History of Kozhikode

History of Kozhikode

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Kozhikode
Kozhikode
Kozhikode During Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikkode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom of the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District...

(Malayalam: koːɻikːoːɖ), also known as Calicut, is a city in the southern India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n state
States and territories of India
India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

 of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

. It is the third largest city in Kerala and the headquarters of Kozhikode district
Kozhikode district
Kozhikode District , formerly Calicut, is a district of Kerala state, situated on the southwest coast of India. The city of Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is the district headquarters. The district is 38.25% urbanised...

.

Kozhikode has had a long and illustrious history- that of resplendent trade, poignant invasions and liberation struggles. Calicut was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices during the Middle ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and probably as early as Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 by the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District
Malabar District
Malabar District was an administrative district of Madras Presidency in British India and independent India's Madras State. The British district included the present-day districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad , and Chavakad Taluk of Thrissur District in the northern part of...

.

Foundation




During the Sangam period, the land where Kozhikode
Kozhikode
Kozhikode During Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikkode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom of the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District...

 now stands was an uninhabited region of the Chera
Chera dynasty
Chera Dynasty in South India is one of the most ancient ruling dynasties in India. Together with the Cholas and the Pandyas, they formed the three principle warring Iron Age Tamil kingdoms in southern India...

 Empire. This land, part of the larger Tamilakam
Ancient Tamil country
The Sangam period is the classical period in the history of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other parts of South India, spanning about the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE...

 partly fell within the Kudanad (Western land; west of Kongunad) to the south and partly within Puzhinad (Marshy tract) to the north. The dominion of the Cheras extended till present day Vadakara, beyond which was the kingdom of Eli (Ezhi
Mushika Kingdom
Mushika Kingdom was an ancient kingdom of the Tamil Sangam age in present day northern Kerala, India ruled by the Royal dynasty of the same name. They ruled the strip of land between Mangaluru in the north and Vadagara in the south...

). The ports of Chera empire played an important role in fostering trade relations between Kerala and the outside world. According to scholars, Tyndis or Tondi (present day Kadalundi
Kadalundi
Kadalundi is a village in Kozhikode district, Kerala, India. It is a coastal village close to the Arabian Sea. Kadalundi is famous for its bird sanctuary which is home to various migratory birds during certain seasons and has been recently declared as a bio-reserve...

 or Ponnani
Ponnani
Ponnani/Ponani is an ancient port, a coastal town and a municipality in Malappuram district in the Indian state of Kerala, spread over an area of 9.32 km2. Ponnani taluk is the smallest Taluk in Malappuram district. This tiny, picturesque town is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west...

) to the south of Calicut was a flourishing seaport. During the 9th century, this region became a part of the Second Chera Empire. The Cheras (also known as Perumals) ruled the territory until 1102 CE.

The rise of Calicut as a major trading centre and a port city does not seem to have happened before the 13th century. While the first references to the kingdom of Calicut and Saamoothiri
Saamoothiri
Zamorin is the title used by the Hindu Eradi Samanthan kshatriya rulers of the erstwhile late medieval feudal kingdom of Kozhikode located in the present day state of Kerala, India....

 is made by Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta , or simply Ibn Battuta, also known as Shams ad–Din , was a Muslim Moroccan Berber explorer, known for his extensive travels published in the Rihla...

 in his accounts (1342–1347), there is no reference to Calicut by Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 who visited Kerala towards the end of the 13th Century. He however mentions the kingdom of Eli. This certainly provides a clue to the plausible date for the rise of Calicut as a major kingdom on the Kerala coast. Nevertheless, Prof. Krishna Ayyar has assigned CE 1034 as the year of foundation of the city.

According to the Keralolpathi
Keralolpathi
The Keralolpathi is a Malayalam work that deals with the origin of the land of Kerala. Shungunny Menon ascribes the authorship of this work to Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, a 17th century scholar of the Malabar region of India. The Keralolpathi is mostly an expansion from an earlier Sanskrit...

