The Moplah is a master piece written by Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. It is translated in English by Manjula Tekal. It is a story of how Hindus were deceived by their delusional leaders.
In the history of mankind, while the ancient Sanatana dharma and nature worship held sway, virulent and widespread sectarian violence was almost non-existent. But after Abrahamic religions were born and especially after Christianity gained acceptance, its terrible effect on humanity was felt on an unforeseen and unimaginable scale. In fact, Christianity started the trend of trying to obliterate any sect or group of people who were perceived to be different. It is worth noting that what Christians themselves label as a ‘triumph of Christianity’ is a complete destruction or an erasure of an existing culture. As the author, Nixey, explains, ‘Roman Triumph’ is simply obliteration. (Catherine Nixey, “The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World,” Pan Macmillan, 2017). It is not merely victory. As an example, the meaning of ‘नेस्तनाबदू ’, a word widely used by Muslims, is to rescind, renege, or root out and destroy. Christians and Muslims do not think of war merely in terms of victory or defeat but believe in complete destruction. This outlook is so starkly different from Hindus that we have difficulty understanding it.
It is no wonder then that the old civilisations of the American continent were destroyed by the Christians, and the local people there were massacred. Something similar happened in Africa to a large extent as well, resulting in cultural genocide everywhere. Islam progressed in a similar trend because there is no fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam. A significant part of the Quran is simply copied from the Bible. Both religions are monotheistic and believe in one wrathful God or Allah. Both are constantly and anxiously working to bring people of different beliefs into their fold. Both continuously increase their numbers and strength by bringing people into their ranks, even when they start from zero. Both consider their religion the ‘only’ true religion and others false. This becomes the main reason for enmity and violence. Both have a single-minded objective to establish their rule everywhere by eliminating others. Both believe that it is unfair or illegal for people different from them to live in this world and strive to obliterate them. They see it as their duty.
Those unfamiliar with the reality of these two religions are doomed to be deceived. There is a duality in how these religions present themselves—the first is its public, deceptively smooth- talking front, which entices ordinary people to join them; the second manifests itself when their true colours are revealed. When they are powerless and in the minority, they show their deceptively benign public character, and when they gain strength and are in the majority, they show their second, real form. The massacre of Hindus that we have witnessed in Malabar by Moplahs (Muslims) and Kashmiri Hindus by Kashmiri Muslims shows us the true face of Islam, and we must recognise this. If we fail, it will constantly reassert and repeat itself. The main objective of Veer Savarkar was to lay bare the true nature of Islam before the Hindu society.
When the Moplahs were engaged in the Khilafat campaign, the Hindus in Malabar were told that they had stolen the wealth of the Moplahs and beggared them. As a result, Moplahs were poor, and the expenses of the Khilafat campaign must be entirely borne by the Hindus. The Moplahs also made it clear that if Hindus could not give money, they should get the right to extract it from the Hindus in alternate ways. It was also clarified that the funds received from Hindus would be called ‘Jizya’, the most significant public proof of discrimination between Muslims and non-Muslims. The Moplahs also asserted that the Muslims could not live under the Hindus. This attitude was the biggest reason behind Jinnah’s demand for Pakistan. Muslims would openly declare in public meetings that they would cut off the tongue of anyone (Hindu) speaking against their religion.
Furthermore, they asserted that their religion gave them the right to attack temples, idols and idol worshippers. No wonder many temples were destroyed. Savarkar describes atrocities committed in the Sriranga Temple in the fictional Kuttam village. Four minarets were erected atop the Sriranga temple without losing time to make it look like a mosque. Deities were broken, and the pieces were used as footrests. A young cow was slaughtered on the temple premises, and the mosque was ‘purified’ with its blood.
Veer Savarkar mercilessly describes the pernicious practices of untouchability prevalent among Hindus and the irreparable damage it has caused to Hindu society. At the same time, he reveals the little-known discriminatory practices commonplace among Muslims, like the rigid sectarian divisions between Shia, Sunni, Ahmadiyya, and Pasmanda. Sunnis do not consider Shias and Ahmadiyyas as Muslims. A Sunni leader says that Hindus will now be converted to Islam in the Khilafat state, and Shias will be killed and cleansed. Veer Savarkar has also drawn our attention to the interminable racial schism between the descendants of Arabs and local Muslims. A Maulvi, who styles himself as directly associated with the lineage of Muhammad, turns out to be the spawn of a local converted Muslim. The relationship of the local Muslims with the descendants of the Arabs and Quraysh—the ‘elite’ Muslims who look down upon the local Muslims—is contentious at best. This is an example of blatant discrimination and racism. When the truth is revealed, a Muslim woman kills this fake Arab Maulvi. The so-called equality of Islam is proven to be completely false. In fact, there has never been and will never be equality in Islam.
