A three-member committee of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) submitted a review report of the names of “freedom fighters” in the 1921 rebellion. The committee took a remarkable decision and decided to have sought the removal of the names of Malabar Rebellion leaders which includes Variyankunnathu Kunjahammed Haji and Ali Musaliyar, from the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle.
387 “Moplah Martyrs” will be removed from the list of freedom fighters as a committee admits that the Moplah riots were never a freedom struggle but an attempt to establish a caliphate after slaughtering Hindus. It took 100 years for the truth to be acknowledged.
— Shubhangi Sharma (@ItsShubhangi) August 23, 2021
Back in 2019, PM Modi released the book, Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle 1857-1947. The ICHR, under the Ministry of Education, reviewed the entries in the fifth volume and concluded that the names of 387 “Moplah martyrs”, to be removed from the book.
The Malabar rebellion of 1921, also known as the Moplah (Muslim) riots, was initiated by Muslim tenants against British rulers and local Hindu landlords. Historical accounts state the uprising led to the loss of around 10,000 Hindu lives.
It is perceived as one of the first nationalist uprisings in southern India. The incidents took place in various parts of the Malappuram district in north Kerala. The then Kerala government had included the participants of the rebellion in the category of freedom fighters. This massive Hindu genocide was described as a peasant revolt.
C.I. Issac, a member of ICHR in the review report noted that “almost all the Moplah outrages were communal. They were against the Hindu society and done out of sheer intolerance. Thus, the following names should be deleted from the yet-to-be published project.”
He further stated: “None of those who died in the Wagon Tragedy were freedom fighters of India as they hoisted the Khilafat flag and established Khilafat and Khilafat courts for a brief period. They were arrested by the army for participating in riots. Around 10 Hindus who participated in the riots too are on the list of persons to be removed from the dictionary. The rioters did not even spare the secular Muslims. Those who died at the hands of the rioters were non-believers”
The British convicted the rioters after a proper trial, and these deaths were never recognised as freedom fighters elsewhere, he added. The committee further also pointed out that the rebellion was an attempt to establish a “Caliphate”. It highlighted Haji’s role as a rioter who established a Sharia court and beheaded a large number of Hindus. The uprising had also led to the large-scale conversion of Hindus to Islam.
Kerala is an extreme radicalized state. It has become the hub for nurturing and glorifying radical Islamist movements and a safe space for radicalized youth joining terrorist organisations. Despite achieving 100 per cent literacy, Kerala has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, the state is yet to curb the menace of fundamentalism.
Curtailing facts and whitewashing history is a shameful act, especially for a state like Kerala which has a history of providing space to such separatist forces to create violence or divide people in the country. The unprovoked massacre of Hindus genocide in which the rebellions are regarded as freedom fighters or martyrs and to make them an integral part of the Independence movement is a big insult to the history of India, and the real martyrs who gave their life struggling for the same. Thus, this move by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) is highly justified and commendable.