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Malabar Manual Vol 1 CHAPTER III. HISTORY
William Logan!
Section (G). THE BRITISH SUPREMACY. 1792 to Date (3)

The peace of the district has not been very seriously disturbed since then, except in consequence of the Mappilla outrages, which will be presently related. But in the beginning of April 1812, the people, chiefly Kurchiyars and Kurumbars of the east of Wynad, again gave some trouble owing to the exaction of the Government land revenue in money. The people were unable to find a market for their produce, and had to part with their grain at ruinous prices to pay the revenue. They assembled and consulted as to what they should do, and a subbadar and jemadar of the local police were attacked with bows and arrows on endeavouring to disperse an assemblage in Nallurnad.

Fire, was returned, but the police party was not strong enough to carry out its object and eventually had to retreat with the jemadar and two Kolkars wounded. Troops had to be brought both from the coast and from Mysore for the relief of the detachments at Manantoddy and Sultan’s Battery which were placed in a state of siege by the insurgents. The column from the coast encountered opposition in the Kuttiyadi pass, near which (on the north) there is a strong Kurchiyar settlement.

Two officers and seventeen or eighteen men of the second battalion of the 3rd regiment were wounded. The posts were relieved, and in order to obtain a better command of the country held by the jungle tribes, a chain of posts was established in the wild jungly country stretching to the north of the Sultan’s Battery, namely, Porakandy, Pakam, and Moodramoly, besides Panamaram and Sultan’s Battery.

In connection also with the rebellion in 1808-9 of the Travancore and Cochin Nayars, an unsuccessful attempt was made on 28th December 1808 to murder the British Resident (Colonel Macaulay) in his house at Cochin. And on the 19th January following, the town was attacked by the rebels, 3,000 strong, in three divisions. They had also planted a battery of two guns on Vypeen point and did some execution with it. The place was gallantly defended1 by fifty men of His Majesty’s 12th Foot and by six companies of the 1st battalion of the 17th Regiment, all under Major Hewitt.

NOTEs: 1. Wilson’s Hist. Madras Army, Vol. Ill, pp. 208-10. END OF NOTEs

The defence was conducted with great spirit notwithstanding several determined attacks from the rebels, who lost 300 men. The gallant defenders also suffered severely.2

NOTEs: 2. His Majesty's 12th Foot— 1 private killed, 1 officer and 14 rank and file wounded; 1st Battalion, 17th Regiment—10 sepoys killed, 1 officer and 45 rank and file wounded, the former (Captain Read) mortally. END OF NOTEs

But the rebels, though defeated, were not driven out of the field ; two days later they attacked the Dutch Governor’s house on the outskirts of the town and destroyed the garden. On the 25th another attack was made on the town from the eastward. They3 came on with their guns adorned with crimson shoe flowers (Hibiscus rosa sinensis), sacred to Siva and the Gods of Blood. They did not, however, approach with any bravery, and were without much difficulty forced to retreat, many being taken prisoners.”

NOTEs: 3. Day’s Land of the Perumauls, page 188. END OF NOTEs

For a month more they hovered about the town, doing mischief, and in particular subjecting the Syrian Christian community to great ill-treatment. Few events of political importance remain to be noticed except the outrages by Mappillas, which, unfortunately for the peace of the district, continue down to the present day.

But mention requires to be made of the following : —

On 15th November 1806 the Principal Collector, Mr. Warden, and the Zamorin reduced to terms1 the understanding with the latter and his family in regard to the payment of the malikhana allowance (or one-fifth share of the revenues of their districts) which had been set apart for their maintenance. The family receives Rs. 1,32,163 odd per annum, and it is “considered as the security for the good and dutiful behaviour towards the Company’s Government of each and every member of the Rajeum (Rajyam) or family to which it may now and hereafter be payable.”

NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., ii. CCLXII. END OF NOTEs

The Government had on 21st November 1804 approved of the Principal Collector’s suggestion to have similar written instruments interchanged with the other ancient chieftains of the district. But beyond this engagement with the Zamorin and his family no such interchange of written deeds appears to have taken place.

In Appendix XX will be found a complete list of the malikhana recipients, and the nature of the payments made to them has been defined as follows:-

“It should2 be understood that these allowances will be subject to revocation upon proof established of flagrant, misbehaviour or rebellious conduct.”

NOTEs: 2. Revenue Board to Principal Collector, 5th May 1804. END OF NOTEs

In 1857 the Government3 agreed with the Revenue Board and the Acting Collector that the allowances are perpetual during good conduct and are not revocable at pleasure.”

NOTEs: 3.Ext. Min. Cons., 30th May 1857. END OF NOTEs

“These4 varying allowances were permanently fixed at 20 per cent, of the net revenue of the year 1800-1.”

NOTEs: 4. Proceedings, Board of Revenue, 1970, dated 11th June 1857. END OF NOTEs

The control of the Cochin State was transferred5 to the British Resident in Travancore in April 1809.

NOTEs: 5. Treaties, etc., ii. CCLXV. END OF NOTEs

In 1813 the Anjengo Factory was closed.

On 23rd February 1817, after the conclusion of peace between the two nations, “the establishment of Mahe” was retransferred6 to the French and this was followed on 1st February 1819 by the delivery7 to M. le Chef of Mahe of the French factory at Calicut with the extent of ground to which that Government are entitled in virtue of their having possessed it in former days.”

NOTEs: 6. Treaties, etc., ii. CCLXVIII.

7. Treaties, etc., ii. CCLXXI—CCLXXXIX. END OF NOTEs

After much and protracted discussion it was further finally decided that the French had made good their claims to certain other bits of territory lying in the neighbourhood of Mahe, described as the “four villages of Paloor, Pandaquel, Chamberra and Chalicarra, and of the three detached points or posts of Fort Saint George, the great and the little Calayi, as defined by the British authorities, without any of the territory in their vicinity, to which a claim was made on a former occasion.” These bits of territory were accordingly delivered1 to the French on 14th November 1853.

The Coorg war in 1834 did not affect Malabar beyond that “an old and faithful servant of the Company,” Kalpalli Karunakara Menon, the Head Sherishtadar of the district, was sent for the purpose of opening a friendly negotiation with the Raja, and was imprisoned by the latter. This outrage led2 directly to the war.

NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., ii. CCLXXV. END OF NOTEs

Shortly after the close of the war with Coorg the district administration entered upon a period of disturbance, which unhappily continues down to the present time. The origin and causes of this are of so much importance that it has been considered best to treat the subject at considerable length with a view not only to exhibit the difficulties with which the district officers have had to deal, but to elucidate the causes from which such difficulties have sprung.

On the 26th November 1836 Kallingal Kunyolan of Manjeri amsam, Pandalur desam in Ernad taluk, stabbed one Chakku Panikkar of the Kanisan (astrologer) caste, who subsequently died of his wounds. He also wounded two other individuals, and a fourth who had been employed to watch him, and fled to Nenmini amsam in Walluvanad taluk, whither he was pursued by the tahsildar, taluk peons and villagers. He was shot by the police on the 28th idem.

On the 15th April 1837 one Ali Kutti of Chengara amsam, Kalpetta desam, Ernad taluk, inflicted numerous and severe wounds on one Chirukaranimana Narayana Mussat (a Brahman janmi), and took post in his own shop, where he was attacked by the tahsildar and the taluk peons, and shot by the taluk police on the following day.

On the 5th April 1839 Thorayampolakal Attan and another, of Pallipuram amsam, Walluvanad taluk, killed one Kelil Raman and then set fire to and burnt a Hindu temple, took post in another temple and there they were attacked by the tahsildar and his peons and were shot by a taluk peon.

On the 6th April 1830 Mambadtedi Kuttiathan stabbed and severely wounded one Kotakat Paru Taragan and then came among the police party, consisting of two tahsildars and others, who were occupied in framing a report connected with the preceding case, and stabbed and wounded a peon. He was captured, brought to trial, and sentenced to transportation for life.

On the 19th April 1840, in Irumbuli amsam, Ernad taluk, Paratodiyil Ali Kutti severely wounded one Odayath Kunhunni Nayar and another, set fire to Kidangali temple and took post in his house, where he was attacked by the tahsildar and his peons. He rushed out and was shot by a taluk police peon on the following day.

On the 5th April 1841 Tumba Mannil Kunyunniyan and eight others killed one Perumbali Nambutiri (a Brahman janmi) and another at Pallipuram in Walluvanad taluk, burnt the house of the latter victim as well as four other houses (belonging to the dependents of the Brahmans), the owner of one of which died of injuries then received. The Mappillas then established themselves in the Brahman’s house and defied the Government authorities. They were attacked and killed on the 9th idem by a party of the 36th Regiment Native Infantry and the police peons and villagers under the direction of Mr. Silver, then Head Assistant Magistrate in the district. The military consisted of 1 jemadar, 1 havildar, 2 naigues and 20 privates.

“The plan1 of attack I formed was, a body of peons to rush close up to one of the doors with axes and break it open, closely followed by a storming party of sepoys, while the armed villagers and peons should be disposed round the building, among the trees, as skirmishers to keep up a constant fire on every aperture to protect as much as possible the storming party.............. While we were waiting for the pick-axes, etc., the door was flung open and forth rushed the ruffians.”

NOTEs: 1. Mr. Silver’s report of 10th April 1841. END OF NOTEs


“The jemadar’s party of sepoys behaved extremely well, and without them many lives would have been sacrificed.”

* * * *

One man, Pulikot Raman Nayar, was killed and ten, namely, 1 sepoy, 5 peons and 4 villagers, were wounded. The Government in Extract from Minutes of Consultation, dated 22nd April 1841, No. 329, remarked : “His Lordship in Council considers that great commendation is due to Mr. Silver for the decision and promptitude displayed by him, and to the detachment 36th Regiment Native Infantry who aided him, as well as the tahsildar and others concerned.”

The chief criminal in this outbreak was one Kunyolan, and the cause assigned was the duplicity on the part of the Nambutiri Brahmans in the matter of a garden for which Kunyolan advanced Rs. 16, and of which he wished to remain in possession. Another Mappilla brought a suit in the Munsiff's Court to evict Kunyolan on the strength of a deed of melkanam obtained from the Brahmans.

On the 13th November 1841 Kaidotti Padil Moidin Kutti and seven others killed one Tottassori Tachu Panikkar and a peon, took post in a mosque, set the police at defiance for three days, and were joined by three more fanatics on the morning of the 17th idem.

“On1 the requisition of the Zillah Judge, Mr. E. B. Thomas (the Collector having been absent at Ootacamund), a party of 40 sepoys of the 9th Regiment Native Infantry, under Lieutenant Shakespear, accompanied by Mr. Platel, arrived” on the scene.

NOTEs: 1. The District Magistrate's letter to Government, No. 29, dated 22nd November 1841. END OF NOTEs


“Mr. Platel2 made strenuous efforts to induce a party of peons to advance ; I found it was necessary to advance with them ; as we approached, the peons fired a few shots and drew off to the left, and when we arrived within 100 yards of it, five of the Mappillas rushed forward with big knives and shields to defend themselves ; two diverged to the left, who were instantly shot by the peons, and three made off to the right towards some paddy-fields, where they were assailed by a file or two of my men, and a few villagers and peons likewise joined them. A struggle took place between a sepoy and one of the Mappillas ; and adhikari came up and cut him down ; a second was attacked by a sepoy who threw him down, and whilst securing him was shot by one or two peons ; a third having severely wounded a villager, was also killed. Immediately after the rush of the first men, six more came running headlong down the eminence, similarly armed, and from the desperation of their manner the sepoys and peons opened fire upon them and they fell.”

NOTEs: 2. Lieutenant Shakespear’s report of 20th November 1841. END OF NOTEs

The cause assigned for the murder of the peon was that the peon dragged one of the Mappillas out of the mosque, and with the assistance of Tachu Panikkar tied him up. But the Mappillas had previously resolved upon murdering the Panikkar because he had opposed the raising of a mud wall round a small mosque built in a garden obtained on kanam twenty-two years before from his predecessor.

On the 17th of the same month a large band of Mappillas, estimated at 2,000, set at defiance a police party on guard over the spot where the above criminals had been buried, and forcibly carried off their bodies and interred them with honours at a mosque. Twelve of these were convicted and punished.

On the 27th December 1841 Melemanna Kunyattan, with seven others, killed one Talappil Chakku Nayar and another, and took post in the adhikari’s house on the 28th idem. They rushed upon the police peons and villagers who had surrounded the house under the Ernad tahsildar’s directions, and were before the arrival of the detachment sent out from Calicut, all killed and their bodies were brought to Calicut and interred under the gallows.

On the 19th October 1843 Kunnancheri Ali Attan and five others killed one Kaprat Krishna Panikkar, the adhikari of Tirurangadi, and proceeded, at the suggestion of a seventh Mappilla who joined them afterwards, to the house of a Nayar in Cherur, and posting themselves in it, avowed not only the murder they committed, but their determination of fighting to death. A detachment consisting of 1 lieutenant, 1 subadar, 1 jemadar, 3 havildars, 4 naigues, 1 drummer, 51 privates, 1 puckalli, and 1 lascar of the 5th Regiment Native Infantry, under Captain Leader, was deputed to the spot. They attacked the Mappillas on the morning of the 24th, but upon the latter rushing out, the sepoys were panic struck and took to flight.

