriends were from the same caste to flagrantly making fun of our community and our past struggle against caste-based oppression and violation.

I want to apologise to the 8-year-old child, the teenager and the college student who felt like she belonged to a sub-class of human because of an extremely inhumane and oppressive man-made social hierarchy. Today, I am reclaiming the narrative. My ancestors did not fight caste with every fiber of their being so I could feel sorry for myself today. It took me almost 23 years to unlearn most of the casteism that was built into my DNA and shoved down my throat the minute I was born.

Also read: Where Social Justice Meets Mental Health: How Does Caste Matter?

It took me 23 years to tell the world I’m an Ezhava without an iota of shame and resentment. I am writing this for the 8-year-old child feeling ashamed, the teenagers from marginalised castes casually changing the topic when they are asked about their caste, for women like my mother who made every effort possible to make her child understand the implications of belonging to an oppressed lower caste. I hope this article helps and it is not 23 years too late for you. 


Archa is a final year law student keen on pursuing human rights law after graduation. She loves reading Ambedkar and drinking tea. You can find her on Instagram.

Featured Image Source: Governance Now

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46 COMMENTS

    • *Yes Ezhavas are high in caste , culture and tradition.*

      Ezhavas were technically not in the chaturvarna system as owing they didn’t follow the Varna system which treated landlords, warrior community, vaidyar ( doctors) even agricultural workers all in sudra or below them even nairs were in the same condition, ezhavar were Kshatriyas since they acted as warriors and feudal lords, from the chera Kingdom. After the Brahmins came to Kerala they didn’t want ezhavar to take any advantage so they pushed them below lines.

      The chekavar a warrior section within the community was part of the militias of local chieftains and kings. There were also renowned Kalaripayattu experts among Chekavars!

      *As owing Kerala was the only state were landlords, kings, warrior sections, Ayurveda doctors were treated as sudra or below them. Kerala didn’t follow any varna system.*

      Ezhavas always worked with pride as well as being agricultural laborers, small cultivators, and liquor businessmen, toddy tappers some Ezhavas were also involved in weaving and some practiced Ayurveda. Ezhava pride dynasties such as the Izhathu mannanars.

      After the advent of Namboodiri brahmins, the Chera king accepted brahminical dominance during BC 2 to 1 and they implemented chathurvarna , Nairs were the servant for Namboodiri brahmins they are the real Shudras as well as they served as Devadasi ( prostitutes for Namboodiri ). They continue doing Devadasi Charya for Namboodiri Brahmins to get the wealth and upper caste status, their origin is from some part of Mysore but not defined yet. Father of Malayalam language Thunjathu Ezhuthachan told that Nairs were the only shudras in Kerala.

      Chekavars the warriors were not able to accept the immoral activities by Brahmins and not ready to do Devadasi Charya for Namboodiri Brahmins.

      *But those days there were many Ezhava families were into the Janmi status and Richer than Namboodiri’s* (eg . Aromal Chekavar and Unniyarcha – Puthooram Tharavadu / Aarattupuzha Velayudha Chekavar / Chirappanchira Panicker etc ) and many others. Ezhavar has warrior tradition serving as militants of Chera Kingdom

      Now the Ezhavas are one of the prominent and most forward majority castes in Kerala as everyone knows it is quite natural that others would be so jealous.

      As owing very feild the community have earned success eg Film industry , business , literature etc etc….

      The debate of nairs and ezhavars – IS ALWAYS WON BY PROUD EZHAVARS that is the fact.

      Below Nairs are in OBC according to the Govt. of India.

      Vātti (Vātti Kuruppu, Pattu Kuruppu & Nantunni Kuruppu), Daivampāti (Brahmani), Pulikkal Nāyar (11) Chempukotti Nair (12) Otattu Nair (13) Puliyath Nair & Matavan Nair (14) Kalamkotti Nair & Anduran Nair – (15) Chakkala Nair & Vattakkatan Nair (16) Asthikkuracchi Mārār & Chitikan Nair (17) Chretty Nair, Mūtta, Taraka, Vaniya Nāyar & Ravāri Nāyar (18) Itasseri Nair (19) Chaliyan Nair(20) Maniyāni Nair(21) Veluthedathu Nair (22) Vilakkithala Nair.

      Some are in open category also.

      Koil Thampuran or Perumal (Rajah, Thampan, Thirumulpad.etc) (2) Samanthan Nair (Nambiar, Thampi, Thampurans, Thirumulpad, Adiyodi, Nedungadi.etc)(3) Kiryathil Nāyar & Vellāyma Nāyar (Nambiār, Kaimal, Kurup.etc) (4) Illathu Nair (Kartha, Thirumukom, Pillai etc) (5) Swaroopathil Nair, Menokki & Charna Nair (Menon, Menoky.etc) (6) Padamangalam Nair (7) Tamil Padam Nair (8) Pallichan Nair

      The Ezhavas are classified as an OBC in Kerala, for there agricultural and lower income people to uplift them, 40 % of ezhavars comes under obc creamy layer where no reservation is given to them as owing they earn above 8 lac. they are considered as open category.

      Our community contributed the max. to society and worldwide progress. its far better than any community in Kerala , its not only the toddy tapping and related business, who were just few in numbers, but we are proud of that too because we worked hard for our livings and success and not like what your community did for living everyone knows it well I am not discussing the ugly part of proud servant class, we r above 30 % people in Kerala with simple logic and common-sense how a whole community in the past will be in one occupation foolishness o, and same applies to nairs, not all nairs were servants to Nambudiris. But 80 % of people were in the servants class.

      Some of our prominent people: Thiyyas, Ezhavas.

      LITERATURE

      • Kumaran Asan[3] – also known as Mahakavi Kumaran Asan

      • Muloor S. Padmanabha Panicker[4] – poet and a prominent social reform activist

      • C. V. Kunhiraman[4] – founder of Kerala Kaumudi, journalist

      • O. V. Vijayan[5][6] – Indian author (Khasakkinte Itihasam) and cartoonist

      • S. K. Pottekkatt

      • Narayana Guru

      • Sukumar Azhikode

      • K.B. Vasanthakumar

      • Kovilan

      • Manjula Padmanabhan

      • C. V. Kunhiraman

      • O. V. Usha

      • M. P. Appan

      • P. Valsala

      • Muloor S. Padmanabha Panicker

      • M. K. Sanu

      • Perunnelli Krishnan Vaidyar

      • Velutheri Kesavan Vaidyar

      • Pallathu Raman

      • Moorkoth Kunhappa

      • Moorkoth Ramunni

      • Moorkoth Kumaran

      • Dr.K.Prasannarajan

      • Mayyanad K Damodaran

      • K. Sukumaran

      • A. Ayyappan

      • Potheri Kunjambu Vakkee

      • M. K. Sanu

      • M. Mukundan

      • Vellayani Arjunan

      • Dr.R.Gopimony

      • Perumbadavam Sreedharan

      • P. K. Balakrishnan

      • C. V. Sreeraman

      • K P Sudheera

      • U. K. Kumaran

      • A. P. Udhayabhanu

      • K.C.Padmanabhan

      • Ponkunnam Damodaran

      Some prominent business people*

      BUSINESS

      C.R. Kesavan Vaidyar Founder of Chandrika Soaps.

      Vellappally Natesan; ex-Railway contractor, owns a chain of restaurants.

      Gokulam Gopalan Founder of Gokulam Group

      *S.D. Shibulal One of the founders of Infosys;* served as MD for a period.

      Dilip Rahulan, Gulf-based NRI, owns Pacific Controls systems.

      M.P. Purushotaman Founder of Empee Hotels & Distilleries

      G. Mohandas Founder of South Park Hotel Group, TVM.

      Gopu Nandilath, chairman, Nandilath Group, Thrissur.

      Dr. Biju Ramesh, s/of Ramesan Contractor; family runs a string of business establishments in Thiruvananthapuram, including hotels and shopping complexes; acting president of Kerala bar owners’ association.

      T.R. Raghavan Founder of

      Elite Group, THRISSUR

      K.S. Chathunny Founder of Elite Group

      Vishu Bhakthan, New Rajasthan Marbles, Chirayinkil

      VP Nandakumar, chairman, Manappuram Group.

      Dr. M Anirudhan, Essen Nutrition, Chicago, IL, USA

      MP Ramachandran, Jyothi Laboratories.

      Dr. V.K. Jayakumar Founder of Sabarigiri Schools & Hospital, Anchal, Quilon.

      Dr. Sidhan, Founder of Medimix, Cuticura.

      M.P. Moothedath Founder of Sree Narayana Engineering Industries and main patron of the Sree Narayana Guru Samadhi Mandiram at Varkala

      Narayanan Ramachandran, chairman, Ganpat group.

      Gopalakrishnan, Elemecs wedding castle, Kayamkulam, Kannur.

      TD Rajan, chairman, Foam ‘N’ Foam, Chennai.

      K Somasundaran, Sri Ram Cashews, Kollam

      K Suresh, SV Cashew company, Kollam.

      Dr VP Sidhan, Cholayil Group

      Dr AV Anoop, AVA Group

      Ajit Balakrishnan, chairman, News | Rediffmail | Stock Quotes | Shopping

      Pratap Suthan, National Creative Director, Cheil Worldwide.

