Mattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple- A Temple resurrecting from Ashes 04/11/2009 15:13:19 V. Sundaram I.A.S (retd.)
Tippu Sultan (Ruler of Mysore from 1786 - 1799) invaded Malabar and Coorg in 1792 and his Islamic depredations continued till 1798. The atrocities let loose by him and his jihadi army against the Hindus of Malabar —— I call it HINDU HOLOCAUST — have become an inseparable and deathless part of the abiding cultural consciousness and collective memory of the race among the Hindus of Kerala today.
In this context it becomes very relevant to refer to the savage destruction of Maattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple by Tippu Sultan and his army at Angadipuram in Malapuram District, Kerala in 1794. The ruins of Mattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple have not only centuries of chequered history but also a unique place in the history of Kerala, depicting the challenges faced by the peace loving and cultured Hindus of this part of Muslim dominated Malappuram district.
The next tragic stage in the Islamic destruction of Maattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple was reached during the dark days of Moplah Rebellion of 1921. The remnants and dismantled portions of Maattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple destroyed by Tippu Sultan in 1794, were also attacked and obliterated with Islamic fervour by the Moplah marauders. More than 2000 Hindus in Malabar District were slaughtered by the Moplahs in a matter of days. More than 25000 Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam. Islamic gangsters looted the property of Hindus and occupied their lands. There was no end to molestations, abductions and rape of Hind girls and women.
The history of Malaparamba Maattummal Narasimha Moorthy Temple — the traditions, the folk lore and cultural practices associated with worship in this temple — are indeed very interesting. Around four Kilometers down the road leading from Angadipuram Railway station, the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Valluva-Naadu, to Vallaan-cheri there is a scenic hill area called maala-parambu. In the Angaadi-puram Sub Division on an area measuring 600 acres there once stood this 4000 year old majestic and stately Lord Narasimha Temple.
Now, there is only a baalalaya or temporary place for worship in existence here. All around the temple premises, one can see the horrifying remains of the jihad against Hindus, represented by broken temple columns and shattered moortis which were once revered and venerated not only by common people but also by great sages and seers of antiquity. According to certain hoary oral local traditions in certain villages of Palghat District today, Adi Sankara and Madhavacharya offered prayers at this Maattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple.
Tradition has it that a Maharshi of extraordinary spiritual prowess in timeless antiquity had a darshan of Lord Mahavishnu in his fearsome Narasimha aspect. The maharshi upon receiving this flash of divine grace built a place of worship and commenced worship of Lord Narasimha with all due ceremony.
Due to efflux of time, the brahmanas who had participated in the affairs of the temple had suffered a schism into Shaiva and Vaishnava sects and sectarian conflicts followed soon after. The sectarian strife and petty religious quarrels had their debilitating effects on the administration of the Malaparamba Maattummal Narasimha Moorthy Temple. Consequently, the temple’s fortunes too declined slowly. When the temple finally fell to ruins the temple lands were taken over and administered by the local rulers, the Kundrackal Nair chieftains of the area where the Temple once stood.
To the south of Malappuram town, over a mile distance away in a village called Chemmun Kadavu there lived a Muslim land owner called Moidu Sahib. Moidu Sahib had two sons, Uneen and Alippu. Uneen, took on lease from the Kundrackal Nair family, 600 acres of land in Maalaparamba in the Angaadipuram Taluk and established the Moidu Rubber Estate at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Uneen Sahib married the daughter of a prominent timber merchant, Kalladi UnniKammu of Mannarkadu. Uneen Sahib and his family stayed in the rubber estate bungalow at Maalaparamba on the Perinthalmanna – Kulathoor Road, between Kulathoor and Angadipuram. On the other side of the road, from the bungalow, stood the ruins of ancient Sri Narasimhamoorthy Temple, now looking forlorn and desolate.
Despite his high social standing, Uneen Sahib behaved like any other traditional Muslim in religious matters. He had the typical supercilious and insufferable air of Islamic contempt for Hindu modes of worship and way of living. He took special delight in displaying the typical Aurangazeb-like jihadi behaviour, fuelled by hate and contempt for the ‘Hindu Kafir. Like many Muslim rulers of medieval India, Uneen Sahib used the damaged, yet beautiful, engraved colonnades and beams from the temple ruins in the construction of latrine of his spacious bungalow. His real intent was to humiliate the Hindus by committing what was the ultimate act of contempt and sacrilege to the Hindu Deities.
Calamities after calamities — an unending wave of divinely ordained visitations — started descending upon Uneen Sahib after he used the temple relics to construct the latrine in his bungalow, giving him no rest or peace of mind. An incurable searing stomach-ache troubled him ceaselessly. On being advised by the local Hindus, Uneen Sahib consulted a Hindu Siddha ascetic and some prominent astrologers who then advised him to reconstruct the Mattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple, restoring it to its original glory and grandeur of ages past.
