Talk:Malabar rebellion

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=Massacre of Hindus[edit]


it is purely a biased writing? why there is no death of hindus and no religious conversion? HOW can we say it as an agrarian revolt when religious conversion conversion happened in it?--Kubamukundan (talk) 07:37, 23 March 2012 (UTC) I have removed the part where exaggerated number (30,000) of a Hindus killed in the riot in 1921 but in reality its below 100 and the riot was taken a communal form only in a few places.It was a rebellion against the Land lords and the British Govt backing them by the farmers ,and most of the landlords happened to be Hindus. Somebody with correct details pls help to improve this page.

Not an exaggeration ,but Hindus killed will account to around 30000 .more than malappuram district ,northern parts also affected. Islam is a cult! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:04, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


This article needs re-writing. There is a lot of POV language and perhaps unverified information. Rama's Arrow 16:38, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Needs Cleaning[edit]

This article is not properly referenced but the you cannot dispute the facts. The Moplah riots were as is described in the article - a combination of rebellion against British rule and massacre of thousands of innocent Hindus.

Slightly bias[edit]

Interesting in facts and historical importance but slightly bias. For eg in the above sentence if the word 'innocent' were to be taken out and a more generic 'many' included, it would be more nuetral.

The Moplah riots were a combination of rebellion against British rule and a subsequent massacre of many Hindus. The Mystic ~ 3rd april 2006


I did some wikification, but sources are still needed, and some copy-editing might be useful to help mitigate NPOV issues. JubalHarshaw 07:00, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Unbaised Account[edit]

I come from place where there was maximum effect of the riots and being hindu..our family fled to safe places.. with in the town .. i can tell you that many hindus were murdered and their bodies thrown into..wells...... turning the water into red... this is no imagination.. my grandfather was a witness to the events and .... many low caste hindus were forcefully converted.. being said that...let me tell you it was one of the muslim friend of my great grandfather who helped my family to fled to safety.... it was against the British.. no doubt about it.. but was used by fanatics to settle scores against the Hindus...which was more prominant than the anti-establishment protest... ebin viswanath 14:39, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Major rewrite of this article: Please review[edit]

I have re-written this article to address POV issues and lack of citations. The edits are based on Malayalam Wikipedia article on Malabar revolt, and the treatment of the subject in the commonly approved encyclopedia on Kerala, Kerala Vijnana Kosam, Second Edition (published by Desabandhu Publications, 1988).

The proposed changes given below. Please provide comments within a week (by 2 Feb 2008), as I am planning to apply the edits by 3rd Feb.

The first change is to re-title the article as 'Malabar Revolt', and have titles 'Moplah Rebellion" and "Mappila Rebellion" point to it.

The proposed text is as follows:

Title: Malabar Revolt

Malabar Revolt (also called Mappila Rebellion or Moplah Rebellion), which broke out in August, 1921, and ended in February, 1922, is a rebellion that has been interpreted by Indian historians both as an agrarian revolt and as a communal riot. It started as a movement by Kudiyans (landless farmers) of Malabar against the exploitation of jenmis (landlords) and British Empire, and gained strength in Eranad, Valluvanad, Ponnani, Kozhikode, and Palakkad taluks of British Malabar. The British used their army to suppress the revolt, and hanged several revoltees, including Ali Musaliar, who led the revolt. Thousands were jailed in various parts of India, Andaman and Bellary being the most notable of the jails. One of the most remembered moments during the Malabar Revolt is the Wagon Tragedy, when 64 revoltees suffocated to death in sealed railway wagons into which they were packed for transportation to Coimbatore.

Section: Historical Background

The seeds for Malabar Revolt were laid by the increasing influence of Indian nationalist movement and Khilafat movement among poor farmers and labourers of Eranad and Valluvanad Taluks where Muslim Mappilas formed a major chunk of the Kudiyan population, and the landlords were mainly upper caste Hindus.

Many smaller agrarian riots had broken out in Malabar from 1836, and the revolt of 1921 was a continuation of these struggles. These riots, some of which were communal in character, were caused by the changes made to the agarian relationships by the British Government. Mappilas who held land ownership from the time of Haider Ali, were alienated when the ownership of the land and eviction rights were given to Hindu landlords. William Logan wrote that some influential Mappilas used this angst to fan communal tension, which was also fanned by Hindu janmis. These riots ultimately led to a climate of communal distrust in South Malabar.