(Genesis of Kerala), the last of the Chera kings, Cheraman Perumal partitioned the kingdom among his feudatories and secretly left for Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 with some Arab traders, embraced Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and lived the rest of his life in obscurity in Arabia. The date of this partition is a significant turning point in the history of Kerala. It is now clear that the Cheraman Perumals ruled in the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries and the last Cheraman Perumal was Rama Varma Kulasekhara (CE 1089-1102). Although there is no basis for the last Perumal's converion to Islam and pilgrimage to Mecca, it is now accepted that following his mysterious disappearance the land was certainly partitioned and that the governors of different nadus (fiefdoms) gained independence, proclaiming it as their 'gift' from the last sovereign.

There is some ambiguity regarding the exact course of events that led to the establishment of Zamorin's rule over Kozhikode. According to Prof. A. Sreedhara Menon (who entirely rejects the story of Cheraman Perumals disappearance, his conversion to Islam and the subsequent gifts to his feudatories), immediately following the 'fall' of the Rama Kulasekhara, Calicut and its suburbs formed part of the Polanad Kingdom ruled by the Porlatiri. The Eradis of Nediyirippu in Ernad (somewhere around present Kondotty) where land-locked and sought an outlet to the sea to initiate trade and commerce with the distant lands. To accomplish this, the Eradis marched with their Nairs towards Panniankara and besieged the Porlatiri in his headquarters, resulting in a 50-year long war. The Eradis emerged victorious in their conquest of Polanad and shifted there headquarters from Nediyirippu to Calicut. The Governor of Ernad built a fort at a place called Velapuram to safeguard his new interests. The fort most likely lent its name to Koyil Kotta the precursor to Kozhikode.

However, M.G.S. Narayanan
M.G.S. Narayanan
Muttayil Govindamenon Sankara Narayanan , born on 20th August 1932, is a historian, academic and a former Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research.-Education:...

 in his book, Calicut: The City of Truth states that the Governor of Eranad, Mana Vikrama (who became the Zamorin of Calicut later) was in fact a favourite of the last Ceraman Perumal, Rama Kulasekara as the former was at the forefront of the wars with the Chola-Pandya forces to the South and led the army to victory. The King therefore granted him, as a mark of favour, a small tract of land on the sea-coast in addition to his hereditary possessions. This patch of wasteland is called Cullikkad in the Keralolpathi. To corroborate his assertion that Mana Vikrama was in fact a favourite of the last Perumal, Narayanan cites a stone inscription of the last ruler (CE 1102) discovered at Kollam in South Kerala. It refers to Nalu taliyum ayiram arunurruvarum eranadu vazhkai Manavikiraman mutalayulla camantarum-'The four Councillors, The Thousand, The Six Hundred, along with Mana Vikrama, the Governor of Eranad and other Feudatories'.

However, the Eradis being land-locked lacked direct access to the coast line as the territory of Polanad (Porakilanad) lay between Eranad and Kozhikode. Having been gifted with the royal sword and the injunction Cattum konnum adakki kolka (conquer by courting and conferring death) by the last Ceraman (according to Keralolpathi), the Ernad Utayavar (Governor) waged war against the Porlatiri (Porakilar Adhikari) and attacked Panniyankara. M.G.S
M.G.S. Narayanan
Muttayil Govindamenon Sankara Narayanan , born on 20th August 1932, is a historian, academic and a former Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research.-Education:...

 seems to indicate that the land sought by the Ernadis, lay in fact beyond and not within the kingdom of Polanad.

With the conquest of Polanad, the status of the Utayavar (Governor) increased and he became to be known as Swami Nambiyathiri Thirumulpad and the kingdom of Calicut also came to known as Nediyiruppu Swarupam after the original house of the Eradis at Nediyiruppu. The king's title gradually evolved into Samoothirippadu or Saamoothiri
Saamoothiri
Zamorin is the title used by the Hindu Eradi Samanthan kshatriya rulers of the erstwhile late medieval feudal kingdom of Kozhikode located in the present day state of Kerala, India....

 or Saamoori over the years. The Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

ans called him Zamorin. The foundation of the city of Calicut was therefore laid during the initial years of the 12th century.