By virtue of his close and intimate association with the Hindu Siddha ascetic, the character and personality of Uneen Sahib underwent a dramatic change for the better. Uneen Sahib’s chronic stomach aliment came to a sudden and dramatic end. He started experiencing the joy of wholesome good health. As an act of thanksgiving, he became vegetarian and started practicing yoga and meditation. Uneen Sahib became more and more Hindu-like in his thoughts words and deeds. Uneen Sahib started replacing Muslim employees with Hindu employees in his rubber estate. Large pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses came to adorn the bungalow, creating an ambience and aura of fervent Hindu devotion to the Almighty.
Uneen Sahib decided to lead a pure life, studying Hindu scriptures and philosophical texts. Uneen Sahib and his brother Alippu decided to re-convert to Hinduism. As the culmination of this holy quest he went to the Arya Samaj at Calicut along with his brother and sons and got converted into Hinduism under the ritualistic shuddhi offered by Buddha Singh, a gentleman from Punjab in 1946.
On coming back to the fold of Hinduism, Unnen Sahib was given the new Hindu name of RAMASIMHAN while Alippu his younger brother was renamed as DAYASIMHAN. Ramasimhan’s sons changed their names to Fateh Singh and Jorwar Singh, the sacred names of Guru Gobind Singh’s two valiant sons who were murdered on the orders of Aurangazeb on December 12, 1705 for refusing to accept Islam. R.S.S Malabar prachaarak Sri Shankar Shastri made all the necessary arrangements for the Hindu Home Coming of Uneen Sahib and family.
Now it only remained for Ramasimhan to undertake and complete the sacred unfinished task of reconstruction of Mattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple. After the Temple was rebuilt and re-established, daily worship and ceremonial rituals were started and continued to be performed conscientiously with unfailing devotion.
Another significant development took place in Ramasimhan’s family. At the request of Ramasimhan some of the learned Namboodiri Brahmins agreed to convert Dayasimhan to a Namboodiri Brahmin and his name was changed to NARASIMHAN NAMBOODIRI. Probably they needed an experienced man in their midst who could understand the mindset of the jihadis and stand up to them in the new changed situation.
In the Muslim strong-hold of Malappuram, the conversion of a wealthy and prominent Muslim family of Uneen Sahib filled the Muslims with astonishment and trepidation. The Muslim clergy trembled at the thought that many more Muslims seeking liberation from their tight suffocating grip and escaping to the liberal environment of Hinduism. Convinced that they will be left with fewer and fewer adherents if the Muslims become aware of the greatness, glory and grandeur of the ancient Hinduism, the Jihadi Muslims decided to attack and kill Ramasimhan.
On the midnight of 2 August, 1947, a pack of hate-filled diabolical jihadis armed with deadly weapons entered the house of Ramasimhan and in a dastardly act slaughtered the sleeping Ramasimhan, his brother Narasimhan, his wife Kamala Antarjanam and their cook Raju Iyer, in cold-blood.
Within two weeks of martyrdom of Ramasimhan, the savage Moplah Muslim vandals demolished the beautiful Mattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple and its side walls. They then threw the divine moorthies into Temple wells and Temple ponds. The terrified Hindus of the locality even feared to retrieve and give a funeral to the bodies of the slain Ramasimhan and family. For a long period of time the blood stains of the slain Ramasimhan and his family were seen on the walls of the Rubber Estate Bungalow.
The Malabar District Police took immediate action to arrest the murderers of Ramasimhan and his family. A remarkable police detective called Keshava Menon apprehended the 9 murderers after collecting the necessary incriminating evidence and filed charge sheets against them. He was successful in retrieving the murder weapons from the pond in which they were dumped. Four of the murderers were sentenced to death by the District and Sessions Court at Palghat. The Moplah Muslim community rallied behind the marauders by raising a large sum of money for their legal defence on appeal in the High Court of Madras. Hon’ble Justice Horwill J of the Madras High Court, in a judgement he delivered on 19 January, 1949, acquitted all the accused for want of credible evidence.
Very much like the Muslim-appeasing Union Ministers belonging to the Congress Party today, a Congress Minister in the then Madras Government, Sri Kozhipurathu Madhava Menon allegedly collected bribes from the rich and influential Moplah landlords and business men and took an active part in the appeal proceedings filed by the Moplah murderers in the Madras High Court. All the State Advocates were specially instructed to water down the legal presentation of the case in the Madras High Court. Congress leader and advocate U Gopala Menon used under-hand means to get the case dismissed by the Madras High Court. Solid pieces of evidence were destroyed and prosecution witnesses were harassed and coerced into silence. Finally the case was dismissed on the grounds of lack of evidence. Thus the murderous Moplah Muslim jihadis were set scot free. The terror-stricken Hindu population of the area felt let down by the treacherous Congress leaders and by the State itself.
