While Veeraputhran, P.T. Kunhumohammed's film on the legendary freedom fighter and Congress leader Mohammed Abdurahiman, is doing well in the theatres, it has ruffled the feathers of the social critic and author Hameed Chennamangalloor.
Mr. Chennamangalloor, a retired Professor of English, has complained that the film distorted history and hurt his family's reputation. It cast his father and grandfather in a cloud of suspicion, he rued.
Mohammed Abdurahiman, one-time KPCC president who was admired for his patriotism, courage, and great personal sacrifice for freedom, died on November 23, 1945.
The film, according to Mr. Chennamangalloor, gives the impression that Abdurahiman Sahib (as he was popularly known), died a little after he had dinner at Mr. Chennamangalloor's father's place. The film visually hinted that the Sahib was poisoned during the dinner.
Mr. Chennamangalloor told The Hindu that this was totally wrong.
The fact was that the Sahib died of a heart attack at a place called Pottassery, some 30 km from Kozhikode, while walking back to his car at night after having dinner in his father's house.
Both his father and grandfather were great admirers of the Sahib and were Congress sympathisers, though they were traditional ‘adhikaaris' (village officers) under the British colonial administration. Two doctors in Kozhikode, who had examined the Sahib's body, had confirmed that he had died of heart attack.
Mr. Chennamangalloor backed his version of the death with the description of the Sahib's death in the official biography, sponsored by the Mohammed Abdurahiman Sahib Memorial Committee. The biography was written by the novelists S.K. Pottekkad and N.P. Mohammed, Congress leader P.P. Ummerkoya and the Sahib's foster son and writer K.A. Kodungalloor.
However, Mr. Kunhumohammed told The Hindu that the film did not portray the Sahib's end as a poisoned death. In fact there was a scene in the film where a teacher tells his student that there was no evidence to show that the Sahib was murdered.
Mr. Kunhumohammed said he based his film on a novel by N.P. Mohammed titled ‘ Mohammed Abdurahiman Oru Novel .'
Of course, the character O.K Odayathil, who is pictured as a villain keen on finishing the Sahib off, was fictitious and this character was included in the film for ‘cinematic effect,' Mr. Kunhumohammed, who wrote the script and dialogues for the film, said.