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It Began By Killing an Astrologer


The Moplah rebellions in the 19th century began with the killing of a Hindu astrologer in Pandallur. Three Hindus were wounded in the attack. The astrologer, definitely was not a bourgeois.

This finding of the enquiry commission of 1852,T L Strange has been quoted by Marxist historian K N Panikkar in his book. Evidently an astrology is not connected to the land, but Hindu beliefs. Mappilas were also criticizing the Christians. Four Mullahs of these time, Veliyamkod Umar Khasi, Sayyid Alavi Thangal, his son Sayyid Fazal Pookkoya Thangal, Sayyid Sana-Ullah Makhthi Thangal formed the Muslim perspective of the world then, for the illiterate Muslims of South Malabar. Khasi had promulgated a fatwa against the British asking his followers not to remit tax. He was arrested and punished. His followers believed in his miraculous powers. He wrote pamphlets in both prose and verse. He died in 1852.

Alavi, who belonged to Saudi Arabia, came to Mambram in 1867 at the age of 17 an d stayed with his uncle, who was already there. He claimed the legacy of the prophet’s daughter Fathima, through the branch of Ali of Tarim. Thus Mambram became a Muslim centre. He issued a pamphlet titled Saiful Bathar. The British suspected his role behind the rebellions of 1801 aand 1817. He declared a jihad against the British.

His son Fazal establish the Mambram mosque He issued fatwas in relation to Muslim relationship with the Hindus. Three of the fatwas related to Muslim labourers in relation to Hindus: the labourers were banned from working on Fridays, were asked to refrain from taking the remains of the food during festivals from Hindu house holds. The labourers were asked to stop addressing Nair employers as Thambran (Lord).

The fatwas were aimed at holding the new converts to Islam from lower Hindu castes, in strict regimentation. Historians like Stephen Dale and Ranajit Guha have pointed out the anti Hindu religious content of these fatwas; they were aimed at stirring up the Hindu sentiments.
The illiterate Muslim multitude saw in Fazal a miracle worker and healer. Hence his Jaram is still reverred by the superstitious Muslims.

Sana Ullah’s father was a disciple of Umar Khasi.Sana Ulla, unlike other Muslims,had been to Chavakkad Elementary school, which made him an intellectual among other Muslims. He resigned from the job of an Excise inspector in 1886. He attacked Christianity with all his might and wrote a pamphlet, Kadora Kutaram ( Cruel Axe), against it-Joseph Fenn a Christiam missionary had written Anjana Kutaram ( Axe to Cut Ignorance) earlier.Fenn who was Chathu Menon had written his poem against the superstitions and rituals among Hindus. Kutaram means axe. Sana Ullah got help from some Hindus in this endeavour.He also wrote another critique of Christianity, Parkaleetha Porkalam. He challenged and offered Rs 500 to missionaries who dared to beat his arguments.

Certain other Mullahs like Oukoya Musliyar, Sayyid Hassan Thangal, Bukhari Thangal and Mayamkutty Ilaya also joined the Islamic band wagon.This was the perverse Islamic cultural milieu in which the rebellions took place. It had also an anti Christian content.

Except one in 1852, all the Mappila rebellions took place in the southern taluks of Eranad and Valluvanad. 37% of the Mappila population in the Malabar district lived in these areas.According to the 1921 Census the literacy rate Eranad was just 7.5% of the total population. People who had English education was 960. In Valluvanad, the literacy rate was 11.4%.2249 people knew English, the majority being Hindus.

The number of people involved in the rebellions during 1836-1840 were minimum.Out of the six Hindus attacked by Muslims during this period, only two were land lords.One,as said eralier was an astrologer. One a Kolkaran and another a tenant.On 5 April 1841, a Muslim tenant called Kunjolan killed Perumpally Nambudiri, at Pallippuram in Valluvanad, getting assistance from six neighbours. He had told them they are guaranteed heaven, if thy become martyrs. No doubt, it was an Islamic religious belief.Within six months another rebellion happened at Mannur.In the note that Valiya Kunjolan,one among the 11 accused,wrote to Tahsildar, it is evident that a mosque was built without permission in the Kanam land taken from Thottacheri Kelu Panikkar. The note admits that they killed the Kolkaran since he questioned them during the Ramazan prayer.

This incident is part of a class war for red jihadist K N Panikkar, since a land was involved.What about the illegal mosque, comrade?

The Magistrate’s report on the incident records:”The waste of own lives in this action could be explained only on the basis of the general ignorance, unsatisfaction and fanaticism that is prevalent among Malabar Muslims. They believe the death in action against the enemy guarantees heaven,and revenge, they believe is not an offence.”

Eight to ten Mappilas were involved in the subsequent rebellions at Pallippuram in December, at Thirurangadi in October 1943 and at Pandikkad in October 1943. Adhikari and nephew were killed in the first,Adhikari and Kolkaran in the second and a Nambudiri in the third.These places were the venues in 1921 also. Why adhikaris or revenue chiefs were killed all the time? It is not because they were land lords,as pseudo secularists wants us to believe-it is because the law and order in the villages were the responsibility of the revenue officials then.There were no police stations in remote villages. This fact is deliberately ignored by the red jihadists.

Mambram Old House

Mappila riots again took place at Manjeri in August 1849, at Kulathur in August 1851 and at Mattannur in January 1852, and for the fanatic Muslim, it became a habit, culminating in 1921. In the 1849 Manjeri rebellion, the leaders were not ordinary tenants-it was led by Athanmoyin Gurukkal and Mambram Sayyid Hussain Thangal’s son, Kunjikoya Thangal. Total of 60 people were involved,and they were led by religious leaders. Two sons of Nenmini Muslyar were among them. The first nine among the accused belonged to reputed Muslim families. Athan Gurukkal was from a family which had the traditional job of making weapons. They trained people in weaponry. Gurukkal always moved with a group of gangsters that settled disputes.He slowly became a parallel power centre. The government had banned him from maintaining a group; he lost his job as a weapon trainer by his own deeds. Then he resorted to looting. When arrest was imminent, he decided to wear the mantle of a martyr and marched leading a group of gangsters a last time. Before that he issued a statement which said the muslims of Malabar are living in distress; all the officials are Hindus. They frame the Muslim tenants in false cases. They are not able to present their cases before the government.Hence the killing of land lords.

This statement reflects the arguments of the modern day Marxist historians. Panikkar and his group seem like miniature Marxist Gurukkals.

Kunjikoya Thangal was honest;he said in a statement:”My decision to be with the people is a religious one. When a Muslim is in distress, it is a Sayyid’s duty to be with him and die with him”

The Sayyid said it is a Jihad, not a class war.


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