SREE CHITHIRA THIRUNAL :
Sree Chithira Thirunal reigned under the regency of his maternal aunt, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, who was also his mother's first cousin. On November 6, 1931, upon his attaining majority, Sree Chithira Thirunal was invested with full ruling powers. He was instrumental in establishing the University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) in 1937. He also had a beautiful palace built which is now a museum. He was able to secure the services of eminent statesmen such as C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, who served as his chief minister for several years.
The period of HH Sree Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma who took the reign of administration in 1931, witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of "Temple Entry Proclamation"(1936), was an act that underlined social emancipation. But the Punnapra - Vayalar massacre and government involvement at the time would represent the negatives. Those who consider Travancore included in India as having contributed to its development would see the declaration of an Independent Travancore in 1947 also as a negative.
MARTHANDA VARMA :
Marthanda Varma, from his formative years was an intelligent prince and it was on his advice in 1726 that Rajah Rama Varma signed a treaty with the Madurai Nayaks and secured a foreign force in the country to check the activities of the Ettuveetil Pillamar and other rebellious chieftains. Previously he had also signed a treaty with the English, styling himself as the "Prince of Neyatinkara" in 1723. This incurred the wrath of the Eight Lords and thus they bent upon murdering the prince. The result was that Marthanda
Varma had to flee the capital for the safety of the northern states such as Kottarakara, Kayamkulam etc.where he lived in difficulty for many years, travelling from one place to another to escape his enemies.
SWATHY THIRUNNAL :
Swathi Thirunal was deeply interested in music right from childhood. He tried to learn the languages in which he found good music. His education in music started with the first lessons from Karamana Subrahmania Bhagavathar and Karamana Padmanabha Bhagavathar. Later, he studied music from his English teacher Subbarao. He continued to learn music by listening to accomplished musicians and practicing himself. This was a period when music and art were thriving in many parts of south India. The triumvirate of Carnatic music, Tyagaraja (1767-1847), Syama Sastri (1762-1827) and Muthuswami
Dikshitar (1775-1835), lived and enriched music during this period. Swati Tirunal's palace also was home to many musicians and artistes of the period, including the famous Thanjavur Quartet brothers, Tyagaraja's disciple Kannayya Bhagavathar, Ananthapadmanabha Goswami (a Maharashtrian singer known as Kokilakanthameru swami), Shadkala Govinda Marar, and many others.
RAJA RAVI VARMA :
Raja Ravi Varma received widespread acclaim after he won an award for an exhibition of his paintings at Vienna in 1873. Raja Ravi Varma's paintings were also sent to the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 and he was awarded two gold medals. He travelled throughout India in search of subjects. He often modeled Hindu Goddesses on South Indian women, whom he considered beautiful. Ravi Varma is particularly noted for his paintings depicting episodes from the story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala, and Nala and Damayanti, from the Mahabharata. Ravi Varma's representation of mythological characters has become a part of the Indian imagination of the epics. He is often criticized for being too showy and sentimental in his style. However his work remains very popular in India.
Ayyankali founded the Sadhujana Paripalana Sangham (Association for the Welfare of the Poor) in 1905, which succeeded in obtaining a six-day week for agricultural laborers. Ayyankali died on June 18, 1941.
Elders of Pulaya community in Kuttanadu still cherish the memory of ”the Panthi Bhojanam” organized by a prominent land lord and the then member of Praja Sabha from Kuttanad, Pallithanam Luca Matthai (Pallithanathu Matthaichen).During those times Lukka Mathai was fondly referred to by the local flock as the Kayal Raja of Kuttanadu.Though he belonged to an aristocratic and orthodox syrian christian family, Luka Mathai actively supported Ayyankali in his efforts in eradicating the social inequalities that were prevalent in the Kerala society.
He received Ayyankali and his followers, with a grant procession of snake boats and hundreds of other boats to his Nalukettu Tharavad and had lunch with them. Many other prominent people from the upper castes also participated in that function proclaiming their protest against casteism.
