An organisation that has some members from the RSS has demanded that the 1921 Moplah ‘Rebellion’ be termed as a historical event of genocide and a memorial be set up in its memory. The government should build a genocide memorial to mark the 1921 killings that took place in Kerala’s Malappuram and mark 25 September as the Malabar Hindu Genocide Day, J Nandakumar, all-India convenor of Prajna Pravah, said on 22 September. But this outfit is not the first to make the demand.
Over the recent years, several thinkers have organised programmes over videos and wrote articles on the deliberate distortion of facts by Marxist historians in books and textbooks. Scientist Anand Ranganathan had tweeted about it in 2018: “Some of Mahatma Gandhi’s views in the aftermath of the Moplah Riots that, in the words of Dr Ambedkar were “INDESCRIBABLE blood-curdling ATROCITIES committed by the Moplahs against the Hindus.” He provided the details with a screenshot and the link to his article on the subject published in Swarajya.
Early in August, academic Madhu Kishwar held a talk, inviting Ranganathan’s views on the Moplah riot.
Kishwar had written on the topic before.
Ranganathan tweeted subsequently: “… To call Moplah Rebellion leaders martyrs is like calling the Taliban martyrs…”
The incident has hitherto been noted in Marxist history as a Muslim peasant uprising against British rule and Hindu landowners. Sangh associates have been campaigning for a correction in the articulation of the incident, as they believe it was targeted lynching of Hindus.
Nandakumar said Annie Besant and C Sankra Nair, who was president of the Indian National Congress (INC), called it a genocide, but after 1975 it was deemed part of the freedom struggle.
Nandakumar said that the Kerala government had not considered their demand, but they were hopeful that the union government will consider it.
Here is a talk anchored by RSS mouthpiece Organiser‘s editor Prafulla Ketkar on 23 August:
Death of nearly 10,000 people
The Moplah rebellion, considered an agrarian revolt by Muslim peasants against largely Hindu zamindars, lasted for many months and reportedly resulted in the death of nearly 10,000 people. The rebellion became controversial recently when the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, formed a three-member committee to review the names who could be considered as freedom fighters and martyrs of the Freedom movement and reportedly recommended that the names of 387 people associated with the Moplah rebellion be removed from the “Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle from 1857-1947”.
While the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala has opposed this move, former BJP general secretary Ram Madhav explained why the Moplah rebellion should be seen as the “first manifestation of Talibani mindset” in India. He has attacked the move of Kerala’s Left Front government to mark the centenary year of the Moplah rebellion.
Moplah massacre perpetrators removed from ‘dictionary’ of Indian freedom fighters
Last month, on the 23, a three-member panel, constituted to review the fifth volume of what they called a ‘dictionary’ published by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) had removed the names of Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji and Ali Musaliar, the leaders responsible for the Moplah Massacre of Hindus, from the dictionary. Along with them, 387 others who died during the Moplah Massacre was to be removed.
The panel had recommended the deletion as it came to the conclusion that the massacre was a fundamentalist movement bent on religious conversion and not a part of the freedom struggle.
The wounds of one of the worst communal pogroms recorded in the annals of Indian history remain fresh in the Hindu conscience even after 100 years of the infamous 1921 Moplah massacre. The media published detailed reports on the Moplah genocide of Hindus and 25 September 1921, the day when 38 Hindus were slaughtered and thrown in a well by a Muslim mob demanding a Caliphate in Malabar. The report can be viewed here.