The consequence was that 1 subadar and 3 sepoys were killed, Captain Leader and 5 sepoys were wounded, the former in the neck and stomach, and, besides these casualties to the regular troops, 7 peons were wounded (3 of them severely). The fanatics, seven in number, were killed by the taluk peons and villagers. The sepoys were subsequently tried by a Military Court of Enquiry assembled at Cannanore.

“The military1 detachment who had misbehaved were called into Calicut the next day and their place taken by a fresh body of 35 men, whom I thought it essential to keep in the disturbed locality until tranquillity was more secured.”

NOTEs: 1. District Magistrate's report to Government, No. 29, dated 4th November 1843. END OF NOTEs

It is this outbreak which is described in the verses translated at pages 102-104. Tirurangadi, the adhikari of which was killed, lay close to the residence of the Arab Tangal or High Priest who was generally credited with having incited the Mappillas to commit these outrages. The Tangal died shortly afterwards and was buried at the Mambram mosque situated on the river bank opposite Tirurangadi. Fanatics who intend to commit outrages, and those who have committed them do, as a rule even now, proceed to this mosque to pray at the Tangal’s shrine.

On the 19th December 1843 a peon was found with his head and hand all but cut off, and the perpetrators were supposed to be Mappilla fanatics of the sect known as Hal Illakkam (lit : Frenzy-raising). The following interesting account of this sect is taken from an official report by a native subordinate, dated November 1843 : —

“Particulars of the (ഹാൽ ഇളക്കം) (Hal llakkam = frenzy) among the Mappillas in Chernad taluk and the neighbouring parts,

“Originally there was no Hal Ilakkam there.

“In the month of Metam last year, one Alathamkuliyil Moidin of Kotinhi desam, Nannambra amsam, Vettattnad taluk, which is on the skirts of Trikkulam amsam, went out into the fields (punja pattam) before daybreak to water the crops, and there he saw a certain person who advised him to give up all his work and devote his time to prayer at the mosque. Moulin objected to this, urging that he would have nothing to live upon. Whereupon the above-mentioned person told him that a palm tree which grew in his (Moidin’s) compound would yield sufficient toddy which he could convert into jaggery and thus maintain himself.

“After saying this, the person disappeared. Moidin thought that the person he saw was God himself and felt frantic (hal). He then went to Taramal1 Tangal performed dikkar and niskaram (cries and prayers). After two or three days he complained to the Tangal that Kafirs (a term applied by Muhammadans to people of other religions) were making fun of him. The Tangal told him that the course adopted by him was a right one, and saying “let it be as I have said”, gave him a spear to be borne as an emblem, and assured him that nobody would mock him in future.

NOTEs. 1. The high priest referred to in connection with the preceding outrage. END OF NOTEs

“Subsequently several Mappillas affecting Hal Ilakkam played all sorts of pranks, and wandered about with canes in their hands, without going to their homes or attending to their work. After two or three days some of them, who had no means of maintaining themselves unless they attended to their work, returned to their former course of life, while others, with canes and Ernad knives2 (war knives) in their hands, wandered about in companies consisting of five, six, eight, or ten men, and congregating in places not much frequented by Hindus, carried on their dikkar and niskaram (cries and prayers).

NOTEs: 2. See kodungakutti in the Glossary, Appendix XIII. END OF NOTEs

“The Mappillas in general look upon this as a religious vow and provide those people with food. I hear of the Mappillas taking among themselves that one or two of the ancestors of Taramal Tangal died fighting, that the present man being advanced in ago it is time for him to follow the same course, and that the above-mentioned men affected with Hal Ilakkam, when their number swells to 400, will engage in a fight with Kafirs and die in company with the Tangal.

“One of these men (who are known as Halar) by name Avarumayan, residing in Kilmuri desam, Melmuri amsam two months ago collected a number of his countrymen and sacrificed a bull, and for preparing meals for these men placed a copper vessel with water on the hearth and said that rice would appear of itself in the vessel. He waited for some time. There was no rice to be seen. Those who had assembled there ate beef alone and dispersed. Some people made fun of Avarumayan for this. He felt ashamed and went to Taramal Tangal, with whom he stayed two or three days. He then went into the mosque at Mambram, and on attempting to fly through the air into the mosque at Tirurangadi on the southern3 side of the river, fell down through the opening of the door and became lame of one leg, in which state he is reported to be still lying.

NOTEs: 3. And, it may be added, on the opposite side of the river, which here runs within high banks of which the southern bank is the higher. END OF NOTEs

“While the Halar of Muniyur desam were performing niskaram (prayer) one day at the tomb of Chemban4 Pokar Muppan, a rebel, they declared that in the course of a week a mosque would spring up at night and that there would be complete darkness for two full days. Mappillas waited in anxious expectation of the phenomenon for seven or eight days and nights. There was, however, neither darkness nor mosque to be seen.

NOTEs: 1. The famous rebel in the early days of the British Government, conf. pp. 527-529. END OF NOTEs

“Again in the month of Karkidagam last, some of the influential Mappillas led their ignorant Hindu neighbours to believe that a ship would arrive with the necessary arms, provisions and money for 40,000 men; that if that number (40,000) could be secured meanwhile, they could conquer the country, and that the Hindus would then totally vanish. It appears that it was about that time that some Tiyyar (toddy-drawers) and others became converts. For some days some Mappillas gave up all their usual work and led an idle life. In those days Halar were made much of and treated by some.

“None of these predictions having been realised, Mappillas as well as others have begun to make fun of the Halar, who having taken offence at this, are bent upon putting an end to themselves by engaging in a fight. A certain individual known as Harabikaran Tangal (lit. Arab high priest), with long hair, has been putting up with the Taramal Tangal for the last two years, offering prayers with a cry called dikkar (ദിക്കർ). The Halar appear to have adopted the dikkar from the said Tangal, as it was not known to the people before.

“The man who first had the Hal Ilakkam in the punja fields is called by the people ‘Punja Tangal.’ ”

On the 4th December 1843 a Nayar labourer was found dead with ten deep wounds on his body, and his murder was believed to be the work of the Hal Ilakkam sect just described.

On the 11th December 1843 Anavattatt Seliman and nine others killed one Karukamanna Govinda Mussat, the adhikari of Pandikad in the Walluvanad taluk, and a servant of his while bathing. They afterwards defiled two temples, broke the images therein, and took post in a house. A detachment1 of the 19th Regiment Native Infantry was sent out, but the officer commanding deemed his force insufficient and consequently fell back a short distance. Two companies2 of sepoys of the same regiment, under the command of Major Osbourne, marched from Palghat on the 17th, and on the 19th the Mappillas without waiting to be attacked, rushed at the troops directly they appeared and were shot, but not without loss of life, as one naigue of the force was killed.

NOTEs: 1. Lieutenant Lynch, l subbedar, I jemudar, 3 havildars, 3 naigues, 1 drummer, and 30 sepoys.

2. 2 lieutenants, 2 subbedars, 2 jemudars, 11 havildars, 8 naigues, 3 drummers 148 privates. 2 puckallis, and 4 lascars. END OF NOTEs

“I moved3 the detachment at half-past ten in the direction of the house occupied by the murderers accompanied by H. D. Cook, Esq., two tahsildars and peons. Immediately after filing through the paddy field the murderers rushed upon the column, and in a few minutes were shot, ten in number.”

NOTEs: 3. Major Osbourne's report, dated 19th December 1843. END OF NOTEs

On this occasion the fanatics were in an open plain without shelter, and charged deliberately, 10 men into the midst of over 200.

On the 26th May 1849 Chakalakkal Kammad wounded one Kanancheri Chiru and another and took post in a mosque. When the Chernad tahsildar (a Pathan) proceeded towards the mosque in the hope of inducing the murderer to surrender himself, he rushed forward with a knife, and a peon put an end to the fanatic on the same day.

On the 25th August 1849 Torangal Unniyan killed one Paditodi Teyyunni and with four others joined one Attan1 Gurikkal. They with others on the following day killed the servant of one Marat Nambutiri and two others and took post in the Hindu temple overlooking Manjeri, the headquarters of the Ernad taluk. They defiled the temple and in part burnt it. Captain Watt with a detachment of the 43rd Regiment Native Infantry proceeded from Malapuram to Manjeri, and on the 28th he formed a plan for attacking the temple. Ensign Wyse and his company were sent across the paddy flat separating the taluk cutcherry hill from the temple hill to attack the rebels, then only 32 in number, who were to be drawn from their position in the temple by parties of police and villagers who had been sent forward to fire at them.

NOTEs: 1. A descendant of the Gurikkal who gave so much trouble in the early days of the British administration. Attan Gurikkal was a worthless follow who preferred a life of idleness and shikar, varied by occasional dacoities, to any other kind of pursuit. He had gathered round him a considerable following of men of the same way of thinking as himself, but among them were two at least of a respectable family who had been reduced to poverty “by suit and otherwise in their early life.” END OF NOTEs

The rest of the detachment was held in reserve on the cutcherry hill, Mr. Collett, the Assistant Magistrate, being with them. Ensign Wyse’s party, with the exception of 4 men who were all killed, refused to advance to receive the charge of only a few of the fanatics who came down hill at them, and notwithstanding the gallant example set by the Ensign himself in killing the first man who charged, the party broke and fled after some ineffectual filing.

“Others now2 came down upon Ensign Wyse, and I am informed that one of them seized him by the jacket and he received a wound, when he appears to have fallen and was of course quickly put to death ; but by this time three of the insurgents had fallen, and now those men in the detachment who alone had emulated their officer, fell, one of them having first gallantly bayonetted the man who gave Mr. Wyse his death wound.”

The party held in reserve on the cutcherry lull, on witnessing this disaster, fled, although the fanatics were still at a considerable distance on the far side of the paddy flat lying at the bottom of the hill on which the reserve was posted. Only one of the insurgents crossed this paddy flat and he was killed by a police Kolkar.

A detachment of His Majesty’s 94th regiment3 from Cannanore, under Major Dennis, reached Manjeri on the 3rd September, and also a detachment of the 30th Regiment1 Native Infantry from Palghat. The insurgents, whose ranks had been largely recruited in the interval, evacuated the temple during the night after the arrival of the reinforcements, and proceeded a distance of about twelve miles to the Bhagavati Kavu temple near Angadipuram, the head-quarters of the Walluvanad taluk.

NOTEs: 3 officers, 6 sergeants, 5 corporals, 2 drummers, and 104 privates.

1. 2 officers, 4 native officers, 9 naigues, 2 buglers, and 132 privates. END OF NOTEs

Thither next day they were followed by the troops, who, in spite of their forced march in tempestuous weather from Cannanore to Calicut, of being cooped up, wet and without regular food, in cramped positions in the boats, in which, in still more tempestuous weather, they were conveyed from Calicut to Arikkod, and of the heavy march of the two preceding days, showed the utmost eagerness to close with the enemy.

At 5 p.m. on the 4th September the encounter took place at the forty-first milestone from Calicut on the Great Western Road (No. 6) and in the open ground (now enclosed) to the south of the road at that point. On receiving intelligence that the insurgents, now 64 in number, were coming to the attack, Major Dennis drew his men up “in column2 of sections, right in front, so as to occupy the whole breadth of the road, when the enemy came on with most desperate courage, throwing themselves on our bayonets ; after firing off their matchlocks, they took to their war knives, swords and spears, and when struck down to the ground, renewed the fight even on their knees by hurling their weapons at the faces of our men, and which continued until literally, they were cut to pieces ; others, planted on the trees, kept up a most destructive fire with their matchlocks loaded with iron slugs.

“This attack was made by the enemy in three divisions, about 300 yards apart, the second led on in person by Attan Gurikkal (Coyah or priest), who fought with most desperate courage ; but I am happy to say that through the steadiness, correct and low firing of the men, our loss has not been so considerable as might have been expected from the desperate onset of these mad fanatics ; and in the space of half an hour the enemy was completely annihilated, leaving 64 dead, their bodies lying close to each other, exhibiting most dreadful wounds, some having received four or five musket balls, besides bayonet stabs, before these fanatics could be stayed carrying on their determined work of destruction into our ranks.”

NOTEs. 2. Major Dennis’ report of 5th September 1949. END OF NOTEs

“The power3 of their fanaticism was astounding. One of the men had had his thigh broken in the engagement in which Lieutenant Wyse was killed. He had remained in all the agony attendant on an unhealed and unattended wound of this nature for seven days ; he had been further tortured by being carried in a rough litter from the Manjeri to the Angadipuram pagoda.. Yet there he was at the time of the fight, hopping on his sound leg to the encounter, and only anxious to get a fair blow at the infidels ere he died.”

NOTEs. 3. District Magistrate report of 12th October 1849. END OF NOTEs

The casualties in the detachments were trifling when the numbers and determination of the insurgents are considered. Two privates of the 94th Regiment were killed and three others and a sergeant wounded ; one officer received a deep flesh wound, and Major Dennis “had1 a wonderful escape from a bullet, which grazed his wrist”.

NOTEs. 1. District Magistrate's report of 4th September 1849. END OF NOTEs

A sepoy of the 30th Regiment was likewise severely wounded. On searching afterwards, one of the insurgents, a lad of 17 or 18 years, was found to be alive. He lived for some time and told what he knew about the outrages.

