Christians in Codacal

Christians in Codacal

Codacal is a Muslim majority village and there are a substantial amount of Hindu and Christian communities live here. Codacal is a rare place in western part of Malappuram where Christian communities exist more than 150 years. Codacal region was a dense “Njangana” forest or a kind of cane grass and a group of Nadodis or nomads were wandering through this forest. It is believed that these nadodis were converted into Christianity. Now Christians are spread over in Codacal, Beeranchira and Tirunavaya.

Codacal is one of the rare regions in Malabar where non – immigrant Christians exist. Most of the Christian communities in Malabar have their roots in Central Travencore area. Swiss – German missionary J.M Fritz visited Codacal in 1842. It was a turning point in the history of Codacal. After the last Mamankam which held in AD 1755, Codacal and neighboring areas lost its importance. With arrival of Basel missionaries, social and economic life of Codacal has changed. Missionaries established school and enrolled students irrespective of religion and caste. Girls were allowed in school while even upper caste women were banned education in those days.

Basel mission under the banner of The Commonwealth Trust established a tile factory in Codacal in 1887. It was mainly constructed to support newly converted Christians for their livelihood. After the conversion to Christianity, most of them were excluded from their own communities. Even before establishing a tile factory, Basel mission constructed a weaving factory to accommodate new converts. Several people from Codacal area were employed in tile factory. Tiles were on high demand in those time. Most of the houses in the end of nineteenth century and in the beginning of twentieth century had roots with palm and coconut leaves. A rapid transformation to the houses with tile roof took place after the arrival of tile factory. Tiles were exported to outside of the Malabar and even outside of India including Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Basel mission procured more than 600 acres of paddy fields for newly converted Christians in Codacal. Most of the converted were landless tenants or local nomad people. Veluthatt illam, Tavanur mana and Azhvancheri mana leased the land for 98 years.

Malabar Rebellion in 1921

In the first phase of Malabar rebellion, Codacal was not affected very much. But after the suppression of riots, British Government started arresting of Mappilas irrespective of their participation in rebellion. Strong enforcement of Mopla outrages act and act of revenge against Mappilas forced them to hold sword and gun again. Mappilas in and around Codacal always suspected Christian community here as Government spies. A mob of Mappilas with more than 300 men started riots against Christian minorities in Codacal, burned houses and killed many innocents. A group of Muslims in Codacal gave shelter for their Christian brothers. Upon arrival of British forces from Tanur, Mappilas pulled back from the area. Quick arrival of British forces saved many lives with minimal civilian casualties and damages. After the incident many Christian minorities have fled to other districts like Kozhikode and Thrissur.

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