Why in News?

December 24 is the death anniversary of the Periyar E.V. Ramasamy (September 17, 1879­ – December 24, 1973).

Vaikom Satyagraha

  • It was a satyagraha (social protest) in Travancore(now part of Kerala), India in 1924–25 against untouchability in Hindu society
  • The movement was centered at the Shiva temple at Vaikom, near (present district) Kottayam.
  • The Satyagraha aimed at securing freedom to all sections of society through the public roads leading to the Sri Mahadeva Temple at Vaikom.

Background of satyagraha :

  • In 1865, the Government of Travancore had published a notification that all public roads in the state were open to all castes of people alike.
  • Sree Narayana Guru himself was prohibited from passing through the roads around the temple. Sri Bhargavan Vaidyar mentions this in the golden Jubilee Souvenir of Neyyattinkara S N D P Union

Nature of the movement

  • The movement began on 30th March 1924.
  • At the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, there was a board which denied the  entry of lower caste people( Avarnas).
  • The Satyagrahis made batches of three and entered the temple. They were resisted and arrested by the police.
  • Gandhiji, Chatampi Swamikal and Sree Narayana Guru  supported the movement.
  • The movement gained prominence in the entire India and support came from far and wide.
  • The Akalis of Punjab supported by setting up kitchens to provide food to the Satyagrahis.
  • Even Christian and Muslim leaders were in support of the movement. This was shunned by Gandhiji because he  wanted the movement to be an intra-Hindu affair.
  • On Gandhiji’s advice, the movement was taken back temporarily in April 1924.
  • After discussions with Hindu caste people failed, the leaders again started the movement. Leaders T K Madhavan and K P Kesava Menon were arrested.
  • E V Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar) came from Tamil Nadu to support the movement and then he was arrested.
  • Young India of Gandhiji also supported the movement.


Why in News?

Boris Johnson has got resounding victory in UK general elections which will expedite the process of Brexit


  • January 31,2020. 40 months after June 2016 referendum
  • Even after this, UK will continue in EU customs union till December 31, 2020

Challenges for Boris Johnson

  • Reaching another agreement with EU on the country’s future relationship with the bloc
  • Legislative and political challenges as the govt has to pass many laws replacing the existing EU laws
  • Handling the customs border situation with Northern Ireland

The new Brexit bill has been passed by UK parliament with a margin of 358-234

Some key changes:

  • A new clause outlaws an extension to the standstill transition period beyond Dec 31,2020
  • The bill dispenses with the need of parliamentary approval, for the govt’s negotiating mandate as well as final agreement.
  • Guarantees on labour rights previously included in the withdrawal bill has been removed -This might lead to a low tax low regulation UK economy
  • If no agreement is reached, a hard exit on WTO terms is real possibility
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