      Arun Balakrishnan, Chairman, MD, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation

      NK Padmanabhan Vaidyar, Nupal Remedies

      PV Chandran, chairman, KTC Group

      PV Gangadharan, director, India Vision TV

      Gunasekaran Madhavan, Founder, Electroplaters Association

      M Manikandan, director of General Group, Coimbatore

      PV Nidheesh, Director, Mathrubhoomi Printing and Publishing Co,Kozhikode

      CC Jayaram, Director, Mathrubhoomi Printing and Publishing, Kozhikode

      A Blan, chairman, KR Group, Tirur.

      Sivanandan, Maharaja Textiles, Kochi

      KJ Anup, Grihalakshmi Rice, Palakkad.

      KK Karnan, Nirapara Rice

      Vipin Gopal,

      Chandran Nandilath, chairman, Chandan Nandilath group, Thrissur.

      NB Laisan, MD, Central India Associates, Bhilai Steel Plant

      Priya Anoop, Director, Cholayil group

      PC Madhavan, co-founder, Jayasree group, Kozhikode;

      TK Narayani Amma, who started the Sree Narayana Vilasam Sadanam (SNV Sadanam) a working women hostel in Thiruvananthapuram; a pioneer in the field.

      FILM INDUSTRY

      • Thilakan[7][8]

      • Mukesh (actor)

      • Sreenivasan (actor)

      • Manoj K.Jayan

      • O. Madhavan

      • Devan

      • Ratheesh

      • Amal Neerad

      • Anil Panachooran

      • Vineeth Sreenivasan

      • Parvathy Ratheesh

      • Dharmajan Bolgatty

      • Sandhya Rajendran

      • Divya PadminiVishwanath

      • Divyadarshan

      • Vijayakumari

      • Dhyan Sreenivasan

      • Deepu Karunakaran

      • Suchitra Karthik Kumar

      • Lakshmi Priya

      • Parvathy (actress)Thiruvoth Kottuvata

      • Anupama Parameswaran

      • Rajisha Vijayan

      • V. Gopalakrishnan (actor)

      • Shilpa Kavalam

      • Leona Lishoy

      • Sunny Wayne Sujith Unnikrishnan

      • Lishoy (Actor)

      • Vineeth Kumar

      • Biju Pappan

      • Nithya Das

      • Chippy (actress) Renjith

      • Kalabhavan Shaju

      • Gopi Sunder

      • Bijibal

      • Deepak Dev

      • Rahul Raj

      • Chandini Sreedharan

      • Deepthi Vidhu Prathap

      • chandni Shaju

      • Arjun Nandhakumar

      • Avanthika Mohan

      • Namitha Pramod

      • Joshiy

      • Sathyan Anthikad

      • Mamta Mohandas

      • Samvrutha Sunil

      • Malavika Wales

      • Nishanth Sagar

      • Gayathri Suresh

      • Gayatri Asokan

      • Harisree Ashokan

      • I. V. Sasi

      • Indrans

      • Jaya – Vijaya

      • Jishnu

      • Raghavan (actor)

      • K. P. Kumaran

      • K. R. Vijaya

      • K. S. Sethumadhavan

      • K. K. Rajeev

      • Kalaikkal Kumaran

      • Kalavoor Ravikumar

      • Kaviyoor Revamma

      • K. P. A. C. Lalitha

      • Kunjandi

      • Kuthiravattam Pappu

      • Rani Chandra

      • Lekshmi Pramod

      • Drishya Raghunath

      • Suchitra Murali

      • M. K. Arjunan

      • M. N. Thambi

      • Mala Aravindan

      • Malavika Manikuttan

      • Manjari Babu

      • K.G. Jayan

      • M. Night Shyamalan — Hollywood Director

      • Meera Muralidharan

      • Swasika Vijay

      • Mythili Balachandran

      • Narayanan Ramachandran

      • Nimisha Suresh

      • P. G. Viswambharan

      • Paravoor Bharathan

      • Padmaraj Ratheesh

      • Pramod Pappan

      • Pujappura Ravi

      • V. K. Pavithran

      • Rachana Narayanankutty

      • M.J. Radhakrishnan

      • Radhika (Malayalam actress)

      • Raghavan

      • Rajiv Anchal

      • Ramachandra Babu

      • Ramu Kariat

      • Ravi K. Chandran

      • Raveendran

      • Rani Chandra

      • Rima Kallingal

      • Akhila Sasidharan

      • Rekha Ratheesh

      • S. L. Puram Sadanandan

      • Sabari Chandran

      • Sadhika Venugopal

      • T T Sainoj

      • Saji Surendran

      • Saju Navodaya

      • Salim Kumar

      • Santhakumari (Malayalam actress)

      • Sanusha

      • Sanoop Santhosh

      • Sarayu (actress)

      • Shaji N. Karun

      • Shammi Thilakan

      • Shobi Thilakan

      • Sithara (singer)

      • Sneha Divakaran

      • Sonu Sisupal

      • Sreeja Chandran

      • Sreekala Sasidharan

      • Suja Karthika

      • Sundar Das

      • Surabhi Lakshmi

      • T. Damodaran

      • Vani Viswanath

      • V. K. Sreeraman

      • Vidhu Prathap

      • Vijayasree

      • Vivek Gopan

      SENIOR LEADERS

      C. Kesavan[9] – Former Chief Minister of the former princely state of Travancore-Cochin

      V.S. Achuthanandan former Chief Minister of Kerala; former Leader of Opposition; Chairman of Kerala State Admin Reform Commission.

      Pinarayi Vijayan, CHIEF MINISTER; former CPM Kerala State Secretary; Politburo member.

      R. Shankar, former Chief Minister.

      VM Sudheeran, Congress, former Assembly Speaker, KPCC President.

      KR Gouri Amma, former Communist leader, state minister, and present head of JSS party.

      Adoor Prakash, State Revenue Minister and head of Adur-based Yamuna Group.

      Vayalar Ravi – Indian National Congress leader and Union Cabinet Minister.

      Panniyan Raveendran, former CPI Kerala state secretary, former MP.

      Veliyam Bhargavan, former CPI state secretary (deceased)

      CK Chandrappan, CPI national leader (deceased).

      A Achuthan, MLA, Chittoor

      CB Chandrababu, CPI(M) leader, Alappuzha

      K Sadasivan, MLA, Kayamkulam.

      KP Rajendran, former Revenue Minister, Kerala.

      C. Divakaran, former minister, Kerala.

      Binoy Viswom, former minister, Kerala.

      Mullakara Ratnakaran, former minister, Kerala.

      K. Pankajakshan – RSP leader and Former Minister of Kerala

      Susheela Gopalan – former Industry Minister of Kerala (deceased)

      Varkala Radhakrishnan, former state assembly speaker.

      K Babu, Congress, state minister for excise and ports, from Tripunithura

      A Sampath, Member of Parliament, CPM.

      K Sudhakaran, Congress MP from Kannur

      P Karunakaran, CPI(M) MP from Kasaragod

      KP Dhanapalan, MP from Chalakkudy

      KK Viswanathan, former Gujarat Governor and ex KPCC president.

      CM Dinesh Mani, former Mayor, Kochi, CPI

      CH Kanaran, freedom fighter, trade union leader

      Azeekodan Raghavan, deceased, CPI(M) state secretary

      Veliyam Bhargavan, CPI former state secretary, deceased.

      K Pankajakshan, former all India general secretary of RSP.

      Prof TJ Chandrachoodan, all India general secretary of RSP

      PK Gurudasan, CPI(M) leader from Kollam who was labor minister under VS government.

      N N Krishnadas, former MP, CPI(M).

      VV Raghavan, former state minister.

      MK Raghavan, former minister, ex-general secretary, SNDP Yogam and SN Trust.

      CK Chandrappan, former MP and CPI state secretary.

      Dr EK Madhavan, former minister and Congress leader.

      K Thankappan, ex-member, Kerala Public Service Commission.

      CO Damodaran, first Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram.

      MK Hemachandran, former minister, ex PSC member,

      KP Viswanathan, former minister, from Thrissur.

      Advocate Sujanapal, a former minister.

      CK Nanu, a former minister.

      Thachady Prabhakaran, former finance minister

      CK Kumara Panicker, known as Vayalar Stalin, deceased.

      J Chittaranjan, trade union leader

      Krishnan Kaniyamparambil, former minister

      KP Prabhakaran, former minister.

      Babu Divakaran, RSP, former minister from Kollam, son of TK Divakaran.

      Nettoor P Damodaran headed the Nettoor Commission for Backward communities

      Arangil Sreedharan, former Union Minister.

      TK Ramakrishnan, was Kerala home minister, from Kochi.

      M Kamalam was the second woman minister in Kerala.

      MT Padma, was a minister in Kerala.

      Suseela Gopalan, was minister in Kerala, MP, and wife of AK Gopalan.

      Kadavoor Sivadasan, former state minister.

      TK Divakaran, who was PWD minister in EMS and Achutha Menon governments.

      PK Gopalakrishnan, former deputy speaker, Kerala Assembly

      E Balanandan, former Politburo member of CPI(M).

      Varkala Radhakrishnan, also known as Annan, former assembly speaker.

      A Sampath, CPI(M) member of Parliament.

      SCIENTISTS

      • Vainu Bappu

      GLOBAL CELEBRITIES

      Dr. KN Vainu Bappu – astrophysicist. An asteroid between Mars and Venus is named after him.