The key distinction of the 1921 revolt that sets it apart from the previous riots is its political dimension [1]. Lawful struggles for land reforms had started in Malabar from the 1880s. From 1916, yearly political meetings saw with heated debates between landlords and leaders of Kudiyan movements. The landlords, who organized these meetings, continued to reject motions requesting land reforms. In 1920, Kudiyan Sangham, an organization for landless farmers, was constituted, and it gained strength quickly, gathering support for its opposition to practices such as 'Kudi Ozhippikkal' (evicting farmers from their homes at the will of the landlord), 'Melcharthu' (eviction of farmers just to rent out the land at a higher rate), 'Polichezhuthu', unilateral increase of land rents etc. Muslim Kudiyans participated actively in their meetings in many taluks. Leaders like M P Narayana Menon and Kattilasseri Muhammad Musaliyar tried to strengthen Kudiyan movement by organizing various such meetings.

In the First World War, the sultan of Turkey, who was also the spiritual leader (Khalifa) of world muslims, sided with Germany against Britain. This helped to align the Indiam Muslim population against Britain, which started protesting against the British war against Turkey. To assuage their feelings, Indian Viceroy, representing the British parliament, repeatedly announced that the war was only against the Turkish Government and not against the Caliphate (Khilafat), and promised that Muslim holy places and the Khalifa would be protected. But this promise was broken after the war, the Turkish Empire was broken apart, and the Khalifa was reduced to a puppet ruler as per the Paris accord. Indian Muslims started a protest movement requesting the restoration of the powers of the Caliphate, and the Khilafat Conference conducted on 30 June, 1920, at Allahabad announced non-violent non-co-operation against the British Government. Indian National Congress, led by Mahatma Gandhi, also offered its support to this movement, though key leaders like Motilal Nehru and Annie Besant opposed it.

In August, 1920, Mahatma Gandhi, Rajagopalachari and Maulana Naushad Ali visited Malabar as part of a campaign to support Khilafat movement, and this invigorated Khilafat-Congress committees across Malabar. The Khilafat Committee in Malabar was led by Kunji Koya Thangal, Hassan Koya Mulla, Melekkandi Moideen Koya, U. Gopala Menon, M P Narayana Menon, K Madhavan Nair, Kattilasseri Muhammad Musaliar, Variyam Kunnath Kunju Muhammad Haji, Edarakkunnam Ali Musaliar, and Muhammad Abdul Rahman Sahib. On 30 January, 1921, Congress committe met in Kozhikode and decided to set up Congress Khilafat committees in South Malabar. In response to this, the district collector banned Khilafat meetings, but Khilafat movement gained strength in spite of the ban and various suppressive measures.

Section: Revolt

On February 16, 1921, British police arrested the leaders Yakoob Hassan, Madhavan Nair, Gopala Menon and Moitheen Koya, and clamped curfew on Valluvanad and Eranad taluks. This led to simmering tension. In August 17, 1921, a major reception was given to Gopala Menon and Madhavan Nair who were released from jail, and it was attended by people from all parts of Malabar. In response, the government conducted an Army flag march from Parappanangadi to Thirurangadi. On 20th August, police surrounded East Mosque and houses of many Khilafat workers, raided the mosque and Khilafat committee office, and arrested three people.

Meanwhile, rumours that the British Army surrounded and destroyed Mamparam mosque spread over the countryside, and revolt started. Army fired at the revolting crowd, and many were killed. Some people were arrested and kept in custody in Thirurangadi Magistrate Court. Army blocked the crowd that rushed towards the court, and two British officers, some constables and many people were killed in the battle that ensued. Next day, revoltees attacked Tirur court and seized police revolvers. The treasury in Manjery was looted. Namboodiri Bank was looted, but the money was returned after intervention by Kunjahammad Haji. An ad-hoc committee consisting of Hindus and Muslims was formed to guide the struggle.

Section: Guerilla War

Around 3000 revoltees camped in Pookotoor, which has a hilly terrain, and was full of streams that could be used as trenches. They destroyed bridges in Kozhikode Malappuram Road and Vellur to deter progress of British Army.

