August 24, 2021 2:38:21 am
INDIAN UNION Muslim League (IUML), an ally of Congress party, on Monday protested against any move to remove the names of leaders of the 1921 Malabar rebellion from the Dictionary of Martyrs, India’s freedom struggle, published by Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).
Senior IUML leader Syed Sadiqali Shihab Thangal said those who took part in the Malabar rebellion, also known as Moplah riot, were freedom fighters. They were martyred fighting for the country, he said. “The BJP government at the Centre is trying to distort history. It should desist from that move. Removing names of the martyrs of the Malabar rebellion from the Dictionary of Martyrs would be an injustice to the younger generation,’’ he said.
Noted historian and former ICHR chairman Prof M G S Narayanan also joined the issue, saying politically motivated factors could be behind the move. “They were included in the list in a realistic manner. There is no fresh development that would demand dropping their names from the list of martyrs,’’ said Narayanan, who headed ICHR from 2001 to 2003 during BJP rule.
Last week marked the centenary of the Malabar rebellion, which began on August 20, 1921.
At an event held in Kozhikode to remember the victims of the rebellion, former BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav had stated that the Malabar riot was the first manifestation of Taliban mindset in India. He criticised the LDF for celebrating it as a communist revolution.
On Monday, the BJP slammed Assembly Speaker M B Rajesh for drawing a parallel between Malabar rebellion’s prominent Muslim face Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji with Bhagat Singh. Rajesh had said Haji’s place in the freedom struggle was on a par with Bhagat Singh.
Targeting the Speaker, BJP national vice-president A P Abdulla-kutty said Haji was the first Taliban leader in Kerala. “The Speaker has insulted Bhagat Singh by comparing him with Haji. Veteran CPI(M) leader late E M S Namboodiripad is a victim of the violence unleashed by Haji. Namboodiripad was forced to abandon his house because of Haji. CPI(M) should learn history,’’ he said.