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89 years since the Pookkottur Battle for freedom of India PDF Print E-mail

Pookkoottoor GateKochi: It has been 89 years since 300 brave sons of Malabar sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their motherland in one of the rare armed rebellions in the history of the freedom struggle. August 26 of 1921 was a Friday and the brave Mappilas (Muslims of Malabar) fought against the imperialist British fiercely in the Pookkottur Battle.

Pookkottur is situated in the Malappuram district (the lone Muslim majority district in Kerala) in Malabar. The Khilafat Movement became popular in Pokkottur by the works of Ali Musliyar, mudarris (religious teacher) at Melmuri nearby. Freedom fighters like Kattilasseri Moulvi and MP Narayana Menon went to Pookkottur and formed the Khilafat Committee there.

Vadakkuveettil Mammadu, manager of Chinnanunni of the Nialmbur Kovilakam (a rich Hindu landlord family of Malabar), was made the secretary of the committee. On hearing the news, the Kovilakam dismissed him from the job and tried to get him arrested in a fake case of stealing a gun. Police force under CI Mannat Narayan Menon came to Pookkottur and raided Mammadu’s house. This enraged the people who had assembled in the masjid nearby. They marched to the Pookkottur Kovilakam, which was a part of the Nilambur Kovilakam. They were about 200 men and made even the police shout pro-Khilafat slogans.

The influential landlords asked the district administration to bring in the army to block the Mappila serfs from turning against them. British army from Kozhikode marched to Pookkottur in 22 lorries and 25 bicycles. Captain Mackento and Special Force Commander Lancaster led the army. About 2000 Mappila fighters hid at Valiyathodu between Pookkottur and Pilakkal. They had planned to attack the army from behind when all the vehicles had crossed the bridge at Pilakkal. However, one person, who was not present in the final meeting of the fighters, began shooting when the first vehicle reached the bridge. The army threw smoke bombs at them. When the fighters were in the smoke, the army arranged their machine guns and began firing. However, the fighters did not turn back, but rather fought bravely. More than 300 Mappilas were killed by the British army. The army too lost several of their soldiers, including Commander Lancaster and the vice-Captain.

The battle was indeed a blow to the British who had a feeling that there was no one to fight against them. The martyrs were all buried in bulk in five places. This can be seen even now. However, the graveyards of the great sons of the land still remain unprotected. Their memory now resides in the minds of people through a gateway built in their name.

The Pookkottur Battle was one among the many armed rebellions fought by the Mappilas against the British might. Even though the battle at Pookkottur was crushed by the army, the brave Mappilas ousted the British and began parallel governments in many parts of Malabar. Ali Musliyar and Variyankunnath Kunhahammed Haji were the leaders of the Mappila fighters. The British took nearly six months to recapture all the areas back. Realizing the might and mind of the Mappilas to fight till death, the British formed the Malabar Special Police to control them.

The revolt of 1921 was a great blow to the British who realized that the Mappilas and the downtrodden could not be suppressed forever. However, some historians also hold that the rebellion which was waged against the British in the beginning gradually turned against the Hindus towards the end.

TwoCircles.net Staff Correspondent,

What Shah Rukh Khan should learn from Kalam PDF Print E-mail
Op Ed

M J AkbarA celebrity is blessed with good fortune in many ways. A reporter, for instance , has to search for news. A celebrity merely has to look into the mirror. Such self-obsession requires sensational amorality and phenomenal lack of judgment. Ordinary, guilt-obsessed mortals do not possess these virtues.

A celebrity must have talent, of course, but brains are useless without gall. It requires courage to fall irrevocably in love with your image. It must be dreadfully tense to watch each step you take with such missionary commitment, but the rewards are probably worth the effort. The tiniest twitch now resides beside perceived, or stolen, wisdom, on Twitter, the miracle technology of celebdom. Pseudo-gods seek the pseudo-faithful as fervently as the reverse.

Amartya Sen on Justice and Human Rights PDF Print E-mail
Law and Judiciary
The theory of justice must be more concerned with the elimination of removable injustices than with defining a hypothetical perfectly just society, says Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen
Idea of Justice
Dr Amartya Sen was in India recently for the release of his latest book The Idea of Justice which constructs a new theory of justice not based on abstract ideals or emanating from perfect institutions but rather, dealing with this complex issue in both its historical sense as also how the system of justice works at a practical level. It is for this reason that the book makes a distinction between ‘neeti’ and ‘nyaya’. ‘Neeti’, the book emphasises, is about appropriate rules and institutions and ‘nyaya’ is about their realisation.
The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future PDF Print E-mail

 The Clash Within Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future Martha C. NussbaumNussbaum takes up the issue of violence in India between Hindus and Muslims, reconsidering the usual presuppositions about that quarrel, which lives always at the edge of fresh eruption. Martha Nussbaum is perhaps the most generative public intellectual of our time. She produces thorough, demanding studies on a variety of issues, all of which move toward matters of justice and human rights.

Truth & Reconciliation in Kandhamal PDF Print E-mail

Our Lord teaches us not to hate. We do not hate our enemies. But Fear is real, especially in Orissa's Kandhamal district. 

It is not just Kandhamal, or indeed Orissa. Unfortunately, circumstances in India are such that the religious minorities and the marginalised groups, the Dalits and others, have to live under the shadow of fear, of violence and domination, hate and official impunity, always looking over the shoulder for the next threat. Priests in forest parishes, pastors in villages, evangelists in distant rural areas, and social activists live under a very real and very dark shadow of fear. 

 On 23rd August 2008, Lakhmanananda Saraswati, the vice-president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), was shot dead in Kandhamal, Orissa, a local group of the Left extreme Maoists claiming credit for killing man they held to be guilty of many anti-people activities in the region. His body was taken around in a day long procession through Kandhamal's forest villages and townships by the VHP leaders as the police provided help, or just looked on. The violence followed in its wake, as surely as anti-Muslim violence had followed in the wake of Lal Krishna Advani's notorious Yatra 20 years earlier or the anti-Muslim pogrom erupted in Gujarat after the bodies of people burnt in the Sabarmati Express in February 2002 in Godhra railway station in the state. As in Gujarat, the State looked on, many of its agencies almost abetting the violence by acts of omission and commission. The parallels with Gujarat 2002 continue.

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