Letter 13: Indian state's continuing assault on Hindu festivals, language wars in Tamil Nadu temples, temple demolitions and secularism of Jharkhand assembly – Letters from the basement
- Letter 13: Indian state's continuing assault on Hindu festivals, language wars in Tamil Nadu temples, temple demolitions and secularism of Jharkhand assembly
- Letter 12: Partition horrors remembrance day, Periyarist government's assault on temples in Tamil Nadu, a deep-dive into Malabar Hindu Genocide
- Letter 11: August 15, is it really Independence Day for Hindus in India?
- Letter 10: Right-wing, left-wing and Hindus in India
- Letter 9: The Hindu rate of growth
Last Sunday, 15th August was India’s 75th Independence day. This Saturday, 21st August, Malayalees all over the world celebrated Onam. Happy Onam to every Malayali celebrating the festival. Past week also had the anniversary of another event from Indian history. A gruesome and very painful memory for a lot of Hindus in Kerala. Something that started a 100 years ago on 20th August 1921 and continued for 7 to 8 months. At the end of it 100s of Hindu men, women and children were murdered, 100s of Hindu women were raped and 1000s of Hindus were converted to Islam at the edge of a sword. 1000s more were left homeless and rendered refugees in their own land. And when India became free, Independent India’s historians relegated these victims of Islamic terror to collateral damage of freedom struggle. Their genocide was whitewashed as peasant rebellion. All this in the name of preserving the mythical secular fabric of our wondrous nation. In this week’s deep dive, I will tell you what happened to Hindus of Malabar in 1921. This is the real story Malabar Hindu genocide, based on 1st hand accounts of victims and witnesses. Not what’s written by Marxist historians in textbooks.
Welcome to the basement.
Before we get to the main topic of this letter, let’s quickly go through some news from the past week.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi declared that from this year onward, 14 August will be observed as partition horrors remembrance day. This is a much delayed but very welcome decision by the government. Partition of India to create Pakistan is one of the most bloody chapters in our recent History. And it is important that what happened at that time and in the run up to that and the kind of ideology and environment that gave birth to the partition movement should be studied, understood and remembered so that something like that doesn’t happen again. Only if we learn from history will we be able to prevent it from repeating. The government should not stop at just announcing a remembrance day. A memorial or a museum should be established similar to the holocaust remembrance museum. Every year this should be used as an occasion to educate our people, especially the younger generation that seems to be enamored by the woke ideology and things like aman ki asha. Because the ideology that resulted in the partition and the horrors because of it is still active, in our country and around the world. And it the same ideology that has once again taken over Afghanistan.
At the same time as we were celebrating our 75th independence day on August 15th in India, Taliban terrorists completed the take over of Afghanistan by taking control of that country’s capital Kabul. Since then, everything that the world feared about a Taliban rule has become reality. Atrocities again women, especially under aged girls, minorities and those who worked with the previous government have been transmitted thanks to social media. We saw the pictures of hundreds of people running being aeroplanes trying to escape from the country. Some were even hanging on to planes that were taking off, eventually falling to death. What seems to have shocked everyone is how easy it was for Taliban to come back after Americans had kicked them out 20 years ago. Remember, US had invaded Afghanistan in 2001 immediately after the 9-11 attacks. To think that the most powerful country in the world spent 20 years, trillions of dollars and lives of hundreds of soldiers and still couldn’t eliminate a rag-tag group of terrorists is just unbelievable. Like the US President Joe Biden remarked, the difference probably is the will to fight. The worst part of this entire thing is that, Americans left behind a lot of sophisticated weapons while hastily abandoning Afghanistan, including more than 200 advanced fighter jets. Now all that is in Taliban’s hands. In effect what Americans did is to take over a medieval, under developed country, pour in trillions of dollars in modern military equipment and hand everything over to Taliban terrorists. This is a very concerning situation for all of us in India. It’s not the Americans who’ll have to deal with the consequences of Taliban getting its hands on advanced weapons. We already had a rogue nation on our western borders to deal with. Now there’s another one. Remember, in 1999 when Islamist terrorists hijacked an Air India flight, they took it straight to Taliban controlled Kandahar and we had to release a bunch of hard core terrorists, including Masood Azar, to get back the hostages. We are still suffering consequences of that. Right before Taliban take over, government managed to rescued and air lift hundreds of Indians from Afghanistan. But, there are hundreds more, may be even thousands, still trapped there. Let’s all pray that all of them manage to escape without any harm.