The history of Calicut can the roughly divided into several periods marked by a few epoch-making events. These include the city's establishment, the arrival of the Portuguese, the arrival of the Dutch, the Mysorean Invasion, the rise of British Power,the beginning of the Indian Independence Movement
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

 and finally freedom from British rule.

Arrival of the Portuguese


This single event marked an epoch in the history of Kerala and India, not because Vasco da Gama 'discovered the sea route to India' as is in the common parlance (since the Chinese, the Middle eastern and the African kingdoms already traded directly with India) But unlike the others, the Portuguese yearned for political power and for Imperial domination. Vasco da Gama's glory to fame is more often argued as due to historical reasons for which he was hardly responsible to the point that he was accompanied by a Portuguese- speaking Arab merchant provided by the Sultan of Melinda
Malindi
Malindi is a town on Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Galana River, lying on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It is 120 kilometres northeast of Mombasa. The population of Malindi is 117,735 . It is the capital of the Malindi District.Tourism is the major industry in Malindi. The city is...

 in East Africa. Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 was sent by the King of Portugal Dom Manuel I
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 and landed in Calicut at Kappad
Kappad
Kappad, or Kappakadavu locally, is famous as the beach near Kozhikode , India, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama landed on May 20, 1498. His voyage established the sea route from Europe to India...

 in May 1498. The navigator was received with traditional hospitality but an interview with the Zamorin failed to produce any concrete results. Vasco da Gama's request for permission to leave a factor behind him in charge of the merchandise he could not sell was turned down by the King who insisted Gama on payment of customs duty like any other trader straining the relation between the two. The next expedition was sent by the King of Portugal under the leadership of Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it...

 in 1500. His agent secured a settlement to erect a factory at Calicut. This however, precipitated matters between the Arabs and the Portuguese. The Portuguese capture of Arab vessels and ensuing massacre was retaliated by the locals who burned down the factory and butchered half of the Portuguese on land. Cabral sailed for Cochin where he was cordially received and allowed to load his ships. Vasco da Gama reached Calicut the second time with 15 ships and 800 men in February 1502. When Gama's call to expel all Muslims from Calicut was vehemently turned down, he bombarded the city and captured several rice vessels and cutting off the crew's hands, ears and noses.

With rising bonhomie between the Maharaja of Cochin and the Portuguese, there followed several wars in which the Portuguese propped up Cochin and Cannanore against the Zamorin. Scores of men perished in these wars on all sides starting in 1503 and continuing till the early 1570s. In the year 1509, Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

 was appointed the second Viceroy of the Portuguese possessions in the East. A new fleet under Marshall Coutinho arrived with specific instructions to destroy the power of Calicut. The Zamorin's palace was captured and destroyed and the city was set on fire. But the King's forces rallied fast to kill Marshall Coutinho and wounded Albuquerque. Albuquerque nevertheless was clever enough to patch up his quarrel and entered into a treaty with the Zamorin in 1513 to protect Portuguese interests in Kerala. Hostilities were renewed when the Portuguese attempted to assassinate the Zamorin sometime between 1515 and 1518. From the 1520s the Zamorin's naval fleet was administered by the Kunjali Marakkar
Kunjali Marakkar
The Kunhali Marakkar or Kunjali Marakkar was the title given to the Muslim naval chief of the Zamorin , Hindu king of Calicut, in present day state of Kerala, India during the 16th century. There were four major Kunhalis who played a part in the Zamorin's naval wars with the Portuguese from 1520...

s who inflicted heavy damages to Portuguese property till 1589.

