Kerala

Malabar rebellion | Mission to set the record straight

K.M. Jaffar , a fourth generation descendent of Chakkiparamban family

K.M. Jaffar , a fourth generation descendent of Chakkiparamban family  

For Jaffar K.M., a 53-year-old resident of Erattupetta in Kottayam, discovering the genealogy of his family has always been a matter of pride.

A fourth generation descendant of Chakkiparamban Moideenkutty Haji, he carried out extensive research to trace his roots that extended over three decades to establish his links with the Muslim leader from Malabar and the father of the legendary Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji. Things, however, took a dramatic turn with the announcement Variamkunnan, a period film on the Malabar Rebellion of 1921 by Ashiq Abu, a fortnight ago. The declaration, followed by the announcement of three more films on the same topic, has triggered a debate on the communal angle of the rebellion.

Smarting from the allegations heaped on his forefathers, Mr. Jaffar is on a mission to clear the air on the the life and principles of the historical figure.

Tell-all book

In a soon-to-be published book, Mr. Jaffar seeks to bring to light how Variamkunnan, step-brother of his grandfather Muhiyuddinkutty Haji, fought the British with the support of the Hindus.

According to him, Chakkiparamban Moideenkutty Haji escaped to Erattupetta, a major market place in Central Travancore, after being acquitted in the Mannarkkad revolt of 1894.

“Disguising as an Islamic preacher, he lived in Erattupetta for nearly eight years before being captured by the British police . During his stay here, he married Ummuhani Umma from the Muttathuparambil Mather family here and the couple had a son named Muhiyuddinkutty Haji,” Mr. Jaffar explained.

“From the scattered anecdotes in and around Erattupetta, I traced his roots to the erstwhile Eranadu and eventually zeroed in on the Chakkiparamban family. It was only at this point did we realise that Moideenkutty Haji was earlier married to Kunjaisha Hajjumma and the legendary Variamkunnan was their son,” he added.

Family reunion

Having traced almost all branches of his family, Mr. Jaffar was also instrumental in forming a family association. The association, comprising about 12,000 members, has been organising a reunion every year since 2014.

The family, according to Mr. Jaffar, is disappointed over the recent controversies.

“Any attempt to tarnish Variamkunnan, who had always upheld the principles of secularism, will be fought legally. You can expect a formal response of the family to all the recent controversies soon,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 2:10:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/mission-to-set-the-record-straight/article31918748.ece

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