K. Kelappan (August 24, 1889 - October 7, 1971) was born in the small village of Muchukunnu in Calicut. He studied in Calicut and Madras and graduated from the University of Madras. He began his career as a teacher at in St. Berchmans High School, Changanassery and was the founding President of the Nair Service Society. Later he became the Principal of a school run by the society. He fought for social reforms on one hand and the British on the other. He was called Kerala Gandhi.
He joined studies in Law at Bombay which he gave up to join the Non-cooperation movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Freedom movement
K Kelappan is well known as freedom fighter. But many do not know Kelappan, as an editor. He was editor of Mathrubhumi in 1929 and 1936 and as editor of Samadarshi in 1954. Many of the prominent national movement leaders were editors of Mathrubhumi, like KP Kesavemenon, K A Damodaramenon and Kelappan .
Kelappan gave the lead to the Payyannur and Calicut salt Satyagrahas and was chosen as the first Satyagrahi from Kerala in the individual satyagraha movement launched by Gandhiji. He played a dominant role in the famous Vaikom Satyagraha and was the leader of the Guruvayur Satyagraha in 1932.
He went to jail several times during the freedom struggle including the Quit India Movement. He worked hard for eradication of untouchability and worked for upliftment of Harijans and set up many Harijan hostels and schools in Kerala. He was in the forefront of Swadeshi Movement and did his best to build up a base of Khadi and Village industries. He passed away in October 6, 1971.