In 1503, the Portuguese had built a fort in Chaliyam with the consent of the Raja of Vettattnad
Vettattnad
Vettathunad or Tanur swaroopam was a small erstwhile feudal kingdom in southern Malabar on Arabian Sea in southwest India ruled by a Hindu dynasty known as Tanur dynasty, over whom the Zamorin of Calicut claimed certain nominal suzerain rights.The King was called 'raja'or 'thampuran' or...

 from where they re-established their supremacy over Indian waters. It provided the Portuguese ample opportunities to harass the Zamorin and enter the heart of his kingdom in the event of war. The Chaliyam fort was 'like a pistol held at the Zamorin's throat'. The Zamorin attacked Chaliyam and recaptured the fort in 1571 coinciding with the defeat of the ruler of Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara is in Bellary District, northern Karnataka. It is the name of the now-ruined capital city "which was regarded as the second Rome" that surrounds modern-day Hampi, of the historic Vijayanagara empire which extended over the southern part of India....

, an ally of the Portuguese. The Portuguese were forced to abandon the fort, which was then completely demolished. The fall of Chaliyam fort marked the beginning of the end for the Portuguese in the great game of the East. The Portuguese approached the Zamorin again in 1578 for reconciliation. By 1588 they were settled in Calicut and in 1591 built a church on land donated by the Zamorin (who even laid the foundation stone). The Zamorin's growing friendship was nevertheless a result of his gradual estrangement with the Kunjali Marakkars.

By 1663, the Portuguese flag ceased to fly in Kerala as the Dutch arrived at the scene and captured all their strongholds of Quilon, Cranganore, Purakkadm, Cochin and Cannanore.

Arrival of the Dutch


The Dutch Admiral Steven van der Hagen
Steven van der Hagen
Steven van der Hagen was the first admiral of the Dutch East India Company . He made three visits to the East Indies, spending six years in all there. He was appointed to the Raad van Indië...

 reached Calicut and concluded a treaty on Nov 11, 1604. It provided for a mutual alliance between the two to expel the Portuguese from Indian soil. In return they were given facilities for trade at Calicut, including spacious storehouses. The Dutch could not however stay for long. Their force weakened after constant wars with Marthanda Varma of Travancore (until 1753) and were forced to surrender to a British force that marched from Calicut to Cochin on Oct 20, 1795(as part of the larger Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 between Holland and England in Europe).

The Mysore invasions



Hyder Ali ascended the throne of Mysore in 1761. By 1764, he obtained a pledge of neutrality from the British at Tellicherry in the event of a conflict with the Kerala powers. In the February of 1766, Hyder Ali marched into northern Kerala. Except for a few decisive battles, he faced meagre opposition and entered Calicut. The Zamorin sent the members of his family to Ponnani, blew up his palace and to avoid the humiliation of surrender committed self-immolation. A revenue officer by name Madanna was appointed Civil Governor of Malabar with headquarters at Calicut. Rebellion soon broke out and the Mysorean garrison was besieged by the Nairs. Hyder Ali rushed to crush the rebellion devastating the country side and employed draconian measures to suppress the Nairs including defrocking of their social status and forcible religious conversion of prisoners to Islam. Successfully achieving his objectives, he had to return to Mysore soon to deal with the Maratha
Maratha
The Maratha are an Indian caste, predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; outside Maharashtra it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people;...

 threat. Rebellion broke out again. Hyder Ali engaged in diplomacy this time through Madanna and agreed to withdraw his forces for which a war indemnity was to be paid to him. But he made a second attempt in December 1773 and re-established his authority in Malabar. However, with the help of the British, the Nairs led by the famous Ravi Varma of Padinjare Kovilakam
Ravi Varma of Padinjare Kovilakam
Ravi Varma Raja was a Nair warrior prince from Calicut who fought a two decade long revolt against the Mysore Sultanate under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan between 1766–1768 and 1774–1791, and the British East India Company in 1793....

, wiped out the Mysorean garrison in Calicut by 1778. By 1783 Tipu Sultan established his authority over Northern Kerala. Tipu is alleged to have and to an extent did widely persecute the local Hindu population, destroy numerous temples and forcibly converted many into Islam. In the meantime, he initiated his grandiose plan to shift the capital from Kozhikode to the south of the city on the banks of river Chaliyar and even named it 'Farookhabad' now called Feroke
Feroke
Feroke is a census town and a part of Calicut metropolitan area under Kozhikode Development Authority in the Kozhikode district of the Indian state of Kerala.-Name:...

