SNDP Movement- Origin, Objectives, Key Reforms

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SNDP Movement

During the pre-independence movement in India, the country witnessed the origin of numerous movements and rebellions in different regions. Among others, The SNDP Movement, also known as the Shree Narayan Guru Dharma Paripalana Movement is a popular example of a regional movement in South India. It originated due to the growing tensions between the lower castes and upper castes members of the society. The movement was founded by Sree Narayana Guru Swamy who started it for the Ezhavas of Kerala, a backward caste of toddy-troopers. They were not only considered inferior to others but also denied education and entry into temples. 

Who was Shree Narayan Guru Swami?

  • Shree Narayan Guru Swami was born on August 22, 1856, in Chempazhanthy.
  • He was a member of the Ezhavas Community and was famously known as Avana. 
  • Since early childhood, he cherished solitude over being in company and devoted his time to deep meditation. 
  • In 1888, he created a Shivalinga at Aruvippuram using just a stone from the Neyyar River.
  • He also started a revolution in Kerala to remove caste injustice and coined the famous slogan of One Caste, One Religion, One God for All. 

Also Read – Young Bengal Movement: Founder, History, Objective

Origin and Expansion of the SNDP Movement

  • The Ezhavas were the most populous cast in the Indian state of Kerala, accounting for somewhere around 26% of the total population.
  • In 1888, on the holy occasion of Shivaratri, Narayana Guru who belonged to the Ezhavas caste placed a stone from the Neyyar river as a Sivalinga at Aruvippuram.
  • Through this revolutionary action, he wanted to spread the idea that the consecration of an idol is not something that should be limited to the upper caste members of society. 
  • Years later, the Aruvippuram Kshetra Yogam was founded in 1889 with the aim of helping the Ezhavas in their development and progress. 
  • In 1903, the Aruvippuram Sree Narayana Guru Dharma Paripalana Yogam was established in 1903 under the Indian Companies Act.
  • While Narayana Guru acted as the permanent chairman, Kumaran Asan was appointed as general secretary.

Also Read – Arya Samaj: History, Founder, Features, Significance

What were the Objectives of the SNDP Movement?

The primary objectives of the SNDP movement include:

  • Oppose the predominance of upper caste members of the society.
  • Promote social equality by removing caste prejudices and injustices. 
  • Uplift the position of backward castes by facilitating easy access to education, respected job opportunities, and lifestyles. 
  • Promote the rights of lower castes and remove their ban from entering religious places.

Reforms Under the SNDP Movement

The SNDP Movement also introduced numerous prominent reforms in the educational and religious sectors. 

Educational Reforms

  • One of the primary aims of the SNDP Movement was to promote education among the oppressed sections of society.
  • For this, Narayana Guru established numerous schools and institutions in and around Kerala. 

Religious Reforms

  • Sri Narayana Guru established temples to help people from backward castes enter community religious places. 
  • He travelled around Kerala for almost 15 years to help people with social awareness and develop self-confidence. 
  • He appointed priests from his own group of devout sanyasis.
  • He advised his disciples to construct temples in a more cost-effective manner.
  • Instead of advocating for people to worship idols, he consecrated Sivalikha, a brass oil lamp with the phrase Let There be Light. 
  • Additionally, he also placed a plain stone with engraved inscriptions that stated Truth, Charity, Love, and Mercy in another shrine at Murukkunpuzha.

Social Reforms

  • Shree Narayana Guru was at the forefront of bringing social reforms for the Ezhavas.
  • In about 30 years, he managed to change the status of Ezhavas as untouchables to a background caste community.
  • Additionally, he also collaborated with the Nair Service Society (NSS) to commence the temple admission program. 
  • He urged his fellow members of his community to give up old nonsensical practices such as mock marriage (Thalikattu Sampradhayam) and Thirukkuli, a puberty celebration for schools.
  • Moreover, he was also against the idea of consuming alcoholic beverages.


What was the SNDP movement?

The SNDP movement refers to a famous regional movement that occurred due to the clash between the lower and upper castes. It was founded by Sree Narayana Guru Swamy who originated it for the backward classes and untouchables. He wanted to remove inequality, nonsensical superstitions, and casteism in the Kerala society.

What is the motto of the SNDP?

Shri Narayana Guru gave the slogan of One caste, one religion, one god for humankind. He also founded the SNDP or the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam in 1903 to spread the ideas of equality and reformation.

What is the full form of SNDP?

The full form of SNDP is Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam. The roots of its origin go back to the year 1903 when it was founded with the blessings of Sree Narayana Guru and Dr. Padmanabhan Palpu.

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This blog was all about the SNDP Movement. If you want to read more articles like this, you can get Short notes on the Modern History of India here. Also, you can visit our general knowledge page on Indian History!

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