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Book published by Union Ministry of Culture and ICHR glorifies the chief architects of Moplah Massacre, that resulted in genocide of Hindus, as ‘martyrs’

It is intriguing how the book skips around Haji's critical role in the Moplah Massacre. Haji fancied himself the ‘Sultan of Eranad’ and was eventually put to death.

A ‘Dictionary of Martyrs’ published by the Union Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Indian Council of Historical Research eulogises the Islamic genocidal maniacs responsible for the Moplah Massacre and refers to the campaign of genocide against Hindus as a ‘rebellion’. Variankunnath Kunhamad Haji and Ali Musliyar, the chief architects of the Moplah Massacre, are deemed to be martyrs by the book published. The book was published in 2019.

Collage of screengrabs from the document

The book says of Ali Musliyar, “Born in Nellikottu amsom in Eranad, distt. Malappuram, Kerala; s/o Kunju Moideen Sahib and Amina; Education at Ponnani, higher education at Mecca. Scholar in Islamic History, Shariat and Theology. Chief quasi at Kavaratti Island. Chief Musaliar of Tirurangadi Mosque in 1907. Great orator; organized Madrasas in different parts of Malabar; wide following in many parts of south Malabar; the most influential leader of the Khilafat movement.”

It adds, “In search of a Khilafat leader police in full uniform entered Tirurangadi Mosque and this aroused religious passion. Ali Musaliar accompanied by followers reached the police station to release the arrested Khilafat leaders. Police opened fire and killed hundreds of volunteers. The rebellion began on 21 August 1921 and spread to Eranad, Valluvanad and Ponnani taluks. Martial Law was declared. Gurkha Regiment was rushed to Malabar. Tirurangadi mosque was seized and rebels were flushed out. Ali Musaliar and followers surrendered and after trial he was sent to gallows. Executed by hanging on 17 February 1922.”

The book conveniently skips around the fact that the Khilafat Movement led directly to the creation of Pakistan. And therefore, glorifying the leaders of the Khilafat as ‘martyrs’ is shocking indiscretion. Similarly, Variankunnath Kunhamad Haji is also glorified in the book. It says of him, “Born in Nellikottu in Eranad, South Malabar, Kerala; s/o. Moideen Haji and Aminakutty Hajjumma. A close associate and relative of Ali Musaliar, an important rebel Mappila leader, he and his father were exiled to Mecca for a short period for anti-government activities.”

It stated further, “Thereafter they came back, but continued with their anti-Britis demeanour. He became a significant Khilafat leader in Majeri and Nilambur, and led an attack on the British army at Kallamala, as well as on the Gudalur Police Training Camp. He also proclaimed himself a ruler in the area, paralyzing the British administration there for a short period. But Haji was captured from Kallamoola in January 1922, and after a summary trial at Martial Law Court, shot dead on 20 January 1922.”

It is intriguing how the book skips around Haji’s critical role in the Moplah Massacre. Haji fancied himself the ‘Sultan of Eranad’ and was eventually put to death. He is, in fact, considered the ‘Father of the Moplah Riots’. He ran a parallel government for more than a half year before it was crushed by the British.

What the book calls a ‘rebellion’ was, in reality, a campaign of Jihad against Hindus. The estimated Hindu deaths of the ethnic cleansing in Moplah massacre tantamount to somewhere around 10,000 and it is believed that as many a 100,000 Hindus were forced to leave Kerala in the wake of the massacre. The number of Hindu Temples that were destroyed in the genocide is speculated to be a hundred. Forcible conversion of Hindus were rampant and unspeakable atrocities were poured upon Hindus.

Babasaheb Ambedkar in his book, Pakistan or the Partition of India, described the Moplah Massacre in the following manner: “The blood-curdling atrocities committed by the Moplas in Malabar against the Hindus were indescribable. All over Southern India, a wave of horrified feeling had spread among the Hindus of every shade of opinion, which was intensified when certain Khilafat leaders were so misguided as to pass resolutions of “congratulations to the Moplas on the brave fight they were conducting for the sake of religion”.”

Update: After the intervention of the state unit of the BJP and central government, the 5th volume of the book that had the problematic portions has been withdrawn. The website of the ministry that has all the books, now does not display the 5th volume of the series that is mentioned in this article.


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Searched termsAli Musliyar
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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