Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai, also known as Kerala Kesari, was a prominent social reformer, journalist, and freedom fighter from the Indian state of Kerala. He was born on August 27, 1878, in Venganoor, Travancore (now part of Kerala). Ramakrishna Pillai played a significant role in the fight against British colonial rule and was one of the leading figures in Kerala’s struggle for freedom.
Ramakrishna Pillai was a prolific writer and journalist. He founded the newspaper “Swadeshabhimani” in 1905, which became an influential platform for expressing nationalist ideas and advocating for social reform. The newspaper played a crucial role in mobilizing public opinion against British colonial rule and highlighting the social issues prevailing at that time, such as untouchability and the caste system.
Due to his fearless and outspoken writings against British imperialism, Ramakrishna Pillai faced several challenges and was imprisoned multiple times by the colonial authorities. However, he continued his activism and journalism even after facing persecution.
Apart from his contributions to the freedom movement, Ramakrishna Pillai was also involved in various social reform movements in Kerala. He worked towards promoting education, women’s rights, and the upliftment of marginalized communities.
Ramakrishna Pillai’s dedication to the cause of freedom and social reform earned him the title “Swadeshabhimani,” which means “Patriot of the Motherland.” He remains a revered figure in Kerala’s history and is remembered for his courageous efforts in shaping the state’s socio-political landscape.
Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai passed away on May 28, 1916, but his legacy as a journalist, freedom fighter, and social reformer continues to inspire people in Kerala and beyond. His contributions are commemorated and celebrated by various institutions and the people of Kerala.