Mappilas are fanatic Muslims who are also treacherous by nature. From the repeated treachery and notorious infidelity of the whole Mappila race, rigid and terrifying measures have become indispensably necessary. Lenity (towards the Moplah muslims) has been found ineffectual.
This is a direct quote of Gen. Abercromby of Bombay, who was in Kerala in the run-up to the anti-Hindu Moplah genocide of 1921. The Moplah Massacre of Hindus by Malabar’s Muslims was not a one-off incident that took place in 1921 due to a sudden flare up of tensions. We at TFIPOST have decided to undertake a comprehensive project which details the Moplah genocide itself, and all the factors which led to it since the later part of the 18th century. In our previous article on the subject, we talked about how Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali sowed the seeds of Moplah massacre. You can read the piece here.
In this article, we will talk about the intense radicalisation of Moplah Muslims since the invasion of Tipu Sultan. According to Tipu Sultan – Villain or Hero? An Anthology (Chapter IV, Appendix 2), “The Mappilas had not dared to disobey their Hindu Rajas before the advent of Mysore Sultans with their Islamic brutalities in Kerala. But having joined hands with Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, they assisted them in all their Islamic atrocities against the Hindu population.”
The Hindus of Kerala had resisted the tyrannical rule of Tipu Sultan. They had been part of rebellions, and were even aided by the British in their endeavour. By 1789, a massive rebellion had started in Malabar against Tipu’s barbaric rule, which forced Tipu Sultan himself to come to Malabar in 1790 to crush. Both the armies faced off at Nedumkotta. The Hindu rebels fought under the leadership of Raja Keshavdas Pillai, the Diwan of Travancore, to protect their culture and dignity.
This battle really laid the foundation of Tipu Sultan’s downfall. Although the battle of Neumkotta was inconclusive, ten years later, the Travancore and British forces defeated Sultan’s forces at Srirangapatnam and killed the atrocious Islamic fanatic too. The end of Tipu Sultan would pave the way for Hindus to begin returning to Malabar. However, they would soon find themselves at odds with the bloodthirsty and extremist Moplah Muslims, who had their gaze fixated on Hindus’ properties.
What the Britishers Saw in Malabar, and How They Described Islamic Barbarity
Mr. Thomas Strange, who had served in various capacities in Malabar investigated the real cause of frequent anti-Hindu outrages by Muslims, especially those relating to land disputes. He found that the Hindus never triggered any violence. They did not even provoke the Muslims. Yet, they were hunted down by Islamists, simply due to their faith. “Since land is with the Hindus and the money with the Mappilas (Muslims), to get the land, the Mappilas encouraged (or resorted to) fanaticism,” Mr. Strange wrote. He added, “And finally the result was that there was steady movement whereby in all Mappila tracts, the land was passing slowly but surely to the possession of the Mappilas” and the Hindus were going to the walls. Today, Mappilas (Muslims) are rich landlords and traders while the Hindus have been generally reduced to the status of service class people in the Malabar region of Kerala.”
In his report, Strange clearly outlined the distinction between Hindu and Muslim landlords, “I am convinced…and although there are instances that this arrangement may create personal hardship for a lessee., but in all this dealing the Hindu zamindar keeps his tenant, whether Moplah or Hindu, generally benign, free from discrimination and just. On the other hand, the Moplah Pattedars (Muslims) are very adept at evading their obligations, especially in the taluks of South Malabar, where the outbreak of nuisance is highest. In the parts where most of the disturbances have taken place, Hindus are so scared of Moplahs that they do not even dare to raise their voice…against Muslims. There are many Moplah lessees (Muslims) who do not even pay rent.”
How Regular Violence Against Hindus was Planned and Executed
According to official records of the British rule, the then District Superintendent of Police, RH Hitchcock states, “More important than the network of the Khilafat movement, was the traditional system of communication between the Mapillas (Moplah Muslims). It was this point that made a big difference between the Hindu and the Mapilla(s). Some markets have full-fledged Mappillas, and most Mappillas congregate at least once a week for Friday prayers and often in mosques at other times as well. So, they can form and add any kind of public opinion of their own, but all this work is done under the guise of religion. Due to this it would have been difficult for Hindus or Europeans to know anything about it (their plans).”
Mr. Connolly, who had been the District Magistrate of Malabar, mentions in his report in 1852 that, “For the last several years the land of Malabar has been bloodied by the horrific invasions which the Moplah Muslims have carried out on the Hindus. Rich and respected Hindus were publicly humiliated, attacked, their residences set on fire, and then surrendered to fighting the police or the army. In the past, Mappilas would occasionally abandon women and children, but this time, whatever they got [their hands on], it would all perish!”
The point to be noted here is that Connolly had said this in 1852, fifty years after Tipu’s death. That is to say, even after the Sultan’s death, an atmosphere had been created against the Hindus who had reclaimed their property. A strong foundation had been laid by the Muslims for the anti-Hindu massacre of the year 1921. After the death of Tipu, there were several small and big riots against the Hindus, sometimes over property and sometimes over land.
So, the Moplah genocide of 1921, had, in fact, been simmering for more than a century before it was finally carried out. The ‘peasant uprising’, as leftist historians like to spin it, was actually a well-orchestrated Hindu pogrom which took shape over a century. And it has its roots in the urge of Moplah Muslims to take over Hindu land and properties, as if they had a right over it.
Demography is the key. It was Kerala then. Who knows what will be next?