The 1938 Kadakkal riot

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Franco Rule - A nation is proclaimed, within the domains of Travancore

It was a curious incident, not oft mentioned in the annals of history. During the ironclad reign of Sir CP, a few individuals took an opportunity that came by and on their own, liberated their village from a brutal tax collector and proclaimed independence. The leaders then called themselves the king and chief minister respectively. The police retaliated strongly resulting in violence and deaths and eventual overpowering of the revolting hordes. It was somewhat inconsequential, in the large scale of things, and was hardly reported, for the press itself was being muzzled by Sir CP. But it signaled the start of many more acts against the royal government, the evolution of the Travancore state congress, the wane of the Dewan’s powers and even resulted in physical threats and assassination attempts against him. For a while, Sir CP thought of implementing an American style government in Travancore, but the public protested, as Sir CP planned to become the president. In the end Travancore was finally ceded to the Indian union and Sir CP rode into the sunset. History books call these acts and events as demands for responsible government. These acts continue ever so often even today in Kerala and serve to be safeguards of Kerala’s democracy, as checks and balances. People like us keep us looking at the state from afar, bemused, while comedians and mimicry artistes remind its citizens to be either satirical or lighthearted about all those, after the fact. The life of a Malayali, so to say.