The bodies of the slain insurgents were thrown into a dry well in the garden lying in the south of the Walluvanad taluk cutcherry at Perintalmanna. On the 2nd October 1850 information was received that the sons of one Periambath Attan the Mappilla adhikari of Puliakod amsam in Ernad taluk had, with others, concerted to kill one Mungamdambalatt Narayana Mussat and to devote themselves to death in arms. Security was required of nine individuals on this account.

On the 5th January 1851 Choondyamoochikal Attan attacked and wounded severely a Government native clerk named Raman Menon, who had been employed in inspecting gingelly-oil seed (ellu) cultivation in Payanad in Ernad taluk in conjunction with the village accountant in view to settling the Government share, and he then shut himself up in the inspector’s house, setting the police at defiance. No persuasion could induce him to surrender himself. He declared he was determined to die a martyr. The tahsildar (a Mappilla) tried to induce him to deliver himself up, hut he utterly refused to do so. Finally, rushing out and firing at the opposing party, he was shot dead. The reason assigned by the criminal for attacking the inspector was that his wife’s gingelly-oil crop had been over- assessed.

On the 17th January 1851 three Mappillas were reported as contemplating an assault, and security was taken from them.

On the 15th April 1851 Illikot Kunyunni and five others were reported as designing to break out and kill one Kotuparambat Komu Menon and another. Evidence of the fact was deficient and the accused were released, but it subsequently turned out that the information was only too true.

On the 22nd August 1851 six Mappillas killed one Kotuparambat Komu Menon (above referred to) and his servant on the high road between Manjeri and Angadipuram as they were returning home from the Mankada Kovilakam of the Walluvanad Raja. They were joined by three others, with whom they proceeded towards Komu Menon’s house. But finding a brother of Komu Menon’s ready to meet them with a gun and a war knife, they left the place and went to the house of Ittunni Rama Menon, another brother, who was then bathing in a tank close by. They killed Kadakottil Nambutiri, who was seated in the porch of the house, the family of Rama Menon escaping in the tumult.

The murderers next overtook Rama Menon, who had endeavoured to escape, and cut him down. Setting fire to the house, they marched towards the house of one Mudangara Rarichan Nayar, whom they wounded severely and who subsequently died of his wounds. They then set fire to the house of one Chengara Variyar.

On the morning of the 23rd they were seen in Kuruva amsam, about eight miles distant from Ittunni Rama Menon’s house. Thence they proceeded to the house of the Kulattur variyar, an influential janmi who had opposed the erection of a mosque. They were in the meantime joined by five others. On their arrival, the attendants and family escaped ; all the women and children were told by the fanatics to go away. They next killed two servants of the Variyars. Two of the junior Variyars escaped. But the old Variyar, a man of 79, probably shut himself up in a room of his house where the fanatics eventually discovered him.

The Hindus sent for the Mappilla chief men of the place and others. About fifty persons appeared, two of whom joined the insurgents, calling out “the chief pig is inside.” The old Variyar was then brought out into the paddy field adjoining his house, to a distance of sixty yards from the gatehouse, and one Pupatta Kuttiuttan and another there, in the sight of all the people assembled, hacked him to pieces, severing his head from his body.

As soon as Mr. Collett, the Divisional Magistrate, heard of their having taken up a position at Kulattur, he sent a, requisition to Major Wilkinson, the officer commanding the 39th Regiment at Malapuram, who in complying with the request, wrote to Mr. Conolly in the 24th as follows : —

“I despatched a party, under the command of Ensign Turner of 65 rank and file with the proper complement of native commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

* * * * *

“My reason for sending the party under the command of Ensign Turner was, that Mr. Collett had informed me, when at my house very early yesterday morning, that he had written expressly for the European troops stationed at Calicut.”

In his two letters to Government of the 25th August 1851, Mr. Conolly thus described the operations of the Malapuram detachment : —

“The troops advanced by a muddy road towards the house” in which the insurgents were “and attacked three abrest along a causeway leading to the house through paddy-fields. After some firing, nine of the Mappillas came out from the house and advanced to meet the sepoys on the causeway. The leading sepoys were seized with a panic, which communicated itself to those in the rear, and a general retreat ensued.

"The Mappillas pursued the fugitives and cut down (killed) three—a naigue, a sepoy, and a drummer. They then picked up some of the muskets which had been thrown away by some of the sepoys in their haste to escape, and returned to their home. One or two of the partty is supposed to have been badly wounded by the first firing. The scattered sepoys rallied after some time and have been posted in a house about a mile from where the Mappillas are.”

This was (to use Mr. Collett’s words) “a complete disaster.”

The European detachment1 from Calicut arrived on the forenoon of the 27th, under command of Captain Rhodes. They “were so fagged with their marches”2 and so “exhausted and footsore” that they were not able to act with sufficient steadiness against the fanatics, whose ranks had been, in spite of a close watch by villagers and police, joined by three others, and who now numbered seventeen. Moreover, the fanatics showed a disposition to attack directly the detachment arrived near their stronghold, and Captain Rhodes had no time to rest and recruit his men. The attack was thus sketched by Mr. Conolly3 :

NOTEs: 1. captain, 1 lieutenant, 2 sergeants, 2 corporals, 2 drummers, 47 privates, and 2 puckallies of H.M.’s 94th Regiment.

2. They had “marched a good forty miles in two days, over a very hilly, stony and wild district,” the route being by Beypore, Tirurangadi, Venkatakotta, and Chappanangadi to Kulattur.

3. Reports to Government of 28th and 30th August 1851. END OF NOTEs

“The Europeans were in advance and the sepoys in the rear. The Europeans fired at the fanatics, who had the partial cover of a bank, till they were too tired to load. The fanatics then advanced and charged4 them, and the soldiers retreated in order. The sepoys in the rear seeing this, of course retreated also, and the confusion was very great until the officers, by dint of exhortation, managed to rally their men. It was now that the sepoys, whose guns were loaded, did the good service5 I spoke of. They brought down some of the leading pursuers and enabled the Europeans to halt and reload.

"Their confidence was at once restored, and they moved forward again with the sepoys in expectation of meeting more enemies. They were all in good order when I joined them in the house from which the fanatics had come out. That the check was a very unhappy one cannot be denied, but it was satisfactory that it was so soon rectified.

NOTEs: 4. The charge was made under cover of the smoke of the firing, which had lasted a quarter of an hour or more; the detachment was drawn up in quarter column, and some of the fanatics, passing round the flanks under cover of the smoke, attacked the rear, while others attacked the front of the column.

5. Eleven of the fanatics were shot by a party of the 30th Regiment, who ran down to meet them from the house held by the sepoys about a mile from the Variyar’s house. END OF NOTEs

“In the previous attack by the detachment of the 39th Regiment the rout was complete, and there was no rallying until the Mappilias had retired to their stronghold.”

In this second engagement on August 27th, 4 European privates and l native subbadar were killed.

The result of th

e action as far as the Mappillas were concerned may be thus summarised. Of the 19 fanatics who were concerned in these outrages it seems that 9 were engaged in the first four murders on the 22nd, 1 joined them immediately afterwards, and 4 more dining the night and next morning. Fourteen thus attacked the Variyar’s house, where 2 more immediately joined them. Of these 16 men, one was killed in the affair of the 24th August, and another, mortally wounded, died on that night. Three more subsequently joined the band, making 17 who fell on the 27th August.

On the 5th October 1851 information was received that Tottangal Mammad and three other Mappillas of Nenmini amsam, Walluvanad taluk, were found in possession of certain arms and were designing to commit an outrage. “They1 had intended to join the fanatics who perished at Kulattur, but were too late. Their purpose, it was said, had been known to some of their co-religionists and they were subject to the contemptuous soubriquet of Minjina Sahid's (all but saints). There was but too much reason to fear therefore from former experience that they would take an opportunity of wiping off the reproach by organising an outbreak on their own account.” Security to keep the peace was required from three of them.

NOTEs:1. District Magistrate’s report of 10th Octobers 1851. END OF NOTEs

On the 27th October 1851 information reached the head police officer in Ernad that some Mappillas of Irumbuli amsam, Ernad taluk, had likewise intended to join the late fanatical outbreak at Kulattur. Two of them were required to give security to keep the peace.

On the 9th November 1851 information was received that Choriyot Mayan and eight others were designing to break out and kill one Kalattil Kesuvan Tangal, a wealthy and influential Hindu janmi of Mattanur in Kottayam taluk. Evidence was lacking, and the tahsildar omitted to report the matter. The individuals in question did, however, with others subsequently commit the outrages next to be described.

On the night of 4th January 1852 the party named above and six others, making in all fifteen, supported by a large mob estimated at 200, proceeded to the house of the abovesaid Kalattil Tangal in Mattanur, Kottayam taluk. They butchered all the unhappy inmates (eighteen in all) and thus extirpated the family, wounded two other persons, and burnt the house on the following morning.

They then, unattended by the said mob, burnt four houses and a Hindu temple, killed four more individuals, defiled and damaged another Hindu temple, entered the palace of a Raja, took post there temporarily, defiled and destroyed two other Hindu temples, and finally fell on the 8th idem in a desperate and long-sustained attack on the house of the Kalliad Nambiar, another wealthy and influential janmi in Kalliad amsam of Chirakkal taluk.

A detachment under Major Hodgson off the 16th Regiment, consisting of two companies of that corps and 100 Europeans of the 94th Regiment, were sent out from Cannanore, but before they arrived on the scene, the Mappilla fanatics had been all killed by the country people, retainers of the Nambiar.

On the 5th January 1852 information was received that certain Mappillas intended to break out and kill one Padinyaredattil Ambu Nambiar, and security was taken from five of them.

The District Magistrate, Mr. Conolly, in reporting on the outrage and wholesale murders of January 4th-8th, suggested that a commission should be appointed “to report1 on the question of Mappilla disturbances generally. I wish,” he stated, “for the utmost publicity. If any want of, or mistake in, management on my part has led in the slightest degree to these fearful evils (far more fearful in my time than they have ever been before), I am most desirous that a remedy be applied, whatever be the effect as regards my personal interests. I have acted to the best of my judgment, but my judgment may be in error, and I should be glad were it duly tested......................... No measures taken as yet have reached the root of the evil, which there is too much reason to fear is growing in place of decaying.”

NOTEs:1. Report, dated 28th January 1852. END OF NOTEs

When reviewing2 this report the Government decided to adopt Mr. Conolly’s suggestion.

“For some years past the province of Malabar has been disgraced by a succession of outrages of the most heinous character, perpetrated by the Mappillas of the province upon the Hindus. Bodies of Mappillas have in open day attacked Hindus of wealth and respectability, murdered them under circumstances the most horrible, burnt houses or given them up to pillage, and finally, wound up their crimes by throwing away their lives in desperate resistance to the Police and Military.”

NOTEs: 2. Extracts Minutes of Consultation, 17th February 1852. END OF NOTEs

The order then proceeds to point out that the outbreaks had “become progressively more sanguinary and more difficult of suppression” in spite of the employment of the regular troops, and that, while on former occasions the fanatics spared women and children, they had (in the last outrage perpetrated in a part of the district” of late years distinguished for its quietness”) put to death “men, women, children, the very infant at the breast, masters, servants, casual guests and ordinary inmates,” in short, “every human being found” in the house first attacked.

Mr. Thomas Lumsden Strange, a Judge of the Sadar Adalat, “whose former long service in Malabar and intimate acquaintance with the people and their peculiar habits and feelings eminently qualify him for the task, while his employment in a different sphere of late years saves him from the influence of any prejudice or bias,” was accordingly selected “to be Special Commissioner for enquiring into the Mappilla disturbances, their causes and remedies.”

Mr. Strange was directed to enter into the freest intercourse with all classes, official and non-official, “to ascertain the causes of past outbreaks and the manner in which they may be most effectually prevented for the future. Referring to the many instances in which disputes respecting land have been, or have been assigned as, the causes of emeutes, and to the position of the Hindu and Mappilla in their relations of landlord and tenant, mortgagor and mortgagee, he will consider whether any measures seem called for for defining the landed tenures of the country and placing them on a better basis. He will report upon the various expedients proposed from time to time by the present Magistrate, for preventing or repressing outbreaks, and if it should seem to him that the district functionaries require to be armed with larger authority than they possess under the existing law, he will suggest the extraordinary powers which should be conferred and submit draft of a legislative enactment for the purpose of giving them effect.’’

Among Mr. Strange’s instructions it was pointed out that a subject, to which he should give his earliest consideration was “the conduct of the Tirurangadi Tangal, and the measures to be employed in reference to that individual.” The individual here referred to is the notorious Saiyid Fazl of Arab extraction, otherwise known as the Pukoya1 or the Tirurangadi or Mambram Tangal. He had succeeded at an early age to the position vacated by the Taramal Tangal (already alluded to), and it is certain that fanaticism was focussed at this time at and about the head-quarters of Saiyid Fazl at Mambram. Fanatics then, as now, considered it almost essential to success in their enterprise that they should have visited and prayed at the Taramal Tangal’s tomb at Mambram and kissed the hand of the Tangal living in the house close by.

NOTEs: 1. Pu (Mal.) = flower, and Koya (? corrupt form of Khwaja) = influential person, gentleman. END OF NOTEs

So great an ascendency had Saiyid Fazl at this time attained that the Mappillas regarded him “as imbued2 with a portion of divinity. They swear by his foot as their most solemn oath. Earth on which he has spat or walked is treasured up. Marvellous stories are told of his supernatural knowledge. His blessing is supremely prized.” And even among the higher class of Mappillas his wish was regarded as a command, and no consideration of economy was allowed to stand in the way of its being gratified.