SREE NARAYANA GURU :
Nārāyana Guru is revered for his Vedic knowledge, poetic proficiency, openness to the views of others, non-violent philosophy and his unrelenting resolve to set aright social wrongs. Nārāyana Guru was instrumental in setting the spiritual foundations for social reform in today's Kerala and was one of the most successful social reformers who tackled caste in India. He demonstrated a path to social emancipation without invoking the dualism of the oppressed and the oppressor.
Guru stressed the need for the spiritual and social upliftment of the downtrodden by their own efforts through the establishment of temples and educational institutions. In the process he brushed aside the superstitions that clouded the fundamental Hindu religious convention of Chaturvarna.
CHATTAMBI SWAMIKAL :
Sree Vidyadhiraja Parama Bhattaraka Chattampi Swamikal (1853–1924) was a Hindu sage and social reformer. Swamikal along with his contemporary Nārāyana Guru, strived to reform the heavily ritualistic and caste-ridden Hindu society of the late 19th century Kerala.
Chattampi Swamikal denounced the orthodox interpretation of Hindu texts citing sources from the Vedas. Swamikal also worked for the emancipation of women and encouraged them to come to the forefront of society. He said that the enslavement of women was a manifestation of male arrogance.
Swamikal promoted vegetarianism and professed non-violence (Ahimsa). He strongly opposed Christian missionary activities and criticized Christianity. He authored several books on spirituality and the history of language.
KUMARAN ASAN :
N. Kumaran Asan (1873–1924) also known as Mahakavi Kumaran Asan, (the prefix Mahakavi awarded by Madras University in the year 1922 means "great poet" and the suffix Asan meaning scholar or teacher) was one of the triumvirate poets of Kerala. He was also a philosopher and a social reformer. More than that he was one of honoured disciple of Sree Narayana Guru. Kumaran Asan initiated a revolution in Malayalam poetry in the first quarter of the 20th century, transforming it from the metaphysical to the lyrical. Deep moral and spiritual commitment is evident in Asan's poetry. His works are an eloquent testimony of poetic concentration and dramatic contextualization.
MADHAVAN NAIR :
Nair is a leading technologist in the field of rocket systems and has made significant contribution to the development of multi-stage satellite launch vehicles, achieving self-reliance in independent access to space using indigenous technologies. Nair and his team have advanced their work in the face of several challenges in the regime of technology denials by adopting several innovations and novel techniques to realise world class launch vehicle systems. India today has a pride of place amongst the space-faring nations in launch vehicle technology. Specifically, as Project Director, he led the development of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) which has since become the workhorse for launching mainly Indian remote sensing satellites.
As Director of ISRO’s largest R & D Centre, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, he also saw India’s Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) successfully come to fruition. Further, as Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre of ISRO, he played a central role in the design and development of the crucial cryogenic engine for GSLV.
KRIS GOPALAKRISHNAN :
In 1981, Kris, along with N. R. Narayana Murthy and five others, founded Infosys Technologies Limited. The initial years of his responsibility at Infosys included management of design, development, implementation and support of information systems for clients in the consumer products industry in the US. During 1987-1994 he headed the technical operations of KSA/Infosys (a joint venture between Infosys and KSA at Atlanta, USA) as Vice President (Technical).
On June 22, 2007, Kris took over from Nandan Nilekani as the CEO and Managing Director of Infosys Technologies Limited. Kris previously served as Chief Operating Officer (since April 2002), and as the President and Joint Managing Director (since August 2006). His responsibilities included Customer Services, Technology, Investments and Acquisitions.
Kris is currently the Chairman of the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM), Kerala, and Vice Chairman of the Board for Information Technology Education Standards (BITES) set up by the Government of Karnataka. Kris is the Vice Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industries(CII) Southern Regional Council. He is also a member of ACM, IEEE and IEEE Computer Society.