Nair Service Society

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Nair Service Society
NSS Head Quarters Main Gate Changanassery.JPG
NSS Headquarters Main Gate,Perunna
Abbreviation NSS
Formation 31 October 1914 (1914-10-31)
Founder Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai
Type Caste based organization
Headquarters Perunna, Changanassery
Official language

The Nair Service Society (NSS) is an organization created for the social advancement and welfare of the Nair community that is found primarily in south India. It was established under the leadership of Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai.[citation needed] The NSS is a three-tier organisation with Karayogams at the base level, Taluk Unions at the intermediate level and a central headquarters operating from Perunna in Kerala, India.

The Society owns and manages a large number of educational institutions and hospitals.


Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai, social reformer, a freedom fighter and the founder of the Nair Service Society

The Nair Service Society was formed on 31 October 1914[1] as a reaction to perceived communal slights in the princely state of Travancore in south India, which now forms a part of the state of Kerala.[2] The Nairs were the most economically and socially dominant community, as well as the most numerous, in what was traditionally a staunchly Hindu theocracy that rigorously and officially enforced distinctions between castes.[3]

The Nairs believed Travancore to be a Hindu state[2] and the founders of the NSS believed that their own community could only counter the changing socio-political situation if it presented a united front and did away with its internal social subdivisions.[4][lower-alpha 1] The first caste association of this type to have been formed in the region was the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP), established in 1903 to work for the benefit of the Ezhava caste.[5] Frederick Bailey has said that associations such as the NSS and SNDP had three primary functions:[6]

  • to "reform caste behaviour and bring it into line with high-caste standards", which became necessary as a consequence of some caste members obtaining employment in the professions and in government posts and thus coming into contact with high-caste colleagues who treated them as inferior. The associations aimed to blur the distinction between their members and higher castes, refusing to accept a subordinate position in society.
  • to improve the welfare, education and employment opportunities for their members in order to further ameliorate the traditional caste differentiations
  • to engage in politics for the achievement of these aims, which was necessitated because in attempting to promote the circumstances of their own caste they were inevitably setting themselves in competition with members of other castes.


Expatriate Nairs both in other states of India as well as in countries other than India have formed Nair Service Societies in their states and countries of domicile. Examples are Karnataka Nair Service Society with 30 karayogams[7] and the Kanyakumari Nair Service Society with 27 karayogams[citation needed] NSS Vidharbha, which unites Nairs living in the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra, is having branches in Nagpur and Chandrapur.[8]

In 2010 October, the Nair organizations from around the world decided to start a united organization. As a result, the Global Nair Service Society was formed after a meeting attended by thousands in New Delhi.[9]


As of 2010 the NSS comprised:[10]

  • Taluk Unions  : 58
  • Karayogams (village communities) : 5300
  • Vanitha Samajams  : 4232
  • Bala Samajams  : 2466

NSS has also started many schools under its supervision. Collectively named NSS HSS or NSS High Schools, these schools function in almost all parts of the state of Kerala.[10]


Past presidents include K. Kelappan who was the first president of NSS and K. P. Karunakara Menon.

See also



  1. The success of the NSS with regard to abolishing the subdivisions is moot: British Raj census reports of 1931 and 1941 varied in their interpretation of the available data and Christopher Fuller, an anthropologist, noted in 1975 that intermarriage between the various groups was "very rare". Fuller notes that "... many Nayars see the persistence of subdivisions within their community as a social and political problem, and they tend to deny their existence when outsidersask about them.[4]


  1. "Founder". Nair Service Society. Retrieved 7 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Devika, J.; Varghese, V. J. (March 2010). To Survive or to flourish? Minority rights and Syrian Christian assertions in 20th century Travancore (PDF). Trivandrum: Centre for Development Studies. pp. 15–17. Retrieved 7 May 2013. |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). (subscription required)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). (subscription required)
  5. Nossiter, Thomas Johnson (1982). Communism in Kerala: a study in political adaptation. University of California Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-520-04667-2. Retrieved 2013-05-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). (subscription required)
  7. Amma Show Bengaluru
  8. Welcome to Vidarbha Nair Tharavadu
  9. "Global Nair organisation to be launched in Delhi Sunday". IndiaVision News. New Delhi. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 - The Official Website of Nair Service Society

External links