Wagon Tragedy awaits apt memorial

As many as 70 anti-British agitators, mostly Muslims, locked up in a goods train and sent to Central Prison at Podannor near Coimbatore on November 19, 1921, were found dead in the wagon the next day. This is etched in Kerala anti-colonial struggle as the Wagon Tragedy.
However, 90 years later, the memory of the tragic chapter has grown dim in the Kerala's social psyche.
The new generation has no clue to the local uprising except the humble memorials-the Tirur municipal hall, a replica of the wagon and a library at Kurumvambalam, to which belonged 35 of the victims.
The political climate was oppressive that the kin of the dead lived in abject fear of the colonial masters. The world learnt of the tragedy from a news report in Coimbatore, which was not under the martial law.
The commemoration of the tragedy is fortuitous as Deccan Chronicle rolls out of the press on the anniversary.
However, the whole saga of the freedom struggle in Malabar cannot be encapsulated in the narrative of the ill-fated wagon.
Possibly a composite museum, capturing valiant struggles, including the salt satyagraha at Payyannur and many other uprisings, could be an idea worth exploring during the Archeological Society of India’s Heritage Week.
Yet the Wagon tragedy is a perpetual reminder of cruelty. History records that the even the Nazis packed only 50 in a wagon while sending the Jews to Auschwitz.

News @ Dechan Chronicle

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back to TOP