Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’


QUOTE: But it very soon transpired that all that the Zamorin wanted was to get assistance against the Portuguese for the conquest of Cranganore and Cochin, and when the English ships left without assisting him, very scant courtesy was shown to the ten persons left behind, who were to have founded a factory at Calicut END OF QUOTE

The fact of the matter was that there was a general feeling among the various small-time rulers and those who mutinied against them, that a new set of mutually competing mercenaries had arrived from Continental Europe. However, when it came to connecting to the English, they were found to be of a very different mettle. First of all, they were not from Continental Europe. Second, their native language was planar. In every aspect they stood apart from the Continental Europeans, other than in their skin colour. However, on the English side, there were the Celtic language speakers also. Those who remained loyal to their Celtic tongue remained a chink in the English armour. Even William Logan was from this Celtic language group. Possibly Gaelic. However, it is not known as to how much he remained at home in this language.

QUOTE: From a very early period in its history the English Company had set its face against martial enterprises. END OF QUOTE

This is a very important information, which is totally ignored by formal historians. The English Company did not go develop a policy of belligerence.

QUOTE: So far indeed did the English Company carry this policy that they even forbade at times an appeal to arms by the factors for their own defence ; and the annoyances experienced in consequence of this were occasionally almost intolerable. But the strength of the Company lay in the admirable arrangements whereby they encouraged trade at their fortified settlements. END OF QUOTE

As a policy inside a semi-barbarian land which functioned on feudal languages, a soft approach was a very vulnerable one. For, in this language system, there is no premium value attached to politeness and good manners. For rude, cantankerous and ill-mannered behaviour was considered as of high social value. The pejorative forms of all words for You, He, She &c. were used to those who were seen as weak or polite. In fact, politeness itself was seen as weakness.

QUOTE: They established manufactures ; they attracted spinners and weavers and wealthy men to settle in their limits ; the settlers were liberally treated and their religious prejudices were tolerated ; the privacy of houses were respected by all classes and creeds; settlers were allowed to burn their dead and to observe their peculiar wedding ceremonies ; no compulsory efforts were made to spread Christianity, nor were the settlers set to uncongenial tasks ; shipping facilities were afforded ; armed vessels protected the shipping ; all manufactured goods were at first exempted from payment of duty ; the Company coined their own money ; and courts of justice were established ; security for life and property in short reigned within their limits END OF QUOTE

The above words more or less denote what was some of the major differences that the English Company had from the others who were seen as from the same genre. But then the greatest of difference was that the English language was planar.

QUOTE: for the factors had perforce to study native character and to adapt themselves to it ; and in doing this they were unconsciously fitting themselves to become the future rulers of the empire. END OF QUOTE.

There is great foolishness in the above statement. And it is historically inaccurate. The English Company, to a great extent, did not compromise its standards to make it in sync with the local native character and systems. The native systems were connected to feudal languages, which view the whole social system in a hierarchical design. The native character was treachery, back-stabbing, rudeness, cheating, breaking of words etc. to those who were defined as lower in the verbal codes of the feudal languages.

The English Company took a most opposite standards in everything. In fact, as the Company became more established as a sovereign power in a major part of the subcontinent, it strove to make English the language of commerce, administration and education. The greatness of this attitude was that it naturally and spontaneously aims for the erasing of the rudeness in the native social cultures. These are things that formal historians miss out altogether.

QUOTE: Louis XIV had to publish an edict telling his courtiers it was not derogatory for a man of noble birth to trade to India. Men who had thus to be reminded of what "was or was not fitting to their position were not the men to push French interests successfully, and the English Company’s servants soon saw that the French men were poor men of business and not likely to prove successful rivals in trade. END OF TRADE

There is a great information in the above statement. It first of all gives an evidence that the French language was feudal. This is a great hindrance to the higher classes to interact with the lower classes. For, it would make them vulnerable to the insidious degrading the lower classes would force upon them.

However, in the case of the English also, the nobility would have some slight issues. But then, there is only one single You, Your, Yours, He, His, Him, She, Her, Hers etc. in English. So at this level of functioning there would be not much of a traumatic problem.

But then, when dealing with the natives of the South Asian subcontinent, the French would become more conscious of these issues than would the English. However, the Celtic persons in the English Company would be conscious of this. However, since the En