Smt. Soumini Jain, Hon’ble Mayor, Cochin Corporation,
Shri Hibi Eden, Member of Parliament,
Shri S. Sharma, Member Legislative Assembly,
Shri John Fernandez, Member Legislative Assembly,
Shri M. Swaraj, Member Legislative Assembly,
Shri A.R. Sivaji, President, Jnanodayam Sabha.
Shri Umesan K R, Secretary, Jnanodayam Sabha,
Sahodaree Sahodaranmare
Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram.
I am very happy to address you at the closing ceremony of the Centenary Celebrations of the Jnanodayam Sabha, which has been working towards the spiritual and social uplift of the people in the Edakochi region. 
It adds to my joy that I could also unveil the bronze statue of Kavithilakam Pandit Karuppan Master, whose struggles to ensure a better life for the downtrodden have very few parallels in Kerala history.
Let me therefore, compliment the Jnanodayam Sabha on two accounts : first for completing one hundred years of service to humanity and secondly, for having taken the initiative to install the statue of  Pandit Karuppan Master.  It is truly befitting that the statue faces the Vembanaad lake, where he led a famous Kaayal Samaram against untouchability and discrimination.
As we all know, ever since its inception in 1916 with traditional fishermen as members, the Jnanodayam Sabha has been promoting the spiritual advancement of the people, by maintaining four temples which attract thousands of devotees every year.  The Sabha's concern for the educational progress of the community is evident in the establishment of the Jnanodayam Public school in 1995, with the noble aim of sharing the light of knowledge among the downtrodden masses in and around the coastal areas of Kochi. It is satisfying to know that the Sabha has endeavored to provide good education at an affordable cost.
I have no doubt that the progress and human development for which Kerala is well known today, have been the result of the efforts, sacrifices and struggles of various reformers of the past. One of the reasons for Kerala society's pre-eminence was the utmost priority accorded by all these reformers to education and social equality.  On the lines of the Sree Narayana Dharma 
Paripalana Yogam, came many reform movements heralded by stalwarts like Pandit Karuppan and Vakkom Moulavi.  Today, as Jnanodayam Sabha steps into another stage in its growth, we are reminded of how Pandit Karuppan Master used his scholarship to uplift society irrespective of communal divisions.
The life and works of Pandit Karuppan Master inspire us even now. Though his name derived from the Tamil word karpan, meaning wise, his formal name became Karuppan, which points to a dark skin which he did not possess. I feel that the name may have been in tune with the social setting of those days, when wisdom was considered the right of only some privileged people.  But, the young Karuppan proved his wisdom through his proficiency in Sanskrit and Malayalam in such a way that he could attract Royal patronage for his higher education and win the title of Kavi thilakam or star poet.  
You may have heard of how a peon once threw a file on Dr. Ambedkar's table to show his caste superiority. Dr. Ambedkar had to fight such issues all by himself. 
Pandit Karuppan, too, had faced such humiliation when students of some castes refused to attend his classes; but he was lucky that the ruler of Kochi stood by him to defeat their opposition. His Malayalam work, Jaathikkummi, was   a strong criticism of such a mindset, which was created by the caste system. It was an independent rendering of Sankaracharya's Maneesha Panchakam, but its effect on society was truly great. 
But, this great man's work goes beyond literature. By organizing similar Sabhas in other communities and places, he gave momentum to the fight against inequalities and superstitions. As a member of the Cochin Legislative Council, he could persuade the government to establish a department for the welfare of the depressed classes. Thus, I feel that Jnanodayam Sabha, which was founded by this scholar extraordinary, has a great responsibility to our society, especially in carrying forward the message of social justice and progressive thinking that Pandit Karuppan conveyed though his words and deeds. 
I am happy that the Jnanodayam Sabha has been implementing a series of programmes like financial aid for housing, educational scholarships, aid for medical treatment, aid for marriages, old age/widow pension and schemes for self-employment etc., for the welfare of the people.  
While all these are laudable, I feel that the members of the Sabha should pledge to inculcate in the younger generations, a sense of equality and a clear knowledge of the historic movements which have shaped our society. In these days, when social interactions are becoming lesser due to various reasons, our next generation should have a first hand knowledge of the values that have guided us. The knowledge of such values must encourage our youth to look into society and to carry on the work of  social emancipation that people like Pandit Karuppan once initiated. Such great men had lofty dreams which were perhaps partially realized. It is for posterity to work towards the full realization of those dreams. I hope Jnanodayam Sabha would continue to become an inspiration to our future generations to work towards these goals.
I would like to compliment Shri Rathish Mannar for sculpting the statue, which has been unveiled today. 
I also compliment the organizers for conducting this function in a befitting manner.


Ellavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal
Jai Hind.