Muslim League legislators write to PM seeking his intervention
NEW DELHI — Legislators of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, remonstrating the removal of names of certain Muslim freedom fighters like Malabar Rebellion leaders and Wagon Tragedy Victims from the government-backed dictionary of martyrs he himself released last year.
Urging Modi to intervene immediately in the matter to prevent any attempt to disturb communal harmony and ensure peaceful coexistence in the country, the lawmakers made an appeal withdraw the decision to delist the names of the dedicated Muslim leaders.
The book, ‘Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947), released by the Prime Minister in March, 2019, is a joint project of the Indian Council of Historical Research and the Indian Ministry of Culture.
The Malabar Rebellion was an illustrious event in Southern Malabar where Muslims waged a valorous struggle against the well-equipped British army for nearly six months beginning August 1921.
IUML leaders said that Malabar Rebellion leaders like Ali Musliyar, Variyamkunnath Ahmed Haji, Punnapra Vayalar, hundreds of victims of Wagon Tragedy and other popular leaders who had fearlessly fought the British Colonialism have now been deleted from the Dictionary of Martyrs published by the ICHR on the basis of reports by a three-member panel.
“It is absurd on the part of the Government to accept such politically-motivated reports by certain individuals”, reads the letter condemning the move of the government.
Calling the move ‘unacceptable’, the MPs affirm that history cannot be rewritten or moulded for political gains. “It is an attempt to inject venom into the minds of youths who will lead the country for generations”, reads the letter.
The signatories to the letter believe that deletion of names of warriors of the Indian freedom struggle who did not subscribe to the ideologies of the ruling regime is an act of ‘discrediting the contributions’ of those freedom fighters.
Full text of the letter:
Dear and Respected Prime Minister,
We write this to bring to your kind attention the resentment and sentiments of a large section of society towards delisting the names of popular leaders who were the warriors of the freedom struggle from the ‘Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947)’ on the basis of a review report submitted by a three-member panel to the ICHR.
Malabar/Moplah Rebellion leaders Ali Musliar and Variyam Kunnath Ahmad Haji, Punnapra Vayalar Movement, hundreds of victims of wagon tragedy and other popular leaders who fought against the British colonialism have now been delisted from the Dictionary of Martyrs. It is absurd on the part of the Government to accept such politically motivated reports by certain individuals. In the early 20th century, Variyam Kunnath Haji, who was a freedom fighter, played a crucial role in the Malabar Rebellion against the British. He was a warrior who led a brave battle against the British and he was shot dead by the British in 1921. History is history and that cannot be rewritten or moulded for political gains. It is an attempt to inject venom into the minds of youth who will lead the country for generations. Deletion of names of warriors of Indian freedom struggle who did not subscribe to the ideologies of the ruling regime is an act of discrediting the contributions of those freedom fighters. It is totally unacceptable.
We would urge upon you to immediately intervene in the matter in order to prevent any attempt to disturb communal harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country. I would appeal to you that the decision by the Ministry of Culture to delist the names of Malabar Rebellion leaders, Punnapra Vayalar movement, victims of wagon tragedy and other warriors of freedom struggle should be withdrawn and status quo maintained.
Supported by IUML MPs: PK. Kunhalikutty MP (LS), ET Muhammed Basheer MP (LS), PV Abdul Wahab MP (RS) and K. Navas Kani (LS)