|A Brief history of chennamangallur.
Author : O. Abdul Rahiman
Translation : T K Faisal
When did chennamangallur come into being? Such a question may look irrelevant as chennamangllur must have come into existence since the parasuraman-axe legend. But when did this piece of land being to be known as chennamangallur. The great research in names of places Mr N M Namboodri says that the chennamangallur that was call today has been accurately recorded in the tax collection record of mysore dynasty in 1815.
But it is said that it has been recorded ‘Chennamangallur’ (first syllable short vowel). Still it is a matter of confusion how to pronounce the word ‘Chennamangallur’,(whether the first syllable has a short vowel or a long vowel), however ‘Chennamangllur(first syllable long vowel) is generally accepted. We can see chennamangallur in the settlement register of 1890, as per the record ‘chennamangallur desom’ no 161.10 is in Kozhikode taluk. Thus it was in manassery amsom. Today’s amsom is Thazhakode.
Change in population
In 1890, the number of people lived in chennamangallur was 807. In 1900, it was come down to 743. Then there was a regular increase in population. As per the census of 1917, the population of the village that has an area of 273kmsqure was 2614. Annual increase was 5%. If this had steadily gone on, the population of chennamangallur in 1997 would have gone up to 9000. But we cannot neglect the impact if family planning in society. G M U P school authority says that the division in the school is falling down each year. Mushrooming English medium schools in surrounding area enhances the division fall in govt and aided schools.
The great difference in communal proportion in population is noticeable. In 1890, there were totally 489 Hindus, in 1900 it came down into 405, whereas the number of Muslims increased from 316 to 388. It is obvious that this occurred not because of the isolated conversion, then how? When the aristocratic nairs and namboodries migrated to the adjacent areas at the end of feudalism, Muslim families from nearby places settled in chennamangallur.
The hungry past
Chennamangallur is said to be a boon of Iruvazhinji and the economic system of which depended chiefly on farming. Traditional way of farming of paddy and coconut sustained the village. Chennamngallur is surrounded by ‘kunnus ‘(hills), they are orankuzhi, Muthappumal, Kanakkuparambu, Edolikkunu.
It was not so long before that these hills became populated and cultivated. Iruvazhinji which is blessing of the village turns ferocious during monsoon. Flood water is a fairly common sight in rainy season. The most memorable floods were in 1971 and in 1975. The story of the flood that erupted at midnight floated the cots in the dawn may look exaggerated. Believe it or not, old men and women still cherish it in their memory. If my memory serves me right, the record breaking downpour and aftermath flood was in 1961. Pulparamba, one of the lowest parts of chennamnagallur is extremely destined to immerse in water five or six times in at year.
The biting poverty of a set people whose jobs were ploughing, planting and cutting leaves from jackfruit trees is worth mentioning. The previous generation lived on ploughing, fishing and grinding palm. By the advent of Christians in the eastern hills, tapioca became a familiar item in the dish. Children would eat whatever they get from their surroundings. Children ate with or without permission whatever availed from their surroundings such as mangoes, jackfruit, tamarinds’ etc. thus they grew up. Their learning materials were slate, pencil and pen dipped in the ink to write. The rich were very few in number. They themselves were stung into vayalil tharavadu mukkam or koyappathodi vazhakkad.
The shift from the misery of poverty to the splendor of affluence was not natural. It was the outcome of the strenuous effort of some pupil for religious reformation, educational revolution and migration to gulf countries. It is an undesirable truth though the frenzied fault finders try to erase it.
The religious assemblage of chennamangallur (CMR) started by the construction of othayamangalam (udayamangalam) juma masjid under the leadership of chalakkal kunhoyi and kungacheri kuttiyammu who collected remuneration from the resident of the mahal and bestowed it as a “wakaf” property. (It said that there had been temples or shrines inn the governance of namboothiries but they are extinct). In the beginning it was a small masjid which hardly accommodated 200-300 devotes. As it was the tradition the governing body of the masjid comprised of the noble person of the ‘mahal’. It was in 1959 that a committee was formed officially in the conclave of the mahal residents. The late palathumannil unnikkammu was its first president; following his demise koyyappurath kunhammed hajee was elected as president who had been the vice president till then. After his death K C Abdullah moulavi became the president in 1985.
The mosque was reconstructed by spending 15 lakh under the supervision of islahiya association. It is a grand mosque that can accommodate nearly 1500 persons. It was late sheik Dhani bin Abdullah of dubai mainly helped for this reconstructed. It is gratefully remembered.
The wave of religion reformation movement started in kerala in 1925’s, to rid people from superstitious beliefs and irrational practices reached in our village too in its early period. MM Kuttihassan, the amsom chieftain and a feudalist was one among the first to be attracted by the reformation movement, however it was Sageer moulavi who assumed as mahal khadi following the demise of his father padinharathodhi Kunhali Musliyar, who really led the locality to a reawakening.
