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Victoria Jubilee Town Hall to be renamed after Ayyankali


Thiruvananthapuram: The iconic Victoria Jubilee Town Hall here would be renamed after social reformer Mahatma Ayyankali, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday.

Popularly known as the VJT Hall, it was built to commemorate the golden jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1896.

"The VJT hall in Thiruvananthapuram will be renamed as Ayyankali hall," Vijayan told reporters here.

The colonial structure has been under the state government and has retained all its glory even now.

It is one of the most sought-after centres for exhibitions and cultural get-togethers.

The Chief Minister said the hall was constructed in 1896 by Sree Moolam Thirunal (erstwhile ruler of Travancore) to commemorate the golden jubilee of coronation of Queen Victoria.

The hall, now under the Kerala government, has witnessed numerous historic events, he said adding it must be marked as a historic monument representing the cultural and social advancements made by our state.

Vijayan made the announcement on Wednesday at the hall after inaugurating celebrations organised by Kerala Dalit Federation to mark the 156th birth anniversary of Ayyankali.

The state Cabinet approved the same on Thursday.

He further said it was at the hall that Ayyankali had spoken up for the downtrodden.

Ayyankali became member of the assembly of Travancore,known as the Sree Moolam Popular Assembly (SMPA) or Praja Sabha in 1912 representing the Pulaya community, Vijayan said.

Social reformers like Ayyankali and poet Kumaran Asan were among the notable members of the Sri Mulam Assembly, he added.

Ayyankali (18631941) was a social reformer, who worked for the advancement of Dalits, who were considered as untouchables, in the princely state of Travancore.

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