NOTEs: 2. Magistrate's report, dated 29th November 1851. END OF NOTEs

On the very day (17th February) that the Government appointed Mr. Strange as Special Commissioner, Mr. Conolly reported that 10,000 to 12,000 Mappillas, “great numbers of whom were armed” met at Tirurangadi and held a close conclave with the Tangal on rumours being spread that he was at once to be made a prisoner and disgraced.

Mr. Strange was directed to report whether the Tangal should be brought to a formal trial, or treated as a State prisoner, or be induced to quit the district, quietly. But meanwhile Mr. Conolly had been successful in his negotiations to induce Saiyid Fazl to depart peaceably. The Tangal avowed that he had done nothing “to3 deserve the displeasure of the Government ; that he repudiated the deeds of the fanatics ; and that it was his misfortune that a general blessing, intended to convey spiritual benefits to those alone who acted in accordance with the Muhammadan faith, should be misinterpreted by a few parties who acted in contradiction to its precepts.”

But he added “as his blessing was sometimes misunderstood and his presence in the country unfortunately had led to deeds of horror, he was willing, if the Government chose it, to end further embarrassment by leaving Malabar and taking up his permanent abode among his people in Arabia.”

Mr. Conolly on his own responsibility then acted upon this proposal, a measure which the Government afterwards approved, and on the 19th March 1852 the Tangal, with his family, companions and servants (fiftyseven persons in all), set sail for Arabia.

“The Tangal’s own conduct since he resolved on going has been prudent and politic. He did all that was in his power to avoid popular excitement by remaining in his house and denying himself even to the gaze of the large bodies who came to visit him on hearing of his intention to quit Malabar. He continued in this seclusion, so far as it was possible, till the last. So soon as it was heard that he was leaving his house (yesterday1 ) a large crowd assembled, and by the time he got to Parappanangadi on the coast, six miles from his residence, from 7,000 to 8,000 men were collected, showing strong signs of grief at his departure. The Tangal had proposed to come in during the night to Calicut by land and embark with his family, who had preceded him from thence ; but foreseeing the great excitement which might ensue from the crowd, which positively refused to leave him, and whose numbers would, no doubt, have swelled in his journey along the coast, he resolved, as he sent me a message, to take boat to the ship from Parappanangadi itself. He reached it after a twelve miles’ pull and at once got under weigh.”

NOTEs:1. 19th March 1852. END OF NOTEs

On the night of the 28th February 1852 one Triyakalattil Chekku and fifteen other Mappillas of Melmuri and Kilmuri amsams in the Ernad taluk "set out to die and to create a fanatical outbreak.” Information of this was given by the principal Mappillas of the former amsam at about ten o’clock that night. They and their adherents remained on guard during the whole of the night at the houses of Pilatodi Panchu Menon and Purmekad Pisharodi, the principal Hindu janmis in the amsam, and respecting the former of whom there were on several occasions rumours that Mappilla fanatics were seeking to kill him. On the morning of Sunday the 29th, Panchu Menon hastened into Malapuram, having been alarmed by seeing some Mappillas moving on the hill at the back of his house. He applied for protection to the officer in command at Malapuram, who, deeming the danger of an attack on Panchu Menon’s house imminent, proceeded with a portion of his troops to the house, where they remained for a few hours. He left a guard of twenty-five sepoys, who were withdrawn at night, a guard of villagers being substituted.

On the afternoon of the 1st March the suspected persons were secured in a mosque through the exertions of a wealthy and influential Mappilla named Kunyali. The case was enquired into by Mr. Collett, Assistant Magistrate, and the offenders were required to furnish security to keep the peace.

Ominous rumours of an intended Mappilla outbreak in the Kottayam taluk in April 1852 drove many of the Hindu inhabitants into the jungles. From two letters—one from Mr. Brown of Anjarakandi, and the other from the Kalliad Nambiar at the attack of whose house the fanatics were slain on 8th January of this year— the Joint Magistrate was led to believe that the storm, if it was brewing, was intended to burst upon the head of the latter, who had become a marked man by his late spirited defence of his house.

The Raja of Chavasseri had received previous warning to leave his palace. The Joint Magistrate sent off all the assistance in his power to the Nambiar, and wrote to the Raja requesting him not to leave the palace, and in the event of an emergency he would repair to his assistance with troops. The origin of the panic was that the Mappillas had given out that they were determined to avenge the supposed disgrace brought upon them by the Hindu resistance at Kalliad, and also to erect, a monument over the remains of the “martyrs” who died on that occasion.

The Joint Magistrate adopted some necessary precautions and the panic subsided. But the Mappillas did attempt to erect the tomb in the course of a single night. It was immediately, however, destroyed under the orders of the Joint Magistrate, Mr. Chatfield.

On the night of the 28th April 1852 the house of Kannambat Tangal in Kottayam taluk was fired into and the out-buildings of the Kallur temple were set on fire. The tahsildar (a Hindu) was of opinion that it was done by Hindus wishing to profit by the absence of the Tangal, the great janmi of the locality. The Sri Kovil (shrine) and the grain rooms were left uninjured, and this fact was urged in support of the tahsildar’s opinion. But in the view of the Special Commissioner, Mr. Strange, this opinion had been expressed more to suit the views of the Collector (Mr. Conolly) than to report facts. Mr. Strange took a different view and attributed the affair to the Mappillas.

In April-May 1852 two Cheramars (the property of Kudilil Kannu Kutti Nayar, peon of Chernad taluk), after embracing Muhammadanism, reverted to their original faith after the departure of Saiyid Fazl, through whose influence they had become converts. Some Mappillas did not relish this, and consequently determined to murder Kannu Kutti Nayar and the two Cheramars, and thus become Sahids (martyrs). Although the Nayar agreed to relinquish his claims over these Cheramars on receipt of their purchase money, the impression made on the conspirators was that Kannu Kutti Nayar alone was instrumental to the Cheramars’ apostacy.

As the life of Kannu Kutti Nayar was thus threatened, he was allowed to carry a pistol with him for his self-protection. He was instructed to take good care of the pistol and also to send the Cheramars away to some distant place, which was agreed to by him. In connection with this conspiracy two persons were apprehended by the tahsildar and steps taken for the arrest of every one who aided in and abetted the offence. The result of the proceedings taken is not known, but Kannu Kutti Nayar was transferred to Ponnani, and subsequently to Calicut, with a view to avert the impending danger to his life.

The Cheramars also were sent away to other taluks as their presence was considered a source of disturbance.

On the 9th August 1852 information was received that three Mappillas of Kurumbranad taluk had taken up a position in the house of the accountant of Puttur amsam in the same taluk, and had resolved to die as Sahids (martyrs). They wounded a Brahman and were on the 12th idem killed by the police, of whom two received wounds.

Two Mappilla fanatics, Kunnumal Moidin and Cherukavil Moidin, murdered a Brahman named Chengalary Vasudevau Nambutiri on the 10th September 1853. They, failing to get any recruits and not finding any good house undefended, made their appearance on the 23rd on the top of a hill close to Angadipuram. The tahsildar at once went up to the spot with his peons. The fanatics, one an elderly man and the other a mere boy, rushed upon the assailing party as usual.

Eighteen shots were fired at them. The elder man was brought down wounded but the younger was unhurt and fell on the leading peons and villagers, by whom he was despatched before inflicting injury on any one.

On the 25th September 1852 Mr. Strange had submitted the report called for by the Government, and this report was in due course reviewed by the Government and orders issued on the 23rd August 1853. Mr. Strange found that of all the persons engaged in the thirty-one cases, the circumstances of which he set forth in detail, there were “but fourteen for whom any personal cause of provocation was discoverable. In seven instances land has afforded the presumed ground of quarrel,” and in the other seven cases the provocatives “were mostly of an equally unreal nature.”

In nine cases the parties had been “instigated to engage in crime by others who were to profit thereby or had malice to satisfy.” Five were induced to crime “because of relatives having wrongs, fancied or real, to redress ; and the remaining 144 were without any personal provocations whatsoever.”

“It is apparent thus that in no instance can any outbreak or threat of outbreak that has arisen be attributed to the oppression of tenants by landlords. A great clamour is now raised on this regard prominently in the southern taluks visited by me, the Mappilla population seeking to throw the blame of these outbreaks upon the landlords by thus charging them with being the cause thereof. I have given the subject every attention, and am convinced that though instances may and do arise of individual hardship to a tenant, the general character of the dealings of the Hindu landlords towards their tenantry, whether Mappilla or Hindu, is mild, equitable and forbearing.

“I am further convinced that where stringent proceedings are taken, the conduct of the tenants is, in the vast majority of cases, the cause thereof, and that the Mappilla tenantry, especially of the taluks in South Malabar, where the outbreaks have been so common, are very prone to evade their obligations and to resort to false and litigious pleas.”

And Mr. Strange proceeded to review some instances—such as the taking of fines and fees on renewal of leases and the granting of melkanam rights for the purpose of getting rid of obnoxious tenants—in which he thought some changes1 in the customary rules ought to be made.

NOTEs: 1. These changes he proposed (paragraph 69) to leave to the Sadr Adalat to declare by rule, and this was partly done. The rules issued by the Sadr Adalat will be found printed in the Notes to Appendix XIII. END OF NOTEs

He then went on to review the next ground for committing them dwelt upon by the Mappillas, namely, that the criminals were forced into them by destitution, but he passed this by with the remark that most of the criminals were mere youths, and he could not believe that they “should be ready thus to throw life away from more despair as to the means of supporting it.”

But he next remarked “a feature that has been manifestly common to the whole of these affairs is that they have been one and all marked by the most decided fanaticism, and this, there can be no doubt, has furnished the true incentive to them.”

And he then proceeded to state that the Mappillas of the interior were always lawless, even in the time of Tippu’s Government, were steeped in ignorance, and were on these accounts more than ordinarily susceptible to the teaching of ambitious and fanatical priests,2 using the recognised precepts of the Koran as handles for the sanction to arise and slay Kafirs, who opposed the faithful chiefly in the pursuit of agriculture.

NOTEs: 2. He named especially the Taramal Tangal mentioned in connection with the 19th October 1843 outrage, and his son Saiyid Fazl, who left the country under the circumstances already related. END OF NOTEs

The natural result was that “the Hindus, in the parts where outbreaks have been most frequent, stand in such fear of the Mappillas as mostly not to dare to press for their rights against them, and there is many a Mappilla tenant who does not pay his rent, and cannot, so imminent are the risks, be evicted. Other injuries are also put up with uncomplained of.”

And he continued: “To what further lengths the evil might not go if unchecked, it is impossible to say. Even the desire for plunder may prove a sufficient motive for the organisation of these outbreaks, some having already largely profited in this way. They will also, there can be no doubt, be more and more directed against the landed proprietors. Six of the very highest class have been marked out for destruction in the course of the past outbreaks, of whom three were killed and several others of average property have suffered.”

In the Kulattur case in August 1851 the leading Mappillas had even asserted “that it was a religious merit to kill landlords who might eject tenants.”

The condition of the Hindus had “become most lamentable," and even the prestige of the rule of Government had been “much shaken in the district. ”

Special legislation was necessary towards the following objects, namely :—

escheating the property of those guilty of fanatic outrage,

fining the districts where such outrages occur,

deporting the suspected, and placing restrictions on the possession of arms, and more especially of the war-knife, and on the building of mosques.

Mr. Strange further proposed the organisation of a special police force to put down these risings, and deprecated the resort to the use of the European force for the purpose. The Magistrate, Mr Conolly, was in favour of this scheme, but he would “esteem it only as an adjunct to the European troops, in whom alone he has any confidence.”

But Mr. Strange went beyond this and proposed1 that the force should be exclusively composed of Hindus, a measure which it is needless to say was not approved by the Government. The Government also, on similar grounds, refused to entertain his proposals for putting restrictions on the erection of mosques as being a departure from the policy of a wise and just neutrality in all matters of religion.

NOTEs: 1. It is unnecessary to notice here some other utmost grotesque proposals of Mr. Strange, all directed to the same end, the repression of the Mappilla caste. The Government took no action upon these proposals. END OF NOTEs

But on all the other main points above adverted to Mr. Strange’s views were adopted, and a policy of repression set in with the passing into law of Acts XXIII2 and XXIV3 of 1854, the latter for rendering illegal the possession of the war-knife, and the former for fining localities disturbed and for dealing with persons suspected of being privy to the commission of outrages.

NOTEs: 2. Continued by Act XXIV of 1859.

3 This Act came into force on the 1st February 1855. END OF NOTEs

In December 1854 Mr. Conolly proceeded on a tour to collect the war-knives through the heart of the Mappilla country, and brought in 2,725, and by the 31st of the following month of January 1855 (the latest date on which the possession of a war-knife was legal) the number of war-knives surrendered to the authorities amounted to the large number of 7,561.

The next report in connection with these Mappilla outrages conveyed to the Government the distressing intelligence that Mr. Conolly, the District Magistrate and Provisional Member of Council4 for the Presidency, had been barbarously murdered by a gang of Mappillas.

