CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala is all set to keep on eulogising Variyankunath Kunajahammed Haji, the leader of Hindu genocide of 1921 which was carried out under the garb of Khilafat movement. Since they get all out support of (Opposition) Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) they believe that they can go to any extent to appease the Muslim Vote Bank in the state. The latest incident is the wall picture adorning the new North Fort Gate Metro Station in Thrippunithura, an extension of Kochi Metro. Its wall displays the pictures of freedom fighters. But, there are “fake” freedom fighters in them. The picture of Variyakunnath Kunajahammad Haji, the notorious Khilafat rebellion leader, who led the infamous Hindu genocide in 1921 in Malabar zone of Kerala is there. He is not alone in the ‘royal’ station. His colleagues Seethi Koya Thangal and Ali Musaliyar are with him too. This highly objectionable and deplorable Metro action is a blatant distortion of historical facts.
It is noteworthy, the union government had removed the above names from the list of the freedom fighters recorded in the annals of the history of freedom struggle, thanks to the recommendations of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). So this latest glorification endeavour is really an insult to the central government and the Prime Minister. It is against the democratic principles and cultural values of our country.
BJP leader Sreekkuttan and (Thrippunithura) Palace Administration Board President Anujan Thampuran were fuming when they spoke to this correspondent. If Metro was so particular to highlight the freedom fighters, there is no scarcity of real freedom fighters in the area. Vaikkom Padmanabha Pillai and Chembil Arayan would have been best bets and proper selections. When Velu Thampi Dalawa, the Prime Minister of Thiruvithamkoor Kingdom, fought against British East India Company, Padmanabha Pillai was the Military General of the kingdom. He was captured by the British army in 1809 and hanged to death publicly near Vaikkom, a place near Thrippunithura.
Chembil Anantha Padmnabhan Valiya Arayan Kankumaran alias Chembil Arayan was the Admiral of the Thiruvithamkoor King Balarama Varma who fought against the British under the command of Velu Thampi Dalava. He belonged to Chembu village, a stone throw away from Thrippunithura. He was from the Dheevara community. His major military expedition was the attack on Bolgatty Place, the residence of the then British Resident Colin Macaulay. Macaulay had a narrow escape. He saved his life through a tunnel and fled in a small boat. Arayan was killed later in a battle against the British forces. Both Pillai and Arayan are unsung heroes who should be highlighted at least in Thrippunithrua, major town close to their home villages. Metro station is the most suitable and timely ‘bus’ for it hence it should not be ‘missed’. Unfortunately both did not get any place in the Metro Station; on the other hand, fake freedom fighters get honourable place there.
Both say, if at all, development was the theme, how can Metro forget Kochi King Rama Varma XV who contributed fourteen gold caparisons (nettippattam in Malayalam) towards the expenses for extending railway lines to Kochi from Shornnur in Malabar. And, how can they forget Athachamayam in Thrippunithura, the flag off of Onam celebrations of the entire state.
Anujan Thampuran said that Palace Administration Board which he heads now was established by the Royal Proclamation of the Maharaja of Kochi in 1949. Board looks after the assets of the erstwhile Kochi Royal Family. Board had played a role, even though miniscule, in the construction of KMRL Metro line in Thrippunithura. The concrete piles for the construction were cast in the Board’s property and they were moved to the site by barges and trailers. In fact, KMRL invited the general public to provide pictures in connection with the history of Kochi and the North Fort Gate area. It was for displaying in the Metro Station. As soon as Board came to know about it Anujan Thampuran sent several ancient and rare pictures, history, peculiarities and specialities of Thrippunithrua, to KMRL. It was on March 7, 2022. It consisted of documents on culture, religion, arts, sports, education, etc. Thampuran is aware, every station was dedicated to the significant history and matters of the area. For example, Kaloor International Stadium Station is devoted to sports and games and it displays related pictures. Champakkara Station displays pictures with respect to fishing, because it is close to the hundred year old Champakkara fish market.
One of the several set of documents he sent was of RLV College (Radha Lakshmi Vilasam of College of Music & Institute of Fine Arts) established by the King of Kochi Kerala Varma Thampuran in 1936. Legendary musician Padma Vibhushan Dr. K. J. Jesudas is an alumnus of the college.
Another one was regarding the cricket history of Thrippunithura. It is said that Dewan C.G. Herbert, a very good cricket player, allotted the land for the first cricket stadium in Kerala sometime during his regime between 1925 – 1935. Thrippunithura is the place where Kerala’s cricket history took birth. It was ‘consecrated’ in 1940s. The first ODI (One Day) Match was played in Thrippunithura in 1951. It was flagged off by Pooja Cricket Tournament during Pooja Holidays, that is, Navarathri period. The limited overs cricket is said to be the brain child of K.V. Kelappan Thampuran, the first secretary of the Kerala Cricket Association and the Ranji Trophy star. It was in 1971, after twenty years, that Limited Overs Match was played between England and Australia, the first international one. Year by year Pooja Cricket turned famous after famous. Teams from other states also came to play in Thrippunithura. The document Anujan Thampuran sent to KMRL contained the list of the national players who came to play in Thrippunithura. They were Gundappa Vishwanath, Brijesh Patel, Bhagavath Chandrasekhar, Krishnamachari Sreekanth, Sayed Kirmani, Mohammed Asrudheen, Anil Kumble, Venkatesh Prasad, M.L. Jayasimha, Kiran Morre, Shivlal Yadav, V.B. Chandrasekhar, Arshad Ayub, L. Sivaramakrishnan, Robin Singh, Arunlal, Sunil Joshi, Sadanand Vishwanath, W.V. Raman and so son. Since TV was not even in the remote imagination, fans were too excited to see their cricket idols in flesh and blood.
Nonagenarian Paliyath Raviachan is one of the pioneers of cricket in Thrippunitura and also Kerala. He is the first Kerala cricketer to achieve the all-rounder’s double, 1000 runs and 100 wickets in the Ranji Trophy Cricket. A Women’s cricket match was organised in Thrippunitura in 1975 in connection with the silver jubilee of the Pooja Tournament. Most probably it is the first such match in the entire state.
Another significant speciality of Thrippunithura which Anujan Thampuran conveyed to KMRL was the first Ladies’ Kathakali Troupe formed in Thrippunithura. Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair and his wife Kalamandalam Kalyanikkutti Amma are the veterans behind the growth and development of Kathakali in Thrippunithura.
He regrets, no mention of the themes he conveyed to KMRL nor they informed him that the theme had been changed. He suspects a hidden agenda behind it. He expressed his protest against the glorification of Mappila Riot, absolutely against the ICHR stand.
Protests are brewing in Thrippunithura against attempts to glorify pioneers of Hindu genocide in the Metro station. Hindu Aikya Vedi workers have carried out a protest march. Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha workers tried to paste the quotations from “Duravastha”, the Mahakavya (text of great poem) authored by Mahakavi (great poet) Kumaran Ashan. Ashan was the beloved disciple of Sree Narayana Gurudev and Chattampi Swamiji, great Hindu Monks of Kerala. The book describes Hindu genocide engineered under the garb of Khilafat movement.
One thing is clear: Hindutva, nationalism and real history are not getting their deserved respect and regards as LDF and UDF rule the roost in Kerala. And, pseudo secularism, minority vote bank politics and anti-national philosophies get the front seat.