Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Ayalkkar of P. Kesavadev
“Ayalkkar” (neighbors) is an award-winning novel of P. Kesavadev, one of the prolific writers of 20th century Kerala. In the “introduction” to this book, the author contemplates on the social progress to which Kerala was slowly waking up in the beginning of twentieth century. His analyses of these developments often give birth to his literary works, as what happened in this book too, the author says. Dev, as the writer has been popularly known in Kerala, recalls that there were three main aspects for the social progress witnessed by Kerala in the first half of twentieth century (the introduction written in 1963 takes into account half a century preceding it to make this inference). The destruction of matrilineal system (marumakkathayam), which had a tint of feudal character in it, the social mobility of Ezahvas, who had witnessed backwardness in a caste-ridden society, and the progress of Christian community in the economic and education front were the three aspects.