Veer Savarkar’s writings have the raw courage that forces the readers to see the true form of Islam. Hindus always support Muslim interests, but Muslims never support Hindu aspirations. For example, when a Hindu raised the slogan of Vande Mataram in a gathering, the Muslims were palpably hostile. Hindus responded by chanting Allah hu Akbar to court them. The Hindus supported the Khilafat Movement, but the Muslims did not support Swaraj. It is clear how barbaric and inhuman Islam is when you see that Hindu women are considered objects to be possessed by Muslims, and it is their right to enjoy them. Unfortunately, it is increasingly becoming apparent everywhere, from Islamic State to Kashmir, that this attitude persists to this day. It is the same attitude we see in the cases of ‘Love Jihad’. When the Moplah leaders incited young Muslims to attack Hindu homes, capturing Hindu women for sexual favours and looting their wealth was part of the enticement. This practice has continued in Islam since the raid of Badr, and these enticements have proved to be most effective in destroying Hindus.
Unfortunately, we have not gotten acquainted with the true form of Islam, and as a result of this ignorance, even after being deceived repeatedly, we have not learned our lesson. It is clear from how the then Congress Party, whose leaders were mostly Hindus, covered up this heinous massacre that they did not recognise the true character of Islam. Many of those leaders probably stayed silent, considering political gains. Still, the Congress party cannot be forgiven. Gandhiji played the most reprehensible role. In Ambedkar’s words, “… Gandhiji said that the Moplahs are a God-fearing brave people, who are fighting for their religion; and they are fighting for what they think is a just and religious cause.” (Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Pakistan or the Partition of India, Samyak Prakashan, 2009, p. 165)
We can understand how horrifying and gruesome this massacre was when the translator says, “This book is not for the squeamish, and I would advise the reader to stop right here if they are shaken by gory details of the targeted massacre of the Hindus by the Moplahs in Malabar.” Veer Savarkar’s writing is so fast-paced that we feel like we are watching a movie, waiting anxiously every moment for something untoward to happen. We must therefore read this novel with bated breath. We shudder as we encounter a never-ending series of brutal murders that boggle our imagination. The reader is forced to wonder if humans are capable of such violence. Animals are never that violent, and to call it animalistic behaviour would be an insult to them. Even predators do not harm anyone when they have eaten their fill. But this is Islam, which was born out of violence! From the early violent raids of looting and pillage like Badr, violence and Islam are synonymous with each other until now. The violence, which should generally be abhorrent, has become normalised due to the indiscriminate slaughter of scores of animals like cows, bulls, goats, and sheep by slitting their throats at Muslim festivals like Bakrid every year. This is probably why Muslims don’t feel compassion while slitting the throats of their victims. No wonder there is a dearth of exalted human qualities like sympathy, kindness, and empathy among Muslims. Recently in Rajasthan, two Muslim assailants slit the throat of Kanhaiya, a tailor. The only plausible reason for this barbaric act could be that the killers lacked basic humanity.
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar has also given a graphic description of this massacre in his book. According to him, the rebellion against the British government could be supported, but the treatment of the Moplahs towards the Hindus of Malabar was beyond mind-boggling. Hindus suffered massacre, forced conversions, desecration of temples, and gruesome atrocities on women, such as ripping stomachs of pregnant women, looting, arson and devastation at the hands of Moplahs. In short, an unbridled orgy of Moplah brutality continued until the army arrived. It was not just a Hindu-Muslim riot but a planned and purposeful violence in which innumerable Hindus were killed, injured and converted. The number of Hindu casualties is unknown, but this number is enormous. (Ibid, p. 171)
The most abominable aspect of this indiscriminate massacre of everyone from babies to old people was chopping everyone up limb by limb with a sword and throwing them into wells, which were filled with human bodies, both dead and half-dead. In one such well, one man managed to save his life. Upon regaining consciousness, he saw that he was in a well full of unconscious and dead bodies. The more he tried to get out, the more he sank inside. He crawled out, supporting himself on a human skull.
In the foreword to the Hindi version of this book (published by Prabhat Prakashan), J. Nandkumar writes that although Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Dr Ambedkar, Veer Savarkar and Annie Besant had revealed the truth of the hidden communal motive behind the 1921 Moplah rebellion, yet the Marxist historians, who were motivated by political greed, twisted the facts and presented it as a minor struggle for independence against the British and the feudal lords. Ironically, many family members of some leaders of the Communist movement in Kerala fell victim to the worst communal riots in the state. Yet they tried to show it as a movement on behalf of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. Apart from the communists, the national leaders also did not understand the seriousness of this massacre. Even after independence, no effort was made to preserve the truth of this historical event.
