Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
Hyder Ali


QUOTE: The Palghat Raja turned in this emergency to his neighbour on the east, and despatched in 1757 a deputation to Hyder Ali, then Foujdar of Dindigul under the nominal sovereignty of the puppet Chick Kishen Raja of Mysore desiring his assistance against the Zamorin.

Hyder Ali sent his brother-in-law Mukhdum Sahib with 2,000 horse, 5,000 infantry, and guns to assist him : and this force aided by the Palghat Nayars carried their arms as far as the sea coast. The Zamorin’s force retreated and the Zamorin bought off his opponents by agreeing to restore his Palghat conquests and by promising to pay in instalments a war indemnity of Rs. 12,00,000.END OF QUOTE.

This might be how the Mysoreans got the taste of Malabar. However, in the behind scenes a lot of treacherous and backstabbing incidences did take place on the Mysore side. This is about how Hyder Ali usurped the title of the king. Check the details in book, Malabar. QUOTE: This was the first occasion on which a Muhammadan force ever entered Malabar. END OF QUOTE

QUOTE: Reinforced by a number of the disciplined soldiers of Hyder Ali, the High Admiral, it is said, sailed for and conquered the Maldive Islands. After taking the King of the Islands prisoner, he had the barbarity to put his eyes out. END OF QUOTE.

The subcontinent was generally a semi-barbarian locations. Worse things have taken place here.

QUOTE: But Hyder Ali was so irritated at the cruelty practised on the unfortunate king by his admiral that he instantly deprived him of the command of the fleet, which he afterwards, it is said, bestowed on an Englishman named Stanet. END OF QUOTE.

It is quite interesting that an Englishman did have command on his naval fleet. It may be that he did summarise that the English have a natural affinity for the seas. However, this man’s name is not mentioned elsewhere in this book.

QUOTE: A general insinuation was given to the army to grant no quarter. END OF QUOTE.

Show no mercy! That was the military command given by the Mysorean leader. It does not seem to be Islamic at all. Hyder Ali’s as well as his son Tipp’s dispositions were totally connected to the terrific triggers of feudal languages.

QUOTE: Hyder Ali’s own army consisted it is said, of 12000 of his best troops, of which 4,000 were cavalry and the rest infantry, and his artillery consisted of only 4 pieces, but the fleet accompanied him along the coast and afforded assistance as required. END OF QUOTE.

This was the terror that entered Malabar.

QUOTE: The Kolattiri family made no resistance, for simultaneously with Hyder Ali’s advance Ali Raja and his men seized their palace at Chirakkal, and the old Tekkalankur prince with his attendants came to take refuge at the Brass Pagoda within Tellicherry limits.

They were followed by numerous refugees, fleeing probably more before the terror of the Mappilla scouts than before Hyder Ali’s army. END OF QUOTE.

The Ali Raja of that period acted like the backstabbing double-crosser in Malabar.

As to the general populace, which might mean the Hindus (Brahmins) and the Nayars, they had no protection left. Everyone were fleeing instead of fighting.

QUOTE: The factors at the same time had information that Ali Raja was all this time urging Hyder Ali to attack the factory, but to this he would not listen. END OF QUOTE.

The Ali Raja actually should have shown some gratitude to the English Company. Instead, they were out to see that they are butchered. As to why Hyder Ali did not want to attack the English Factory at Tellicherry might require some deep analysis.

QUOTE: they were led on by fifty of the French Hussars lately arrived from Pondicherry. END OF QUOTE.

Off course, the French were the full supporters of the ‘great’ ‘Indian freedom fighter Hyder Ali’ in his fight to ‘free India’ from British Colonialism!

QUOTE: He agreed not to molest the Raja of Cochin on certain conditions, but he would guarantee nothing in regard to Travancore. As there was delay in replying to his proposals he then modified his terms as regards these Rajas and demanded 4 lakhs of rupees and 8 elephants from Cochin, and 15 lakhs and 20 elephants from Travancore, in default of receiving which, he said, he meant to visit those countries. In reply to this demand, the Cochin Raja placed himself unreservedly in the Dutch Company’s hands, but the Travancore Raja, strong in the assurance of English support, replied that Hyder Ali had not commenced the war to please him or with his advice, that therefore he objected, to contribute anything, that moreover he was already tributary to the Nawab Muhammad Ali and could not afford to subsidise two suzerains at the same time, but that he would contribute a considerable sum if Hyder Ali would reinstate the Kolattiri and the Zamorin, and ended by suggesting to the Dutch to do the same. END OF QUOTE.