      Manoj Night Shyamalan, Hollywood director

      SOCIAL REFORMERS

      • Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, original name Kalisseril Velayutha Chekavar[13]

      • Padmanabhan Palpu[14]

      • T. K. Madhavan

      ARTS

      • Kanayi Kunhiraman

      • Narayanan Ramachandran canvas painter

      • Prakash Anchal Design Editor, Gulf Today, UAE.

      • V. Sambasivan

      Some ECONOMISTS and DIPLOMATS

      • K. N. Raj

      • M K Bhadrakumar

      LEGENDARY CHARACTERS

      • Aromal Chekavar[1] – 16th century

      • Velupillai Prabhakaran

      • Kannappa Chekavar

      • Aringodar

      • Aromalunni

      • Kotakkad Kovilakath Puthuppanathu Mooppil Vazhunnor

      • Unniyarcha- 16th-century warrior[1]

      SPIRITUAL LEADERS

      • Narayana Guru[2]

      • Bodhananda Swamikal

      • Nataraja Guru

      • Karunakara Guru

      • Nitya Chaitanya Yati

      • Vagbhatananda Gurudevar

      Some of the EUCATIONISTS

      Dr PK Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor, Kerala University.

      Dr N. Babu, former vice chancellor of Kerala University.

      Prof MK Prasad, ex VC, Calicut University

      Dr TK Raveendran, ex VC Calicut University

      Dr Gangan Pratap, ex VC, Cusat.

      Dr P Chandramohan, ex VC, Kannur University.

      Dr CP Sivadas, Professor and Head of Department, English, Calicut University.

      Dr PKG Vijayaram, Professor and Head of Department of English, St Joseph’s College, Calicut.

      Dr PT Balan, Professor and Head of Department of English, Govt Arts and Science College, Kozhikode.

      Dr Chovi Gurukkal, Sanskrit Scholar

      SPORTS

      Aparna Balan

      Chitra K Soman

      Suresh Babu, former Olympian

      Bineesh K Shaji

      Mahitha Mohan

      BS Sreeharshan, football

      PK Priya, relay medalist, CWG, 2010

      P Prashanth, Cochin Tuskers IPL team bowler

      PR Sreejesh, Indian hockey team goalkeeper

      Some OFFICIALS

      KP Dandapani, Advocate General, Kerala High Court.

      TP Senkumar, Director General of Police, Kerala.

      B Dileep Kumar, ex Managing Director, Backward Classes Corporation

      CK Bharathan, retired, Chief Engineer, PWD, Sabarimala Master Plan.

      Gokul GR IAS

      Dr Chithra IAS

      Dr Harishankar, IPS

      DR R Prasannan (Late), Legislative secretary to Kerala Assembly.

      Kailas Nath, Senior IAS official, Gujarat Govt cadre.

      Dr. B. Ashok, vice chancellor of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Husbandry University.

      CO Madhavan, former Chief secretary to Kerala Govt,

      TN Jayachandran, former Additional Chief Secretary, Kerala Govt

      CK Chandrabhanu, former Chief Secretary, Kerala Govt

      MN Prasad, former chairman, Railway Board,

      KR Rajan, IAS, former district collector, Ernakulam

      MN Gunavardhan, Principal secretary to Kerala Govt, Water Resources.

      R Heli, former Director of Agriculture.

      S. Mohana Chandran, Joint Director (retired), Agriculture

      Mohanan Sukumaran, Superintending Engineer, PWD (Retired).

      AR Sankaranarayanan, formerly MD, Steel Authority of India

      M Sivarajan, former Principal Chief Conservator of forests

      Surendran, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests

      KR Jyotilal, IAS, Secretary, IT, Kerala Govt.

      Dr MC Valsan, former secretary, Kerala Assembly.

      Sudhakara Prasad, Advocate General

      TM Manoharan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests

      (Vanvila) Surendran, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

      R Sadasivan, IRAS, Member, Railway Board

      VR Rajeevan, Additional DGP, Kerala

      KG PremShanker, Transport Commissioner, Kerala

      Jija Madhavan Hari Singh IPS, DGP, Karnataka

      MK Devarajan IPS, Rajasthan.

      Dr VK Jayapalan, former director of Medical Education

      Dr Uma Dattan, former director of Medical Education

      This are few people in our community who are famous. they are many more.

  1. This is about the writer’s own self concept. I do not think other people,- Ezhavas or others, think like this. It is a society with competitive spirit. People compete individually and in groups. The writer seems to extremely sensitive to a statement such as family legacy. There are plenty of Ezhavas with family legacy also.
    It was also very common in Kerala not to wear blouses irrespective of caste. There are lots of references and information available. Thakazhi, newspapers such as Manorama, photos of that period etc.

      • Then you live in a fools paradise as ezhavas are looked down especially by nairs irrespective of how educated or wealthy they are . If you are a man you may not have heard it openly but as a girl she would have heard it more among her classmates

  2. Thank you so much for this article. It was an eye opener for most people who live in a privileged society and are unaware of the struggles faced by fellow humans on the basis of their surname. I would expect more people to raise their voice against the harassment they have faced on the basis of caste, Creed, gender, etc. Because from the point of view of an oppressed, there is no question of credibility. Unlike many others who take up the social media platforms claiming to be victims of social injustice, though they’ve always been socially privileged and take up the space for sympathetic fame. I request the victims, the harassed and the oppressed to make their voices heard and we as a supportive society lend not only a ear but also a helping hand to them. Thank you Archa for this wonderful piece. I’m sorry you went through the unavoidable social stigma. Love and prayers to you.

    • you guys dont known how proud it feels to be ezhavar the history nair is very much low to us.

      actually nairs were enslaved by Brahmins in medieval times. And in all past.

      Nair did all types of underdog works for Brahmins in all kind.

      Below Nairs where salves to all caste.

      Vātti (Vātti Kuruppu, Pattu Kuruppu & Nantunni Kuruppu), Daivampāti (Brahmani), Pulikkal Nāyar (11) Chempukotti Nair (12) Otattu Nair (13) Puliyath Nair & Matavan Nair (14) Kalamkotti Nair & Anduran Nair – (15) Chakkala Nair & Vattakkatan Nair (16) Asthikkuracchi Mārār & Chitikan Nair (17) Chretty Nair, Mūtta, Taraka, Vaniya Nāyar & Ravāri Nāyar (18) Itasseri Nair (19) Chaliyan Nair(20) Maniyāni Nair(21) Veluthedathu Nair (22) Vilakkithala Nair. Samanthan Nair.

      Nair history.

      Yes, Nairs were Devadasi ( Prostitutes for Namboodiri Brahmins ), those days not only southern Kerala, whole kerala they were following Devadasi Charya they call it as Sambandham do not confuse with marriage. Nair’s were considered as Shudra by Namboodiri and Varma’s as per Chathurvarna system.

      Nair husbands will take their own wife to Namboodiri’s ( Naaduvazhi ) Mana for Devadasi Charya ( Sambandham ) Namboodiri would provide Jewellery’s and Money or Lands in return, some times Namboodiri would ask Nair people’s daughter for sambandham.

      Another popular immoral tradition in Kerala those days among nair community was Sambandham would happen inside Namboodiri Mana, nair husbands would take their own wife for Sambandham then husband would stand outside Mana by keeping one single Lamp in front of the Mana wife would go inside with Namboodiri. This is for understanding for outsider’s that they are not supposed to come inside Mana if there is a single lamp also Nairs were treated as Shudras by Brahmins and Varma’s hence they were not able to enter inside Namboodiri Mana, Namboodiri would let nair girls to get inside mana only for Sambandham purpose.

      Basically Namboodiri people were trying to do sambandham with many other caste ever since they arrived in Kerala during AD 1 to 2 century’s those who were not ready for prostitution they would get degraded by Namboodiri Brahmins in terms of Caste and another social status. Those who are ready for prostitution they would get money and land, positions in the society, etc.

      This is how all Namboodiri community got into the disaster, at present-day Kerala hardly you find Namboodiri Brahmins we find many people are in such a difficult living condition.

      As per history, Namboodiris arrived from outside Kerala, ever since they arrived Chera King ( People who have Varma surname in Kerala but not every varmas are from royal family ) accepted Brahminical dominance and gave all power to them as they belong to Brahmin then they implemented Chathurvarna system like all other places in India.

      There were many movies and Serials with regards to this Devadasi Charya

      ( Eg- Arapatta Kettiya Gramathil, its quite different but mainly shows prostitution by Nair community )

      I would like to highlight one thing that as per Kerala history every one except some tribal people others were migrated from different part of India. There was no Chathurvarna system in Kerala until BC 2 to AD 1.

      After the advent of Namboodiri brahmins, the Chera king accepted brahmnical dominance during BC 2 to 1 and they implemented chathurvarna, Nairs were the servant for Namboodiri brahmins they are the real Shudras as well as they served as Devadasi ( prostitutes for Namboodiri ). They continue doing Devadasi Charya for Namboodiri Brahmins to get the wealth and upper caste status, their origin is from some part of Mysore but not defined yet. Father of Malayalam language Thunjathu Ezhuthachan told that Nairs were the only shudras in Kerala.

      Yes Ezhavas are high in caste , culture and tradition.*

      Ezhavas always worked hard with pride as well as being agricultural laborers, small cultivators, and liquor businessmen, toddy tappers some Ezhavas were also involved in weaving and some practiced Ayurveda.

