William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
First of all, I would like to place on record what my interest in this book is. I do not have any great interest in the minor details of Malabar or Travancore. Nor about the various castes and their aspirations, claims and counterclaims.
My interest is basically connected to my interest in the English colonial rule in the South Asian Subcontinent and elsewhere. I would quite categorically mention that it is ‘English colonialism’ and not British Colonialism (which has a slight connection to Irish, Gaelic and Welsh (Celtic language) populations).
Even though I am not sure about this, I think the book Malabar was made as part of the Madras Presidency government’s endeavour to create a district manual for each of the districts of Madras Presidency. William Logan was a District Collector of the Malabar district of Madras Presidency. The time period of his work in the district is given in this book as:
6th June 1875 to 20th March 1876 (around 9 months) as Ag. Collector. From 9th May 1878 to 21st April 1879 (around 11 months) as Collector. From 23rd November 1880 to 3rd February 1881 (around 2 months) as Collector. Then from 23rd January 1883 to 17th April 1883 (around 3 months) as Collector. After all this, he is again posted as the Collector from 22nd November 1884.
In this book, the termination date of his appointment is not given. Moreover, I have no idea as to why he had a number of breaks within his tenure as the district Collector of Malabar district.
Since this book is seen as published on the 7th of January 1887, it can safely be assumed that he was working on this book during his last appointment as Collector on the 22nd of November 1884.
From this book no personal information about William Logan, Esq. can be found out or arrived at.
It is seen mentioned in a low-quality content website that he is a ‘Scottish officer’ working for the British government. Even though this categorisation of him as being different from British subjects / citizens has its own deficiencies, there are some positive points that can be attached to it also.
He has claimed the authorship of this book. There are locations where other persons are attributed as the authors of those specific locations. Also, there is this statement: QUOTE 👉: The foot-notes to Mr. Græmo’s text are by an experienced Native Revenue Officer, Mr. P. Karunakara Menon. END OF QUOTE.
The tidy fact is that the whole book has been tampered with or doctored by many others who were the natives of this subcontinent. Their mood and mental inclinations are found in various locations of the book. The only exception might be the location where Logan himself has dealt with the history writing. More or less connected to the part where the written records from the English Factory at Tellicherry are dealt with.
His claim, asserted or hinted at, of being the author of the text wherein he is mentioned as the author is in many parts 👈possibly a lie. In that sense, his being a ‘Scottish officer’, and not an ‘English officer’ might have some value.
The book Malabar ostensibly written by William Logan does not seem to have been written by him. It is true that there is a very specific location where it is evident that it is Logan who has written the text. However, in the vast locations of the textual matter, there are locations where it can be felt that he is not the author at all.
There are many other issues with this book. I will come to them presently. Let me first take up my own background with regard to this kind of books and scholarly writings.
I need to mention very categorically that I am not a historian or any other kind of person with any sort of academic scholarship or profundity. My own interest in this theme is basically connected to my interest in the English colonial administration and the various incidences connected to it.
I have made a similar kind of work with regard to a few other famous books. I am giving the list of them here:
1. 👉Travancore State Manual by V Nagam Aiya
2. Native 👉 Life in Travancore by Rev. Samuel Mateer F.L.S
3. 👉Castes & Tribes of Southern India Vol 1 Vol 1 by Edgar Thurston
4. Omens 👉 and Superstitions of Southern India by EDGAR THURSTON
5. 👉 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler - A demystification!
6. Oscar 👉 Wilde and Myself by Alfred Bruce Douglas
7. The 👉Native Races of South Africa by George W. Stow
8. 👉 Kamasutra of Vatsyayana (Read Online)
All of the above books, with the exception of no. 5, I have recreated into much readable digital books. After that I added a commentary on the contents of each book.
For the fifth book, I have only written a commentary. No attempt was made to recreate it into a more readable digital book. For, the book is available elsewhere in many formats in very highly readable forms. Both digital as well as print version.
Why I have mentioned this much about the way I work on these books is to convey the idea that when I work on a book to create a readable digital version, I get to read the text, invariably.
