Kerala

Reports of Hindu-Muslim strife in Malabar baseless, wrote Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji in The Hindu in 1921

The protagonist of the 1921 Malabar Rebellion chose the ‘letter to The Hindu’ to air his views on the now contentious issue of reported conversion and killings of Hindus in Malabar during the rebellion.

Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji, the protagonist of the 1921 Malabar Rebellion, wanted the world to know through The Hindu that the “report that Hindus are forcibly converted” by his men was “entirely untrue.”

Haji chose the ‘letter to The Hindu’ to air his views on the now contentious issue of reported conversion and killings of Hindus in Malabar during the rebellion.

The English translation of the letter “purporting to be written by the rebel Moplah leader,” on October 7, 1921, with the dateline Pandalur Hill, was retrieved from the archives of The Hindu.

Referring to press reports that Hindu-Muslim unity had thoroughly ceased to exist, Haji said the report that Hindus were being forcibly converted by his men was entirely untrue.

What the letter said

“Such conversions were done by the Government Party and Reserve Police men in mufti mingling themselves with the rebels (masquerading as rebels.) Moreover, because some Hindu brethren, aiding the military, handed over to the military innocent (Moplahs) who were hiding themselves from the military, a few Hindus have been put to some trouble. Besides, the Nambudiri, who is the cause of this rising, has also similarly suffered,” he wrote.

“The Hindus are compulsorily impressed for military service. Therefore, several Hindus seek protection in my Hill. Several Moplahs, too, have sought my protection,” wrote Haji.

“Now the chief military commander [of the government] is causing Hindus to evacuate from these Taluks. Innocent women and children of Islam, who have done nothing and possess nothing, are not permitted to leave the place,” he wrote. “Let all the people in the world know this. Let Mahatma Gandhi and Moulana know it,” Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji said while concluding the letter. “The letter is written on old-fashioned, Austrian made, ruled letter paper with a black lead pencil in crude, characteristic Moplah Malayalam,” noted the newspaper.

Four films

A century later, the Malabar Rebellion has suddenly tuned out to be a debating point in the State with the announcement of four films on the theme.

While three would attempt to feature Haji as the freedom fighter who was killed by the British, the fourth one wanted to bring out the real truths behind the incidents.

Sangh campaign

Sangh Parivar outfits had launched a vitriolic campaign against actor Prithviraj who would play the role of Haji in the movie Variamkunnan, to be directed by Ashique Abu and Muhsin Parari.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 12:54:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/reports-of-hindu-muslim-strife-in-malabar-baseless/article31918716.ece

Next Story