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Moplah massacre: Classical dancer Kalyanikutty Amma’s granddaughter recounts how their ancestral home is now occupied by Muslims

Calling out those people who justify the Malabar communal riots as a freedom struggle, Smitha Rajan recounted how her grandmother had to run for her life as a six-year-old during the Moplah massacres of 1921 when her family had to abandon their ancestral home.

Smitha Rajan, one of India’s finest Mohiniyattam performers and granddaughter of the legendary Indian classical dancer couple of Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair and Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma, has slammed the “secular-liberal” historians for whitewashing the Moplah massacres, in which Islamists had butchered over 10,000 Hindus in Kerala.

Amidst the ongoing campaign to “secularise” the Moplah Hindu massacres and portray it as a freedom struggle, Smitha Rajan has put out a Facebook post recounting how legendary Mohiniyattam performer Kalyanikutty Amma and her family had to flee from their own house in Kerala during the Moplah Hindu massacres in 1921 after Islamists had stormed into her ancestral house.

Calling out those people who justify the Malabar communal riots as a ‘freedom struggle’, Smitha Rajan recounted how her grandmother had to run for her life as a six-year-old during the Moplah Hindu massacres of 1921 after encountering religious fanaticism. Smitha Rajan shared that a group of religious fanatics had surrounded Kalyanikutty Amma on one such night during the Moplah Hindu massacres. The family realised that they were in danger, wrote Rajan in her post.

“The women and children were forced to flee into the woods through the back door of the house to escape. On the night of the terror attack, the family fled their homes, lands and crossed the river in the darkness to save their lives. Many unfortunates who could not do flee were mercilessly killed. Sakshal Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma, who became the cultural heroine of Kerala, was just a six-year-old girl who escaped from her homeland to save her life,” Smitha Rajan narrated in the post.

Smitha Rajan, who herself is a well-known classical performer, said Kalyanikutty Amma’s suffered from those fears for the rest of her life. Rajan also added that Muslim families have now occupied the ancestral home of Kalyanikutty Amma after the family had to flee during the Moplah massacres.

“Years later, I was lucky enough to get a look at the interiors, verandas and terraces of the house that my grandmother told me about. The mother herself went to the family yard, appealed to the Muslim families living there and arranged for the opportunity for her youngest daughter. I still vividly remember my mother standing outside with the memories of childhood inside,” Rajan wrote.

She slammed the neo-historians, intellectuals and local rulers for attempting to re-interpret and whitewash the horrific Moplah massacres of Hindus as part of the freedom struggle. She warned them against forgetting that a generation of victims of the terror of that time is still alive to recount the terror that was unleashed during the Moplah massacres.

In her post, Smitha hoped that the next generation would at least understand what is real and not repeat the mistakes.

Moplah massacres

The Moplah riots of 1921 were a systematic campaign of Jihad against Hindus. The genocide, orchestrated by the likes of Variankunnath Kunhamad Haji, Ali Musaliar and others, led to the brutal murder of an estimated 10,000 Hindus in Kerala. 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 was rampant and unspeakable atrocities were poured upon the Hindus in the name of Caliphate.

In his book, Pakistan or the Partition of India, Babasaheb Ambedkar wrote, “The blood-curdling atrocities committed by the Moplahs 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'”.

The Khilafat movement was launched to support the Khalifa or the Ottoman Caliph of Turkey, who was considered the leader of all Sunni Muslims in the world. It had nothing to do with India’s freedom struggle.

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