Interview in Jail: Part-2

Ali Musaliyar of Mapilah Uprising fame
The Trial of Ali Musaliyar

This is another excerpt from the letter published in the Bombay Chronicle, of Mr. C.K. Mohamed Yacoob Sahib who wrote under date 7th December 1921. The interview was conducted in the Coimbatore jail by Mr. C.K. Mohamed Yacoob Sahib. In this part, Ali Musaliar talks to Yacoob Sahib about how the Mappila Uprising began, and that he was in no way responsible for the disturbances.


“…On the 19th, August [1921] the trouble commenced in Malabar. On the 20th morning I proceeded to the Mosque in Tirurangadi for performing daily prayer. When I found a large contingent of the police and the military surrounding the Mosque, preventing people outside , from going into the Mosque from coming out of it. I saw besides Mr. Ammu Sahib, the Deputy Superintendent of Police attired in uniform and with boots on, entering the Mosque. A bystander who was an acquaintance of me asked me to hasten back to my house and do my prayer there. I began to make enquiries as to what the besieging of the Mosque in that fashion was for and learnt that the authorities were there in such strength armed for the purpose of arresting me. This information spread like wild fire.


I must here make mention of the fact that the 20th was a shandy day in Thirurangadi and more than the ordinary crowd had assembled in the Market place and elsewhere. When the information about my impending arrest passed from ear to ear signs of an outbreak manifested themselves. It is wholly untrue to say that I was in any way instrumental in creating the disturbance that was the offshoot of the spread of information of the entry of the police into the Mosque with boots on with a view to arrest me therein. I used to hold classes for religious instructions to all in general and young men in particular within the Mosque and a Box of mine containing sacred test books like the Koran etc. had been kept within the Mosque which popularly called “Kaikaipalli”. I had kept within the box currency notes of various denominations, silver and copper coins of the aggregate value of Rs. 350. The Police who entered the Mosque made a thorough search of all things including my box and walked with all things. At the trial a small bundle tied up in cloth was produced and it was represented that it belonged to me and that it contained cash merely of the value of Rs. 17. What became of the balance I am not in a position to say and I do not want to say. If n\by any means there should be any chance of your being able to secure that amount or anything higher from the authorities you may utilize that amount for distribution among the poor. (to be continued) Source: Imagined Nationalism, pp.301-302

Click here for Part 1.