What was amusing to watch in the past week was the reaction of left-liberals to all this. There was lot of mental gymnastics to paint Taliban as some sort of noble figures. There were those who said this is new Taliban, it is now past the old barbaric ways. Immediately we saw videos of this new Taliban dragging people out of their homes and beating or shooting them to death. Then they said Taliban’s attitude towards women has changed. They are going let women work and go to school. Immediately came the clarification. Yes, but only as allowed under sharia. Then came the videos of young girls being dragged away from their homes and female news anchors getting fired from their jobs. The next coping mechanism of leftists was that: oh, the Taliban are at least doing press conferences, they are so much better than Modi. As if on cue came the reports of journalists and their relatives being hunted down in Afghanistan. It’s really not a great time to be a left liberal propagandist.
Last week Tamil Nadu government headed by the Periyarist DMK party went ahead to implement one more item from its hate-Hindu agenda. Like I told you in the last letter from the basement, the only defining feature of the Periyarist ideology is hatred for everything Hindu. Just that. Nothing else. And a long pending item in their agenda has been the complete destruction of the temple ecosystem in Tamil Nadu. In pursuit of that, they have now decided to throw out hundreds of traditional archakas or priests who have been serving the temples for several generations and hundreds of years. In their place, they have appointed persons from other communities that have not been traditionally associated with the respective temples after they completed some government sponsored certificate course. I personally believe the opportunity to serve in a temple as a pujari or archaka or priest should not be restricted to people from any particular community or caste. It should be available to anyone who has the commitment and devotion and goes through the rigor and training required for that. Despite that, I oppose this move of the DMK government. For a single reason. Anything bestowed on a person or a community by depriving another person or community of it, will not lead to lasting progress, prosperity or peace. That’s the reason I also oppose socialism. Anyone who has worked hard to earn something, should not be denied that. At the same time, no one deserves to be handed down anything they haven’t worked for. While the opportunity to serve a temple should be available to people from all Hindu communities, it should not be through snatching away the rights of those who have dedicated their lives to serve those temples, for several generations, since 100s of years. Only those who qualify should have the opportunity. And it cannot be through a 30 day or 100 day certificate course conducted by a secular government. It takes several years of rigorous, dedicated training to bring out the kind of devotion required to become eligible to serve our gods. It won’t come through a one shoe fits all kind of a government course. Even for government positions, there is a case being made now to explore lateral entries to bring in subject area expertise. Sanatana Dharma is not like other dogmatic religions where the eternal truth was revealed through a book some 1000 or 2000 years ago and things are to remain that way for ever. Sanatana Dharma lives through its vibrant traditions and rituals. And each temple has its own tradition, its own practices. A secular state, especially the still colonial Indian state, just cannot grasp such nuances and should not be allowed anywhere near a temple, leave alone interfere in its management. But things are the way they are. As much as I hate the judiciary adjudicating matters of religion, the consequence of our faux-secular constitution is that Hindus are once again left with no option but to look towards the judiciary to reign in the actions of a state executive motivated by a xenophobic ideology.
Very soon, in one of the future letters, I’ll do a deep dive into this poison called Periyarist ideology. But in this week’s deep dive, I go into into what happened in Malabar in 1921.
Malabar is the region in the north of Kerala, consisting of the present day districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram and Palakkad. Before I tell you what happened in 1921, we need to go a little further back in the history, to the time when Hyder Ali and Tippu sultan invaded Malabar. It’s during this time that Malabar witnessed violent jihad for the first time, including forced conversions. Just one example to give you a glimpse of the kind of persecution Hindus faced from Tippu.
<CONVERSION OF NAIRS BY TIPU>
Today, there are many in Kerala, many of them Hindus, even Nairs, who claim that eating cow meat has always been a part of Kerala’s culinary tradition. No, it wasn’t. Beef was imposed on our forefathers as a symbol of slavery by religious fanatics. Killing cow and force feeding her meat was always the worst kind of humiliation heaped on a Malayali Hindu. Those who claim otherwise are not only ignorant of our history, but are disrespecting the memory of our ancestor’s valor and are accepting slavery to their persecutors.
Hindus who did not renounce their faith were either murdered or had to run away to take refuge in the neighboring Hindu kingdom of Travancore. The lands and property belonging to Hindus who escaped were confiscated and distributed among those who agreed to convert. As per some estimates almost a quarter of the Nair population of Malabar was murdered during Tipu’s invasion. To punish Travancore for giving shelter to Hindu refugees, Tipu declared war in December 1789. The Nair army of Travancore along with the British forces resisted the tyrant and pushed him back.