In the case of this book, Malabar, I have gone through each line and paragraph. It is possible that I have missed a lot of errors in my edited version. For, I did not get ample time to proofread. For, taking out the text from very faint, scanned versions of the original book was a very time-taking work. The work was tedious. And apart from that, getting to reformat the text is an extremely slow-paced work.
But the word-by-word working on the text gave me the opportunity to go through the text in a manner which no casual reader might do. I could enter in almost every nook and corner of the textual matter. And many minor, and yet significant information have come into my notice.
Since I have done a similar work on Travancore State Manual by V Nagam Aiya and on Native Life in Travancore by Rev. Samuel Mateer, I have had the opportunity to understand the contemporary happenings of those times in the next door native-king ruled kingdom of Travancore.
Apart from all that, I do personally have a lot of information on this landscape and how it experienced and reacted to the English rule. It goes without saying that the current-day formal history assertions about the English colonial rule are totally misleading and more or less absolute lies. Even the geographical frame on which this history has been built upon is wrong and erroneous.
I have been hearing the words to the effect: Logan said this or that in his Malabar Manual, on many things concerning the history and culture of Malabar. However, it was only in this year, that is, 2017, that I got a full page copy of his Two volume book.
Even though this book is named Malabar, it is generally known as the Malabar Manual in common parlance. I think this is due to the fact that this book must have been a part of the District Manuals of Madras (circa 1880), which were written about the various districts, which were part of the Madras Presidency of the English-rule period in the Subcontinent.
In fact, this is the understanding one gets from reading a reference to this book in Travancore State Manual written by V Nagam Aiya. In fact, Nagam Aiya says thus about his own book: ‘I was appointed to it with the simple instruction that the book was to be after the model of the District Manuals of Madras’.
I initiated my work on this book without having any idea as to what it contained, other than a general idea that it was a book about the Malabar district of Madras Presidency.
However, as I progressed with the work and the reading, a very ferocious feeling entered into me that this is a very contrived and doctored version of events and social realities. In the various sections of the book, wherein there is no written indication that it is not written by Logan, I have very clearly found inclinations and directions of leanings shifting. In certain areas, they are totally opposite to what had been the direction of leaning in a previous writing area.
It is very easily understood that words do have 👈direction codes not only in their code area, but also in the real world location. A slight change of adjective can shift the direction of loyalty, fidelity and fealty from one entity to another. A hue of a hint or suggestion can shift this direction. With a single word or adjective or usage, placed in an appropriate location with meticulous precision, an individual’s bearing and aspirations can be differently defined. An explanation for an action can be changed from a grand action to a gratuitous deed.
Only a very minor part of this book could be the exact textual input of William Logan. Other parts of the book which are not mentioned as of others can actually be the writings of a few others.
This book has been written for the English administrators. From that perspective, there would be no attempt on the part of William Logan to fool or deceive the English administrators, with regard to the realities of the inputs of English administration. This is the only location in this book, where everything is honest.
In all the other parts, half-truths, partial truths, partial lies, total lies and total suppression of information are very rampant. Moreover, there might even be total misrepresentation of events and populations. The natives of the subcontinent who have very obviously participated in the creation of this book have made use of the opportunity presented to them to insert their own native-land mutual jealousies, repulsions, antipathies etc. in a most subtle manner. This very understated and very fine and slender manner of inserting errors into the textual content has been resorted to, just to be in sync with the general gentleness of all English colonial stances.
That was the first attempt at doctoring the contents of this book.
There was again a second attempt at doctoring the contents of this book. That was in 1951. On reading the text itself I had a terrific feeling that some terrible manipulation and doctoring had been accomplished on this book much after it had been first published in 1887. For, this book was actually an official publication of the British colonial administration in the Madras Presidency. However, the flavour of a British / English colonial book was not there in the digital copy of the book which I had in my hands. This copy had been a re-edited and reprinted work, published in 1951.