. This most ambitious of his plans soon ended in failure. In November 1788, Calicut was attacked by the Nairs under Ravi Varma of the Padinjare Kovilakam. Soon Tipu returned in 1789 to re-establish his authority. This however brought him in direct conflict with the British based in Madras
Madras Presidency
The Madras Presidency , officially the Presidency of Fort St. George and also known as Madras Province, was an administrative subdivision of British India...

, which resulted in four Anglo-Mysore Wars
Anglo-Mysore Wars
The Anglo-Mysore Wars were a series of wars fought in India over the last three decades of the 18th century between the Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Company, represented chiefly by the Madras Presidency...

. Kozhikode and the surrounding districts were among the territories ceded to the British at the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Mysore War
Third Anglo-Mysore War
The Third Anglo-Mysore War was a war in South India between the Sultanate of Mysore and the British East India Company and its allies, including the Mahratta Empire and the Nizam of Hyderabad...

 by the Treaties of Seringapatam with the British on Feb 22 and Mar18, 1792. The newly acquired possessions on the Malabar Coast
Malabar Coast
The Malabar Coast is a long and narrow coastline on the south-western shore line of the mainland Indian subcontinent. Geographically, it comprises the wettest regions of southern India, as the Western Ghats intercept the moisture-laden monsoon rains, especially on their westward-facing mountain...

 were organized into the Malabar District
Malabar District
Malabar District was an administrative district of Madras Presidency in British India and independent India's Madras State. The British district included the present-day districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad , and Chavakad Taluk of Thrissur District in the northern part of...

 of Madras Presidency
Madras Presidency
The Madras Presidency , officially the Presidency of Fort St. George and also known as Madras Province, was an administrative subdivision of British India...

, and Calicut became the district capital.


British domination


The British reached Calicut in 1615 under Captain William Keeling
William Keeling
Captain William Keeling , of the East India Company, was a British sea captain. He commanded the Susanna on the second East India Company voyage in 1604, and he commanded the Red Dragon on the third voyage of 1607. He discovered the Cocos Islands in 1609 as he was going home from Java to England....

 and concluded a treaty of trade under which, among others, the English were to assist Calicut in expelling the Portuguese from Cochin and Cranganore, a term that the British never fulfilled. In 1664, Zamorin gave the English permission to build a factory in Calicut but did not extend any other favours as he was by now growing suspicious of all foreign(European) traders. The English maintained neutrality in the conflict between Mysore and the Kerala powers in 1766 and was an important factor which facilitated early success to Hyder Ali. However, tensions between the English and Mysore arose soon. The English army under Major Abington helped Ravi Varma of Padinjare Kovilakam
Ravi Varma of Padinjare Kovilakam
Ravi Varma Raja was a Nair warrior prince from Calicut who fought a two decade long revolt against the Mysore Sultanate under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan between 1766–1768 and 1774–1791, and the British East India Company in 1793....

 in the recapture of Calicut in 1782 from Mysore. The East India Company
East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 however did not stand by Lord Cornwallis' promise to the exiled rulers that they will be restored after the expulsion of Tipu. By 1792, the whole of Malabar including Calicut came under the British dominion. Ravi Varma now turned against the company, but was soon captured in 1793. The rebellion continued even after the capture of Ravi Varma till 1797.

A series of twenty-two riots perpetrated by individuals or groups of Mappilas began to characterize the early British period in and around Calicut, a common feature of which was murder of Hindu janmis (landlords) and desecration of Hindu temples. In 1855, H.V Connolly, the district majistrate of Malabar was murdered by four Mappila convicts at Calicut. The riots culminated in the 'Malabar rebellion'(1921) against the British with acts of violence targeting Hindus as well. While it was widely believed in the initial years that the riots were the result of issues of land tenures and tenant rights, it is now generally agreed that apart from poverty and agrarian grievances, religious bigotry(encouraged by the Khilafat Movement
Khilafat Movement
The Khilafat movement was a pan-Islamic, political campaign launched by Muslims in British India to influence the British government and to protect the Ottoman Empire during the aftermath of World War I...

