Heritage and the Politics of Culture
The Padappattu (War-songs) written in Arabi Malayalam has a great role to play in determining the political and cultural subjectivity of Mappila Muslims in Malabar. It is in a special historio-political context that these songs, were translated into Arabi Malayalam and thereby to Mappila Muslim community. The authors of these narratives have adopted many translation strategies demanded by this particular historical context. The paper seeks to study those translation strategies. which are used as they brought the war into Malabar’s Muslim community through the specific social and political contexts that existed in Malabar during that period.
The Arab trade in the Malabar Coast confronted a decline with the strengthening of Portuguese Colonization. This is a major reason for the emigration of Muslims from coastal areas to inner regions of Malabar. Two kinds of colonialisms hovered over them. On one side, an internal colonisation from the part of the feudal lords and on the other hand the British colonialism that sided with the landlords. The resistance to this exploitative mechanism had triggered many a peasant uprisings in the 19th c Malabar. Padappaattukal could be taken as the by-products of such a social environment that has created peasant movements
Being an inter-textual approach the paper tries to put together the historical context of ‘Padappaatt’ and the adapted translation strategies as it imagines that translation is essentially a social practice. Gayatri Spivak’s observation that any translation is bound to be incomplete and partial is relevant at this point.