Some very fine aura of an English colonial book was seen to have been wiped out. Even though it could be quite intriguing as to why an original book had to be edited and various minor but quite critical changes had been inserted into this book, there are very many reason that why such malicious actions have been done. In fact, after the formation of three nations inside the South Asian Subcontinent, there have been many kinds of manipulations on the recorded history of the location. This has been done to suit the policy aims of the low-class nations that have sprung up in the region.
On checking the beginning part of the book, I found this writing:
👈QUOTE: In the year 1948, in view of the importance of the book, the Government ordered that it should be reprinted. The work of reprinting was however delayed, to some extent, owing to the pressure of work in the Government Press. While reprinting the spelling of the place names have, in some cases, been modernized.
Egmore, B. S. BALIGA,
17th September 1951 Curator, Madras Record Office
END OF QUOTE
So, that much admission from a government employee is there.
A few decades back, I was staying in a metropolitan city of India. This city had been the headquarters of one of the Presidencies of British-India. I need to explain what a Presidency is. For there might be readers who do not understand this word.
The English colonial rule in the South Asian Subcontinent actually was centred on three major cities. Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. Even though the colonial rule is generally known as British-rule and the location as British-India, there are certain basic truths to be understood. The so-called British-rule was more or less an English-rule, centred on a rule by England. It was not a Celtic language or Celtic population rule.
William Logan, who purports to be the author of this book, is not an Englishman. So to that extent, he is removed from the actual fabulous content of the English-rule in the subcontinent.
The second point to mention is that even though there is a general misunderstanding that the whole of the subcontinent was part of British-India and British-Indian administration, the rough truth is that most of the locations outside the afore-mentioned three Presidencies were not 👈part of British-India or British-Indian administration.
However, due to the extremely fabulous content quality of the British-Indian administration, as well as the quaint refined quality, dignified way of behaviour, honourableness, sense of commitment and dependability of the English administration, all the other native-kingdoms which existed in the near proximity of the Presidencies inside the subcontinent, more or less adhered intimately to British-India without any qualms. For, there are no self-depreciating verbal usages of servitude in English. In the native feudal-languages of the location, such a connection would have affected their stature very adversely in the verbal codes. - Please read the chapter on 👇Feudal Languages in this Commentary)
In the local culture, the exact traditional history is that of backstabbing, treachery, usurping of power, going back on word, double-crossing &c. When a very powerful political entity appeared on the scene, which was seen quite bereft of all these sinister qualities, everyone understood that it was best to connect to this entity.
However, this was to lead these kingdoms to their disaster and doom later on. For, a general feeling spread that all these kingdoms were part of British-India. Even in England this was the general feeling. An extremely disparaging usages such as ‘Princely state’ and ‘Indian Prince’ came to be used in English language to define them, due to this misunderstanding.
Actually the independent kingdoms were not ‘Princely states’. Nor were their kings mere ‘Indian princes’. They were kings. For instance, Travancore was not a Princely State. It was an independent kingdom. It was true that it was in alliance with British-India. To use this term ‘alliance’ to mention Travancore as bereft of its own sovereignty, is utter nonsense.
For, it is like saying that Kuwait is part of USA just because it is under the US protection. Or Japan, and many other similar low-class nations, which have made use of a close contact with the US to bolster up their own nations.
Travancore did mention its own stature as an independent kingdom very forcefully in a legal dispute with the Madras government.
Dewan Madava Row wrote thus to the government of the Madras Presidency in 1867:
👈QUOTE (Travancore State Manual):
(1 The jurisdiction in question is an inherent right of sovereignty
(2 The Travancore State being one ruled by its own Ruler possesses that right
(3 It has not been shown on behalf of the British Government that the Travancore State ever ceded this right because it was never ceded, and
END OF QUOTE
However, for the independent kingdoms in the subcontinent, this close connection with British-India later turned out to be a suicidal stranglehold. For, in the immediate aftermath of World War 2, a total madman and insane criminal became the Prime Minister of Britain. In his totally reckless administration that lasted around five years, he tumbled down the English Empire, all over the world.