The Army repaired the bridges and reached Pookotoor on August 26th. After 5 hours of battle, the revoltees who were armed with swords and spears were overwhelmed by British machine guns and grenades. 4 British officers, many British Indian soldiers and over 250 revoltees, including their leader Vadakke Veettil Muhammad, were killed.

More armed forces arrived on 30 August, and moved to Thirurangadi. The Juma-ath mosque was surrounded and attacked. The 114 revoltees inside the mosque retaliated, but were defeated. Ali Musaliar and 37 remaining revoltees were captured. They were tried by the trial court. Thirteen including Ali Musaliar were sentenced to death by the trial court and others were extradited. Ali Musaliar was hanged to death in the Coimbatore Jail on 17 Februray, 1922. Variyan Kunnath Kunjahammad Haji and Chembrasseri Thangal, who led the revolt, surrendered subsequently. They were shot and killed as per the Army court verdict.

More than 1000 mappilas (Malabar muslims) were killed, and more than 14000 were arrested during the revolt.

Section: Wagon Tragedy

Revoltees arrested during Malabar revolt were transported to jails in sealed railway wagons to ensure that no one escaped. On November 17, 1921, around two hundred prisoners were packed into a wagon that started from Tirur to Coimbatore. Prisoners started to suffocate and cry out even before the train started, and cries were heard on the way too. Soldiers noticed the complete silence from the wagon when the train reached Podanur near Coimbatore, and opened it to find 64 revoltees dead inside. Most of the remaining had passed out, and some died after they were taken out.

Section: Analysis of Malabar Revolt

The Malabar Revolt was caused by the belief among Malabar Mappilas that their upliftment was possible only by upturning the government that supported the exploitative landlords. They adoped the Khilafat non-co-operation movement as their vehicle, and believed that they could be successful with help offered to them by Hindu majority organizations.

But the revolt did not have a clear plan or co-ordinated leadership behind it. Ali Musaliyar was a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi who believed in non-violence, whereas Kunju Muhammad Haji was a fiery leader who was captured and punished during the riots of 1894, 1898 and 1916.

After the revolt broke out, Congress-Khilafat leaders K P Kesava Menon, K Madhavan Nair, E Moidu Moulavi and Muhammad Abdul Rahman Sahib visited Pookotoor and Thirurangadi. But their efforts were prevented by the ongoing curfews, and they were unsuccessful in defusing tension.

The revolt was targeted against the upper caste Hindu landlords who supported the British government and its assault, and their families were attacked. Attacks on Hindu families at many places gave a communal color to the revolt, and led to the isolation of Muslim community and the Khilafat. This also made the Congress disown the revolt. Annie Besant, who opposed the Khilafat movement from the beginning, wrote, "They (mappilas) murdered and plundered abundantly, and killed or drove away all Hindus who would not apostatise. Somewhere about a lakh (100,000) of people were driven from their homes with nothing but their clothes they had on, stripped of everything...Malabar has taught us what Islamic rule still means, and we do not want to see another specimen of the Khilafat Raj in India."[3].


1. K Gopalan Kutti, Malabar Kalapavum Desiya Prasthanavum (Malabar Revolt and National Movement), Malabar Kalapam Charithravum Prathyayashastravum (Malabar Revolt, History and Ideology), Chintha Weekly Publication, 1991.

2. K E K Namboodiri, Gathuvigathikalum Viparyayavum (same book as above).

3. Besant, Annie. The Future Of Indian Politics: A Contribution To The Understanding Of Present-Day Problems P252 (in English). Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 1428626050.


1. Soumyendra Tagore, Malabar's Agrarian Revolt (translated to Malayalam by K K N Kurup), Sandhya Publications, Kozhikode.

2. K N Panicker, Against Lord and State, Religion and Peasant Uprisings in Malabar - Oxford University Press, Mumbai.

3. E M S Namboodiripad, Kerala - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, National Book Agency, Kolkatta.

4. Kerala Vijnana Kosam, Encyclopedia Of Kerala, Second Edition (published by Desabandhu Publications, 1988).

See Also:

Moplah. Khilafat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fsiyavud (talkcontribs) 12:37, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Review: Major rewrite of this article: Please review[edit]

Nicely rewritten. But there's a POV of whitewashing some incidents which reflect the communal flavor of these riots.