King Marthanda Varma had assessed the English Company correctly. That they would stand by their word. However, that was because the idiots in the British Labour Party had no control over the English Company.

QUOTE: 1. When the river was at the lowest he (Hyder Ali) entered it full gallop at the head of his cavalry which he had till then kept out of sight of the Nayars

2. They (the Nayars) were frightened at the sudden appearance of the cavalry and fled with the utmost precipitation and disorder without making any other defence but that of discharging a few cannon which they were too much intimidated to point properly. END OF QUOTE.

No comment.

QUOTE: “Hyder foreseeing this event, had given orders to pursue the fugitives full speed, cutting down all they could overtake, without losing time either by taking prisoners or securing plunder. END OF QUOTE.

That was about the Nayars mentioned above. Then the Nayars, mentioned in the local fake histories as great exponents of Kalari (a kind of fabulous martial arts of unknown origin, practised traditionally in certain Kalari training centres of north Malabar) etc. had no answer for the barbarity that was let loose by the Mysoreans.

QUOTE: and the 300 Europeans lately arrived from Pondicherry and Colombo, were offered parasols as they did not choose to quit their habits END OF QUOTE.

Continental Europeans arriving to support Hyder Ali endeavours and to seek revenge on England!

QUOTE: corps was commanded by a Portuguese Lieutenant-Colonel lately arrived from Goa, with different officers of his nation. The left wing, composed of topasses, was commanded by an English officer, and Hyder himself commanded the main body, having behind him a reserve of Europeans, almost all French, with whom were joined those who are called the Bara Audmees or great men, a corps composed of all the young nobility and courtiers, without excepting even the generals who have not appointed posts or commands on the day of battle. END OF QUOTE.

Horror of horror! There was even an Englishman on Hyder’s side. Could it be the Stanet, mentioned earlier? Now, does that not involve England in this raid? For, if a single Englishman’s name is mentioned with regard to any wrong deed anywhere in the world, the great birdbrains would use it to put the full responsibility on pristine-England. Here England is also seen as part of the great ‘Indian’ ‘freedom fighters’ against Britain!!!

QUOTE: Hyder answered that he might do as he thought proper ; and he immediately joined his troop, which was impatient for the combat and burned with a desire to revenge the French who were inhumanly massacred at Pondiaghari.

Headed by this active and courageous officer, and joined by the Bara Audmees, they ran with violent eagerness to the attack. The intervals between the battalions of sepoys afforded them a passage : they jumped into the ditch, and hastily ascending the retrenchments tore up the pallisades, and were in the face of the enemy in an instant. They gave no quarter ; and the enemy, astonished to the last degree at their impetuosity and rage, suffered themselves to be butchered even without resistance.

The flames of the village on fire, and the direction of the cannon now pointed on the distracted Nayars, evinced to Hyder that the village was carried. The whole army in consequence moved to attack the retrenchment ; but the enemy perceiving that Hyder’s troops had stormed their outpost, and catching the affright of the fugitives, fled from their camp with disorder and precipitation. END OF QUOTE.

These are things that cannot be taught in Indian or Kerala history. For, on one side a great ‘freedom fighter’ against the British would be seen as a barbarian. On the other side the great valorous traditions of Malabar, which includes a lot of claims about the great Kalari exponents of north Malabar, would stand demolished.

However, a deeper analysis would reveal that what always brings in disarray and mismanagement is the machinery of feudal languages. In fact, even the Mysorean side was to get the negative effects of this, when they confronted the English armies.

QUOTE: This refers to the massacre at this same place a few months previously of five French deserters from Mahe proceeding to join Hyder Ali's army. This event occurred during the general revolt which followed Hyder Ali’s withdrawal from the coast. Two women accompanying the deserters were, it is alleged, most barbarously mutilated and killed at the same time. END OF QUOTE.

To be caught by the barbarians on any side of this conflict was a terrible experience.

QUOTE: Before he quitted the country, Hyder by a solemn edict, declared the Nayars deprived of all their privileges ; and ordained that their caste, which was the first after the Brahmans, should thereafter be the lowest of all the castes, subjecting them to sal