In the South Asian subcontinent, the British-Indian army was divided into two and handed over to two politicians who had very good connection to the British Labour Party leaders.
These two leaders used the might of the British-Indian army which had come into their own hands to more or less run roughshod over all the native-kingdoms of the subcontinent. They were all forcefully added to the two newly-created nations, Pakistan and India. This action might need to be discussed from a very variety of perspectives. However, this book does not aim to go into that detail.
However, the dismantling of the English-rule was disastrous to the people. In the northern parts of the subcontinent, which is mainly the Hindi hinterland, a communal confrontation took place between the Muslims and the non-Muslim populations. Around 10 lakh (1 million) people were slaughtered. Burned, and hacked. Towns and villages which had lived in total peace and prosperity under the English-rule became battlegrounds. No house or household was safe. People had the heartbreaking experience of seeing their youngsters broken down physically.
This was how the two nations of Pakistan and India were founded. Compared to the other parts of the subcontinent, the average social-quality of Hindi-speakers is low. This itself is a very fabulous illustrative point. For, on seeing Hindi films one might get a feeling that the Hindi-speakers are of a very resounding quality. Even native-English nations are being befooled by the Bombay (Hindi) film world, with the cunning use of fabulous Hindi films.
However, the truth remains that all over the subcontinent, including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, the lower-placed sections of the feudal-language speaking sections of the populations do suffer from a mental and social suppression that cannot be seen or understood in English.
Now coming back to the madman who dismantled the English-Empire in the subcontinent and elsewhere, I personally do not know what retribution he received from providence. However, for the terrible suffering he let loose all around the world in general and in the South Asian Subcontinent in particular, he deserves to rot in hell till eternity. Not only him, but all those who support his evil deed also deserve just retribution from Nemesis.
Let me go back to the point I left. I was staying in a Metropolitan city in India which had been a headquarters city of one British-Indian Presidency, a few decades back. I was quite young. I had a casual conversation with an old man who had been a contemporary of the English-rule period in the city.
I asked him about the general quality of the Englishmen who had been officers in the administration. He said, they were all quite nice. But then, they were cut-off from the people. They had around them a coterie of natives of the subcontinent. These persons were generally the Hindus (Brahmins &c.) and other higher castes. There were lower castes also. However, all of them kept the native-English officers inside a social corridor which they controlled. They acted quite nice and coy to the native-English officers. But actually they were very cunning, and self-centred and had very obvious selfish interests.
This much this man told me. However, the vast amplitude of the information is like this:
The gullible native-English officers acted as per the advice of this cunning coterie. These cunning local vested-interest groups literally fed the native-English officials with their own native-land repulsions, caste hatred, antipathies and religious hatred. And also colluded with the native business interests to influence policy decisions in the sphere of economic and fiscal matters.
Even though, it is true that the native-English officers did in many instances see through their cunning intentions, it is not easy to detach completely from its snares. For, the most powerful weapon of luring and snaring an unwary adversary used in all feudal languages nations, is the weapon of hospitality, and effusive and quite overt friendliness.
In many cases, the native-English officials understood that a native of the subcontinent is at his most dangerous stance, when he acts most friendly and helpful. This is actually a part of the code-work inside 👈feudal languages. I will deal with that later.
Now, why did I mention this idea here?
On reading the ‘Malabar’ written by William Logan, the impression that can spring spontaneously to my mind is of a very gullible native-English administration doing its best and giving its best to a population group which they cannot understand. Actually it is not one population group that they are dealing with. They are actually dealing with a series of population groups, each one them having its own aims and ambitions, which are totally different and antagonistic to various other groups. Even though the native-English go on insisting and try to define the native populations as belonging to one nation, there is no such an idea of a Nation-state in the minds of the populace.
In fact, the very idea of a nation-state is a mad insertion by the native-English.
William Logan was authorised to write this book. He had at his command a lot of native-officials up to the level of the Deputy District Collector to help him. He allowed them to write many notes and articles, which even though he must have edited, have all messed-up the quality of the information.
