Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge being received by party's general secretary (in-charge of Organisation) KC Venugopal and party supporters on his arrival at Thiruvananthapuram Airport to inaugurate the centenary celebrations of Vaikom Satyagraha | Photo: ANI
Kottayam (Kerala): Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said the Vaikom Satyagraha has the distinction of being one of the most powerful, potent and earliest mass movements against caste discrimination.
The Congress national president inaugurated an event to mark the centenary of Vaikom Satyagraha in Vaikom, Kottayam on Thursday.
Party's General Secretary KC Venugopal also participated in the event.
Addressing the gathering, Kharge said, "The Vaikom Satyagraha has the unique distinction of being one of the most powerful, potent and earliest mass movements against caste discrimination."
"It is a matter of immense pride and honour for me to inaugurate the centenary celebration for this historical event of Vaikom Satyagraha in Kerala today. Vaikom Satyagraha holds a special significance in India's centuries-long struggle against cast discrimination as also Indian National Congress' (INC) relentless strive for achieving India's independence from colonial rule."
Highlighting Congress' contribution, Kharge said, "This movement was initiated almost 100 years ago, on this very day in 1924 by then Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee."
"The protest demanded the right of the untouchables to walk freely on the roads around the Vaikom temple. In pre-independence India, untouchables were barred from entering the temples. Even Shri Narayana Guru was stopped from using the roads near the temple once. Prominent social reformers Shri KP Keshav Menon and Shri K Kelappan were also actively associated with this movement," he added.
Remembering Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion, the Congress president said, "The movement set the tone for social reforms in India. It had the blessings of none other than Mahatma Gandhi ji who himself visited Vaikom in 1925. He wrote in favour of temple entry during the satyagraha."
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the centenary of Vaikom Satyagraha expressed hope for equality and justice in the country.
In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said, "The Centenary celebration of the 'Vaikom Satyagraha' is an apt moment to recommit ourselves to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Periyar and Sree Narayana Guru. My tributes to all those who fought against discrimination and set India on the path of equality and justice for all."
On March 23, Rahul Gandhi was convicted by a Surat district court and sentenced to two years imprisonment in the defamation case over his 'Modi surname' remark made in 2019 during an election rally in Karnataka. After being convicted by the court, Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
The BJP and Congress have been trading charges against each other stating that the Congress leader was "a habitual loose cannon" and the Congress alleging that Rahul Gandhi was "deliberately disqualified".