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It used to be all over there... since long time....

Reader comment on item: My Gloom: Back to September 10

Submitted by Sudesh (Kuwait), Dec 22, 2005 at 03:37

Dear Mr. Pipes,

Your write-up seems to be a wake-up call to American citizens. But I was amused by the fact that similar attitudes that surface in politically developed societies are not incomparable to the historical experiences of other societies that have shown a strong liking for democracy in its late beginnings. I assume, then forgetfulness could be an unavoidable character streak etched in democracy's DNA. Without that it would not move forward progressively in its chosen path.

Your mentioning of the French intellectual Alain Finelkraut triggered me to remember a similar moment in history of pre-independent India. I could not exploit the link that you have provided (if you have a link to its translation, would you kindly provide it in your website?), nevertheless I sensed its content.

A predecessor to the French experience had already been staged in a remote area in Kerala, the South-West state in India; in 1921. Yes, A banlieues uprising. The local people still call it ‘the Moplah Uprising'. (‘Moplah' being the title by which the Muslims have long been known around in that region.) Marxists invariably referred it as ‘Proletarian Uprising' or ‘Agrarian Revolution', and the secularists restricted its connotation from further expanding. The uprising was thought to be as a direct result of the collapse of the last Caliphate, Turkey, in WWI. But the fact was, given the educational or cultural levels, the participants were simple local folk who could not have known what Turkey is or where it could be. The uprising turned a frenzied curve, diligently following a rumour that a mosque has been demolished. It started with a strident anti-British flavour and mostly ended in killing, mutilating, raping, converting and evicting thousands of their co-religionists (at that time only Hindus). Those who escaped from its viciousness sought refuge in the neighbouring small kingdoms, colonised by the British. The perpetrators set up a short-lived (three days) Islamic state powered by Shari'a law. Within no time the British mercilessly quelled the uprising, tried, executed some, and despatched the rest of the participants to the infamous island prison in Andaman & Nicobar. It was over. Those who served their sentences there, never came back, settled in the archipelago itself, naming landmarks and regions in nostalgic memories of the real places and persons back home. They continued to speak Malayalam but with some strange tonal variation.

The descendants of the victims and from that uprising still call it ‘Moplah Uprising' with an emphasis in its fearsome unjustness and cantankerous footings. Kerala historians who are stoutly pickled in Marxism and the secular historians who are maintaining deep civilizational obligation with ‘political correctness' continue to call it ‘Proletarian Uprising' and ‘Agrarian Revolution' as occasions call for. It is not ‘forgotten' in the word's indelible sense; but it has since been slowly laid to a kind of forgetfulness. That's the price one has to pay for keeping democracy with. Without that we cannot go forward in our chosen path, with our egalitarian ideals, with openness, with a hope in humanity.

I am, too, distressed with the sufferings and apprehensions associated with 9.11. A great lot people, outside the US have shared the shock and grief in their privacies. But, then… …surely, it is easy to strike a pacifist's note…. Looking back to the immensity of 9.11, I would be too shameful to do that. Yet, how can I make you feel, what I feel… about humanity… about history… and that, it was all over there… since long time….

regards

--Sudesh
Submitting....

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