Most available literature and collective memory of the incident reveals it to have been hijacked by muslim fundamentalists. Khilafat movement itself had roots from outside India. Towards the end what started off as a socio-economic revolt, transformed into a fanatic driven religio-fundamentalist movement. If you are denying this fact and giving it a secular flavor, that is an inaccurate recording of the history.

Rgds, Unslung —Preceding unsigned comment added by Unslung (talkcontribs) 07:17, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:14, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Why is the article title changed to 'Malabar Rebellion' from 'Moplah Rebellion'? This is rewriting of history by Wikipedia. We always grew up listening to the stories around 'Moplah Rebellion' which had a very strong 'Anti-Infidel' bias to it, including Hindus of all classes and British Christians. Imagine this, if the Sep 11 incidents were reclassed as a Saudi Arabian dissidents' plot to destablise West and US, specifically. Doesn't that color the real context of the incident? I am not taking a right-wing stance. Can't be bothered with it. But the reality can't be denied. Pretty much like the Germans not acknowledging that the Nazi attrocities were a creation of their own people. Or for that matter, Turks not acknowledging the Armenian massacre. I am just trying to draw parallels to drive home the point about obfuscating the reality behind 'Mapilla or Moplah Rebellion'. - Unslung — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:02, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Malabar RebellionMalabar RebellionUser:Nmkuttiady 12:00, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

This page has been named Moplah Riots but as cited below, the academic term for this incident is Malabar Rebellion or Mappila Rebellion. Riot differs from a revolt or rebellion. Riot is an act of violence by an unruly mob, while a revolt or rebellion is organized opposition to authority which is different from the former. Thats why the change of title is important. Listed below are some of the main historic and academic works related to this incident:

Historic sources
  • Mappila muslims of Kerala : A study in Islamic trends, Miller, Roland E: (Madras: Orient Longman Limited, 1992) (Part III - Section C THE MAPPILA REBELLION: AN END AND A BEGINNING FOR MUSLIM RESPONSE)
  • Encyclopaedia of Islam Volume 6 1988, Page 459 Mappila (..This course of events reached its final denouement in the Malabar Rebellion of 1921..)
  • A Survey of Kerala History - Professor A. Sreedhara Menon (also known as the Father of the Kerala Gazetteer) - Heading on page 360 "Malabar Rebellion (1921)" -
  • "Peasant Rebellion in Malabar" - Against Lord and State: Religion and Peasant Uprisings in Malabar 1836-1921 - K.N. Panikar, Oxford University Press
  • "Peasant Revolt in Malabar: A History of the Malabar Rebellion 1921" ,R. H. Hitchcock,with introduction by Robert L. Hardgrave, Jr. ( Hitchock explained why he did not call it Moplah riot - Refer Page 3)
  • Malabar Rebellion, 1921-1922 - M. Gangadhara Menon, Allahabad, India : Vohra Publishers & Distributors, 1989.
  • Moplah Uprising (1921-23)-- Choudhary, Sukhbir , Delhi: Agam prakashan, 1977.
  • The Moplah Rebellion, 1921. Calicut - Nair, Gopalan C. 1921.: Norman Printing Bureau
  • Malabar Kalapam, K. Madhavan Nair, Calicut, 1971,
  • Dynamics of agrarian struggle - V. Muraleedharan Nair, Anmol Publications 1996 (Page 38 ".......Known as Moplah Rebellion in history......")
  • Soumyendra Tagore : Agrarian revolt in the Malabar - 1921, (Translated by KKN Kurup - Sandhya Publications , Calicut)
  • Banninga, J. J. “The Moplah Rebellion of 1921.” Moslem World 13 (1923)
  • Conrad Wood, The Moplah Rebellion of 1921-22 and its genesis, unpubl. Ph.D. diss., University of London 1975 , later published as "The Moplah Rebellion and its genesis" People's Pub. House, New Delhi(1987)

The school textbooks of history in Kerala, (Towards Modern Kerala, Malabar Rebellion page 97) refer to the incidents as Malabar Rebellion.[1] Even accounts with emotional communal overtones like the Ram Gopal book quoted in the article refer to the incidents as Malabar rebellion (Pg 103,104).