) and the loss of valuable social status to the Mappilas with the ouster of the Mysore rulers, played an important role too.

National movement


The city was also witness to several movements as part of the struggle for Indian independence from the British. A conference of the Congress was held at Calicut in 1904 with C. Vijayaraghavachariar in the chair. A branch of the All India Home Rule League founded by Ms. Annie Besant
Annie Besant
Annie Besant was a prominent British Theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self rule.She was married at 19 to Frank Besant but separated from him over religious differences. She then became a prominent speaker for the National Secular Society ...

 started functioning in the city. In 1916, Sri K.P.Kesava Menon staged a walk out of the Town Hall when he was denied permission by the Collector Mr. Innes to address the meeting in Malayalam. The period saw a rise in political journalism as well. The Mathrubhumi
Mathrubhumi
Mathrubhumi is a Malayalam language newspaper that is published from Kerala, India. Mathrubhumi was founded by K. P. Kesava Menon, an active volunteer in the Indian freedom struggle against the British.-History:...

in March 1923 and Al Amin in October 1924 were started by Sri K.P.Kesava Menon and Muhammad Abdur Rahiman respectively with the aim of fostering the spirit of Nationalism. On May 12, 1930, Satyagrahi's assembled at Calicut beach under the leadership of Muhammad Abdur Rahiman to break the 'Salt laws' were attacked by the police injuring more than 30 people. K.P.Krishna Pillai and R.V.Sharma defended the National flag from forcible seizure by the police on this occasion. During the second Civil Disobedience Movement (1932), all four hundred delegates who attended the All Kerala Political Conference in September 1932 were arrested. The incident wherein Mrs. L.S.Prabhu (of Thalassery
Thalassery
Thalassery , also known as Tellicherry, is a city on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India. This is the second largest city of North Malabar in terms of population. The name Tellicherry is the anglicized form of Thalassery. Thalassery municipality has a population just less than 100,000. Established...

), who courted arrest during the conference, was ordered to surrender all her gold ornaments including the tali or mangalsutra
Mangalsutra
A Mangalsutra is a symbol of Hindu marriage union in South Asia. It is a sacred thread of love and goodwill worn by women as a symbol of their marriage...

 received nation- wide condemnation. Calicut was also a major centre for the rising Communist Party of Malabar (1939) and the Quit India Movement
Quit India Movement
The Quit India Movement , or the August Movement was a civil disobedience movement launched in India in August 1942 in response to Mohandas Gandhi's call for immediate independence. Gandhi hoped to bring the British government to the negotiating table...

 (1942).

Ater Indian Independence in 1947, Madras Presidency was renamed the Madras State
Madras State
Madras State was the name by which the Indian districts in Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Northern Kerala, Bellary and Dakshina Kannada were collectively known as from 1950 to 1953....

. In 1956 when the Indian states were reorganized along linguistic lines, Malabar District was combined with the state of Travancore-Cochin
Travancore-Cochin
Travancore-Cochin or Thiru-Kochi is a former state of India . It was created on 1 July 1949 by the merger of two former princely states, the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin....

 to form the new state of Kerala on 1 November 1956. Malabar District was later split into the districts of Kannur
Kannur district
Kannur District is one of the 14 districts in the state of Kerala, India. The town of Kannur is the district headquarters, and gives the district its name. The old name Cannanore is the anglicised form of the Malayalam name Kannur. Kannur District is bounded by Kasaragod District to the north and...

, Kozhikode
Kozhikode district
Kozhikode District , formerly Calicut, is a district of Kerala state, situated on the southwest coast of India. The city of Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is the district headquarters. The district is 38.25% urbanised...

, and Palakkad
Palakkad district
Palakkad District is one of the 14 districts of the Indian state of Kerala. The city of Palakkad is the district headquarters. Palakkad is bordered on the northwest by the Malappuram District, on the southwest by the Thrissur District and on the east by Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. The...

on 1 January 1957.