Following the third Anglo-Mysore war, Tipu was defeated and Malabar came under the control of British East India Company. Once under British rule, the lands redistributed by Tipu were restored to their original, rightful owners following due judicial process in courts. This did not go down well with the Moplahs, as the Muslims of the area are called. What followed was a series of violent outbreaks which included rape, forcible conversion or murder of Hindus, desecration of temples by slaughtering cows in the premises and decorating the idol with the murdered animals remains. The primary objective of these outrages by the Moplahs was to terrorize the Hindus of the area into converting as it was considered their sacred duty to establish an Islamic state, just like in today’s times. This is what Mr. T.L Strange who was appointed as Special Commissioner in Malabar to inquire into the causes of these outrages said in his report.
Details of these pre-1921 Moplah outrages are given in the book The Moplah rebellion 1921 written by C Gopalan Nair who was a civil servant at that time. I will briefly go over some such incidents from this period.
It was in this climate that Mahatma Gandhi and Congress party launched the Khilafat movement in collaboration with rabid Islamists like Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali both of who later went on to join Muslim league and spearheaded the partition movement. Basically, Khilafat movement had nothing to do with India or the independence movement. It was intended to create a pan-Islamist constituency across India and to pressure the British to protect the interests of the Sultan of Turkey who lost most of his power and territory after suffering a defeat in 1st World war. Gandhi offered unilateral support of Congress to the Khilafat movement in a hope that this would draw Muslims into the freedom struggle. Till then, there was very little participation from Muslims in independence movement.
In Malabar region, the Khilafat movement was spearheaded by Islamic preachers, with congress leaders providing support. The Moplah masses were attracted into the Khilafat movement with a promise that once the British are driven out from India, a Khilafat government would replace them with the Khalifa as its head. So while the Congress’s objective was Swaraj, the objective of the Khilafatists was very specific, to establish an Islamic state in India. Mahatma Gandhi along with Shaukat Ali addressed a massive meeting in Calicut on 18th August 1920 which put the Khilafat movement in Malabar on a high gear.
Though Congress party’s participation in the Khilafat movement was expected to bring Hindus and Muslims on a common platform against the British, because of the history of the region, with Moplah outrages that went as far back as mid-1800s, the alliance was extremely fragile. The Khilafat committee meetings would often end up in clashes between Hindus and Muslims. one such incident occurred on 31st March 1921 at the Pannur mosque. That day, during a Khilafat meeting at the mosque, a fight broke out between the Moplahs on one side and the Hindu Nairs and Thiyyas on the other. Following this, a gang of Moplahs attacked and destroyed a local temple.
One of the prominent Khilafat leaders in Malabar was a preacher from Thirurangadi named Ali Musliyar. In July 1921, after the All India Khilafat conference at Karachi, Ali Musliyar and his followers started making preparations for an armed uprising against the British. They even started recruiting volunteers for this purpose who would be sworn on the Koran that they would be ready to die for the cause of establishing Khilafat rule in the country. These Khilafat troops of Ali Musliyar would even parade through the streets in their khakhi uniforms, carrying guns and swords and would go around terrorizing anyone who did not support Khilafat.
These weapons that Ali Musliyar and followers carried were primarily obtained by looting either the local police stations or the houses of Hindu landlords. In one such incident, a gun was stolen from Pookotur palace. When police searched the house of a local Khilafat leader named Vadakkeveettil Muhammad for the missing gun, hundreds of Moplahs armed with knives, swords and spears gathered from the neighboring villages, attacked the palace and held the residents hostage for several hours. On 20th August 1921, the District Magistrate received information that a number of weapons were stored in a mosque at Tirurangadi. So he went there to investigate and, after the searches, arrested Ali Musliar and 2 other collaborators. This event is generally considered the beginning of Moplah rebellion. Runners were dispatched to summon Ali Musliyar’s troops from neighboring villages. To drum up religious hysteria, like it happens even to this day, rumors were spread that the police had desecrated the famous Mambram mosque. But the truth was that the said mosque was on an entirely different side of the river and police didn’t even go near it. Soon a mob of several hundred Moplahs surrounded the magistrate and his troops. In the resulting clash two British officers were murdered. What followed was days of unbridled, uncontrolled reign of terror, arson and loot. In the beginning, British officers and administrative bodies were attacked. Courts, offices and police stations were vandalized. Public buildings and records were destroyed. Telephone lines were cut. Railway stations and bridges were demolished. The civil administration ceased to exist. most villages under Eranad, Valluvanad and Ponnani taluks, were declared independent and part of a Khilafat kingdom. Khilafat leaders like Ali Musliyar, Variankunnath Kunjahammad Haji, Seethi Koya Thangal and Chambarasseri Thangal declared themselves as Khilafat Kings and started imposing taxes and making laws. Their reign of terror lasted for several months and ended only in January 1922 after the so called Khilafat King, Variankunnath Kunjahammad Haji, was captured.
