The Malayalam language played a big role in the cultural unity of people from Travancore, Kochi, and Malabar. The roots of the Malayan Being based on language and region could be traced to “Leelathilakam”, a grammar book of the 14th century. It talks about a community that speaks Malayalam.
In fact, the concept of ‘Malayali Being’ (Individuality or Personality) was formed at the end of the 19th ‘ century. The spread of modern education was the reason for that. It gave the idea of a region where people spoke the same language.
The Printing technology and the founding of local language newspapers also helped in this concept. There was a practice of appointing outsiders to do the work in Government offices of Kerala. In 1891, a mass petition (memorandum) signed by 10,028 persons was submitted against this practice. It was called the Malayali Memorial. This was a sign of new awareness.
The National Movement gained momentum at the beginning of the 20th century. The concept of Malayali Being also grew with this. This concept spread beyond the boundaries of native states of Travancore, Kochi and Malabar and the need for a unified region was felt, In 1921, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) was formed on the basis of language. It represented people from Travancore, Kochi, and Malabar.
The all-Kerala political meeting under Congress was summoned at Ottappalam in 1921. It was the first meeting in which representatives from Travancore, Kochi, and Malabar jointly participated. The desire for the Malayali Being was expressed in the book titled “Onnekal Kodi Malayalikal” by EMS Namboodiripad.
In April 1947, there was a United Kerala Meeting at Thrissur under the chairmanship of K. Kelappan. It passed a resolution demanding a United Kerala. On 1 July 1949, the State called “Thiru-Kochi” was formed combining Travancore and Kochi. It was an important step for the formation of United Kerala. The dream of a State of Kerala was fulfiled by the State Re-Organizing Committee under Sayed Fasal Ali. It recommended the formation of Kerala State uniting Travancore, Kochi, and Malabar. On 1 November 1956, Kerala State officially came into being.