A report by the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) has suggested dropping the Communist martyrs of Punnapra-Vayalar, Karivelloor and Kavumbayi agitations from the list of martyrs of India‟s Independence struggle.
The Punnapra-Vayalar uprising (October 1946) was a communist uprising in the Princely State of Travancore, British India against the Diwan(Prime Minister), C. P. Ramaswami Iyer and the state.
Sir CP Ramaswami Iyer had proposed constitutional reforms making Travancore an independent country, not joining Indian Union. CP had proposed an ‘American model’ for Travancore.
The Communists in Travancore opposed this move with the slogans, ‘Chuck the Americans and British agents into the Arabian Sea’.
The struggle against the Travancore Kingdom began in 1939. The famine conditions in Travancore Kingdom during the Second World War had pushed the peasants towards the Communists.
Workers‟ agitations led by communist trade unions for labour rights during that period culminated in a massive rebellion against the rule of the King and his Diwan (Prime Minister), C. P. Ramaswami Iyer.
A large number of workers who participated in that rebellion against the rule of Ramaswami Iyer were killed by the army of the Diwan during October 1946.
Hundreds got killed in police firing at Punnapra , Mararikulam Vayalar, Olathala and Menachery.
Highlights of the recent ICHR Report
Those Communist agitations cannot be counted as the part of the Independence movement as they took place after the interim government led by Jawaharlal Nehru assumed office.
The Indian Communists believed that India is not a cultural and political unit. It is the conglomeration 17 nationalities.
It is also not the part Indian freedom struggle. It was to regain the lost image of Communist party.