Once the British administration was driven out, the Moplahs turned their full attention to their old foes, the Hindus of Malabar. Murders, dacoities, forced conversions and outrages on Hindu women became order of the day. Hundreds of temples were razed to ground. Hundreds of Hindus were murdered. Thousands were converted under the threat of the sword. In a letter written to Lady Reading, the wife of then Viceroy of India, this is how the women of Malabar described their suffering:
<LETTER TO LADY READING>
This is what Madras Mail reported on 18th November 1921: In the point of magnitude, organization and the atrocities committed by the rebels, this rising in the Moplah country is unparalleled in the history of Malabar, or for the matter of that in the history of the whole of India.
Such were the horrors and atrocities suffered by our forefathers so that they could pass on their faith and Gods to the future generations, to us.
Eventually, the British imposed the martial law in Malabar and army marched in to bring things under control. Most of the Khilafat Kings were captured, tried and put to death. Some 2337 Jihadis were killed, another 1652 injured and more than 45,000 imprisoned, most of them were shipped off to Kala Pani.
However, the pain and persecution of Hindus in Malabar did not end with this. The British did their duty, even if belatedly, by suppressing the violence and protecting the Hindu victims. But the same can’t be said of our historians and politicians, especially after 15th August 1947. The way Malabar Hindu Genocide of 1921 has been documented by Marxist historians who control the narrative in our textbooks, is nothing short of a tragedy and no less than a continuation of the atrocities heaped on Hindus by the Moplahs.
Just like terrorists in Kashmir are romanticized as sons of headmasters or aspiring football players, or the way media is right now trying to romanticize the gun totting terrorist from Delhi riots, Marxist Historians invented justifications to project the Moplah terrorists in a sympathetic light. Islamist bigots like Ali Musliyar and Variankunnath Kunjahammad Haji were portrayed as patriots fighting for freedom from the British rule. Murderers, rapists, arsonists and terrorists were converted into freedom fighters by the left-liberal establishment. So much so that even today The Town Hall in Malappuram Municipality is named after Variankunnath, Congress party celebrates his death anniversary with great pride and movies and dramas are produced that eulogize the mass murderer. The Hindu victims on the other hand have been turned into some sort of villains who deserved the punishment, the evil Jenmi landlords who exploited the working class, the informers who collaborated with the British, the savarna fascists who deserved to be looted, raped and chopped to pieces. This is despite numerous reports clearly establishing that it was not agrarian distress or the ideals of freedom struggle that motivated the Moplah but the fanatical hatred of the Kafirs and an intention to establish Islamic state. Despite the fact that most victims of Moplah violence belonged to Dalit castes and were landless laborers and marginal farmers. The leftist establishment expended every resource available at its disposal to turn the victims into aggressors and aggressors into freedom fighters. And this fake history is taught to our children to this day in schools creating generation after generation of Hindus caught in a guilt trap and accepting our own oppression as deserving.
You may be wondering why I am talking about this now; how is this discussion relevant now. You may think I am digging a 100 year old wounds. You see, the Hindu genocide that Moplahs carried out in Malabar is a direct outcome of the Khilafat movement and it is the Khilafat movement that eventually resulted in the partition and the consequent bloodshed. So understanding what happened in Malabar a 100 years ago is as important as observing the partition horrors remembrance day. Like I said earlier, the ideology that caused the partition is still alive in India. If anything the dilly-dallying and kid glove approach of the Indian state towards such elements has emboldened them even more. That’s why something like Shaheenbagh happened in our national capital just last year. That’s why we heard slogans like Hinduon se Azaadi, and Hindutva ki khabar khudegi in anti-CAA protests. In fact it is because of that ideology that lead to partition that there are protests against a law like CAA which would not have a negative effect on even a single Indian citizen. Just in the last few days, police in different parts of the country have registered several cases against those making social media posts or public announcements or taking out rallies in support of Taliban. In fact the spiritual and ideological inspiration of Taliban is right here in India, the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary in Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, if another partition of our homeland is not to happen, it is important that we understand the ideology that lead to it and its proponents.