Home Books and Films Book Records Kerala’s Muslim Freedom Fighters Erased by Govt

Book Records Kerala’s Muslim Freedom Fighters Erased by Govt

The "Dictionary of Mappilla Martyrs" stands for the blood the freedom fighters have shed, for the struggle they have put on to erase the British rule, for the love of martyr's to our country. The dictionary has names of martyrs beginning with the letter A and ending with the letter V.


The roar for the removal of 387 “Moplah Martyrs” from the dictionary of Martyr’s Of India, the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) had finally erased the names of the Mappila martyrs. The protest for the same was done by the Students Islamic Organization of India’s Kerala unit by releasing a protest book named “DICTIONARY OF MAPPILA MARTYRS”. There are no new names in the book released by SIO; they have been re-codified the names of martyrs from the same list that was distorted by India’s premier history body. A book that embarks the injustice towards the legacy of Muslims.  

When India’s history is been erased, knowing and understanding the idea behind how and from when it is being rubbed out can get us into clarity. The inception of India being saffronized began after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into power with his Hindu Nationalist Agenda in 2014. He and his party were re-elected in 2019 easing the saffronisation process. ICHR is bending and recreating the history as per the interpretations of the RSS lead government. Professor Isac is one of the members who were appointed to ICHR by BJP who is also the Vice president of Bharatiya Vichara Kendra, a Hindu right-wing group to write and re-write the history depicting the Muslim community as communal.  

The ICHR’s decision of the deletion of the ‘Moplah Martyrs’ and the comment made by the Indian politician Ram Madhav, who made comeback to RSS recently. While inaugurating the “Mappila Riots Martyrs Remembrance year” a campaign launched by the Right Wing Hindu groups in Kerala, he said that the Mappila rebellion was one of the first manifestations of the Talibani mindset in India. He had said his controversial and venomous comment in a state where there is not even a single seat for the BJP and ironically the state has only 27% of Muslims.  

The 1921 Mapilla Rebellion  

When flipped into the letter V in the dictionary of the Mappila Martyrs released by SIO, we see the name Vadakeveetil Kolathoor Muhammed. The rebellion that is now being called “Jihad against Hindu population” was nothing but resistance and a war against the brutal rulings of the British. Mammadu is the man who led the war against the British on 26 October 1921 in Pookkottur, a village in Malapuram district in the southern state of Kerala. He was the secretary of the local Khilafat Committee, a movement led by the South Asian Muslims to restore the Ottoman caliphate removed by the imperial British. The restoring of the ottoman caliphate is the finger that points for the accusation of justifying the injustices.  

The rebellion of bloodshed and resistance against the British colonial rule had marked its 100 years in 2021. What had happened in the year 1921 – 1922 in the Malabar region of Kerala is not a cooked-up story to be evaded and saffronized. If Moplah is the anglicized version of Mapila, then the deletion of the 387 “Moplah Martyrs” is the saffronized version of the Hindutva government.

Though in the name of crimsoned patriotism, a bunch of right-wing are twisting and eradicating the first and foremost war against the British colonial rule from the southern part of India, Kerala. People of Malapuram which was known as the “Malayala Rajyam” or the Malayalam Kingdom still preserves the remains of the war with pride and prominence, from where the battle had begun 100 years ago.  

Dictionary of Mappila Martyrs; A Protest Book

In the dictionary, the letter V has another prominent name who was a powerful enemy of the British, Variyamunnath Kunhamed Hajji. When the British retreated, Hajji was asked for his last wish. He said he doesn’t want to be shot from behind by blindfolding, “shoot me from the front without blindfolding, I want to see my land and die!”  

The ‘Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle’ was jointly published by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). The committee is reported to have observed that Variyam Kunnath was not a freedom fighter, but a ‘rioter’ who established a ‘Sharia court’.

The “Dictionary of Mappilla Martyrs” stands for the blood the freedom fighters have shed, for the struggle they have put on to erase the British rule, for the love of martyr’s to our country. The dictionary has names of martyrs beginning with the letter A and ending with the letter V.  

Documenting the Mappila rebellion with false information is not something that came up recently after the NDA-led government. The British itself had documented the Mappilla uprising as a “riot”, villainizing Muslims as extremists who attacked the Hindu community and forcedly converted them into Islam.  

The book is not a mere protest but an open eye to the reality of the falsified brutalities. It talks for the martyrs who had shed their blood for our land are no more freedom fighters.  

The 221 pages of the book briefly introduce the Malabar leaders who fought against British and Hindu landlords.

Allegations and injustice to the Mappila Rebellion

ICHR has a bunch of people who have links with RSS, who has nothing to do with history is interpreting and painting the history with venomous crimson language. The main character of the Mappillla Rebellion was anti-British and anti-feudal. The war was definitely against the elite Hindu class too who were betraying the country. If that is what is disturbing the right wings and that is what it is all about  – Brahmanism had betrayed the country and Muslims were the saviors of the land. Painting the history with a color of the right wing’s choice cannot live long. However hard they repaint and try evading the facts, the feudal Brahmanical hegemony in the colonization period will pop out as a filthy reality.  

The decision for the deletion of the 387 freedom fighters including the prominent and most powerful enemies of the British colonization like Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji and Ali Musaliar is a scrunching attempt at communalizing the Muslim community. The eradication was explained stating that, the 1921 rebellion was never part of the independence struggle but a fundamental movement focused on religious conversion. If there were such kind of a conversion had happened, there would have a notable change in the geography of Kerala. Another allegation to justify the deletion was, none of the slogans raised during the rebellion were in favor of nationalism and anti-British in content.  

Handing over the book titled “Dictionary of Mappila Martyrs” to the local historian, Alavi Kakkadan, SIO state president Amjad Ali EM said that the Malabar Rebellion of 1921 discomforts Hindutva politics and therefore the dictionary released by the governing Sangh Parivar can’t include Malabar martyrs. Kakkadan who is a local historian extensively worked on Malabar Rebellion is also the chairman of Variyan Kunnathu Kunjahammed Haji Foundation of India.