Moplah Rebellion

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Moplah Rebellion


an antifeudal and anti-imperialist uprising of the Moplahs, the Muslim population of the Malabar district of Madras Province in British India during 1921.

The majority of the Moplahs were tenant-farmers and agricultural laborers. Their rebellion was one of the major peasant uprisings during the revolutionary movement of 1918–22. The rebellion began after British colonial troops attacked a large gathering of believers in a mosque in the small town of Tirurangadi on August 20. The rebels seized railroads, cut telegraph lines, and paralyzed the British administration.

The rebellion was headed by a drayman, Kunahmad Harj, a participant in the Khilafat (caliphate) movement. The rebels took over the districts of Ernad and Valluvanad, and there they proclaimed a Khilafat kingdom. The Moplah rebellion was also directed against local Hindu landowners, who fled their estates; Hindu tenant-farmers fought alongside the Moplahs. Despite their inferior armaments, the Moplahs waged successful guerrilla warfare for a time against British troops. But at the end of 1921 the Moplahs were forced to surrender. The suppression of the rebellion was accompanied by atrocities committed by the colonial authorities. In the mountains, the Moplahs’ armed struggle continued until the end of February 1922.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Another comrade, economist Eric Rahim, remembers the building being manned in the initial years by "a Malabari comrade who acted as a kind of caretaker" probably among the many Malayalis who fled the southwestern Malabar coast after the 1921 Moplah Rebellion to escape the British-administered crackdown.
Farewell to thee/ Leaving the prop of thy arms/ I am rising up into the High Heavens/ Unafraid and free at last." In Duravastha, Asan tells the story of a Nambudiri lady - Savitri - who lost her kith and kin in the Moplah rebellion (1921) and takes shelter in the hut of a Harijan - Chathan.
Although the interpretation of the Saya San Rebellion seems to be a repetition of early Burmese revolts, it would be interesting to investigate whether other contexts such as the so-called Sepoy Mutiny or possibly the Moplah Rebellion (in southern India) might have informed British readings of the Burmese movements.