Logan has the feel of having been taken for a ride. But then, it can be understood that a lot of persons have worked on this book. For, there are a lot of tables and lists. All these can be understood to have been done by other persons. The book is quite huge. It has more than five hundred thousand words (more than 5 lakh words).
It contains a number of footnotes. Many of these foot-notes alludes to or point to or quotes from many ancient or scholarly books. Some of these books are the works of other language writers or travellers.
It is practically impossible for William Logan to have taken up these various books for reading and referring. Travelling in those days was quite a cumbersome action. There were many places where one could go only in a bullock cart.
Beyond all this, this book was written in a manuscript form in those days. There were no computers or any other digital gadgets available. Writing with a quill pen in itself is a very tedious work compared to current-day computer typing. Then comes the need to read and edit and correct. These are all huge labours. A few other people are necessary to do all this.
In addition to all this, William Logan was the District Collector in a district which was incessantly disturbed by communal confrontations between the Hindus and their subordinated populations on one side and Mappillas on the other.
Beyond all this, proper roadways, means of communications, waterway and boating services, administrative set-ups, policing, education, healthcare, drinking water facilities, sanitation, railways, postal services, written codes of laws and judiciary and much else were being set up for the first time in the known history of the location and population. It is only natural to bear in mind that Logan’s mind and time would be required to go into all this also.
So, from all this also it can be presumed that William Logan is not the only person who has written into the text which purports to be his writings. There is very ample indication that even the ‘PREFACE👉 TO VOLUME I’ which purports to be his personal writing was actually some other person’s words. This ‘some other person’ is very clearly a native of the subcontinent.
But then, this action of someone else writing a Foreword or Preface is a common occurrence in the world of book publishing. However, what makes this issue mentionable here is that even in this specific Preface, the same sinister insertion of the vested-interest ideas of a particular section of the population has entered as a sort of an eerie apparition. Actually this ghostly apparition is a ubiquitous presence in almost the entirety of the book, with only one particular section alone being secluded from its presence.
Now, let me mention the words I found on the low-quality content website, to which I had alluded to earlier.
QUOTE: He was conversant in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. He is remembered for his 1887 guide to the Malabar District, popularly known as the Malabar Manual. Logan had a special liking for Kerala and its people. END OF QUOTE
It is quite possible that he did know Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. However, there is no indication in this book that does substantiate this, other than a slight mention of a few Malayalam words. (The location where this is written does not seem to be Logan’s writing). That point does not matter. However, the claim that he was conversant in Malayalam has a major issue. I will take it up later.
The next point is: QUOTE: special liking for Kerala and its people END OF QUOTE
There is nothing in this book that can support a claim of his ‘special liking for the Kerala and its people’. Again, the word ‘Kerala’ has a major issue.
In fact, both the words ‘Malayalam’ and ‘Kerala’ are also part of the sinister doctoring I had mentioned earlier.
1. My aim
5. The first impressions about the contents
7. An acute sense of not understanding
8. Entering a terrible social system
9. The doctoring and the manipulations
10. What was missed or unmentioned, or even fallaciously defined
12. Nairs / Nayars
16. Nairs / Nayars
18. The terror that perched upon the Nayars
20. Exertions of the converted Christian Church
24. About the language Malayalam
26. Misconnecting with English
27. Feudal language
30. CASTE SYSTEM
32. The Portuguese
33. The DUTCH
34. The French
35. The ENGLISH
38. Mappilla outrages against the Nayars and the Hindus
40. What is repulsive about the Muslims?
41. Hyder Ali
42. Sultan Tippu
45. Ali Raja
48. The Zamorin and other apparitions
49. The Jews
50. SOCIAL CUSTOMS
53. Pestilence, famine etc.
54. British Malabar versus Travancore kingdom
56. Revenue and administrative changes
59. Henry Valentine Conolly
60. Miscellaneous notes
61. Culture of the land
62. The English efforts in developing the subcontinent
64. Oft-mentioned objections
65. Photos and pictures of the Colonial times
66. Payment for the Colonial deeds
67. Calculating the compensation