Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
Designing the background


Now coming back to the Nairs, if the Nairs are accepted to be from the Sudra caste antiquity, then there comes the issue of how they acquired a higher-caste physical-demeanour and social status.

Here again the feudal language-codes act in a very peculiar manner in the social machinery, in more than one way. The Brahmins are in social command. How they acquired it is not known. There are some quotes from the Keralolpathi, given in this book (Malabar), whereby it seems to promote the idea that the Brahmins were handed over the social power by Parasurama. However, Keralolpathi is a book with serious credibility problems, apart from certain other more terrific issues. I will deal with those items later.

From whatever is quoted from Keralolpathi, there is nothing to suggest how the Brahmins continued to hold on to the social heights. However, if one does know the codes inside the local feudal languages, one can very easily identify the codes that assign divine aura to certain groups of people. Along with this, certain other codes deny dignity to other sections of the population. This can also be known.

In a feudal-language social ambience, it is not the higher-calibre persons who are assigned positions of responsibility and power by those on the heights. Instead, they give the power and position to persons who cringe and obey and exhibit obeisance and servitude. Those who are ready to offer almost anything that is asked for by the higher-placed persons, get the posts. Those who stand out in a pose of dignity are very cunningly denied any social status. They slowly go down in the social set up.

Look at the stature of the Indian police constables, both male and female. It may be seen that in India, where extremely high-quality persons are available, those who get posted as police constables are quite obviously the totally low-quality persons. In feudal languages, the officers would find most it most convenient to have extremely low-class subordinates. If the police constables are generally of a very high intellectual and per