      Ezhavas were technically not in the chaturvarna system as owing they didn’t follow the Varna system which treated landlords, warrior community, vaidyar ( doctors) even agricultural workers all in sudra or below them , ezhavar were Kshatriyas since they acted as warriors and feudal lords, from the chera Kingdom. After the Brahmins came to Kerala they didn’t want ezhavar to take any advantage so they pushed them below lines.

      The chekavar a warrior section within the community was part of the militias of local chieftains and kings. There were also renowned Kalaripayattu experts among Chekavars!

      *As owing Kerala was the only state were landlords, kings, warrior sections, Ayurveda doctors were treated as sudra or below them. Kerala didn’t follow any varna system.*

      Ezhava pride dynasties such as the Izhathu mannanars.

      Chekavars the warriors were not able to accept the immoral activities by Brahmins and not ready to do Devadasi Charya for Namboodiri Brahmins.

      *But those days there were many Ezhava families were into the Janmi status and Richer than Namboodiri’s* (eg . Aromal Chekavar and Unniyarcha – Puthooram Tharavadu / Aarattupuzha Velayudha Chekavar / Chirappanchira Panicker etc ) and many others. Ezhavar has warrior tradition serving as militants of Chera Kingdom’s

  3. I was with you until the last paragraph. Doesn’t it make more sense to disown your caste identity ( which has no basis in reality and was made to subjugate) rather than embracing it and hence still letting the caste system live on? Can you share more about why you consider yourself an ezhava even now? I’m genuinely curious, don’t mean to offend.

    • Hi Chaitius. One thing I had to come to terms with is the fact that no matter how many class ladders your climb, your caste will always be a part of who you are. I couldn’t get rid of it. And after internalising all the shame for years, it brought me peace to just come to terms with it and own it. I’ve learnt that regardless of what I consider myself as (disowning it or not), it’s still going to be a part of me in the eyes of society because casteism is alive and thriving. I did disown and say “I don’t have one”. But I think that is a luxury confined to Savarnas whose caste doesn’t affect their daily life. No offence taken. Thank you for asking.

      • your history is not right girl, i belong to proud ezhava community ,the nairs always did underdog work of brahmins, to get upper caste , the real sudars of Kerala , we worked with pride in all areas, we are multi professional caste population. our caste system of Kerala is much different , even nairs ever considered untouchables do u know that, i am sure this is fake account handled my some sudars nair.
        history is here .- you fool be a proud ezhavar ,

        Yes Ezhavas are high in caste , culture and tradition.*

        Ezhavas were technically not in the chaturvarna system as owing they didn’t follow the Varna system which treated landlords, warrior community, vaidyar ( doctors) even agricultural workers all in sudra or below them even nairs were in the same condition, ezhavar were Kshatriyas since they acted as warriors and feudal lords, from the chera Kingdom. After the Brahmins came to Kerala they didn’t want ezhavar to take any advantage so they pushed them below lines.

        The chekavar a warrior section within the community was part of the militias of local chieftains and kings. There were also renowned Kalaripayattu experts among Chekavars!

        *As owing Kerala was the only state were landlords, kings, warrior sections, Ayurveda doctors were treated as sudra or below them. Kerala didn’t follow any varna system.*

        Ezhavas always worked with pride as well as being agricultural laborers, small cultivators, and liquor businessmen, toddy tappers some Ezhavas were also involved in weaving and some practiced Ayurveda. Ezhava pride dynasties such as the Izhathu mannanars.

        After the advent of Namboodiri brahmins, the Chera king accepted brahminical dominance during BC 2 to 1 and they implemented chathurvarna , Nairs were the servant for Namboodiri brahmins they are the real Shudras as well as they served as Devadasi ( prostitutes for Namboodiri ). They continue doing Devadasi Charya for Namboodiri Brahmins to get the wealth and upper caste status, their origin is from some part of Mysore but not defined yet. Father of Malayalam language Thunjathu Ezhuthachan told that Nairs were the only shudras in Kerala.

        Chekavars the warriors were not able to accept the immoral activities by Brahmins and not ready to do Devadasi Charya for Namboodiri Brahmins.

        *But those days there were many Ezhava families were into the Janmi status and Richer than Namboodiri’s* (eg . Aromal Chekavar and Unniyarcha – Puthooram Tharavadu / Aarattupuzha Velayudha Chekavar / Chirappanchira Panicker etc ) and many others. Ezhavar has warrior tradition serving as militants of Chera Kingdom

        Now the Ezhavas are one of the prominent and most forward majority castes in Kerala as everyone knows it is quite natural that others would be so jealous.

        As owing very feild the community have earned success eg Film industry , business , literature etc etc….

        The debate of nairs and ezhavars – IS ALWAYS WON BY PROUD EZHAVARS that is the fact.

        Below Nairs are in OBC according to the Govt. of India.

        Vātti (Vātti Kuruppu, Pattu Kuruppu & Nantunni Kuruppu), Daivampāti (Brahmani), Pulikkal Nāyar (11) Chempukotti Nair (12) Otattu Nair (13) Puliyath Nair & Matavan Nair (14) Kalamkotti Nair & Anduran Nair – (15) Chakkala Nair & Vattakkatan Nair (16) Asthikkuracchi Mārār & Chitikan Nair (17) Chretty Nair, Mūtta, Taraka, Vaniya Nāyar & Ravāri Nāyar (18) Itasseri Nair (19) Chaliyan Nair(20) Maniyāni Nair(21) Veluthedathu Nair (22) Vilakkithala Nair.

        Some are in open category also.

        Koil Thampuran or Perumal (Rajah, Thampan, Thirumulpad.etc) (2) Samanthan Nair (Nambiar, Thampi, Thampurans, Thirumulpad, Adiyodi, Nedungadi.etc)(3) Kiryathil Nāyar & Vellāyma Nāyar (Nambiār, Kaimal, Kurup.etc) (4) Illathu Nair (Kartha, Thirumukom, Pillai etc) (5) Swaroopathil Nair, Menokki & Charna Nair (Menon, Menoky.etc) (6) Padamangalam Nair (7) Tamil Padam Nair (8) Pallichan Nair

        The Ezhavas are classified as an OBC in Kerala, for there agricultural and lower income people to uplift them, 40 % of ezhavars comes under obc creamy layer where no reservation is given to them as owing they earn above 8 lac. they are considered as open category.

        Our community contributed the max. to society and worldwide progress. its far better than any community in Kerala , its not only the toddy tapping and related business, who were just few in numbers, but we are proud of that too because we worked hard for our livings and success and not like what your community did for living everyone knows it well I am not discussing the ugly part of proud servant class, we r above 30 % people in Kerala with simple logic and common-sense how a whole community in the past will be in one occupation foolishness o, and same applies to nairs, not all nairs were servants to Nambudiris. But 80 % of people were in the servants class.

        Some of our prominent people: Thiyyas, Ezhavas.

        LITERATURE

        • Kumaran Asan[3] – also known as Mahakavi Kumaran Asan

        • Muloor S. Padmanabha Panicker[4] – poet and a prominent social reform activist

        • C. V. Kunhiraman[4] – founder of Kerala Kaumudi, journalist

        • O. V. Vijayan[5][6] – Indian author (Khasakkinte Itihasam) and cartoonist

        • S. K. Pottekkatt

        • Narayana Guru

        • Sukumar Azhikode

        • K.B. Vasanthakumar

        • Kovilan

        • Manjula Padmanabhan

        • C. V. Kunhiraman

        • O. V. Usha

        • M. P. Appan

        • P. Valsala

        • Muloor S. Padmanabha Panicker

        • M. K. Sanu

        • Perunnelli Krishnan Vaidyar

        • Velutheri Kesavan Vaidyar

        • Pallathu Raman

        • Moorkoth Kunhappa

        • Moorkoth Ramunni

        • Moorkoth Kumaran

        • Dr.K.Prasannarajan

        • Mayyanad K Damodaran

        • K. Sukumaran

        • A. Ayyappan

        • Potheri Kunjambu Vakkee

        • M. K. Sanu

        • M. Mukundan

        • Vellayani Arjunan

        • Dr.R.Gopimony

        • Perumbadavam Sreedharan

        • P. K. Balakrishnan

        • C. V. Sreeraman

        • K P Sudheera

        • U. K. Kumaran

        • A. P. Udhayabhanu

        • K.C.Padmanabhan

        • Ponkunnam Damodaran

        Some prominent business people*

        BUSINESS

        C.R. Kesavan Vaidyar Founder of Chandrika Soaps.

        Vellappally Natesan; ex-Railway contractor, owns a chain of restaurants.

        Gokulam Gopalan Founder of Gokulam Group

        *S.D. Shibulal One of the founders of Infosys;* served as MD for a period.

        Dilip Rahulan, Gulf-based NRI, owns Pacific Controls systems.

        M.P. Purushotaman Founder of Empee Hotels & Distilleries

        G. Mohandas Founder of South Park Hotel Group, TVM.

        Gopu Nandilath, chairman, Nandilath Group, Thrissur.

        Dr. Biju Ramesh, s/of Ramesan Contractor; family runs a string of business establishments in Thiruvananthapuram, including hotels and shopping complexes; acting president of Kerala bar owners’ association.

        T.R. Raghavan Founder of

        Elite Group, THRISSUR

        K.S. Chathunny Founder of Elite Group

        Vishu Bhakthan, New Rajasthan Marbles, Chirayinkil

        VP Nandakumar, chairman, Manappuram Group.

