What Director Ali Akbar said

Upcoming Malayalam film ‘Puzha Muthal Puzha Vare’ by filmmaker Ali Akbar who changed his name to Ramasimhan Aboobakker after reconverting to Hinduism, has been stalled after the CBFC has imposed several cuts, that would according to the Director, whitewash the brutality that was heaped on Hindus during the Malabar Genocide of Hindus by Moplah Muslims.

Talking to OpIndia, Ramasimhan, previously Ali Akbar, said that the Revision Committee of CBFC imposed several cuts in the movie over 2 such meetings, where the true nature of the Malabar Genocide was depicted. According to the Director, if the cuts were to be accepted by him to release the movie, it would whitewash the brutality against Hindus and essentially project the Malabar Genocide of Hindus as an “uprising”, just as the Leftists want.

Pertinently, after the Kerala Censor Board had denied certification to the movie earlier this year, they referred the movie to CBFC for a Revising Committee review. Akbar suspects that the local Censor Board has influenced the decision of the Central Board and there is pressure from the PFI to stop the release of the movie. On being asked why the central board is behaving in this fashion, the Director said, “Please remember the famous dialogue of Kashmir Files by Vivek Agnihotri – The government might be ours, but the system is theirs”, referring to Islamists and Leftists. 

Ramasimhan says that the local officer in the Kerala Censor Board has been against his movie from the very beginning. It was only after he said that he would approach the High Court did she agree to a screening of the movie for registration of the certificate. Once the screening was done, the Director says that Ms Parvati, without giving any notice, referred the movie to CBFC Revision Committee. When the first Revision Committee meeting was held in Mumbai, very minor cuts were suggested that did not alter the character of the movie. Since the movie had scenes of violence, the CBFC had also said that it could only give an A certificate. Akbar says he was happy with the outcome and came back to his native place in Kerala.

However, to Akbar’s surprise, there was a second Revision Committee meeting was called. It was in this meeting that several cuts were imposed by the CBFC that barred him from showing scenes depicting the atrocities against Hindus by Moplah Muslims.

One of the first scenes that the CBFC censored in the movie was a scene where the Thuvur well incident was depicted. On the 25th of September 1921, on the barren hillside between Thuvoor and Karuvayakandi in North Kerala Chambrassery Imbichi Koithangal, one of the Khilafat leaders, held a rally with over 4,000 of his followers. During this meeting, more than 40 Hindus were caught hold of and taken to him with their hands tied behind their backs. 38 were murdered. 3 of the 38 were shot but the rest were beheaded and thrown in the Thuvoor well.

Besides the Thuvoor well incident, there were several other scenes which were cut. For example, Akbar tells OpIndia that in the movie, there was one dialogue that spoke about the Al-Daula (Islamic State) that was established in Malabar by Kunjahammed Haji. According to several records, this was evidently an ‘independent area’ that the Islamists had established where they had even imposed Jizya on Hindus. One lady, who was a part of the censor board, asked Akbar questions about what he knew about Shariat and Islam, and then proceeded to cut that dialogue altogether.

Akbar told OpIndia that during the 1921 Genocide of Hindus, the carnage was rampant. There was the forcible conversion of Hindus, the deliberate slaughter of cows was rampant just to insult the faith of the Hindus, several thousand were beheaded and temples were razed to the ground. In the movie, he had scenes where he depicted the forcible conversion of Hindus and the temples being razed by Islamists, these scenes were also disallowed by the censor board. In another scene, without really showing the cow slaughter, he had alluded to cows being slaughtered by Islamists and that too was cut.

Aside from such scenes, OpIndia was told that the censor board even told Ali Akbar to ensure that chants of “Allahu Akbar” and “Naara-e-Taqbeer” were not shown so frequently.

Essentially, all the cuts in the movie would strip down the essence of the movie, which was to show the genocide of Hindus by Moplah Muslims in 1921. He suspects that the censor board was under the influence of the Kerala officer who, according to him, is a Communist wanting to peddle the communist narrative of the 1921 genocide being a “peasant uprising” against “landlords”. In fact, this is evidenced by the fact that when the movie referred to the family of the Hindus Kings of the area as “Lords”, the censor board insisted that it be changed to refer to them as “Landlords”.

Ramasimhan, previously known as Ali Akbar, has now decided to approach the High Court against the cuts imposed by the censor board, he told OpIndia.

The Malabar Genocide of Hindus 

The Malabar genocide of 1921 was a systematic campaign of jihad against Hindus. The genocide, orchestrated by the likes of Variankunnath Kunhamad Haji, Ali Musaliar and others, led to an estimated death of 10,000 Hindus in Kerala. It is believed that as many as 100,000 Hindus were forced to leave Kerala in the wake of the massacre. The number of Hindu Temples that were destroyed in the genocide is speculated to be a hundred. Forcible conversion of Hindus was rampant and unspeakable atrocities were poured upon Hindus.

The Moplah pogrom was described by the likes of Annie Besant and Babasaheb Ambedkar in their respective published books. Annie Besant described the events in her book ‘The Future of Indian Politics’ as, “They murdered and plundered abundantly, and killed or drove away all Hindus who would not apostatize. Somewhere about a lakh, people were driven from their homes with nothing but the clothes they had on, stripped of everything. Malabar has taught us what Islamic rule still means, and we do not want to see another specimen of the Khilafat Raj in India.”

Babasaheb Ambedkar, in his book, Pakistan or the Partition of India, wrote, “The blood-curdling atrocities committed by the Moplas in Malabar against the Hindus were indescribable. All over Southern India, a wave of horrified feeling had spread among the Hindus of every shade of opinion, which was intensified when certain Khilafat leaders were so misguided as to pass resolutions of “congratulations to the Moplas on the brave fight they were conducting for the sake of religion”. Even after 100 years of the event, the wounds of the genocide remain afresh in the Hindu conscience.