NOTEs: 4. Mr. Conolly was shortly to have proceeded to the Presidency town as Member of the Council of Government. END OF NOTEs

The following is a copy of the letter written by Mr. G. B. Tod, Assistant Collector, Malabar, to the Chief Secretary to Government, dated 1A.M., 12th September 1855, reporting the occurrence : —

“It is my melancholy duty to inform you, for the information of the Right Honourable the Governor in Council, that Mr. Conolly, the Collector of this district, was most barbarously murdered this evening, between eight and nine o’clock, in the presence of his wife. He received seven wounds, one of which at least was mortal.

“So far as the details at present are ascertained, the perpetrators were three Mappillas, who rushed into the verandah and completed their deadly work before assistance could be called. In the present state of Mrs. Conolly, it is impossible to gather further particulars of the tragedy of which she was the sole witness ; but immediately that I am able to do so, I will furnish more complete information.”

The facts of this most tragic and melancholy occurrence are narrated below : —

On the 4th August 1855 convicts Valasseri Emalu, Puliyakunat Tenu, Chemban Moidin Kutti and Vellattadayatta Parambil Moidin escaped from their working party of jail convicts at Calicut and proceeded to Walluvanad. They loitered about in that taluk for a few days and left it finally on the 20th, visiting, on their way, the house of Tenu and taking with them Ossan Hyderman (a barber lad), whom they desired to show the way as far as the “new public road” running due east and west through the Payanad hills, which are connected with the Pandalur range.

On the 23rd they (including the barber lad, who threw in his fate with the party) proceeded to Urotmala, whence they went to the house of Moidin Kutti at night to take their food. After a brief halt there of three or four hours they left the house, visiting some of their relatives on their way, and reached Mambram on the evening of the 24th. Here they prayed with Taramal Kunhi Koya at the shrine of the great Tangal referred to by Special Commissioner Mr. Strange as having been one of the great apostles of fanaticism and the instigator of the earlier outrages narrated above.

At Mambram the intention of the murderers appears to have been disclosed to Kunhi Koya, whose son, a boy, 13 years old, heard his father speak of it to his wife, and subsequently gave evidence to that effect before Mr. Collett, who enquired into the case. From the shrine they proceeded to Vettattpudiangadi, where they stayed for a short time.

On the 29th and 30th they visited certain shrines of local reputation lying within easy distance of that station. After this they roamed about the country till the 9th September, on which date they were harboured by one Malakal Mammu, whose house was situated three-quarters of a mile due east of Mr. Conolly’s residence on West Hill, now occupied by the European detachment at Calicut.

On the 10th there was a nercha (feast when a vow is made) in Mammu’s house, at which these assassins were present. The ceremony consisted in the recital of a song called Moidin Mula Pattu, and their war-knife was passed through the smoke of the incense burnt on the occasion.

Thus prepared, the ruffians left Mammu’s house on the evening of the 11th and noiselessly entered Mr. Conolly’s residence between eight and nine o’clock. What followed is thus described by Mr. Collett, the Sub-Collector, in one of his official reports:

“Nothing1 could exceed the treachery with which the murder was begun, or the brutal butchery with which it was completed. Mr. Conolly was seated in a small verandah (as was his in variable custom of an evening) on a low sofa. Mrs. Conolly was on one opposite, a low table with lights on it being between them ; he was approached from behind and even Mrs. Conolly did not catch sight of the first blow, which would alone have proved fatal ; the next moment the lights were all swept off the table and the ruffians bounded upon their victim, slashing him in all directions.

"The left hand was nearly severed, the right knee deeply cut, and repeated stabs indicted in the back. The wounds (twenty-seven in number) could have been inflicted only by fiends actuated by the most desperate malice. To the cries of poor Mrs. Conolly no one came ; the peons and servants are usually present in a passage beyond the inner room ; they were either panic-stricken, or, unarmed (as they invariably were) were unable to come up in time to afford any real assistance.

NOTEs: 1. Mr. Cullett’s report of 21st September 1855. END OF NOTEs

“One poor massalji who came forward and met one of the murderers in the inner room, received a blow which cut clean off four fingers of his left hand. A peon has also a slight wound, but it does not appear how he came by it. Doubtless this atrocity was rapidly completed, and perhaps the first thought of those servants who came up was to carry off their poor mistress to another part of the house. Mr. Conolly was soon after carried in, and Mr. Tod was the first who arrived to witness the terrible scene of domestic agony that ensued.

“Supported by Mr. Tod, Mr. Conolly lingered another half hour and then expired, having addressed a few words only to Mrs. Conolly, and apparently endured intense agony. Mr. Conolly had received an anonymous letter warning him, but unfortunately thought it needless to take precautions, and had not even mentioned it to Mrs. Conolly.”

Immediately after the murder the criminals proceeded along the high road to Tamarasseri to a village near Keravul, a distance of about twelve miles from Mr. Conolly’s house. Here they went to the mosque. About 4P.M. on the 12th they went to Makat Nambutiri’s illam and remained there till about 9P.M. They took away money and property to the amount of Rs. 300. Then they struck back to the main road to Tamarasseri and came to the house of Pulkutti Moyi.

At night they went to the Bhavat mosque, where they remained till the following night (13th). On the 14th they were reported to have purchased provisions at the Tamarasseri bazaar. On the 15th they moved on to the Tiruvambadi amsam of the Calicut taluk. On the 16th they met a village peon and wrested his musket from him. They compelled one Chapali Pokar to act as their guide.

He led them to Eddamannapara, which they reached at 4P.M. on the 17th. They had not gone far from this place when they were seen, and, being followed up by the people of Kondotti (another sect of Mappillas), were driven at length to take refuge in the house, where they were shot the same evening by a detachment of Major Haly’s Police Corps and a part of No. 5 Company of H.M’s 74th Highlanders under Captain Davies.

“The position1 of the Mappillas was a most difficult one consisting of gardens surrounded by ditches. After some practice with the mortar and howitzer, the troops charged into the gardens and after turning the Mappillas out of one house, the offenders retreated to a stronger one, which they barricaded ; the outer door of this garden was on the edge of a deep nullah ; this door was first forced, and the troops were in the act of firing the house when the Mappillas threw open the door and rushed out upon the troops and were, of course, quickly disposed of. It was quite impossible,

"I consider, to have secured them alive, though injunctions had been given to do so if possible. The men of the new Police Corps emulated the Europeans in their steadiness, and were equally to the front at the last charge. I have, though with great regret, to report that one European was killed2 by a shot from the house, and another very dangerously wounded by a cut on the throat whilst one of the Mappillas was on his bayonet.”

NOTEs: 1. Mr. Collett's report of 17th September 1855, from "Morar, eight miles north-west of Manjeri.

2. Two Hindus were also killed, one accidentally shot, by and the other murdered by the Mappillas when they took possession of the house. END OF NOTEs

Various causes have been suggested as the motive for the murder of Mr. Conolly, but the most probable of them seem to be that the ruffians, who were men of bad character, were exasperated at the orders of Mr. Conolly subjecting them to restraint in the jail and that they had resolved, probably at the suggestion of some outsiders on avenging the banishment of Saiyid Fazl to Arabia.

The following amsams, implicated in the outrage, were fined in the sums noted against each: —

The widow of Mr. Conolly was granted the net proceeds of the Mappilla fines aggregating Rs. 30,936-13-10.

In November 1855 Mr. Collett, the Joint Magistrate, suspecting two Mappillas who had deserted from the Malabar Police Corps of complicity with the murderers of Mr. Conolly, required them to produce sureties for good behaviour, and confined them on failure to give security for three years. They were afterwards permitted to leave the country.

A Muhammadan named Vanji Cudorat Kunji Mayan, a relative of the Kottayam Tangal, and who had been convicted on a former occasion of robbery and sentenced to eight years hard labour, was arrested on the 3rd September 1857 on a charge of using seditious and inflammatory language in the public streets of Tellicherry, and of invoking the people in the name of God to rid the country of the Kafirs (Europeans).

The country was then in a very disaffected state owing to scarcity of rice and the outbreak of the Mutiny. The excitement caused by Mayan’s preaching was so great as to induce the Brigadier commanding the provinces to adopt precautionary measures at Cannanore and Tellicherry, and to place the former station in a state of defence. The Magistrate, Mr. Robinson, on proceeding to the northern division, found that the Head Assistant Magistrate had unwisely left the case in the hands of the subordinate police.

Mr. Robinson, in consultation with the Sessions Judge, Mr. Chatfield, decided that the case should be summarily dealt with without the intervention of the Muhammadan Sadr Amin (native criminal judge), and particularly directed the Head Assistant Magistrate to pursue this course. The latter disobeyed the instructions given him and ordered the committal of the case to the Principal Sadr Amin, who, acting on an informal medical certificate given by Mr. West, Civil Surgeon, as to the man’s insanity, and on the plea that the declamations made by Mayan in the public streets were not heard by men of his own persuasion, acquitted him of the charge, but kept him in jail as he was believed to be insane.

The Acting Magistrate and the Sessions Judge disagreeing with the views taken by the Principal Sadr Amin, the Head Assistant was directed to send the prisoner with a report to Calicut, where he was kept under the surveillance of the Zillah Surgeon ; and as the Acting Magistrate could find no reason to doubt the man’s sanity, he proposed to Government to put the Mappilla Outrages Act in force by deporting him. This suggestion was adopted and Mayan subsequently died in jail at Trichirappalli.

About the latter end of August 1857, Puvadan Kunyappa Haji and seven other Mappillas of Ponmala in Ernad taluk, the hot-bed at that time of fanaticism and disaffection, were suspected of conspiring to revenge the supposed insult offered to their religion by the relapse of a Nayar convert, and to make an attempt to rid the country of the Kafirs (Europeans), representing that the Government was weakened by the mutiny in Northern India.

One of them, a mullah, who was mukri of the Ponmala mosque, and who was the depositary of the fanatical songs and ballads of the people, had collected the prisoners and incited them to deeds of violence and blood-shed by reciting to them the famous “Cherur1 ballad,” commemorating the feats of their relatives in the outbreak of 19th October 1843. Information of this was conveyed to the police by the inhabitants, who valued their property too much to connive at it. The conspirators were surprised and taken prisoners by the police officer at Ernad (Koman Nayar) and by Mr. E. C. G. Thomas, the Special Assistant Magistrate.

NOTEs: 1. The ballad translated at pages 102-4 is sometimes thus called. END OF NOTEs

Seven of them were dealt with under the Mappilla Outrages Act and deported. The Acting Magistrate of Malabar reported to Government on 9th February 1858 that the Mappilla Act should be put in force against three individuals, one of whom had purchased the piece of ground—the scene of the death struggles of the Mappillas killed in the outbreak of 19th October 1843—had built a small mosque there, and had instituted a day for holding a festival in honour of the martyrs.

Since 1849 the number of visitors to the place had steadily increased, and the least assumed a very threatening character in the opinion of Mr. Collett. The two others were mullahs who exercised a powerful influence for evil on the people, and their removal also was thought necessary. The three men were accordingly deported for short terms.

In I860 two Mappillas of North Malabar were deported for short terms for threatening the life of an adhikari who gave evidence in a criminal case against them.

The District Magistrate, Mr. Ballard, reported to Government that on the 4th February 1864, during the Ramzan feast, a Mappilla of Melmuri amsam, Ernad taluk, named Attan Kutti, in a fit of religious fanaticism, stabbed and caused the death of one Netta Panikkar, whom he found in the house of a Tiyan, his intended victim.

Attan was convicted and sentenced to be hanged as an ordinary malefactor. It afterwards transpired that he had a confederate in his design, and as their design must have been known to the people of the amsam, the District Magistrate proposed, and the Government sanctioned, the fining of the amsam to the extent of Rs. 2,037 and the deportation of the confederate.

Three Mappillas, Muhammad Kutti and two others, were convicted of the murder of one Shangu Nayar of Nenmini amsam, Walluvanad taluk, on the 17th September 1805. The circumstances of the case were such as to lead to the conclusion that the murder was planned and committed from personal and private motives, as the prisoners had money transactions with the murdered man ; but a religious cloak was thrown around the affair by the performance, three days before the act was committed, of a certain religious ceremony called mavulud at a feast at the first prisoner’s house. Several men were present on the occasion to whom the objects of the murderers must have been known. Six persons were accordingly deported.

Shortly after midnight of 7th September 1873, Kunhippa Musaliyar the priest of the Tutakkal mosque in Paral amsam of Walluvanad taluk, with eight others, visited the house of one Chattara Nayar, the Velichchapad or oracle of the Hindu temple at Tutakkal, which lies directly opposite to the mosque on the other or southern bank of the river.

The Velichchapad in one of his fits of inspiration had given offence to the Mappillas of the mosque opposite. The party, on arrival at his house, roused him up on the pretence that one of their number had been bitten on the foot by a snake. As the Velichchapad stooped down to examine the limb, the leader of the gang struck him several severe blows with a sword across the back of the neck, and the party then went away leaving him for dead.

From the Velichchapad’s house the gang proceeded to, and reached in the early morning, Kulattur, the scene of the memorable outrage of 22nd-27th August 1851, a distance of twelve miles, expecting to find the Variyar (the present head of the family and a member of the District Board) at home. But he chanced to be absent. Two other male members of the family, however, were at the house, and one of those was decoyed downstairs by the leader of the gang and was immediately attacked and mortally wounded.

The other man managed to escape. Hearing from Paral in the early morning that the gang had started for Kulattur, the taluk tahsildar, a Mappilla, sent to Malapuram a requisition for troops. And Mr. Winterbotham, the Head Assistant Magistrate who chanced to be in the taluk at the time, also heard of the outbreak while riding from Manarghat to Angadipuram, and pushed on to Kulattur, which he reached at 4P.M.