British records
  • Mappila Rebellion (1921-1922) - G.R.F Tottenham, Government of Madras (Madras 1922)
  • British Military records - ("The Malabar Campaign (Moplah Rebellion)-The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester, Dorset
Kerala official sources
  • Official Web portal of Government of Kerala - History and Culture [2]
Indian official government records
  • Govt of India national portal [3]

Based on all these I think the better title would be "Malabar Rebellion" or "Mappila Rebellion". Riot differs from a revolt or rebellion. Riot is an act of violence by an unruly mob, while a revolt or rebellion is organized opposition to authority which is different from the former. Thats why the change of title is important. NMKuttiady (talk) 08:46, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

  • Suggestion: "Mappila Rebellion" or "Moplah Rebellion"; Thats very much in popular use, used very much in academics as well. Morever, it seems to be the best translation for the malayalam word "മാപ്പിള ലഹള" by which it is popular in malayalam. School textbooks rather use "Malabar Rebellion" in a good intentional way that the name of a religious community be avoided in combination with Riots or rebellion, which is very much like the self-imposed modern convention in Indian news media where during any sectarian or communal riots, the name of communities involved are not mentioned per se. Arjun024 12:54, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The Malayalam word transcribes as "māppiḷa lahaḷa". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:13, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Ram Gopal source[edit]

Hi Arjun I'd dropped that sentence from the lead for a couple of reasons. The book does not cite any source or reference for that statement. No accurate numbers or sources. The author is not an established academic or historian as far as I could figure out. The wiki article on him is an unsourced writeup by someone. And the book/publication house don't seem to have any exceptional reviews/reputation. Still if the book had been on this subject itself, an unsourced statement could be considered as the author's research work probably. But this book certainly is not about the rebellion or the Malabar of the time. One more reason is that accurate numbers about the concerned issue has been given in the article elsewhere using authentic resources and its summarized version is there in the lead. So I don't feel a need for this sentence in there.NMKuttiady (talk) 06:47, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Nonsense history[edit]

All modern Indian history writings are like loose bullets and whatever comes into the writers' head gets written as 'history'. As a person who was born and bred in Malabar, I can vouch for the fact that the Mappila lalaha had nothing to do with fighting with the British. British content in the society was quite removed from the common folks purview. Whatever they (the local people) reacted to was local issues, more or less based on caste or religious leadership.

The Mapilla lahala was only a communal fight between the Mappilas (Malabar Muslims)and the Hindus at various caste and social hierarchy. One of the major problems that can be connected to this was the liberation from caste suppression that happened to lower caste (mostly Thiyya) persons, when they jumped to Islam. This would not only allow them to reach a level of communication equality with the higher castes, but also make them seem quite above their own previous caste kinfolk. The second item can create enmity for them from their former caste fellowmen.

It may be understood that in India, there is no such thing as equality as understood in English, but only various levels of equality. No one can demand 'equality' as the Blacks do over there in England and the US.

The jumping over to a new social status would really create acrimonious problems in the local feudal language, wherein even addressing a person by name can provoke homicidal mania; if it is done by persons who are not acknowledged as superior or equal. Then one can understand the provocations that such words as Nee (lower You), Avan (lower He), Aval (lower She) etc. can create in a social system that is suddenly besieged by rapid change. When lower caste persons jump to Mappila side, they would provoke their ancient caste superiors with impunity. This can, and has created communal riots and killings.

The only blame that can be attributed to the British was the bringing in of English, and equality and liberal social communication connected to English. It may be noted that while the lower caste women were under statutory compulsion NOT to wear upper garments (their breasts were more or less uncovered by dress) in the South Kerala areas, in the Malabar areas, the British rule had removed this statutory compulsion. Such liberation as well as the liberation to jump to another religion without incurring royal wrath was the only contribution that the British did to this communal riot. The writer of the main article as well as the so-called historians should not feel that all people here are fools. Their aim is not to write history, but to feed people with nonsensical anti-British indoctrination, which really have no substance.

--Ved from Victoria Institutions (talk) 16:38, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

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  2. ^ History&Culture
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