Oct. 20, 2022

Accamma Cherian

Political Life Context

  • Accamma Cherian was an Indian woman freedom fighter and activist from Travancore (Kerala). Mahatma Gandhi called her 'Jhansi ki Rani of Travancore'.
  • In February 1938, Congress was formed in Travancore State and Accamma left her teaching career and joined the freedom struggle.

Early Life

  • She was born on February 14, 1909 in Kanjirappally, Travancore.
  • After completing education in 1931, she started her career as a teacher in St. Mary's English Secondary School, Edakkara.

Civil Disobedience Movement

  • During the Civil Disobedience Movement, the people of Travancore launched a movement for responsible government, which was tried to be suppressed by the Diwan CP Ramaswamy Iyer and the Congress was banned soon after the Civil Disobedience Movement. Pattom A. Thanu Pillai was led Travancore Civil Disobedience Movement. Leaders of Travancore Movement including Pattom A. Thanu Pillai were arrested and put behind bars.
  • Then Accamma Cherian was elected as the twelfth president of Travancore Congress.

Rally for Kaudiyar Palace

  • Accamma Cherian led a mass rally from Thampanur to Kaudiyar Palace in protest against ban on the Travancore Congress.
  • They also demanded for sacking of Diwan C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer.
  • Through her revolutionary speech, she forced the police officers to withdraw their orders. Gandhiji called her the 'Jhansi Rani of Travancore'. But in 1939, she was arrested and convicted for violating prohibitory orders. Accamma had to go to jail twice during her struggle for independence.

Formation of Desh Sevika Sangha

  • In October 1938, the Working Committee of the State Congress directed Accamma Cherian to organize the Deshsevika Sangha (Women's Volunteer Group). She visited various places and appealed women to join Desh Sevika Sangh.

Quit India Movement

  • Accamma, after her release from jail, became a full-time worker of the State Congress.
  • In 1942, she became its acting president. In her presidential address, she welcomed the Quit India resolution passed at the historic Bombay session of the Indian National Congress on August 8, 1942.
  • In 1946, she was arrested and imprisoned for six months for violating the prohibitory orders of the British government. In 1947, she was arrested again because she had raised her voice against C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer’s demand of independent Travancore. 

Life after Independence

  • After independence, Accamma was elected unopposed to the Travancore Legislative Assembly from Kanjirappally.
  • In the early 1950s, she resigned from the Congress party after being denied Lok Sabha ticket, and in 1952, she contested the parliamentary election as an independent contestant from the Muvattupuzha constituency.
  • In the early 1950s, she left politics due to ideological clash with the parties.
  • In 1967, she contested the assembly elections from Kanjirappally as a Congress candidate, but lost. Later, she served as a member of the Freedom Fighters' Pension Advisory Board.

Accamma Cherian Park

Accamma Cherian died on May 5, 1982. A statue was installed in her memory at Vellayambalam in Thiruvananthapuram.