Skip to content

Appendix 1

Mappilas of Malabar

  1. It would be worthwhile to have some broad idea of the character of Mappilas who became notorious after the invasion of Kerala by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The following notes are based on the documented history of the period contained in. the Malabar Manual of William Logan.

  2. The Mappilas had not dared to disobey their Hindu Rajas before the advent of Mysore Sultans with their Islamic brutalities in Kerala. But having joined hands with Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, they assisted them in all their Islamic atrocities against the Hindu population. Since the whole of Malabar was divided into a number of independent principalities, the Mysore Sultans who had a huge army and powerful field-guns, had no difficulty in subjugating the tiny kingdoms one by one. The Mysore army was defeated only when it attacked Travancore which by then was a big state, and had acquired superior field-guns and a trained army

  3. The first thing that Ali Raja of Cannanore did after his appointment as the Naval Chief of Hyder Ali’s army, was to capture the king of Laccadives and present him to Hyder Ali after gouging out the eyes of the helpless victim (p. 459). Later the fisherfolk living there were forcibly converted to Islam. According to the report of Gen. Abercromby of Bombay who was in Kerala supervising the English Company’s operations, “Mappilas are fanatic Muslims who are also treacherous by nature. From the repeated treachery and notorious infidelity of the whole Mappila race, rigid and terrifying measures have become indispensably necessary. Lenity (towards Mappilas) has been found ineffectual” (p. 533).

  4. Mr. Conally who was the District Magistrate for some years in Malabar, wrote as follows in his report to the Government in 1852: “For some years past, the province of Malabar has been disgraced by a succession of outrages of the most heinous character, perpetrated by the Mappilas on Hindus. Bodies of Mappilas have openly attacked Hindus of wealth and respectability, murdered them under most horrible circumstances, burnt their houses or given them up to pillage, and finally wound up their crimes by throwing away their lives in desperate resistance to the police and military. While on former occasions, the fanatic Mappilas spared women and children, they had in the last outrage put to death men, women, children, even the infants sucking at the breasts of their mothers, guests and servants, in short every human being, found in the house of attack.” (p. 636).

  5. Mr. Thomas Strange who had served in various capacities in Malabar investigated the real cause of frequent Mappila outrages, especially those relating to land disputes. According to his study report, circumstances of these outrages are mostly unconnected with any provocation, real or imaginary (p.
    640). In no instance can any outrage or threat of outrage that has arisen, be attributed to oppression of Muslim tenants by Hindu landlords. A great clamour is now raised in this regard, prominently in the (Muslim majority) southern talukas seeking to throw the blame for the (Mappila) outrages upon the Hindu landlords thus accusing the Hindus as the cause thereof. “I have given the subject every attention and am convinced that though the instances (of Mappila outrages) may and do arise out of individual hardships to tenants (Mappila and Hindu), the general character of the dealings of Hindu landlords towards their tenants whether Mappila or Hindu, is mild, equitable and forebearing’ (p. 641).

  6. His conclusion regarding the frequent Mappila outrage against Hindus was that they were the result of Islamic teachings by one of their high priests - Aval Thangal of Thirurangadi: “it is no sin, but a merit to kill a Hindu Janmi who evicts” (P. 691). Even today Islamic mullahs preach hatred against Hindus in a similar tone.

  7. Mr. Strange observed further: “Since land is with the Hindus and the money with the Mappilas, to get the land, the Mappilas encouraged (or resorted to) fanaticism” (p. 691). “And finally the result was that there was steady movement whereby in all Mappila tracts, the land was passing slowly but surely to the possession of the Mappilas” and the Hindus were going to the walls (p. 493). Today, Mappilas are rich landlords and traders while the Hindus have been generally reduced to the status of service class people in the Malabar region of Kerala.

  8. Encouraged by the perverted Khilafat movement, this anti-Hindu fanaticism resulted in the notorious Mappila outrage of 1921 in Malappuram district of Malabar. While the Congress Party tried to explain away the Mappila riots as part of anti-British patriotic action, the Communist Party defended the riots as class war - landless tenants against landlords. Both interpretations were provided by the respective political parties in order to gain political support of the aggressive and fanatic Muslims in the country. Even today, when the victims of Muslim riots are Hindus, the same old explanation is invariably put forward by these parties to shift the blame on to Hindu community.

  9. The above reports and assessments of Mappila outrages since the advent of Muslim invasion in 1766, hold good even today. It is the peculiar psyche that the Muslim converts have developed in the subsequent years, which has resulted in the communal flare-ups in all Muslim-dominated localities throughout the country. Islamic violence breeds on Hindu cowardice. Once the Hindus, especially their self-seeking leaders, understand the Muslim psyche and the Koranic sanction for violence against Hindus and other non-Muslim people, peace, prosperity and integrity of the country shall be established and preserved.