Mr. Winterbotham had time to reconnoitre the buildings held by the fanatics before the troops1 from Malapuram arrived at about an hour before dark. This enabled Captain Vesey to make his dispositions for attacking the fanatics at once.

The right half company under Lieutenant Williamson passed through the temple attached to the Variyar’s house and took up a position in the level courtyard of the house flanking the left half company, which, under Captain Vesey, occupied the interior verandah of a raised gate-house.

NOTEs: 1. 1 lieutenant, 1 surgeon, 2 sergeants, 1 corporal, 1 bugler, and 31 privates of the 43rd or Oxfordshire Light Infantry under Captain Vesey. END OF NOTEs

As soon as these dispositions had been completed and just as the day was closing in, the fanatics attacked the gate-house party. They were armed with swords, spears, a knife, an axe, and a chopper, and notwithstanding the cross fire from both parties of military, charged home on the bayonets. The leader of the gang, a man of great determination, “received2 two bullets in the chest, if not more, wounded first a front rank man, and then a rear rank man, receiving first the bayonet thrust of each, and was then killed by a third bayonet thrust.”

NOTEs: 2. District Magistrate's (Mr. MacGregor's) report to Government, No. 84-F, dated 12th September 1873. END OF NOTEs

“Another man was also wounded at the same spot.”

Of the nine fanatics eight were killed, and one, “a mere child,” was wounded and afterwards recovered. The amsams concerned in this outrage were fined Rs. 42,000, and the proceeds were utilised in giving compensation to those aggrieved, and in constructing two cart roads to open up the tract of country where the outrage occurred, and a police station at Kulattur.

On the 27th March 1877 it was reported by the adhikari of Irimbuli amsam in Ernad taluk that Avinjipurat Kunji Moidin and four other Mappillas were designing to commit a fanatical outrage, the reason assigned being that a Nayar had debauched Kalitha, the wife of one of the men, and consequently the grossest insult had been given both to him personally and to his religion. The injured husband had asked A. Kunji Moidin to join him, and had got five choppers made and well ground for the purpose of murdering the Nayar. The other three had been asked to assist in carrying out the design.

It would appear that these three men could not make up their minds to join, and that, in the meanwhile, news of their design had leaked out and was communicated to the authorities, who promptly dealt with the matter.

Kunji Moidin had set out to join the fanatics at Kulattur in 1873, but had arrived too late. Security for his good behaviour for a year was therefore taken, from him. It being considered unsafe to allow the two chief conspirators to remain at large, the Government directed that they should be proceeded against under section 6 of Act XX of 1859 unless they undertook to leave India for seven years, and that security for good behaviour should be taken from the others. The two men elected to leave Malabar for Mecca, to which place they were accordingly sent.

On the 20th June 1879 the Taluk Magistrate of Walluvanad received private information from one Teyan Menon of Cherapullasseri to the effect that Kunnanat Kunhi Moidu of Tutakal bazaar in Paral amsam, and the younger brother of Kunhippa Musaliyar, the ringleader of the Kulattur fanatics of 1873, had been inciting some six or seven young men to commit an outrage by inculcating into their minds at the mosque and other places that they would gain paradise if killed in an outbreak, and that Kunhi Moidu had also received money from, and seditious songs composed by, his father Moidin Kutti Haji, who was detained at Rajahmundry for complicity in the Kulattur outrage of 1873.

Immediately on receiving this information the tahsildar proceeded to Tutakal, where he arrested Kunhi Moidu and other individuals suspected. The evidence obtained in the case was of an unsatisfactory character, and the District Magistrate, Mr. McWatters, accordingly directed the release of the seven prisoners including Kunhi Moidu. But this action was subsequently overruled by the Government, who ordered the ringleader to be deported and security to be taken from the other six men.

The Haji above referred to, as well as Nellayi Pokar, the chief of the persons banished to Rajahmundry in 1873, were reincarcerated in jail and the allowance sanctioned to five other men who were under surveillance at Rajahmundry was reduced to Rs. 6 per mensem.

On 9th September 1880 Matuminaltodi Ali, after waiting till he was tired at the gate of an East Coast Brahman landlord named Appatura Pattar in Melattur amsam, Walluvanad taluk, for the purpose of murdering him, started for the house of a Cheraman (slave caste) lad who had some years previously become a converted to Islam and had subsequently, much to the disgust of the Mappillas of the neighbourhood, reverted to Hinduism.

Finding the lad at home, he went up to him in a friendly sort of manner as he was standing close to a wooden stile, and seizing him, he bent the lad back over the stile and deliberately cut his throat with a knife. Thence he went to the village mosque, armed himself with the mosque sword, and started with the avowed intention of slaying the above-said Appatura Pattar, another landlord called Trippakkada Krishna Pisharodi, and another Hindu named Mannan Raman.

Several other Mappillas were afterwards suspected of having intended to join Ali, but as matter of fact none of them did. On the afternoon of the 9th Ali wounded a potter who came in his way and thrashed with the flat of his sword a small Cheraman boy who met him and began imitating the way in which he was brandishing his weapon.

On the early morning of the 10th September Ali, dressed in martyr fashion (white with loins girt), went vapouring up through the paddy fields to the gate-house of one of his intended victims — the Pisharodi—flourishing his sword and chanting some hymn or other. But the door was shut in his face, and a Hindu watchman named Gopala Taragan, placed in the upper story of the gate-house and armed with a shot gun, planted a charge of slugs and shot in Ali’s breast from a distance of about ten or twelve feet, and sent him doubled up and dead into the water-channel running past the gate-house.

The Molattur amsam was fined Rs. 4,200, seven Mappillas privy to the design were deported, nine others required to give security, and the watchman who shot Ali was rewarded.

On the 14th October 1880, shortly after the last outrage above narrated, in which the lives of two prominent landlords (Appatura Pattar and Krishna Pisharodi) were menaced, the Government of His Grace the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos received an anonymous petition, in which the grievances of the agriculturists were set forth, particularly in regard to eviction from their lands, and stating that the people, especially Mappillas, having conspired to create a disturbance, had been advised by some wise men to wait until a representation of the popular grievances had been made to Government and orders received thereupon.

The petition went on to say that “disturbances and bloodshed of a kind unknown in Malabar will take place,” and that this was no vain threat.

"By the Almighty God who has created all, petitioners swear that this will be a fact.”

And the petition wound up by praying for orders to prohibit the trial and execution of eviction suits, to forbid registration of deeds effecting transfers of land recovered in such suits, and for the appointment of a Commissioner “to inquire into complaints against landlords.”

This petition was referred for confidential report to the District Judge of South Malabar (Mr. H. Wigram), who was to hand it over for the same purpose to the District Magistrate (Mr. W. Logan), then just about to return from leave on furlough. Both officers agreed that Special Commissioner Mr. Strange had given far too little weight to agrarian discontent as the cause of the Mappilla outbreaks, and both officers, who had had to deal, the one in his judicial and the other in his executive capacity, with a very serious outbreak of dacoity which had imperilled the peace of the district in the years 1875, 1876, 1877, were also agreed that agrarian discontent was also at the bottom of that business.

At the same time both officers were agreed that no general rising was imminent, but both thought it likely that the agrarian discontent would culminate in fresh acts of fanaticism directed against individuals, notwithstanding the tremendous penalties of Mr. Strange’s repressive legislation.

Those opinions were in due course forwarded to Mr. A. MacGregor. the British Resident in Travancore and Cochin, who had been for several years Collector of Malabar, and in whose time, as such, the Kulattur outrage of September 1873 had occurred, and he in turn generally agreed in the views above expressed:—

“First, as to the essential nature of Malabar Mappilla outrages, I am perfectly satisfied that they are agrarian. Fanaticism is merely the instrument through which the terrorism of the landed classes is aimed at.”

After consideration of the above reports, the Government of Mr. Adam decided, on 5th February 1881, to appoint the Collector of the District (Mr. W, Logan) as Commissioner to “specially inquire into and report, upon —

(1) The general question of the tenure of land and of tenant right in Malabar, and the alleged insufficiency of compensation offered by the landlords and awarded for land improvements made by tenants.

(2) The question of sites1 for mosques and burial-grounds, with suggestions for a measure rendering the grant of such sites compulsory under certain conditions if such a measure appears to him called for.

NOTEs: 1. Another fertile cause of disagreement between Hindu and Mappilla. END OF NOTEs

“He will further submit his views as to the best means tor redressing any existing grievances which are, in his opinion, well founded, and which, after due enquiry, he thinks ought, to be redressed, and will suggest appropriate remedies.”

On receipt of these orders Mr. Logan proceeded, in February-October 1881, to visit all parts of the district (except Wynad), and after receiving in those tours 2,200 petitions presented by 4 021 persons, he was engaged from October 1881 till Juno 16th 1881, in arranging the information gathered, in searching the voluminous district records, and in drawing up a report, which on the last mentioned date, was duly submitted to the Government of Mr. Grant Duff.

The facts and conclusions arrived at may be shortly stated thus : —

At the commencement of British rule, the janmi or landlord was entitled to no more than his proper share, viz,, one-third of the net produce of the soil, and even that one-third was liable to diminution if he had received advances from those beneath him.

The janmi was also entitled to various ranks and dignities of sorts—commandant of the Nayar militia; a man of authority in the Nayar guild, organised into villages called taras ; trustee of the village temples, etc.

The British authorities mistook his real position and invested him erroneously with the Roman dominium of the soil. For certain reasons (on which it is unnecessary to enlarge) this change in the position of the janmi did not make itself much felt until Mr. Graeme, the Special Commissioner in Malabar in 1818-22, proposed to ascertain what the actual “rents” were in order to base upon them a scheme for revising the land revenue assessment on wet lands.

This inquiry brought the respective conflicting interests into sharp antagonism, and the result will be found sufficiently described in paragraph 266, etc., of Chapter IV, Section (b).

Moreover, shortly after this (about 1832) a notable increase in the prices of agricultural produce began to be felt. The land revenue assessments, hitherto collected with great difficulty, began to come in with increasing1 ease. This increase in the prices of produce, however, left a larger margin of profit than before to be scrambled for between the Janmis and the ryots ; and the former, holding in the view of the Courts the dominium of the soil, began to evict such of the latter as would not yield to their increasing demands.

NOTEs:1. Chapter IV, Section (A), paragraph 315. END OF NOTEs

It was only a few years, namely, on the 26th November 1836, after these disturbing elements had been at work, that the first of the Mappilla outrages reported on by Mr. Strange occurred. Mr. Strange’s view was mainly to the effect that the outrages were due to fanaticism fanned by the ambition of two Arab priests, and the legislation proceeding from that idea had been purely repressive.

Finally this repressive legislation had failed to fulfil its objects, as the above narrative abundantly shows. Mr. Logan next turned his attention to the present condition of the agricultural classes and elicited the following facts : —

Fully two-thirds of the land revenue of the district come from wet or rice land ; there is still a considerable extent of land to be taken up (about five acres1 per man of the agricultural classes).

NOTEs: 1. Of course this is the worst land, and very little of it can be irrigated. END OF NOTEs

The cultivators are all more or less in debt, and have to pay excessive interest on their debts. Socially the cultivators are subjected (particularly if they are Hindus) to many humiliations and much tyrannical usage by their landlords.

The common kanam tenure has degenerated into an outrageous sytem of forehand renting, favourable only to the money-lender. The improving lease (kulikkanam) tenure is also unsatisfactory, as tenants, when evicted, do not get the full market value of their improvements.

The ordinary ryot (the verumpattam holder) no longer enjoys the one-third of the net produce to which he was by custom entitled, and his terms have of late years approached the starvation limit. Moreover, the bulk of the ryots tend to become such ordinary ryots (verumpattam holders).

And this is more especially noticeable in the grain-producing portion of the district (the Mappilla taluks), where rack renting is so much easier than in the fruit-bearing portion of the country, which chiefly lies along the coast line. Of the ordinary ryots' (verumpattam holders) grain land holdings, no less than 2,4832 out of 3,8172 (over 65 per cent) are year to year holdings, which have been held by present occupants for periods less than twelve years. Suits for eviction of cultivators and for rent have become increasingly numerous between 1862-1880.

NOTEs: 2. These figures relate only to the land actually examined in all parts of the district. END OF NOTEs

The excessive hardship of evictions was specially dwelt upon by the petitioners.

And when tenants are evicted, they do not, owing to court costs and other expenses, realise anything like the full market value of their improvements.

The big janmis’ property is scattered widely over the face of the country and is rarely held in compact blocks capable of effective management.

Most of them do not know where much of their property lies, having never even seen it.

They do not know the persons who cultivate it, and do not concern themselves as to whether their tenants sublet or not. Most of them care nothing for the welfare of their tenants. And the tenants are, as a rule, largely in arrears with their rents. Moreover, the men employed by these big janmis to manage their scattered properties are all men of common education, who get very small pay, and their chief duty is to grant receipts for rent collected.

This granting of receipts places large power for evil in the hands of these low-paid and ignorant agents, and they have to be bribed by the ryots in order that they may be allowed to remain in the good graces of the janmis, who in regard to local details are completely in their agents’ hands.