Coincidentally, during the year 2021, G. Sthanumalayan’s book, Mopla Kand 2021: Centenary of Hindu Genocide was published to commemorate the centenary year (i.e., 2021) of this massacre. Many earlier books have also been published about the Hindu genocide by the Moplahs, and several films have also been made. Still, it does not seem to be enough. Therefore, it is hoped that the present book will add to the available literature on the topic and increase awareness of the Moplah genocide among people. Veer Savarkar’s writing is unique. His poetic heart awakens when an opportunity to depict nature or emotion presents itself. The reader is mesmerised by reading his picturesque prose. The readers of his original Marathi compositions are indeed fortunate! But Hindi readers can still enjoy his works because of how close Hindi is to Marathi. I had a discussion with Kusumlata Kedia ji, a highly learned professor, about the present work. After reviewing his vast corpus of literature, she remarked that Veer Savarkar must have prepared for literary work in his previous life, which was why he could be so prolific in this life! Amazingly, he created such excellent works despite enormous adversity!
From a political point of view, linking the Khilafat movement with the freedom movement was an immensely costly historical mistake for which the country, especially the Hindu society, will never forgive Gandhiji. It was absurd, futile and unfair to pressurise the British by agitating in India for reinstating the Caliphate uprooted by the Turkish Muslims. This was pure appeasement of the Muslims. Taking a cue from this, the semi- educated and illiterate Muslims in areas like Malabar directed the Khilafat movement according to their agenda. To them, Khilafat meant that Muslims and only Muslims would live in that area, in which there could be no Hindus. To this end, the Hindus were given only two options: either convert or die! Meanwhile, a misconception was also spread among Muslims that an Islamic army would arrive from Islamic states like Turkey and Afghanistan to help them. Were it not for this misconception, perhaps they might not have perpetrated such a heinous massacre because they were very few in number and would have restrained themselves with an awareness of the consequences of such a massacre.
Veer Savarkar has shown in his book that though Hindus were caught unawares, they fought bravely to the best of their ability. Not only men but women also demonstrated boundless bravery. Many Hindus preferred to die instead of becoming Muslim, even after being grievously injured and imprisoned, and eventually chose death. This massacre also united the Hindu society fractured due to untouchability. The most satisfying aspect of this incident was that the Hindus who had converted to Islam were purified and taken back into Hindu society—an unprecedented event in itself because Hindus had seldom been welcomed back to Hindu society after being converted to Abrahamic faiths. This was a proud and revolutionary moment from this point of view.
In the past, a Hindu king in Malabar had given shelter to a few Muslims. Then he inspired one person from each family of fishermen in his kingdom to become Muslim. Despite this, the number of Muslims remained pretty small. Later, as the translator writes, the terrorists, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, forcibly converted Hindus to Islam in this area by the power of the sword, destroyed Hindu temples, and snatched the land of Hindus and distributed it among Muslims. Even after many such atrocities, Muslims were still a minority at the time of the 1921 massacre, which becomes clear from the conversations of the rioting Muslims themselves. Unfortunately, today (according to the 2011 census), the population of Muslims in Malappuram is 70.24 per cent, and that of Hindus is barely 27.60 per cent. It is the only Muslim- majority district in Kerala. Therefore, it is even more urgent that we understand the real character of Muslims today. Furthermore, the communists have done immense harm to the Hindu cause in Kerala. And while Christians and Muslims have thrived and grown, Hindus have been uprooted and weakened.
This book is a translation of the Hindi rendering of the Marathi novel, Moplyanche Band arthaat Mala Kay Tyache, written by great scholar and poet, writer extraordinaire, eminent historian and Maharishi Swatantryaveer, Shri Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Mopla Kand, arthaat Mujhe isse kya? into English. This translation by the well-established author, Ms Manjula Tekal, will acquaint English readers with the indescribable atrocities perpetrated by the Muslims and the resulting appalling suffering of the Hindus.
This is a remarkable book. As long as this incident remains in our national memory, we can prepare to never let it happen again. From this point of view, the translator deserves our gratitude.
Malabar is home to some of the most enchanting and sacred places in India. Dense forests of towering trees carpet the lofty mountain ranges from which spring forth rivers and streams of pure, cold, crystal-clear waters, which meander through crevices and valleys and nourish the emerald-green paddy fields and the coconut, areca and toddy palm trees. The mountains abound in a variety of fruits, finest timber and essential medicinal trees and plants. Its scenic beauty gladdens the eye and soothes the heart.
Kuttam, a small village situated at the foot of a tall mountain peak laden with various fruits and beautiful flowers, housed around five or six Namboodiri Brahmin families residing amidst the bountiful coconut and areca plantations, surrounded by about twenty-five houses Nair households. A little distance away were the homes of the other ‘touchable’ families. About a dozen huts belonging to Thiyya families were about a half-mile away. Standing about half a mile away from the central part of the village, this neighbourhood was considered its edge. Though part of the village, it was laid out away from it because the Thiyyas were considered ‘untouchable.’
The Nambudiri boys would rise before Sunrise, finish their ablutions and start chanting the sacred Vedas with precise intonation and pronunciation, filling the air with musical notes. The animals and birds would join in and sing along happily. The Brahmins of the region have protected the study of the Vedas and propagated its message <span styl