        Dr. M Anirudhan, Essen Nutrition, Chicago, IL, USA

        MP Ramachandran, Jyothi Laboratories.

        Dr. V.K. Jayakumar Founder of Sabarigiri Schools & Hospital, Anchal, Quilon.

        Dr. Sidhan, Founder of Medimix, Cuticura.

        M.P. Moothedath Founder of Sree Narayana Engineering Industries and main patron of the Sree Narayana Guru Samadhi Mandiram at Varkala

        Narayanan Ramachandran, chairman, Ganpat group.

        Gopalakrishnan, Elemecs wedding castle, Kayamkulam, Kannur.

        TD Rajan, chairman, Foam ‘N’ Foam, Chennai.

        K Somasundaran, Sri Ram Cashews, Kollam

        K Suresh, SV Cashew company, Kollam.

        Dr VP Sidhan, Cholayil Group

        Dr AV Anoop, AVA Group

        Ajit Balakrishnan, chairman, News | Rediffmail | Stock Quotes | Shopping

        Pratap Suthan, National Creative Director, Cheil Worldwide.

        Arun Balakrishnan, Chairman, MD, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation

        NK Padmanabhan Vaidyar, Nupal Remedies

        PV Chandran, chairman, KTC Group

        PV Gangadharan, director, India Vision TV

        Gunasekaran Madhavan, Founder, Electroplaters Association

        M Manikandan, director of General Group, Coimbatore

        PV Nidheesh, Director, Mathrubhoomi Printing and Publishing Co,Kozhikode

        CC Jayaram, Director, Mathrubhoomi Printing and Publishing, Kozhikode

        A Blan, chairman, KR Group, Tirur.

        Sivanandan, Maharaja Textiles, Kochi

        KJ Anup, Grihalakshmi Rice, Palakkad.

        KK Karnan, Nirapara Rice

        Vipin Gopal,

        Chandran Nandilath, chairman, Chandan Nandilath group, Thrissur.

        NB Laisan, MD, Central India Associates, Bhilai Steel Plant

        Priya Anoop, Director, Cholayil group

        PC Madhavan, co-founder, Jayasree group, Kozhikode;

        TK Narayani Amma, who started the Sree Narayana Vilasam Sadanam (SNV Sadanam) a working women hostel in Thiruvananthapuram; a pioneer in the field.

        FILM INDUSTRY

        • Thilakan[7][8]

        • Mukesh (actor)

        • Sreenivasan (actor)

        • Manoj K.Jayan

        • O. Madhavan

        • Devan

        • Ratheesh

        • Amal Neerad

        • Anil Panachooran

        • Vineeth Sreenivasan

        • Parvathy Ratheesh

        • Dharmajan Bolgatty

        • Sandhya Rajendran

        • Divya PadminiVishwanath

        • Divyadarshan

        • Vijayakumari

        • Dhyan Sreenivasan

        • Deepu Karunakaran

        • Suchitra Karthik Kumar

        • Lakshmi Priya

        • Parvathy (actress)Thiruvoth Kottuvata

        • Anupama Parameswaran

        • Rajisha Vijayan

        • V. Gopalakrishnan (actor)

        • Shilpa Kavalam

        • Leona Lishoy

        • Sunny Wayne Sujith Unnikrishnan

        • Lishoy (Actor)

        • Vineeth Kumar

        • Biju Pappan

        • Nithya Das

        • Chippy (actress) Renjith

        • Kalabhavan Shaju

        • Gopi Sunder

        • Bijibal

        • Deepak Dev

        • Rahul Raj

        • Chandini Sreedharan

        • Deepthi Vidhu Prathap

        • chandni Shaju

        • Arjun Nandhakumar

        • Avanthika Mohan

        • Namitha Pramod

        • Joshiy

        • Sathyan Anthikad

        • Mamta Mohandas

        • Samvrutha Sunil

        • Malavika Wales

        • Nishanth Sagar

        • Gayathri Suresh

        • Gayatri Asokan

        • Harisree Ashokan

        • I. V. Sasi

        • Indrans

        • Jaya – Vijaya

        • Jishnu

        • Raghavan (actor)

        • K. P. Kumaran

        • K. R. Vijaya

        • K. S. Sethumadhavan

        • K. K. Rajeev

        • Kalaikkal Kumaran

        • Kalavoor Ravikumar

        • Kaviyoor Revamma

        • K. P. A. C. Lalitha

        • Kunjandi

        • Kuthiravattam Pappu

        • Rani Chandra

        • Lekshmi Pramod

        • Drishya Raghunath

        • Suchitra Murali

        • M. K. Arjunan

        • M. N. Thambi

        • Mala Aravindan

        • Malavika Manikuttan

        • Manjari Babu

        • K.G. Jayan

        • M. Night Shyamalan — Hollywood Director

        • Meera Muralidharan

        • Swasika Vijay

        • Mythili Balachandran

        • Narayanan Ramachandran

        • Nimisha Suresh

        • P. G. Viswambharan

        • Paravoor Bharathan

        • Padmaraj Ratheesh

        • Pramod Pappan

        • Pujappura Ravi

        • V. K. Pavithran

        • Rachana Narayanankutty

        • M.J. Radhakrishnan

        • Radhika (Malayalam actress)

        • Raghavan

        • Rajiv Anchal

        • Ramachandra Babu

        • Ramu Kariat

        • Ravi K. Chandran

        • Raveendran

        • Rani Chandra

        • Rima Kallingal

        • Akhila Sasidharan

        • Rekha Ratheesh

        • S. L. Puram Sadanandan

        • Sabari Chandran

        • Sadhika Venugopal

        • T T Sainoj

        • Saji Surendran

        • Saju Navodaya

        • Salim Kumar

        • Santhakumari (Malayalam actress)

        • Sanusha

        • Sanoop Santhosh

        • Sarayu (actress)

        • Shaji N. Karun

        • Shammi Thilakan

        • Shobi Thilakan

        • Sithara (singer)

        • Sneha Divakaran

        • Sonu Sisupal

        • Sreeja Chandran

        • Sreekala Sasidharan

        • Suja Karthika

        • Sundar Das

        • Surabhi Lakshmi

        • T. Damodaran

        • Vani Viswanath

        • V. K. Sreeraman

        • Vidhu Prathap

        • Vijayasree

        • Vivek Gopan

        SENIOR LEADERS

        C. Kesavan[9] – Former Chief Minister of the former princely state of Travancore-Cochin

        V.S. Achuthanandan former Chief Minister of Kerala; former Leader of Opposition; Chairman of Kerala State Admin Reform Commission.

        Pinarayi Vijayan, CHIEF MINISTER; former CPM Kerala State Secretary; Politburo member.

        R. Shankar, former Chief Minister.

        VM Sudheeran, Congress, former Assembly Speaker, KPCC President.

        KR Gouri Amma, former Communist leader, state minister, and present head of JSS party.

        Adoor Prakash, State Revenue Minister and head of Adur-based Yamuna Group.

        Vayalar Ravi – Indian National Congress leader and Union Cabinet Minister.

        Panniyan Raveendran, former CPI Kerala state secretary, former MP.

        Veliyam Bhargavan, former CPI state secretary (deceased)

        CK Chandrappan, CPI national leader (deceased).

        A Achuthan, MLA, Chittoor

        CB Chandrababu, CPI(M) leader, Alappuzha

        K Sadasivan, MLA, Kayamkulam.

        KP Rajendran, former Revenue Minister, Kerala.

        C. Divakaran, former minister, Kerala.

        Binoy Viswom, former minister, Kerala.

        Mullakara Ratnakaran, former minister, Kerala.

        K. Pankajakshan – RSP leader and Former Minister of Kerala

        Susheela Gopalan – former Industry Minister of Kerala (deceased)

        Varkala Radhakrishnan, former state assembly speaker.

        K Babu, Congress, state minister for excise and ports, from Tripunithura

        A Sampath, Member of Parliament, CPM.

        K Sudhakaran, Congress MP from Kannur

        P Karunakaran, CPI(M) MP from Kasaragod

        KP Dhanapalan, MP from Chalakkudy

        KK Viswanathan, former Gujarat Governor and ex KPCC president.

        CM Dinesh Mani, former Mayor, Kochi, CPI

        CH Kanaran, freedom fighter, trade union leader

        Azeekodan Raghavan, deceased, CPI(M) state secretary

        Veliyam Bhargavan, CPI former state secretary, deceased.

        K Pankajakshan, former all India general secretary of RSP.

        Prof TJ Chandrachoodan, all India general secretary of RSP

        PK Gurudasan, CPI(M) leader from Kollam who was labor minister under VS government.

        N N Krishnadas, former MP, CPI(M).

        VV Raghavan, former state minister.

        MK Raghavan, former minister, ex-general secretary, SNDP Yogam and SN Trust.

        CK Chandrappan, former MP and CPI state secretary.

        Dr EK Madhavan, former minister and Congress leader.

        K Thankappan, ex-member, Kerala Public Service Commission.

        CO Damodaran, first Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram.

        MK Hemachandran, former minister, ex PSC member,

        KP Viswanathan, former minister, from Thrissur.

        Advocate Sujanapal, a former minister.

        CK Nanu, a former minister.

        Thachady Prabhakaran, former finance minister

        CK Kumara Panicker, known as Vayalar Stalin, deceased.

        J Chittaranjan, trade union leader

        Krishnan Kaniyamparambil, former minister

        KP Prabhakaran, former minister.

