Here is the story of two Muslim Indians, Mahomet Cassim and Mahomet Abdallah, exponents of kalaripayattu, an ancient Indian martial art. These two young men enthralled colonial audiences with their performances until, in 1863, they were arrested for a murder which they, in all likelihood, did not commit. Despite a legal case built on incomplete and circumstantial evidence, the colonial authorities overriding need to eradicate frontier lawlessness allowed prejudice and expedience to determine their fate.

From History, the magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society, March 2023, pp. 12-14.

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