Prithviraj-Aashiq Abu to do biopic on Vaariyamkunnan leader on Malabar revolution
The film will chronicle the battle years of Kunjahammed Haji, when he waged one of the greatest civil wars against the British empire in Malabar.
The name of Vaariyan Kunnath Kunjahmmed Haji, who led to victory in the 1921 Malabar Rebellion against the British Raj in pre-independent India, may have been forgotten in history but cinema might revive the legacy of this fiery freedom fighter soon.
On Monday, it was announced that actor Prithviraj and director Aashiq Abu will come together for a period film titled Vaariyamkunnan in 2021, based on the life of the freedom fighter from Kerala.
According to sources, the film will chronicle the battle years of Kunjahammed Haji, when he waged one of the greatest civil wars against the British empire in Malabar, known as the Malabar Rebellion of 1921. The script is the result of eight-year research by writer Rameez. Writer Harshad of Unda fame is also on board. Muhsin Parari who wrote the much acclaimed Sudani from Nigeria will co-direct the movie.
"The point is to see this as a revolution against the British, and not as a rebellion they relegated it as," a source associated with the movie said.
Haji with his longtime friend Ali Musaliyar raised an army of 75,000 fighters and ran a parallel government in the Valluvanad and Eranad taluks in Malabar and called it ‘Malayala Rajyam’. The Malabar revolt was the only incident in India’s colonial history when the British fought, lost, and conceded an area of land which was directly under the Madras Presidency, to another ruler for about six months. Haji was considered among the most powerful enemies of the British Raj.
In his post announcing the film, Prithviraj wrote: “He stood up against an empire that ruled a quarter of the world. Etched out his own country with an army that waged a never before the war against the British. Though history was burned and buried, the legend lived on! The legend of a leader, a soldier, a patriot. A film on the man who became the face of the 1921 Malabar revolution. #Vaariyamkunnan.”
The actor announced that the filming of the project will begin in 2021, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Malabar Rebellion.
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