History & Culture

Keeping history alive

The Kerala History Association office building

The Kerala History Association office building

ORIGIN: Kerala History Association (KHA) formerly known as Keraleeya Ithihasa Samithi is an iconic institution that supported study of the history of Kerala. Formed in 1945, in the erstwhile State of Cochin, KHA has been a pioneer of sorts in promoting the study and interpretation of India’s history with a special emphasis on Kerala. Today, KHA has a little over 200 members and is a recognised research institution of Mahatma Gandhi University. It has also been approved as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

ACTIVITIES: Well past its Diamond Jubilee, the involvement and continuous perseverance of the History Association has been a fresh breath of air in all areas of study related to history. A seminal work carried out by KHA has been the authentic documentation of history of Kerala. The work was funded by Government of Kerala and the outcome of the said project culminated in the publication of two volumes spreading more than 3,000 pages in Malayalam. “Currently, we are planning to translate this work into English. But the paucity of funds is a hurdle that we are unable to surpass”, says Prof. P.A.Ibrahim Kutty, secretary of KHA. “The role played by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer who has been our president for a very long time has always given KHA a new direction,” he adds.

Publishing over a dozen biographies of people who contributed extensively towards building modern Kerala is said to be yet another milestone work carried out by KHA.

A five-day event commemorating the 400th anniversary of Jewish Synagogue at Mattanchery in Kochi, 500th anniversary of Vasco Da Gama’s arrival, Vayalar-Punnapra revolt and Vaikom Satyagraha are just some of the memorable events organised by KHA in collaboration with various social and government bodies such as Departments of Archaeology, Archives and State Institute of Languages.

The History Association used to publish a quarterly journal titled ‘Charithram’ and its well-stocked research library has an enviable collection of books on history. The library is extensively used by research scholars from both India and abroad. The History Association has short-listed many more topics such as the history of Kochi and the influence of Vaikom Satyagraha for detailed study and research , subject to availability of funds. Of late, KHA has also instituted the Prof. P.S.Velayudhan Award for the best history-based book in Malayalam. It also functions from its own office

IMPACT: Throughout its long, illustrious innings, History Association has attempted at introducing more awareness on various facets of history pertaining to Kerala by publishing books, organising seminars, exhibitions and conferences. Time and again, several renowned historians and other academicians have participated in the events conducted by the History Association.

GETTING IN TOUCH: To know more about Kerala History Association and their work dial 0484-2352452 (Off) or 9847107658 (Secretary)

Email: keralahistory1365@


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Printable version | May 21, 2022 7:24:50 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/keeping-history-alive/article4676784.ece