Mr. Logan finally formed the opinion that the Mappilla outrages were designed “to counteract the overwhelming influence, when backed by the British courts, of the janmis in the exercise of the novel powers of ouster and of rent raising conferred upon them. A janmi who, through the courts, evicted,1 whether fraudulently or otherwise, a substantial tenant, was doomed to have merited death, and it was considered a religious virtue, not a fault, to have killed such a man, and to have afterwards died in arms fighting against an infidel Government which sanctioned such injustice.”

NOTEs: 1. Mr. Collett’s report on the first Kulathur outrage of 22nd August 1851. END OF NOTEs

It is unnecessary to say anything here of Mr. Logan’s proposals for legislation, as the matter is still (1886) under consideration, but it may be mentioned here that he proposed to adopt as principles for legislation the following :

(a) The only person interested in the soil, to whom the Government should look in the pending legislation, is the actual cultivator or ryot :

(b) The landlord’s power of ouster must, in the public interests, be curtailed :

(c) The landlord is perfectly entitled to take a competition rent, provided he is dealing with capitalists: and

(d) The tenants must have the full benefit of the ancient customary law entitling them to sell the improvements on their holdings

While Pulikkal Raman of Pandikad amsam, Ernad taluk, was cleaning his teeth at a channel on the 31st October 1883, Asaritodi Moidin Kutti of the same amsam attacked him from behind with a sword, cut him on the back of the neck, and, as he rose, inflicted another wound on the shoulder. Raman fled pursued by Moidin Kutti, who held the sword in one hand and a book in the other, and used unintelligible expressions as he ran.

After dancing about on a rock for some time, brandishing his sword and striking the back of his neck with it, Moidin Kutti, on the intervention of his brother Aavaran and a Mappilla named Mammad, threw the sword and book down and surrendered. He was at forwards tried and acquitted on the ground of insanity.

On the 4th March 1884 one Marakkar and four others, of Chembrasseri amsam, Ernad taluk, presented a petition before the Taluk Magistrate, charging one Vakkayil Moidin Kutti and another of the same amsam with conspiracy to murder the East Coast Brahman landlord named Appatura Pattar of Melattur amsam in Walluvanad taluk already mentioned in connexion with the outrage of 9th September 1880, and to die subsequently as martyrs.

Moidin Kutti was a son of one of the petitioners, and his companion. (O. Kutti Mammu) was a tenant of the Brahman who had rendered himself obnoxious as a landlord generally, and who had prevented Kutti Mammu from ploughing his land until arrears of rent due had been paid or until security had been given for its due payment. Moidin Kutti was merely a tool in the hands of Kutti Mammu, and there were also five others who had been arrested on suspicion. The two ringleaders were deported, two of the remaining five had to furnish security to keep the peace, another was released unconditionally, and the other two were released with a warning. The man who disclosed the design received a reward of Rs. 200.

A Hindu of the toddy-drawer caste, named Kannancheri Raman, who had several years previously embraced and subsequently renounced Islam, was proceeding by a river footpath from his house to work at the Malapuram barracks at about 6-30 in the morning of the 18th June 1884. He was there waylaid and attacked in a most savage manner by two Mappillas armed with hatchets, and was very severely wounded. He managed, however, to get free and fell into the river close by, whence he contrived to make his escape to the house of his brother, by whom he was taken to the barrack hospital.

He at once denounced Avarankutti and Koyamutti as the men who had wounded him, and stated that a third person, one Kunhi Mammad Mulla, was present and held him whilst the others attacked him. These men had intended to run the usual fanatical course, but their courage failed them at the last moment, and they were in due course arrested, brought to trial, and, being convicted of attempt to commit murder, were sentenced to transportation for life.

Three other persons were afterwards deported in connection with this case and five others released with a warning. The Acting District Magistrate (Mr. Galton) proposed to fine the amsam (Kilmuri) in’ the sum of Rs. 15.000, of which he proposed to assign a sum of Rs. 1,000 to K. Raman as compensation for his wounds, and these proposals were in due course sanctioned by the Government.

It was found necessary subsequently to reduce the fine to about Rs 5,000 by reason of the poverty of the Mappilla inhabitants.

The proposal to assign Rs. 1,000 of this sum to the apostate K. Raman appears to have rankled in the minds of the Mappillas generally. These held the perverted view that an apostate should suffer death, and viewed the idea of granting a reward to an apostate for his wounds as a covert attack on this cherished dogma of their religion. This, and the fact that the pseudo-sahids (martyrs) in this case had set out fully resolved to die as such, and had not had courage enough to adhere to their resolution, were viewed as slurs upon the faith of Islam which could only be washed out in blood.

Champions of the faith were required, and these were found, not among the recreant inhabitants of Malapuram, but away in the north of the taluk among the wild timber-floating population, who earn a precarious living amid hardships and dangers of no common sort.

And the following narrative sets forth how they fared in their self-imposed mission in defence of their “pearl -like faith.”

At 4 A.M. on 27th December 1884, Kolakkadan Kutti Assan and eleven other Mappillas proceeded to the house of Kannancheri Choyi Kutti, the brother of the apostate K. Raman mentioned in the narrative of the preceding outrage, in search of the latter, who, fortunately for himself, was absent.

The house is on the river bank within sight of the barracks of the European infantry stationed at Malapuram, and is situated less than half a mile distant therefrom. When Choyi Kutti, hearing a noise at his cowshed, opened the door to ascertain what it was he was greeted by a volley from the firearms carried by the party. Two of the shots took effect on him and he fell badly wounded. His son, a small boy, was also wounded. The gang set fire to the thatched roof of the house and drove the women and children out of it. On leaving the house in flames they raised the Mussulman cry to prayers.

The noise was distinctly heard in the barracks, but no one paid any attention to it as firing of guns at that time was quite common in the neighbourhood.

After this exploit the gang formed up and marched right through the Malapuram bazaar, passing within twenty yards of the police station, and continued on their course along the Great Western road (No. 6) for a distance of over eight miles, warning people whom they met to get off the road. A Brahman who failed to comply with this peremptory demand, was mortally wounded by the leader of the gang with a bullet from a No. 6 gauge single-barrelled muzzle-loading elephant rifle1 which he carried, and received besides a cut from a heavy knife behind the ear.

NOTEs: 1. The rifle has "Samuel Nock invenit" on the lock plate. END OF NOTEs

Long before they left the road it was broad daylight, and they sent sundry message to the Officer commanding, Malapuram and to the District Magistrate of what they had done.

On reaching the 21st mile 4th furlong they diverged to the north into the wild hilly and jungly country stretching thence to the Beypore river. At the river they halted a short time to take some food. After doing this a party of seven of them proceeded straight across that river, which was at the time fordable, to the Hindu temple of Trikkallur, lying in the Urngattiri amsam of Ernad taluk. They halted, for a short time only, at the Churott mosque, which lies about three-quarters of a mile from the temple on the opposite bank of a large paddy flat.

The seven men broke into the temple and took possession of it, raising the Muhammadan cry to prayer, and firing their guns out of the four windows of the upper-storeyed gate-house.

The above occurrences happened during the Christmas holidays, and both the Special Assistant Magistrate and the Assistant Superintendent of Police quartered at Malapuram were absent from the station. The head constable of police however put himself, as soon as the particulars were ascertained, in communication with the Officer commanding (Captain Curtis of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry), and the latter with a party of his men started in pursuit of the gang, which, however, having had a long start, was never overtaken, and the detachment returned the same afternoon to their barracks.

The District Magistrate (Mr. W. Logan) and the Police Superintendent (Major F. Hole) were at Calicut when the news of the outrage arrived late in the forenoon of the same day. Hastily gathering as many as possible of the police reserve under Inspector Sweeny, they marched in the afternoon and evening to Kondotti, and before midnight received authentic intelligence that the gang of fanatics had taken possession of the temple at Trikkallur.

Hearing that the gang had firearms, the District Magistrate sent from Arikod, which was reached in the early morning of 28th, urgent requisitions to Malapuram and Calicut for dynamite, as it was not at all improbable that this gang of fanatics meant to depart from the tactics of their predecessors and to fight from behind walls with firearms, instead of charging the troops in the open as had been the practice heretofore. After events fully justified this anticipation.

The paddy flat beneath the temple on the east was reached at 10-30 a.m., and the Mappilla inhabitants of the locality were assembled and despatched to bring in the fanatics if possible. But in this they failed and only brought back a message to the effect from the fanatics : “K. Raman committed an offence worthy of death by becoming an apostate. You not only did not punish him for this offence, but you actually proposed to reward him with Rs. 1,000” (the sum proposed by Mr. Galton as compensation for his wounds) for doing it. How could we let him live under such circumstances?”

One of the members of the deputation had the hardihood to remain behind when the rest of the party retired from the temple and joined the gang of fanatics. They now numbered twelve. The heart of one of the original party having failed him when the neighbourhood of the temple was reached in the preceding afternoon.

The fanatics had burnt two houses in the neighbourhood in the morning as a warning to the people that they must be supplied with provisions. They had also caught and killed for food a cow which they found near the temple.

The first shot was fired by the fanatics shortly after the deputation of Mappillas retired from their interview with the gang. About 2 p.m. a party of 28 men of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Day and accompanied by Surgeon-Major Joseph Heath,1 reached the spot from Malapuram. It was determined to attack the temple from the west, on which side the ground was open, whereas the direct route on the east side was not only steep, but, owing to the sloping nature of the ground, no musketry fire could be directed on the building until close range was reached, and even then there was no room for more than ten men in the first line of attack.

NOTEs: 1. Shortly afterwards killed by dacoits in Burmah to the great regret of a wide circle of friends. END OF NOTEs

On the west the building, and in particular the upper-storeyed gate-house in which it was believed the fanatics meant to make their stand, could be seen from a distance of over half a mile. It was known that the fanatics had but one rifle in their possession, the one already described ; the rest of their armament consisted of a double-barrelled muzzle-loading percussion gun, about 14 bore, by Westley Richards, a smooth-bore muzzle-loading percussion musket, and two smooth-bore muzzle-loading percussion country guns, besides several heavy chopping knives, etc.

The temple, and in particular the upper-storeyed gate-house, occupied a most commanding position except on the east, where the view was obscured by trees.

As Lieutenant Day’s party came in sight at a distance of about 500 yards the fanatics opened fire from the upper-storeyed gatehouse with their rifle throwing conical bullets of over three ounces, which, from their ragged shape and high velocity, due to excessive charges of English sporting gunpowder, flew over the heads of the detachment with a scream like that of a small cannon ball. The Light Infantry assumed the attack formation, advancing by rushes of a few yards, and having the police in reserve behind them.

No casualties occurred until the military and police had both entered the spacious outer temple square through the ruined western gate. Here they found themselves, with massive bolted wooden doors, stone walls, and thick tiled roofs separating them from their enemies, who held the spacious inner square and the upper-storeyed eastern gate-house. But the walls which sheltered the Mappillas also afforded shelter to the military and police, for the fanatics, not expecting the attack from the western side, had only partially loop-holed it.

As Lieutenant Day was reconnoitring the building he received what at the time appeared to be a fatal wound from a bullet at the southern door of the inner square and had to retire. And the fanatics began to come down from the upper-storey building into the inner square and to make loopholes in the roof for shots at close range. Axes were procured, but it was soon found to be an impossible task to break open the massive doors.

A retreat from the outer square became necessary, and just as this critical operation had been successfully accomplished under a brisk fire, but without casualty, Lieutenant Cardew of the Oxfordshires came up shortly before sundown with 28 more men. The fanatics had all this while kept up a brisk fire from the upper-storeyed building and the western doorway of the inner square, and numerous very narrow escapes from their bullets had occurred.

The reinforcement enabled Lieutenant Cardew to guard during the night two of the four gates leading through the walls of the outer square of the temple, and the charge of a third, the eastern one, was taken by the police reserve. The southern gate was left unguarded during the night.

This fact was probably not known to the Mappillas in the temple nor to those in the neighbourhood, several of whom, armed with guns, had been seen suspiciously hanging on the flank of Lieutenant Day’s detachment as it marched up to the temple, and from others of whom there came defiantly at intervals across the intervening paddy flat a wild Muhammadan call to prayers during all the time that the musketry was playing in the temple front, in sympathetic response to similar cries raised by the fanatics in the temple.

Two men unarmed attempted to pass into the temple during the night, but were stopped by the sentries. It is certain, judging from previous experience, that recruits would have joined the gang in large numbers during the night had these precautions not been taken.

Captain Curtis arrived during the night with some dynamite, and Mr. Twigg, the Special Assistant Magistrate, who had travelled all the way from Madras after receiving news of the outbreak, also arrived in the early morning. The Mappillas had been busy loop-holing the western side of the temple during the night, and at the first dawn, as the party of six officers stood closely together in a group talking, the first shot from the new loopholes in the temple was fired, and the bullet from an overloaded gun fortunately whistled harmlessly over their heads.

The means of getting access to the temple had now arrived, but a difficulty which had not been foreseen occurred, for no one present knew how to handle the explosive. And those who eventually prepared the cartridges had never even seen the explosive before. A series of experiments were made separately first with fuse, then with fuse and detonator, and finally with fuse detonator and cartridge. The experiments being successful, about twenty-five cartridges were tied together and enveloped in a thick coating of wet clay.

Just as these preparations were being made, Captain Heron Maxwell arrived from Calicut with Surgeon Cusack and 50 men of the Royal Fusiliers.