The higher judiciary might have set the jihadi murderers free, but the fearsome and implacable Lord Narasimha who destroyed the Asura Hiranyakashipu, the Vanquisher of Devendra, and re-established Dharma did not spare the jihadi assasins. Kalladi UnniKammu Sahib, the estranged father-in-law of Ramasimhan and main conspirator in the mass murder and the Congress leader and advocate U. Gopala Menon, turned insane soon after the acquittal of the murderers. C. B. K Nambiar, who was working as a Finance Officer in a business firm in Feroke Town told Balan Pooteri, that a wealthy Muslim from Cheruvannur who took part in the Ramasimhan family slaughter had turned insane as also the jihadis who went with him to kill Ramasimhan. [Balan Pooteri wrote the book ‘Maalaparamba Mattummal Sree Narasimhamoorthy Temple’ in Malayalam on behalf of the Temple Trust.]
The sheer inability and impotence of the Hindu community in the area to reclaim the lands belonging to the Mattummal Sri Narasimhamoorthy Temple resulted in another tragedy. The 600 acres of Temple lands were alienated and sold off to different categories of Muslims. The concerned portion of the land which constituted the Temple premises was declared by the government as disputed land on which land levies remained in arrears for nearly fifty years.
A case was filed in Civil Court and the furious legal battle was on. Kerala Kshetra Samrakshana Samiti Vice-President and Ex-matrubhoomi journalist V.K Balachandran Master became Patron along with C. P Janardhanan as Chairman, Malaparamba Narasimhamoorthy Charitable Trust was registered in 2003.
In this context, I would like to record the bold and courageous leadership provided by Sri C P Janardhanan, the Temple Trust President, in uniting the terrorized and demoralized Hindus of the area with total focus on achieving the supreme objective or re-construction of Mattummal Sri Narasimha Temple. Sri C.P. Janardhanan, the courageous and charismatic leader of the Hindus of Malappuram, who dedicated his life to render unto the Hindus a strong and forceful leadership. An acknowledged expert in traditional martial arts of Kerala, he was the RSS Zilla Prachaarak in Calicut and Trichur. He is the Palghat Division President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Member of the Advisory Committee of the famous Tirumandham-Kunnu Bhagawati Temple at Angadipuram, Founder-Member of Sree Valluvanad Vidya Niketan and is also the president of the Mattummal Sri Narasimha Temple Trust.
On the orders of the Court Advocate Jacob reached the premises as Commissioner to inspect the Temple premises. Retired Zilla Surveyor Kareem measured and fixed the borders of the Temple Premises. Upon receipt of reports of the Commissioner and the Surveyor, the Court ordered the release of 67 cents of land to the Temple Trust.
To provide a place of worship and to enable devote Hindus to congregate in one place until the Sri Narasimhamoorthy Temple is built in its entirety, a temporary temple, the baala-aalayam was consecrated. This took place on 14 March, 2007. To help the Sri Narasimhamoorthy Trust in its reconstruction efforts, a galaxy of Hindu spiritual luminaries and leaders formed a large Reconstruction Assistance Committee on 30 November, 2007. At that meeting Swami Chidanandapuri of Kulathoor Advaita Ashrama was designated the Chief Patron and several other eminent persons were made patrons.
16 January, 2008, Kanipayyur Krishnan Namboothiri, a renowed expert on tachchu-shastra and the art of temple building, in the presence of a large gathering of devote Hindus laid the foundation of the main temple for Sri Narasimhamoorthy.
The venerable Kanchi Acharya conferred his benedictions and presented a cheque of Rs 10,00,000 for the re-construction of Malaparamba Mattummal Sri Narasimhamoorthy Temple.
Sri Shanker Shastri, the R.S.S Pracharak of Malabar who rendered all help in getting Uneer Sahib converted into Hinduism under the name Ramasimhan was delighted to hear about the re-construction of Mattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple. This grand old man, now settled in Pune Town in Maharashtra State, has collected and sent Rs 1,50,000 for the re-construction efforts.
The reconstruction of Mattummal Sri Narasimha Moorthy Temple is not a mere temple building activity. This humungous effort has brought together not only the people of Malappuram, but also the concerned Hindus even in other parts of Kerala and rest of India. There is no doubt that with this reconstruction, Mattumal Sri Narasimhamoorthy Temple would become a formidable Hindu religious and social organisation that can help to organise and invigorate the Hindus and revitalize Sanatana Dharma.
A delegation representing the Temple Trust headed by Sri Radhakrishnan visited Chennai and they paid me a visit and requested me to write about the social mobilisation of the oppressed Hindu minority in Angadipuram Taluk and their heroic efforts to rebuild their much loved and revered Sri Narasimhamoorthy Temple.
The Sri Narasimhamoorthy Temple at Malaparamba, Angadipuram, Malappuram District which was repeatedly destroyed by the Muslim fanatics reminds me of the famed Somnath Temple which too was destroyed many times by the fanatical Muslims and rebuild with dedication and perseverance by the Hindus after each destruction. On the last occasion, it was re-built under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and K.M. Munshi.
The Temple Trust has recently created a website http://www.malaparamba-narasimhamoorthy.org/. This site has the address to which contributions may be sent.
I take this opportunity to make an appeal to all the self-respecting followers of Sanatana Dharma to pay homage to the indestructible easwara-chaitanya, contribute generously to this historic temple-reconstruction and be blessed in your lives.