This paper aims to address particular dimensions of regional and communal identity, concerning the peculiarities of spatial strategies and cultural locations as well as various inter- and intra-community political interactions. Identities of regions and communities are dynamic and evolving in relation to time and space. This paper is an attempt to address the complexities of the Hindu cultural nationalist Islamist politics. In this paper, the emphasis is on how the contemporary social life and politics of North Malabar appropriate and adopt cultural and political aspects of the past, in the creation of an identity in the present. The focus of this paper is more on latent political engagement and structural components of identity than the directly visible forms of articulations and assertions. Latent aspects of political engagements often associated with structural and cultural elements of regional and local societies directly relate to the ideological and political elements.
In North Malabar, ethics of folk art and martial tradition are inseparable from various aspects of the latent political engagement. Elements of courage, heroism, martyrdom, altruism, sacrifice and resistance are integral elements in everyday cultural elements of the region. The daily aspect of political engagement and socialisation reinforce these values in terms of regional and community identity. In North Malabar, the ethics of folk culture, and martial art are not only appropriated in political engagement but also functional as crucial elements in various stages of political socialisation.