Pandit Karuppan

Pandit Karuppan

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Category: Social Work

Pandit Karuppan Profile

  • Name:
  • Pandit Karuppan
  • Born:
  • May 24, 1885
  • Died:
  • March 23, 1938
  • Father:
  • Paapu
  • Mother:
  • Kochu Pennu

Pandit Karuppan Biography

Pandit K.P. Karuppan, also called Pandit Karuppan was a dalit leader from Kerala, also known as a poet and dramatist. He was a founding member of the Cochin Pulaya Mahasabha, aside K. P. Vallon in the Kochi state which played a significant role in the uplift of Pulaya and weaker communities of the state in the pre-independent era. Hailed as “Lincoln” of Kerala, his role for the uplift of weaker sections of Kerala society in the 10th century is really very huge. He campaigned for the rights of dalits at a time when they were not even allowed to enter Ernakulam. A Sanskrit scholar, poet and dramatist of repute, he was the first human rights activist of the Kochi State. A child prodigy he wrote Lankamardanam, styled in Shardoolavikreeditham at the age of only 12. Jathikummi (1904) was his celebrated work. He was also known as Karuppan master.


He was born on 24 May 1885 in Cheranalloor, Kerala. He was born into a middle class family of Dheevara fishermen community. Though his name was Karuppan which means ‘Black coloured man’ in Malayalam, he was fair and handsome. Actually his birth name was Sankaran and he was rechristened to Karuppan by a Tamil Gosai friend, who predicted that he will became a scholar in future. He learnt the basics of Sanskrit - Amarakosham, Sidhdharoopam and Sreeramodantham from a local guru. He was a great reader, who later started writing at a very young age of 12. Lankamardanam was his first work. He later learnt Sanskrit books under different gurus, and his studies at Kodungallur later played a major role in his life.


A celebrated writer, many of his works are included in the academics of Kerala. He was instrumental in initiating many reforms including the establishment of many schools and colonies, and also helped in providing scholarships and concession in fees. He has served as the Director of the Cochin Central Co-operative Bank and many other senior positions.

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Updated: February 27, 2016

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