From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Malabar Rebellion
Mains level : Not Much
A report submitted to the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) in 2016 has termed the Malabar Rebellion leaders as ‘rioters’.
Try this question from CSP 2015:
Q. Which amongst the following provided a common factor for a tribal insurrection in India in the 19th century?
(a) Introduction of a new system of land revenue and taxation- of tribal products
(b) Influence of foreign religious missionaries in tribal areas
(c) Rise of a large number of money lenders, traders and revenue farmers as middlemen in tribal areas
(d) The complete disruption of the old agrarian order of the tribal communities
What is the Malabar Rebellion?
- The Malabar Rebellion in 1921 started as resistance against the British colonial rule and the feudal system in southern Malabar but ended in communal violence between Hindus and Muslims.
- There were a series of clashes between Mappila peasantry and their landlords, supported by the British, throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.
- It began as a reaction against a heavy-handed crackdown on the Khilafat Movement, a campaign in defence of the Ottoman Caliphate by the British authorities in the Eranad and Valluvanad taluks of Malabar.
- The Mappilas attacked and took control of police stations, British government offices, courts and government treasuries.
Why is it contentious?
- It largely took the shape of guerrilla-type attacks on janmis (feudal landlords, who were mostly upper-caste Hindus) and the police and troops.
- Mappilas had been among the victims of oppressive agrarian relations protected by the British.
- But the political mobilization in the region in the aftermath of the Khilafat agitation and Gandhi’s non-cooperation struggle served as an opportunity for an extremist section to invoke a religious idiom to express their suffering.
- There were excesses on both sides — rebels and government troops. Incidents of murder, looting and forced conversion led many to discredit the uprising as a manifestation of religious bigotry.
- Moderate Khilafat leaders lamented that the rebellion had alienated the Hindu sympathy.