British guilty of many acts worse than Wagon Tragedy: historian

The British resorted to many crueller acts during the Malabar Rebellion of 1921 than the Wagon Tragedy and it was because of the martial law clamped in Malabar that the world did not know about them, historian M. Gangadharan has said.
Delivering the keynote address at a seminar on Wagon Tragedy at Tirur on Tuesday, Dr. Gangadharan said the tragedy was not the cruellest act of British oppression during the Malabar Rebellion.
“We used to believe that the Wagon Tragedy, in which 67 of the 90-odd Mapilas packed in a goods wagon from Tirur to Podanur suffocated to death, was the worst and cruellest incident of the Malabar Rebellion. But it was not,” Dr. Gangadharan told a packed audience.
He argued that the world learned about the Wagon Tragedy as there was no martial law in Podanur and, therefore, the incident was reported by major newspapers of the world.
“The dastardly act of the British came to light when the goods wagon was opened at Podanur. Had it occurred anywhere in Malabar, where the martial law prevented publishing of sensitive information, it would have gone unreported,” he said.
Dr. Gangadharan said that as many as 215 Mapila youngsters were pulled out of their homes and massacred in front of their families. “It happened on October 25, 1921. The Wagon Tragedy wasn’t as cruel as the killing of those adult Mapilas in front of their family,” Dr. Gangadharan said.
MES Central School, Tirur, organised the seminar as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Muslim Educational Society.
The Hindu

 
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