A four-day exhibition on the Temple Entry Proclamation of 1936, which commenced at VJT Hall on Friday, highlights how popular movements had brought down caste barriers to bring about social equality.
The exhibition, organised by the Information and Public Relations, Culture, Archives and Archaeology Departments, features rare documents depicting the State’s evolution from a rigid caste-based system. Quotes of social reformers Sree Narayana Guru and Vivekananda on caste divides and regressive rituals are displayed prominently.
There are accounts highlighting the extent of untouchability, caste discrimination, and restrictions on women a century ago. A few exhibits explain the specific distances which the members of various castes had to maintain between them.
The brutal treatment meted out to workers from ‘lower castes’ and the ‘Villuvandi yatra’ of social reformer Ayyankali in claiming the right of way by defying conventions that applied to the ‘untouchables’ are explained.
Besides explaining the circumstances that led to the proclamation, the expo also highlights Mahatma Gandhi’s last visit to Kerala to participate in the celebrations held at the present University College grounds in 1937 to mark the declaration.