Village commemorates 41 Wagon Tragedy victims on anniversary day

MALAPPURAM: On the occasion of observing 93rd anniversary of Wagon Tragedy, the darkest chapter of Malabar rebellion during British period on Thursday, a village near Tirur commemorates 40 people hailing from the village, who were killed in the tragedy.
A total of 70 among the 90 odd Mappila rebels who were taken in an air-tight goods wagon from Tirur to Podanur were killed on November 20, 1921. The prisoners were taken into custody when the rebellion was in peak and almost 80 detained rebels were despatched in freight wagon from Tirur to Podanur in Tamilnadu. During the journey about 60 of the rebels suffocated to death in wagon.
It is believed that among the 41 persons from Kuruvambalam who were victims of the tragedy, majority were bachelors who left behind no progeny. "Even the historians and local people were not much aware of the role of the Kruvambalam people in the incident till couple of years ago. According to the elders in the village the youngsters here had played a major role in the struggle against the British during the rebellion and more studies have to be conducted to shed light on the contribution of tragedy victims", said Salim Kuruvambalam, Malappuram district panachayat member, who took initiative for setting up a memorial for the Wagon Tragedy victims at Kuruvamabalam. The district panchayat president Zuhara Mampad will inaugurate the comemmoration programmes in the village.Historians will also attend the programme.
Talking about role of Kuruvambalam persons in the tragedy, the historian KKN Kurupp said that government should conduct a comprehensive study on the victims of Wagon tragedy and other related incidents of Malabar rebellion. " As there was no such study held so far the state government should initiate action to start a detailed historical and cultural study on the various incidents during the rebellion period. We are going to observe 100th anniversaty of the rebellion in 2021. But still we have no clear data or official document regarding the incidents and the details of the persons who were killed in Wagon tragedy", he pointed out.
The historian and scholar M Gangadharan has recently opined that the Wagon tragedy was not a cruellest act of the British oppression during the Malabar rebellion, as about 200 Mappila youngsters pulled out of their house and they were killed infront of their family in October of the same year.

Times of India
| TNN | Nov 20, 2014, 

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