        Babu Divakaran, RSP, former minister from Kollam, son of TK Divakaran.

        Nettoor P Damodaran headed the Nettoor Commission for Backward communities

        Arangil Sreedharan, former Union Minister.

        TK Ramakrishnan, was Kerala home minister, from Kochi.

        M Kamalam was the second woman minister in Kerala.

        MT Padma, was a minister in Kerala.

        Suseela Gopalan, was minister in Kerala, MP, and wife of AK Gopalan.

        Kadavoor Sivadasan, former state minister.

        TK Divakaran, who was PWD minister in EMS and Achutha Menon governments.

        PK Gopalakrishnan, former deputy speaker, Kerala Assembly

        E Balanandan, former Politburo member of CPI(M).

        Varkala Radhakrishnan, also known as Annan, former assembly speaker.

        A Sampath, CPI(M) member of Parliament.

        SCIENTISTS

        • Vainu Bappu

        GLOBAL CELEBRITIES

        Dr. KN Vainu Bappu – astrophysicist. An asteroid between Mars and Venus is named after him.

        Manoj Night Shyamalan, Hollywood director

        SOCIAL REFORMERS

        • Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, original name Kalisseril Velayutha Chekavar[13]

        • Padmanabhan Palpu[14]

        • T. K. Madhavan

        ARTS

        • Kanayi Kunhiraman

        • Narayanan Ramachandran canvas painter

        • Prakash Anchal Design Editor, Gulf Today, UAE.

        • V. Sambasivan

        Some ECONOMISTS and DIPLOMATS

        • K. N. Raj

        • M K Bhadrakumar

        LEGENDARY CHARACTERS

        • Aromal Chekavar[1] – 16th century

        • Velupillai Prabhakaran

        • Kannappa Chekavar

        • Aringodar

        • Aromalunni

        • Kotakkad Kovilakath Puthuppanathu Mooppil Vazhunnor

        • Unniyarcha- 16th-century warrior[1]

        SPIRITUAL LEADERS

        • Narayana Guru[2]

        • Bodhananda Swamikal

        • Nataraja Guru

        • Karunakara Guru

        • Nitya Chaitanya Yati

        • Vagbhatananda Gurudevar

        Some of the EUCATIONISTS

        Dr PK Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor, Kerala University.

        Dr N. Babu, former vice chancellor of Kerala University.

        Prof MK Prasad, ex VC, Calicut University

        Dr TK Raveendran, ex VC Calicut University

        Dr Gangan Pratap, ex VC, Cusat.

        Dr P Chandramohan, ex VC, Kannur University.

        Dr CP Sivadas, Professor and Head of Department, English, Calicut University.

        Dr PKG Vijayaram, Professor and Head of Department of English, St Joseph’s College, Calicut.

        Dr PT Balan, Professor and Head of Department of English, Govt Arts and Science College, Kozhikode.

        Dr Chovi Gurukkal, Sanskrit Scholar

        SPORTS

        Aparna Balan

        Chitra K Soman

        Suresh Babu, former Olympian

        Bineesh K Shaji

        Mahitha Mohan

        BS Sreeharshan, football

        PK Priya, relay medalist, CWG, 2010

        P Prashanth, Cochin Tuskers IPL team bowler

        PR Sreejesh, Indian hockey team goalkeeper

        Some OFFICIALS

        KP Dandapani, Advocate General, Kerala High Court.

        TP Senkumar, Director General of Police, Kerala.

        B Dileep Kumar, ex Managing Director, Backward Classes Corporation

        CK Bharathan, retired, Chief Engineer, PWD, Sabarimala Master Plan.

        Gokul GR IAS

        Dr Chithra IAS

        Dr Harishankar, IPS

        DR R Prasannan (Late), Legislative secretary to Kerala Assembly.

        Kailas Nath, Senior IAS official, Gujarat Govt cadre.

        Dr. B. Ashok, vice chancellor of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Husbandry University.

        CO Madhavan, former Chief secretary to Kerala Govt,

        TN Jayachandran, former Additional Chief Secretary, Kerala Govt

        CK Chandrabhanu, former Chief Secretary, Kerala Govt

        MN Prasad, former chairman, Railway Board,

        KR Rajan, IAS, former district collector, Ernakulam

        MN Gunavardhan, Principal secretary to Kerala Govt, Water Resources.

        R Heli, former Director of Agriculture.

        S. Mohana Chandran, Joint Director (retired), Agriculture

        Mohanan Sukumaran, Superintending Engineer, PWD (Retired).

        AR Sankaranarayanan, formerly MD, Steel Authority of India

        M Sivarajan, former Principal Chief Conservator of forests

        Surendran, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests

        KR Jyotilal, IAS, Secretary, IT, Kerala Govt.

        Dr MC Valsan, former secretary, Kerala Assembly.

        Sudhakara Prasad, Advocate General

        TM Manoharan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests

        (Vanvila) Surendran, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

        R Sadasivan, IRAS, Member, Railway Board

        VR Rajeevan, Additional DGP, Kerala

        KG PremShanker, Transport Commissioner, Kerala

        Jija Madhavan Hari Singh IPS, DGP, Karnataka

        MK Devarajan IPS, Rajasthan.

        Dr VK Jayapalan, former director of Medical Education

        Dr Uma Dattan, former director of Medical Education

        This are few people in our community who are famous. they are many more.

        • Ezhavas came from Elam, the modern Sri Lanka..so they are know as Elamar or Ezhavar. Ezhavas are generally kozhis and kannabi adicts . So they practiced medicine for a long time.

  4. Please understand the fact that Ezhavas were one of the most culturally vibrant castes before 1900.

    Majority of Ayurveda vaidyars were Ezhavas…for instance Itty Achutan..

    Ezhavas were Kalarippayattu experts…For instance…the Lord Ayyappa learned Kalarippayattu from Ezhava master of the Cheerappanchira family, Muhamma Alappuzha. Many Ezhavas served in the army of the kings.

    Ezhavas’ arts: Arjuna Nritham, Poorakkali, Makachattu, Aivarkali etc.

    Proud to be an Ezhava. Quite proud. I am an Ezhava youth of the eastern part of Kottayam. I got my caste pride from my grandfather Raman Ittiathy and from my mother Valsala Devi.

    I love my caste Ezhava quite a lot.
    Om Shivoham.

  5. I’m sorry you felt this way.

    Let’s not forget that Nairs tend to be more caste minded than Brahmins, in fact the Nairs literally enforced the caste system. So I wouldn’t rush to blame Brahmins straight away. The “caste system” in Kerala is far far removed from the vedic caste system, what was followed in Kerala is tribalism- with hundreds if not thousands of man made subdivisions, as Swami Vivekananda rightly pointed out “a madhouse”.

    I agree that Ezhavas have had a varied history, with many notable members in the community. In northern Kerala, there are aristocratic Thiyya families.
    Also in comments above, denigrating either caste is no way to solve the problem, whether its Brahmin bashing, or describing Sambandham as prostitution etc- and feeds into the same rubbish of community denigration.

    Often those with a point to prove, make reference to caste. This is human nature. Nairs looking down on Ezhavas, who in turn have been known to look down on scheduled castes, pulayas etc. Also people who have some form of inferiority complex or issue with character feel the need to cling onto caste identity rather than being proud of being who they are.

    Don’t unnecessarily denigrate Brahmins, and shun Hinduism because of this- that was the sole intention of missionaries in the 19th century who sough to create a divide between so-called Aryan Brahmins and Dravidian non-Brahmins- which genetic studies have disproven that there is a difference. This identity politics is still playing out in Tamil Nadu, and Hinduism is what suffers. Learn about Hinduism, learn Sanskrit (just as there were Ezhavas who mastered it in the past), and own your religion and identity

    Don’t judge a person by their caste, but by their action. Don’t be angry at someone who needs to resort to “caste” to feel better about themselves or to make you feel worse, just feel sorry for them.
    Own your community, and push forward, as the Ezhavas and Thiyyas of Kerala are doing- show everyone how advanced you are, through education and values, and lead the way!

    • I agree. However, there are a couple of points that I disagree with. That we look down on the castes below us. Moreover, Aristocratic families are there in Southern Kerala not just Northern Kerala. A well known house which is shown as Namboothiri house in movies belongs to my cousin’s grandfather’s family in Southern Kerala. Also, others such as Alumootil Meda. My neighborhood area are all my cousin’s. All houses in my neighborhood all have the same name. My house is the main tharavad. Others beling to my grandfathers siblings. All are big households not small ones.

      My ancestors never seeked marriage from the North because they were considered poor. Now my family is pretty much mixed with Nair two arranged marriages, Tulu Brahmin, Namboothiri, muslim etc. One of my cousin whose parents are doctors got married to a lady who belongs to fishermen caste. I wouldn’t say financially the family was great. But my cousin loved her and my dad supported him.

      There are poor families in Ezhavas too. But in our SNDP sector we make sure they are supported. For example one was given free education, other girl didn’t have fees to pay for MBBS, and my dad helped. We help each other.

      I wouldn’t say I have never gone through caste based discrimination. I have. However, I am a well read person. I know how to shut a person’s mouth without disturbing the relationship. My dad have read me books and myself a very curious person. Always thirsty to read. I never really gave an opportunity for others to discriminate me. I don’t consider myself inferior nor superior to anyone. That explains I guess.

