Moplah Uprising

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Also known as the Malabar Rebellion or Mapilla Rebellion

Moplah Uprising
Chronological list of Wars and Campaigns
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Location: Malabar
British Army Moplahs
Uprising quelled
India General Service Medal (1909)
Clasp:Malabar 1921-22
Category: Moplah Uprising


The Moplahs (Mappilas) are a Muslim community in Malabar which traditionally worked land held under tenancy from Hindu landlords. When Tipu Sultan took control of Malabar at the end of the 18th century the Hindu landlords were dispossessed and a new system of land revenue was introduced. However following the 4th Mysore War British rule restored the landlords with absolute property rights which allowed the Moplahs to be evicted. The injustice arising from this led to civil unrest beginning in 1836. So-called Moplah Outrages continued in the next decades. By 1920 the matter had become an ideological and religious cause with the Moplahs calling for an Islamic state. They organised the Khilafat Conference and gained the support of the Indian National Congress. In 1921 there were serious outbreaks of violence and Hindus were murdered. In August demonstrators prevented the arrest of one of the Moplah leaders and this was followed by the siege of Tirurangadi police station when police fired on the crowd. A general uprising followed during which government offices were attacked and the British were unable to control the violence. Martial law was declared and the British army called in. In November 67 Moplahs suffocated in a railway wagon whilst being transported to prison. The rebellion was effectively suppressed by the end of 1921. By February 1922 the leaders had been caught and executed.

Government forces

General Sir John Burnett-Stuart commanding the Madras Military District

External Links

Historical books online