Mere discard o orthodoxy by khadhi and a few noblemen may not revolutionize a village. But CMR was an exception. The presence of prominent islahi scholars of darul uloom Vazhakkad accelerated this process.
CMR is blessed enough to have ripples of Jamat-e-islami in 1940’s itself. Sageer moulavi was in forefront of it. Besides that he scarified his position of khadi to a staunch supporter of jamat-e –islami following his reversed islahi scholar and former teacher of Pulikkal madeenathul ullom, NK Muhamed moulavi assumed as Khadi of the mahal. Sticking in his own stand he could see the silent conversion of the village from islahi movement to islahi movement.
Reawakening in education
As any other muslim mahal, ‘othupally’ and following madrassa were the forerunners of educational institution. In 1918 ansarul sangam, a conclave of the Muslim started a madrassa. It is remarkable that Malayalam was also being taught in it. Because in those days an odd language called arabi-malayalam, which is neither Malayalam nor Arabic was being tought in madrassa. Odungattu moyin musliyar(cheruvadi), ahmed kutty master (chaliyapuram) were the madrassa teacher of early days. We cannot but with awe reminds the names of CT Komukkuty sahib, who taught Holy Scriptures many generation under the thatched roof in the premise of his house.
The cradle of secular education in the village was the elementary school started in 1926 under the Malabar district board. It started with 42 children in a rented building of othayamangalam juma masjid. V. Abdurahman master (late) was its first headmaster. It had to wait till 1957 to get it upgraded as an upper primary school. The turning point in education scenario of the village began with the acquisition of a high school during the tenure of congress ministry led by R.Shanker in 1964. Later it merged with Islahiya Association.
Students have ti come to this school from different parts of Kerala since 1967 and it has glorious records of success including 100% result in SSLC examination in the previous year. However it was Al Madrasattul Islamiya, started in 1952, a pioneer institution in Kerala which gave a true direction to the village. It was an adventurous experiment blending secular and religious learning and by 1960 it rose into Islamiya College. (Since 1967 it is islahiya). This distinguished institution is pioneer in Kerala to launch Arts and Islamic course (AIC) in Kerala which later turned out to be a model to the entire state irrespective of any kind of schisms. Twenty batches of graduates have come out so far. They are the young scholars of their predecessor do admirable service in different walks of life in and abroad.
Madrasathul Banath, later known as Islahiya women’s college- is a name inscribed in golden letters in the map of Chennamangallur, started in1960. It has carved a niche in the education of Muslim women in Kerala. This distinct institution has played a vital role in educating and culturing the neglected and down hidden Muslim women.
There were so many organizations in CMR which enriched the cultural field of the village. The most memorable among them in Muslim Yuvajana Sangam which was very active in 1950’s. Beside this there was ‘young men’s association’ formed by a group of socialist movement. ’Sithara club’ was another shining star in the cultural firmament of CMR. Yuvajana grandalayam promoted by the leftist is another cultural organization. Forerunner of all these was the public library of common men. Young CH Muhammed Koya had come to CMR for the first time to participate one of its functions.
Chennamangallur is growing fast. The transition from the depth of severe starvation, sheer ignorance and the scarcity of modern conveniences of yesterdays to the peak of prosperity is amazing. 100% literacy, modem transport, communication facilities, hung masons, religious-secular institutions and places of worship crowded by devotes is the symbol of prosperity. We have to remember many great people in this movement whose strenuous effort has brought about this change. Some of them are great scholars and thinkers K.C Abdullah Moulavi, unrelating wellwishers of the village Unnikkammu hajee, K.P Kunhammed Hajee, A Rayin Hajee, T.K Unnimoyi Hajee, V.Ummer hajee, Thevarmannil Mammi, Kanakunnath Muhammed, C.K Kunhavaran Hajee, P.C Sageer moulavi, K C R Muhammed, K.T Ahammed kutty, K.T Kunhalan kutty, V.Aboobacker (cheriyon), T.K Ismail, K.T.K Hassan, O. Muhammed, A.C Kunhali, A.P Ahmmed kutty etc..
The voice of opposition and collaborator of virtues Keeranthodi Muhammed, A.M.C Muhamed, com K.P.R Muhammed, Payyadi Kunhan Nair, Attupurath Muhammed koya, Thiruthiyil Govindan Nair, A M Kunhimohammed the man of communal amity, Kanhirathodi Mammukka(Muhammed koya) who introduced English to the village and those persons who departed in their ripe age such as O.Ummer, Chundu alias M.K Abdulla, A.K Abdul Khader etc. the list does’nt end.