  6. Absolutely! Well said.

    I am an Ezhava. I am not married to ezhava. I have friends from all backgrounds and caste system, and it doesn’t matter. I judge them by their actions. I stay away from narrow minded people. They don’t deserve my time.

  7. Hello,

    I’m born in the same caste and have gone through some of the experiences that Archa has shared.
    However, do I still ponder over those experiences? certainly not. I think we Ezhavas have to learn how to live according to Gurus teachings. i.e. live with an identity of yourselves rather than that of the caste. All our forefather from the past decades who’ve hit the highest note in their professions have done so by their expertise. Intellects do reckon that it is something that they have not inherited rather they earned it in their bodily lives through hard toils. In this age of collaboration and collective growth, denouncing any kind of divisiveness is what is called for and thereby be a true proponent of Gurudevan’s ideologies.

    Regards

  8. This post itself is an insult to the Proud Ezhava Community and needs to get deleted. I don’t know which part of Kerala you are from. I guess most probably you are from Travancore. Most woman those didn’t wear upper garments those days and it was common.

    Most of the Ezhavas who led the social reform movements in Kerala were from Aristocratic Ezhava families. Like TK Madhavan was from Alummootil family one of the wealthiest families in the state of Travancore. Their Tharawad is not less than any palace. Alumootil Channar was the second person in Kerala to own a car after the Maharaja.

    Susheela Gopalan another Ezhava leader is from the Famous Cheerapanchira Tharawad where lord Ayyappa learnt Kalari.

    Likewise Dr. Palpu was also from a weathy family in Travancore.

    Kumara Asan was from a wealthy merchant family.

    Sahodaran Ayyapan was born into an aristocratic Ezhava family of Ayurvedic Physicians.

    Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker was another proud Ezhava from the renowned Kallissery Tharavad.

    Gouri Amma was also from an aristocratic Ezhava family.

    These people brought social reform and helped the working class in the community.

    They didn’t do it for you to come here in the 21st century and tarnish the image of the whole community.
    Keep your inferiority complex to yourself and don’t write and spread such things about a community which has plenty of things to be proud of.

    There were poor people among all castes during that time. As far as untouchability is concerned even nairs weren’t allowed to touch Namboothiris. They were shudras.

    Kerala didn’t have a proper caste structure like north India. So it’s better you don’t spread misinformation.

    There are plenty of other castes below Ezhavas.

    Many Ezhavas were soldiers in the Military of Kingdoms.
    Many worked as Ayurvedic Physicians and Sanskrit Scholars.
    Many were into business.
    And also some belonged to the working class.

    Hope this article gets deleted

    Thanks

  9. Don’t compare Ezhavas of South Kerala to Thiyyas/Billavas (also known as Poojary, Kotian, Salian etc.). They are a proud community. Thiyyas have rich martial tradiation and history. There are plenty of aristocrats among them. Even the first pilot in the Royal Indian Airforce was from the Thiyya community. Meenakshi Amma the Kalari practioner and trainer who has received Padmashri is also from this proud community.
    In north Kerala there is no hatred among any communities. So keep your Ezhava-Nair hatred in South Kerala itself. Nair and Thiyyas have fought in wars togehther. There are aristrocrats among both communities and they live along with each other.

    • I guess you dont know much about the Ezhavas of southern kerala very well. Myself also an Ezhava from Thiruvanathapuram , and we are quite proud ourselves, from an aristocratic family as well . Ever heard of the Aalumootil tharavad, or Kalari Panickers of Kulathoor,. Thozuvancode kshetram and all that?
      Southern Kerala has its fair share of aristrocrats, warriors, ayurvedic vaidyars, and we get along well with the nairs here as well, but am not naive enough to think that there is no caste difference or prejudices.

  10. Hi Archa,

    Please Consider deleting this article. You are insulting a whole community based on your personal experience.

    Thanks

  11. @Archa Renu Baburaj

    I agree.

    The nair women who spoke like that did a wrong thing in my opinion. Since all know such statement would hurt.

    We belong to Nair family, but are lower to middle class people so know what happens to people like us – both Nairs and Ezhavas. Even lower middle class Nambudiris. At our level usually we dont have elitist mentalities simply because we are bothere of survival. And since we have suffered by similar taunts by other people, we wont taunt others. I have seen many such Menon/Nair/Nambiar men and women who insult others.

    It is truly genetic – they cant control! This poison was given by that time nambuduiris (1900 and before) (not the current 3 generations).

    So I truly am afraid to confront any Nair woman, they will do anything to destroy another Nair.

    But only one thing I want to clarify – not all nair men and women are like that. Though we may be nair, we need not be casteists. Many times Ezhavas take the anger on all Nairs assuming all have that mindset. It is not true. If all were like that, all would be well connected and quite rick – due to brotherhood/sisterhood. That is not the case. Many nair women and men in past opposed these culutures. They did not get any support from other Nairs.

    This is my opinion.

    • @ Another Nair

      I am an Ezhava. Your comment seems logical. However, the only thing that I oppose to is that, because Nair community faced oppression from Menon, they are putting their frustration on Ezhavas? I don’t really think that is the right thing to do. It does not justify their reason to hurt other people. So in a way it’s like saying because of the bad deeds done by the ancestors of Nair, Ezhavas still hate them. And most of the present generation of Nair are using that horrible past to brag like its a good thing. To be honest, I don not think that adding caste to the names is a good thing. I will put it in a much simpler way, it’s like Germans adding Nazi to their names. If they do that they would go to jail. Casteism has ruined many lives. But, that same caste is considered as something to be proud of and added to their names? Does that seem right?

      I am pretty open about my caste. I have no sense of superior nor inferior complex. My house is the tharavad(the main house), so the servants who worked for us still shows a lot of like unwanted respect to us. For example, they sit down and not on the sofa when we asks to. Once, when her daughter came in she asked her to sit on the floor and not on the chair! I mean its ridiculous! We don’t agree with it at all. I don’t know what else to say.

      I have a lot of friends and family from other castes like Brahmin, Nair etc. Some brag about their castes like its a good thing. From what I have noticed, the educated and affluent ones remain silent, and pretty decent in their behaviour. Just education doesn’t really help. If that was the case then they should be really keeping quiet.

      I am from an affluent kind of Ezhava family. I don’t really allow people to be superior to me. Why would I? I don’t act like I am superior nor an inferior one. Just be normal. I understand what the author is saying. I lived in a Nair neighborhood, some actually got married to Ezhavas. (which is funny) because they always teased us because of our caste. Then my mom and uncle would tease her saying something back.

      We don’t really take that to heart because all of us are very lighthearted and we like each other, childhood friend of my mom, aunt and uncle. Furthermore, the scenario is kind of different for us because we had better education, financially good and kind of looked better too. I am not supposed to say this but yeah. So when our neighbor joked about our caste my mom would joke than enthu nair ado in a funny way. Anyways both are mean jokers. So they kind of respected us. Considering that my grandparents was a judge and a doc. So we had that respect always. People would say judge’s granddaughter and stuff. However, not all people get treated like that.

      Why I said my background is because I get treated in a different way because of our background, and so if they say something to us it doesn’t really affect us. But say I am a poor person, it might affect me. It might not affect me if I was an adult but if I was a child, it definitely would. Luckily my parents taught me well and I never ever felt ashamed of saying that I am an Ezhava.

      Please do understand that I am not a person who would treat any person bad in general. I have said this only because I wanted to let you know about how people normally feel like. I do not hold any grudges against Nair community. My best friend is a Nair .so yeah. That’s it.

  12. Looks like your parents had only Narayana Guru’s picture. They did not have the Guru in their heart. Otherwise, they would have advised you to have better outlook and understanding on caste. Being born as a Guru devotee and imbibing some of his teachings would take you far beyond any so-called Brahmin in the quality and content of your character. There is no other example in the world history where a man from an ordinary family elevates himself to the pinnacle of human perfection and then enable people to elevate themselves to an intellectually, politically, economically and educationally vibrant society, that is often times envy to the world, during his life time of 74 years. You belong to that Guru. So, be proud and spread that proud around you.

  13. Can’t believe such an article was necessary. I was born in a Ezhava family and have lots of great Nair and Brahmin friends. Even dated a Nair girl for a long time. We even poke each other of our dark history.
    Both castes agree they are the strongest caste in Kerala. At this modern day – who you are is not based on your caste or religion. If someone feels that, you should ignore that person!

  14. While it is the problem in the mind of all who were claimed to show their casteism, the writer’s mind is filled with the same based on past history.

    Even now there are cases of race, caste, state, nation, religion, character based biases or tags everywhere and it is upto us to either come out of our thinking or get shucked into it based on what others comment based on any of these, not just based on caste alone. Many of those got lured and converted to other religions to come out of this including my ancestors.

    Glad that after 23 years, the writer came out of this deep rooted caste mindset.

    These days brahmins are targeted and ridiculed for what their ancestors did in the past for no fault of the current generation and many are poor while most of the positions of authority are now held by others who are now showing their biases too.

    Focus on enhancing one’s soul that is caged in our body to expand and not on man made caste, religion, race or others.