The troops and police were then divided into three parties ; the larger number, including nearly all the police, were posted at every available spot round the ruined outer wall of the temple to fire upon the upper-storeyed gate-house and all the loopholes in the doors and roof of the north-west and south sides of the inner square. Another but very small party of picked men were told off to line the few practicable places in the ruined wall on the cast side. A third party was held ready to receive the fanatics with the bayonet if they charged out.

These arrangements having been completed, a brisk fire was opened on the north-west and south sides against the loop-holed doors and roof of the inner square. And when the firing ceased, Private Barrett of the Oxfordshires ran up to the western door of the inner square and placed a dynamite cartridge on the sill. The fuse went out ; a second cartridge was brought and placed in like manner beside the first one.

After an interval which seemed an age to those waiting for the result, a loud report shook the ground, a dense cloud of smoke and dust rose from the doorway, and when this cleared away it was seen that the dynamite1 cartridges had successfully done their work by blowing in the door and displacing the beams with which the fanatics had strengthened it inside. Another five pound cartridge had subsequently to be used to clear away the wreck.

NOTEs: 1. It is believed that this was the first occasion on which dynamite was used in actual warlike operations in face of an enemy in India. END OF NOTEs

After this the taking of the stronghold was only a matter of time. But it was not accomplished without further bloodshed. Private Miles, one of the steadiest shots in the Oxfordshire detachment, had been told off as one of the marksmen at the eastern gate to protect Private Rolfe of the Royal Fusiliers, who laid the dynamite charge at the eastern door. Rolfe had laid one charge, but the fuse had gone out. Miles was peering through some bushes growing on the ruined outer wall with his head only exposed, when a fanatic shot him dead from one of the loopholes in the upper-storeyed gatehouse.

Rolfe, nothing daunted, successfully laid the second charge in spite of a brisk fire from the fanatics and smashed in the eastern door.

The north door was next destroyed, and a cross-fire poured through the north and west doors drove the fanatics in the inner square up into the upper-storeyed building.

Their determination to resist desperately to the end was remarkable. They had a bullet-proof parapet extending to a height of nearly thirty inches above the floor of the upper-storeyed room in which they were now all gathered. By lying or even kneeling behind this, they were absolutely safe from injury from the bullets, which crashed through the broad wooden planks which closed in the room on all sides above this thirty inch parapet. In the interstices between these planks loopholes had been cut. Each fanatic took his turn to fire at the military and police sharp-shooters lining the outer wall.

As the muzzle of his gun was seen protruded from the loophole and in act to fire, some twenty or thirty of the marksmen lining the ruined outer wall, fired a volley at the spot, and some of their bullets crashing through the wooden planks, hit the fanatic in several parts of his body simultaneously, but usually in the head or throat or chest. It was thus that they all died one by one.

As their fire slackened the interior of the temple was gradually occupied by the military and police, and the last dynamite cartridge was used to blow open the massive trap-door giving access to the upper-storeyed gate-house room where the final stand was made.

Of the twelve fanatics, three were still alive, but two of them were speechless and died immediately ; the third man lived about twenty-four hours.

The casualties among the military were one private killed and one officer (Lieutenant Day) and one private wounded. It is marvellous that the casualties were so few in number, considering that the fanatics were afterwards estimated to have fired not leas than two hundred and fifty shots at the party of order.

This serious outbreak was followed by several other small affairs, all pointing to the existence of widespread excitement and fanatical zeal, the particulars of which it is unnecessary to relate here.

The Soudanese Mahdi was at this time (January-April 1885) occupying a large share of public attention. One fanatical teacher at least selected his exploits for the theme of many exciting discourses, and a mysterious Hungarian stranger, under the guise of a priest, who admitted that he had known Oliver Pain, the Soudanese Mahdi’s Frenchman, made his appearance shortly afterwards at Cochin.

The risks run by the party employed in suppressing the Trikkallur gang from the firearms used by the fanatics made the Government decide to disarm three taluks of the district (Calicut, Ernad and Walluvanad). And this ticklish operation was, notwithstanding the excited state of the Mappilla community at the time, successfully carried out in the month of February 1885 by the district officers. It had a most beneficial effect on the population of the tracts in which the order was enforced.

Five disarming parties were organised, each in charge of a Magistrate with a police officer to assist him. To each party were attached a havildar’s guard of sepoys and a head constable’s party of the Police Reserve of the district. Troops furnished by the 12th Regiment were imported by rail, and stationed at all the important centres, and a considerable body of European troops furnished by the Oxfordshire Light Infantry was located at Malapuram and Calicut, in the heart of the country to be disarmed ready to act in any direction in which their services might be required.

“The general1 plan of the operations was to start from a common centre-the country lying around Malapuram, where the bulk of the European force lay in readiness for any emergency and by sweeping clean all amsams lying in the rear and on the flanks of the several disarming parties, to concentrate eventually three of the disarming parties on the country where the gang of rebels was originally recruited.”

NOTEs: 1. District Magistrate's report. No. 1871, dated 1st, May 1885, to Government. END OF NOTEs

The military and other preparations were kept secret up to the very last moment, until in fact the troops (brought, by rail from Bangalore) were at their appointed stations. “The sudden descent2 of the troops, their swift and sudden seizure and firm hold of all the important, places, the sudden and widespread issue of the demand for the surrender of all arms, the shortness of the time allowed to the people to think over the matter, the enforced surrender of their arms, and the ease with which, on the failure of the telegraph line, we were enabled to open up communication almost as swift and far more secure, were all well calculated to impress the population with a wholesome fear of the resources of the Government.

NOTEs: 2. Ibid. END OF NOTEs

The allusion to the failure of the telegraph line relates to a curious coincidence which happened on the very day (10th February) on which the troops arrived in the district. In the afternoon of that day communication between Calicut and Malapuram was suddenly interrupted ; it was known that some people in Calicut had been discussing the effect which an interruption to the wires would have had on the outbreak of December 1884.

It was thought at the time that the interruption might have been caused by design3, and in any case the necessity for a substitute made itself strongly felt. Signalling parties were accordingly organised. The Urot hill (1,573 feet) near Malapuram was occupied in force by a signalling party of the Oxfordshires, who communicated by helio by day and by lamp at night with the General Officer Commanding at Calicut, 22 miles with Malapuram, where the bulk of the European force was stationed, 6 miles ; and with the District Magistrate’s disarming camp, as it moved to its various disarming stations, namely, Manjeri, 8 miles; Pandikad. 16 miles; Wandur, 17 miles; and Arikkod, 10 miles.

NOTEs: 3. It was long afterwards satisfactorily ascertained that this was not the case. END OF NOTEs

The number of arms of all kinds collected was very large, namely, 17,295, of which no less than 7,503 were firearms of different kinds.

A marked change for the better was immediately perceived in the "demeanour of the people of the disarmed tracts directly these operations were brought to a close.

But the people of the neighbouring taluk of Ponnani were the next to betake themselves to acts of violence.

During the night of 1st May 1885 a gang of Mappillas, consisting of T. V. Virankutti and eleven others, broke open the house of a Cheraman (slave caste) called Kutti Kariyan, and murdered him and his wife and four of their children, and set fire to the house and a neighbouring temple. The victim had become a convert to Islam many years previously, and had reverted to his original religion fourteen years ago. The Mappillas of the neighbourhood had been in the habit of taunting him with his lapse from Islam, and he in his turn had made free use of his tongue in returning their taunts.

After effecting the murders, the gang, who had one gun with them, proceeded to a police station (Kalpakancheri) with a view to help themselves to the police arms, but finding that guarded, they struck a course northwards towards the Urot hill near Malapuram, just above-mentioned, with the avowed intention of there taking post in a small Hindu temple on the summit of it. But want of water compelled them to descend the hill on the west, and the attitude of their co-religionists in that part of the country, which had just been disarmed, being unfriendly, they retreated during the night of the 2nd May to their own country side, and in the early morning of the 3rd they seized the house of a wealthy Nambutiri Brahman, landlord of Ponmundam amsam, in the Ponnani taluk.

On the afternoon of that day they were there attacked by a party of the South Wales Borderers from Malapuram under Captain Logan, accompanied by the Special Assistant Magistrate Mr. Twigg.

They opened fire from a window in the third or top storey of the house at the military, and wounded four of the men ; upon this the fire was returned, and, as it afterwards turned out, the few shots poured in at the windows of the room to silence the fire killed all twelve persons. Three, including a child, had joined the gang in place of three men whose courage had failed the m, and who had deserted during the night.

Their determination to be slain was perhaps quite as strong as that of the Trikkallur gang, and they adopted similar tactics in trusting to their firearm to do damage to their opponents. The disarming of the Ponnani taluk was next ordered by the Government. And this operation was also successfully carried1 out by the district officers in June 1885, on the same plan which had been adopted in the previous February. One company of the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers was brought by rail from Madras and stationed at Vettattpudiangadi, where it remained during the disarming operations.

NOTEs: 1. Arms collected 3,800, of which 1,010 were firearms. END OF NOTEs

On the morning of 11th August 1885 a Mappilla named Unni Mammad entered the house of Krishna Pisharodi, referred to in the account of the outrage of 9th September 1880, under the pretence of buying paddy. The Pisharodi was at the time engaged in having an oil-bath. The Mappilla slipped past the attendants, and with one blow of a hatchet which he had brought with him, he inflicted a mortal wound on the recumbent Pisharodi’s head.

He was immediately seized and disarmed, and was, after trial in the usual course, eventually hanged. He thus missed the martyr’s fate which he repeatedly, during his examinations, avowed to have been the mainspring of his actions. But the real fact was that the man slain was what would have been called in Ireland a “landgrabber,” and the persons (Mappillas) for whose lands he was intriguing set up Unni Mammad to commit the murder.

This closes the narrative up to date of these fanatical outrages, which have been a special feature in the district administration during the last half century. And it only remains to add that the policy of repression advocated by Mr. Strange has signally failed to fulfil what was expected of it.

Fanaticism of this violent type flourishes only upon sterile soil. When the people are poor1 and discontented, it flourishes apace like other crimes of violence. The grievous insecurity to which the working ryots are exposed by the existing system of landed tenures is undoubtedly largely to blame for the impoverished and discontented state of the peasantry, and a measure to protect the working ryot, of whatever class, is the means which seems to command itself the most for the amelioration of their condition. With settled homesteads and an assured income to all who are thrifty and industrious—and in these respects the Mappillas surpass all other classes—it is certain that fanaticism would die a natural death.

NOTEs: 1. That they are both -poor and discontented Mr. Logan’s Special Commission conclusively proved. END OF NOTEs

Education is looked to by many as an equally certain means to the same end, but starving people are not easily taught, and, if taught, it would only lead to their adopting more effectual measures to obtain for themselves that security and comfort in their homesteads which it would be much wiser to grant at once. With increasing comfort at home, an increasing demand for education would certainly spring up. Without comfort, and with education, discontent would only be increased.

From the foregoing narrative it will be seen that the Malabar district of the present day is made up

— First—of the “Province of Malabar” the government of which was fixed by Sir R. Abercromby, Governor of Bombay, and the Joint Bengal and Bombay Commission, on the 18th March 1793,

Secondly—of the Dutch possessions of the town of Cochin and its outlying patterns, and of Tangasseri, which were acquired on 20th October 1795, and

Thirdly—of the district of Wynad, acquired at the end of the last Mysore war on the 22nd June 1799.

Few changes except the restitutions already described to the French have occurred in its limits since that last event happened. In 1830 the Nilgiri plateau was attached to Malabar, and its precise limits as a “separate charge” were defined1 in 1836. In 1843 the Nilgiris were transferred1 to Coimbatore, leaving to Malabar the range of the Kundahs. In 1860 the Kundahs were also transferred1 to Coimbatore and “a small nook of land at the confluence of the Moyar river and its western tributary on the confines of the Mysore territory” was at the same time transferred from Coimbatore to Malabar. On 6th October 1870 an interchange1 of some small bits of land in the Walluvanad and Ponnani taluks took place between Malabar and the Cochin State.


In 1873 “the tract known as Outchterlony valley” was transferred2 from Malabar to the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of the Nilgiris. And finally the three amsams of South-east Wynad—Nambolakod, Cherankod, and Munnanad—were in like manner also transferred2 to the Nilgiri district from and after 31st March 1877.

NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., ii. CCLXXXIV, CCLXXXV. END OF NOTEs

The Collector3 and District Magistrate has political, revenue, and magisterial authority over the whole of these territories, except in regard to the revenues of the outlying bits of territory at Anjengo and Tangasseri, which are leased4 for terms of five years to the State of Travancore, and in regard to the territories of Ali Raja of Cannanore, comprising the kirar limits at Cannanore and the Laccadive Islands of Agatti, Kavaratti, Androth, Kalpeni, and Minicoy. The Collector and District Magistrate has ordinarily5 only magisterial jurisdiction over the kirar limits of the mainland, while the Raja collects the revenue there and exercises full authority over the islanders.

NOTEs: 3. In Appendix XIV will be found lists of the British officials, Chiefs, Residents, Commissioners, Supervisors, Principal Collectors and Collectors from the earliest times down to the present day.

4. Treaties, etc., ii. CCLXXXV1, CCLXXXVII.

5. Since 1877 the islands have however, been under attachment for arrears of revenue due by the Raja, and the administration is in process of reformation. END OF NOTEs

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