Offerings to the Muslim Warriors of Malabar: Foundation Document of Colonialism and Clash of Civilisations, published by Saindhavi, Chennai, 2015, Rs. 350

malabarOfferings to the Muslim Warriors of Malabar was one of the rarest and pioneering documents of historical importance which attests emphatically west European expansion into the Indian Ocean region and Malabar. It is the only foundation document on colonialism and enslavement of Indians and Malabaris. It was written in Arabic by Sheikh Zainuddin, a south Indian scholar in the sixteenth century. He like many of his compatriots, was very much affected by Portuguese atrocities and high-handedness that had been planned and sponsored by the Portuguese royalty and the then authorities of the Roman Catholic church. An English officer M.J. Rowlandson translated the Sheikh’s work into English in 1833. J.B.P.More had edited this work with a long and critical foreword.

It is also a pioneering account of the beginning of the Clash of Civilisations between the west and the rest of the world and the valiant resistance put up by the Zamorin, the Hindu king of Calicut, with the help of Marakkars, who manned his navy. These Marakkars were Malabar Muslims. The Clash of Civilisations began not after the fall of the Soviet Union as asserted by Samuel Huntignton. But it began in the 15th century itself with the arrival of Vasco da Gama on the Malabar coast. Through colonialism which followed this arrival and through capitalism which is part and parcel of western civilisation, the west had indeed succeeded to a considerable extent in imposing its way of life and culture upon the rest of the world including India.

It is quite astonishing to note that Sheikh Zainuddin living in the late sixteenth century had understood perfectly well the inseparability of Portuguese culture and their monopolist economics when he chose to oppose both tooth and nail through his work. He condemned not only Portuguese permissiveness and moral depravity, under cover of Christianity, but also their extremely violent and inhuman streak in order to impose their political and economic domination over the Hindu Raja of Malabar and his Mappila allies and over the entire Indian Ocean region. He was the first to envisage through his work a Clash of Civilisations unfolding between the Portuguese and the Indians.

In 1909 in Hind Swaraj, Mahatma Gandhi using the words of Prophet Mohammad called this western way of life or civilisation as the Satanic Civilisation. But this Satanic Civilisation of Gandhi did not end with the departure of colonialists from India in 1947 because the largely capitalist economic and political structures and systems put in place by the colonisers were maintained and even amplified by the successive authorities who took over power from the colonial authorities, paving the way for the westernisation fo Indian society. It is sheer naivety to oppose western culture without first getting rid of capitalism, which is in essence the concentration of power in the hands of the few and their political allies and the subordination of the vast mass of people to them.