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4. Communication - treachery and backstabbing


When speaking or contemplating on colonialism in general, a feeling does arise that the English were great conquerors, and sort of very good fighters and such. However, the actual fact might be that the English were not any kind of conquerors at all. And they were not a population with any kind of martial capabilities inbred into them.


Yet, by a wonderful historical illogicality, they seem to have won almost all the wars in which they had entered. The one war in which they lost by a very slight lack of staying-power for one more day, was that to that reneged rascal George Washington. However, G Washington also came from English antiquity, even though he grew up into a scoundrel.


The various kingdoms in Malabar, both north as well as in south, came under the English company at Tellicherry. Actually, the English Factory at Tellicherry was quite a feeble one from a military perspective. It would seem quite a miracle that the Factory endured through the thick and thin of the everyday events of a semi-barbarian locality.  And in almost all skirmishes and battles, the English came to win in spite of being burdened with very feeble manpower and weaponry.


Even though it might seem that the English East India Company did conquer all the minute kingdoms inside the two Malabars, the fact is that it did not. There was indeed a war with Sultan Tipu of Mysore, at the end of which the Malabars were, by treaty, handed over to the Company. However, the various kingdoms inside the Malabars were still ruled by the various kings and royal families in each individual locality.


And these kings and other members of the various kingship families were not fools or incapable persons. Instead they were persons with extreme levels of cunning and shrewd intelligence. In fact, they were persons who had maintained huge sections of the populations under them as mere half-animal slaves in their farm-lands over the centuries.


What actually transpired was that it was these kings and rulers who themselves individually handed over their locations to the Company. In return, the Company granted them gracious annual pensions (Malikkana).


What the kings and the families got in return was not merely the pensions. The more fabulous item that they got in return was a life of peace and security. Beyond that there was a pervading feeling that the English side was a very unique population, who would keep their word and commitment, and would not betray them or act treacherous.


There was the experience that the English side did not know how to dishonour a fallen person. And that to the English side, fair-play and even-handedness was an innate disposition and not a pretence.


The local kings and other rulers, each and every day, had lived the terror of being up-heaved, not only by the other kings in the neighbourhoods, but also by the members of their own families.


The social and interpersonal communication was filled with treachery and backstabbing of a most terrible kind. No word of honour was honoured the moment the other side or person went down in stature. This is a statement that needs elaboration. I will do it later.


There is the issue of why the English side consistently won. And there is also the question of why the local kings had no qualms in surrendering their political possessions to the English side, when actually they had so many other political choices to surrender to. Such as other mightier local kings, and also the Continental European powers such as the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Italians, the French &c.


There are items, which are non-tangible in English, that needs mention and elaboration.

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