  15. Funny. Ezhava people are real fighters . Your parents should have brought you as a real ezhava lady. You will be knowing the history of Nangeli, the woman who cut her breasts off when some administrator came to tax her breast. People say the story may not be correct as other so called upper castes also has to show their breast open when they entered temple. But she was a real ezhava lady. Another person was Arattupuzha Velayuda Panicker. These so called upper caste people failed many times before him . Our own Narayana guru, he told brahmins that he made a temple for his own ezhava Siva. Nobody ever have questioned brahmins like that and they silently heard it and went. Do you know the reason? He knew Sanskrit and knew the Hindu scriptures well. You know Palpu. He was a rich ezhava from trivandrum. Got good rank in medical entrance. This so called royals did not allow him to join meeicine. Atlast what happened he joined medicine, formed sndp and ultimately these royals has to make the first medical college principal an ezhava only. So many so many people have fought and still we are fighting and do you know the number of ezhava priests in the so called uppercaste temples.There is a historical reason for us to be in avarnas . We are the only community with proof who can say that we are the descendants of the erstwhile Cheras( Billava/ villavar). Who will teach Sanskrit and martial arts to a lower caste . Even sudras were not allowed . The first malayali name to appear in a scientic work by Europeans is of Itty Achuden vaidyan , an ezhava that too in 17 th century. Ask any botanist you know about the relevance of it. Thank god still some evidences have been left behind. The so called royals knew that if the customs are taken out, their so called divine Hinduism will be changed in its structure. Lol it is what is happening now. They used us as warriors, physicians and so called noble jobs as present. They shamelessly collected taxes from us and we were the community payed most taxes. But tried to never make as equal to some so called upper castes. We have claimed that equal status also without any body else’ help and is on the path of regaining the highest status enjoyed by our ancestors. I think you should know a little about history and be bold. Remember Jew won’t tell much about their past as slaves of Egyptians now. But they still remember Solomon. Look at their position now.

  16. Be proud to be from the only community in India who redefined Hinduism according to its own terms

  17. Be proud to be in the only community in India which redefined Hinduism in its own terms and proved that Varna system is useless in assessing the quality or ability of a person.

    • A note to the author:

      I am Ezhava from Ernakulam. I understand how you feel. To be honest I learned about my caste when my teacher asked me to fill the column name for Board exams. I said I don’t know I will ask my dad and let you know the next day.

      I asked my dad and he said its Ezhava. I couldn’t even remember the name and the next day at school I forgot the name.

      Later I learned from my friends that they were Brahmin and Nair respectively. They asked my caste and I said Ezhava. They asked me what is that. And I replied ‘apparently I am in the OBC sector same as my Muslim friend’. They said ‘ ahhh best’. I don’t know what they meant by that. Anyways I wanted to learn and I was curious why was my family considered as OBC even though I come a top notch family? I was thirst for knowledge.

      My father respected Sree Narayana Guru and his teachings. He realised I was similar to him. He read a lot of books and so do I. From that day he read to me the childhood story of Guru. He took me to Sivagiri, and other places. I started to learn about him through the Malayalam chapter at school. I was proud. Then someone asked he belongs to a lower caste did he know Sanskrit. Then my teacher who is a Menon said. Of course pure Sanskrit!

      I learned by myself about the historic past about how Ezhavas served in the military and there warrior past. How British and the rulers hid this.

      Now I don’t think I am seen as a person who can be ridiculed by Nairs or others. Even if they want to I have all the answers with me. They don’t because education wise I have crossed a million rivers. They know my family too. My family don’t even look like the so called untouchables. Furthermore, I don’t consider them as a competitor either. That doesn’t mean I show off or ridicule them. We remain friends till now.

      I just remembered, the big tharavad which is mostly showed as royal house in movies. I don’t remember the movie, its there in many houses. I think it is shown in the movie where they show Varikkasseri mana. Not that but a similar looking house. That belongs to my cousin’s grandfather’s family. Southern Kerala. They show as namboothiri house.

      • You say your people don’t look like untouchables . Open your eyes wide and look . There are dark complexioned people in the forward communities too.

  18. @ The unknown guy. This guy here is trying to claim him subcaste and the author is trying something else. I don’t know where you got that idea from.

    Let me tell you something. I am Ezhava from Ernakulam. My grandfather was a judge and grandmother a doctor. Aunt first women to study engineering in CUSAT. She is now into submarines and stuffs. Many renowned Ayurvedic hospitals in Ernakulam are from my family.

    There were many grandhas and thaliolas which we got from my ancestors which is now preserved by the historic department of Kerala which obviously means that my ancestors were educated? Also we are known by our tharavad name.

    The new generation lives independently which is why most of them are unaware of their own lineage. However, the youngest in the family has the right to own the house and so they get to learn most of the history. Elders mostly don’t care. Also, my ancestors don’t consider Thiyyas for marriages because they are considered as poor. I didn’t want to say this but seems like he don’t get the reason why.

    My parents, aunts are pretty cool. They don’t really give importance to religion or caste. My cousin’s got married to Nair through arranged marriage. There were some nair neighbor friends of my mom’s. They used to crack jokes about us. We don’t take it seriously, I like her she was a part of my childhood too. We used to play together and stuffs. By by visual appearance my mom’s family looks pretty much like a royal family by looks, education and richness. My moms house is not the original tharavad. My grandfather moved there after marriage. Our neighborhood is a nair area but we are respected because there was noone with the level of education as my grandparents.

    These are all stories cooked up by the British to divide Hindus. My grandmother have said once to my father that our origin is from Sri Lanka. I have not seen her, she was pretty old. There was no internet those days. So I still believe Ezhavas are Buddhist from Sri Lanka. My Sinhala friends looks like me, the food is pretty much similar. Way of thinking. When I studied abroad, I never really approached them, instead they came to me thinking that I am from Sri Lanka.

    My aunt jokes about it saying that its the blood relation.

  19. There are many scientists too. I know at least four scientists from my family who works in ISRO. If you start writing down the list. It will be endless. Ezhava is obviously a major caste of Hinduism. This list is actually short.

  20. Ezhavas are toddy tapers migrated from Sri Lanka..(Elam). That’s why they got the name Elavar or Eahavar. Nair is a caste migrated to Kerala from Tulunad, the southern part of Karnataka. They belong to the Naga vamsha kshatriyas, and they protected brahmins. But there are different subcastes in Nair community which are considered as inferior. Caste is an illusion. Don’t take it much seriously and enjoy your life.

  21. Ezhavas are only toddy tappers and no other job they did. Nairs were all kshatriyas and they were drinking quite a lot to forget a lot of things including the light and the foot wears in front of their house. That was why 23 percent of total population (ezhavas) were making so much alcohol for them. You will get to live on only if you say some casteist lies, huh? Ok carry on carry on.

    • @Ajay I understand that you are stupid. But still? Have you not met any Ezhavas at all? All Nairs are Kshatriyas? Well here is some interesting fact for you. The security guard at our house is a Nair. We fired him because he comes to work after getting drunk. And my caste is Ezhava.

  22. @ Random. I was being sarcastic of Raj Nair’s answer. Please understand it. He is just putting up some half baked truths and truths were put up in a cunning way and to give a genuinity, he is consoling the author too. Quite intelligent.

  23. By your comments that your family looks like royal family you are just demeaning yourself . Is there a definition of looks of royal family . Have you seen how the late marthanda varma looked ? If you mean fair complexion there are fair and dark people in Kshatriya community . Try not to say you are superior too . Instead say all human beings created by god irrespective of looks are the same – no one is superior and no one is inferior .

  24. Maybe you haven’t heard of nairs speaking in a derogatory way about ezhavas which this young lady has . Caste is a reality in Kerala and nairs do look down upon ezhavas

  25. Mr. Venkat,

    This was a comment intended to someone who said about our so called ‘colour of the untouchables’.

    I am an Ezhava myself but my family is not dark skinned. I am kind of reddish like a Sri Lankan. The reason why I stated my family’s skin colour is that, our beloved Nair lady would say that Ezhavas in general are dark skinned not realising that she herself is dark skinned than my mom or uncle.

    My family wouldn’t make such a comment in the first place. However, one day when she said Ezhava this and that. My mom replied ‘what kind of Nair are you? you don’t even have the so called Nair look’ in a funny way.

    So you DO realise that there is dark skinned everywhere. This was purely the intention. That’s why I called it ‘ the so called untouchables’. Get it? Otherwise, I have no problem with dark skinned people at all. In fact, I like to keep my skin reddish, and I do go out in the sun a lot, I do darkening cream. So umm yeah I guess?

  26. This nair ezhava thing is like a war which is not going to end soon. They both consider themselves better than other. Caste wise yes off course nair is higher. But then ezhavas like me will bring up their ability to achieve things which were refused to them and their pride to not bulge to any body. We both can take pride in whatever we have done in the past. We have to move forward. Otherwise both our communities are going to suffer in long term. Best thing is not to talk these type of things in these type of forums. I am sorry to nair friends if I talked badily.

  27. Ezhavas and Shanars (Now they merged with Nadars in TN) came from Lanka and their God is Ravana.

    Hamilton (British Historian)

  28. Gene analysis of Thiyyas from North Malabar indicates that their male ancestry comes from the Central European steppes (R1a1, R2 haplotypes). Thus their ancient origins were with the Vedic Arya. Their legends mention that they arrived in Kerala as the warrior retinue of a Sinhalese princess who married a local king. This may explain how the Chekavars – samurai-like warriors – came about. The Sinhalese people, incidentally, are an Indo-European language-(related to Sanskrit)-speaking people whose own legends state that they originated in Odisha/Bengal via a exiled prince and his army who moved south and conquered Sri Lanka.

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