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Fr. Joseph Taffrael and North Malabar; Religious and social changes among the depressed classes

Author Affiliations

  • 1St. Joseph’s college Devagiri, Kozhikode, Kerala, India and P.G and Research department of History Malabar Christian College, Calicut, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
  • 2P.G and Research department of History Malabar Christian College, Calicut, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 13, Issue (1), Pages 11-16, January,14 (2024)


Christian missionaries are apostates who preach the gospels of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth and bear witness to the words of the Bible. Missionary life is full of many sacrifices, insecurities, worries, and anxieties. Despite not having a proper source of income, there were many Jesuit missionaries who helped many lives in North Malabar; they were inundated by poverty and disease alike. These missionaries were able to give new life and new hope to the downtrodden that were oppressed by the quagmire of the caste system. Even in the midst of their hardship life the missionaries who touched the marginalized people with medicine, food and clothing have not been adequately considered in history. It is clear that Christian missionaries played a selfless role in the upliftment of the lower castes in Malabar. However, the contributions of the Basel missionaries were recorded in history, and the contributions of the Jesuit missionaries went unrecognized. In many places and also in literary records, missionary work is seen as mere conversion. There is no doubt that it is in the interest and agenda of the elite to exclude the contributions of Christian missionaries from the mainstream study of history to prevent the continued growth of missionary interventions and to re-create slavery by avoiding missionary struggles for human rights. As a result, the liberation value and anti-caste elements of missionary work are cleverly ignored. Therefore, this paper examines the contributions of Jesuit missionary Fr. Joseph Taffrael, who established altruistic love and service of conscience and dedicated his life to the social renewal of North Malabar. This paper exhibits how did Fr. Taffrael worked to enable them to socialize and build a spirit of harmony among the Pulaya community in North Malabar? With the support of books, memoirs of missionaries and church records the article observes that Fr. Taffrael played a pivotal role in making social consciousness among the lower class people of North Malabar and brought structural changes in their life.


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