William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Now, we come to the book known as Keralolpathi. I do not know much about this other than what has been mentioned in the various books I had mentioned. Viz. Travancore State Manual, Native Life in Travancore and this book, Malabar &c.
Various claims are there that it is a fraudulent book. However, who could have taken so much trouble to write such a book which seems to mention many authentic historical items?
There is a story of Parasurama creating the land of Kerala in this book. However, it is seen mentioned elsewhere that there is no mention of this story in the ancient Hindu writings of the northern parts of the subcontinent. Then who could have conjured up such a story from thin air and for what purpose? What is the wider aim of this story?
The aim is simple. That the land mass of Kerala was one, and that Malabar and Travancore were one.
However, it might be true that a lot of local realities and traditions usually mentioned in higher caste households could have been collected and inserted into this story.
It does seem that the story has been written with serious deliberation. A lot of places have been mentioned. Only a person or groups of persons who have wide and far-reaching links to the various nook and corner of the landscape could have known about these wide-spread and not at all easy-to-travel-to locations. The only organised group which had the resource, man-power and literally acumen to accomplish this deed would be the trained members of the Converted Christian Church.
However, this would lead us to a very perilous location. For, it is said that it was Gundert, the German, who found and transcribed this book. I am not sure what this is supposed to mean. Could it be that he himself personally wrote the manuscript of this book? Or that he had the trained lower-caste Converted Christian members of the church to do the writing for him, which he dictated? If he had done either of this, then it is possible that the original palm-leaf book could have been in the possession of the Church at Tellicherry. If the original is with the Church, then it would be a good idea to make a thorough study of the same.
If there is no original, then it could mean that the book is the handiwork of the members of the mentioned Church. They in their desperation would literally do anything to escape from the hell on earth in which they were living in Travancore, till the advent of the evangelists from England.
I have a pdf copy of two books purported to have been written in manuscript by Gundert. I do not know why they are in the manuscript form. For, they must have been printed.
One of the books is the Keralolpathi. The other is a book titled ഒരആയിരം പഴഞ്ചൊൽ (A thousand proverbs). I have noticed that at least some of the proverbs found in Malabar by William Logan have been taken from this book. See the Chapter on Proverbs.
On a casual observation, I find that the hand writing of Gundert in the two books seem different from each other. Whether this has any significant meaning I do not know.
There are a lot of unmentioned problems with regard to Keralolpathi. It is kind of promoting a ‘Kerala’. Even though a word ‘Kerala’ is a mentioned in some historical records, there is no scope to believe that it included the whole of current-day Kerala. There is no way to know if the word ‘Kerala’ has been used in various periods of history to denote absolutely different and unconnected geographical locations in South Asia.
As to finding out the historical existence of Kerala from various other places all around the world, there is an item of silliness in it. It is, as I had mentioned earlier, like trying to prove the existence of England by studying the various inscriptions, rock-pillar writings, maritime writings etc. The height of absurdity is that in spite of all this striving to find the ‘Kerala’ word recorded elsewhere, there seems to be no such record anywhere in the location that claims to be Kerala. Even in the various stone-inscriptions in stone mentioned in Travancore State Manual, there seems to be no mention of a ‘Kerala’ which extended from Trivandrum to Manjeshwar.
However, in Keralolpathi, the word ‘Kerala’ seems to have been used an umpteen times. The stories of the kings and kingdoms of the various locations, I think are splattered with little regard for any chronological order or historical logic. Whatever had been heard must have been inserted. All to prove that there was a single country called Kerala.
A lot of credibility has been inserted into the book, by mentioning the Brahmin supremacy in a very contorted manner. However, I think, the history of the location does not give much mention of them. It simply moves into the location of various kings. It might be true that the writers of this book had taken pain to collect as much traditional information as possible from various sources. There must have been very concerted efforts in this regard with at least a small group of persons participating in the endeavour.
There are a number of things that could be gathered from Keralolpathi. One is that a lot of gramams of Malabar, Cochin and Travancore are mentioned. It is obvious that some of the place names have been written from inaccurate hearing. For, the names cannot be made to correspond with any known location. Moreover, even though there might have been some attempt to arrange the names in a north to south manner, the writers obviously did not have enough knowledge about the exact geographical continuity of the locations.
There is a mention of an Anakundi Krishna Rayar. As per this book, Malabar, this name is mentioned in an absolutely wrong historical period.
Keralolpathi is seen mentioned as being written in modern Malayalam. This is a very curious bit of information. The so-called modern Malayalam was then in a evolving form in the hands of the Christian converts of Travancore. Such a thing was not there in Malabar.
However, see this QUOTE: The Kerala Brahmans are said to use Malayalam. END OF QUOTE.
Where did this ‘Kerala’ come from? And what language is this ‘Malayalam’ referring to? The traditional language of Malabar or the newly designed language of Central Travancore?
Mahamakham festival in Tirunavaya Temple is mentioned. However, it is a very well-known function. However, it is seen mentioned that Parasurama had performed the Hiranyagarbham and Tulapurushadanam ceremonies before he celebrated the Mahamakham.
There are various locations in the book Malabar, wherein even when seeming to question the veracity of Keralolpathi, it takes points from it to emphasise the point that there was indeed a country called Kerala which occupied the geopolitical location from north to south.
There is also a continuing jarring note in certain words like: ‘country inhabited by the Malayalam-speaking race of Dravidians’ which is sort of emphasised by this book Malabar in the locations wherein it is very clear that the writings are not the original writings of Logan, or are doctored version of the same. For, the word Malayalam-speaking is mischievous. Travancore was Tamil-speaking area. However, if it was ‘Malayalam’, the original name of Malabari that is being mentioned, then the Travancore part does not come into the picture at all.
There are locations where in Chera or Cheram or Keram are tried to be from the same source. And then the Keram is connected to coconut tree. It is some kind verbal jumbling. The very clear connection of the word Chera has been mentioned earlier. It is an unmentionable connection.
There is a mention of a king called Keralan. And then there is a still more fabulous claim. QUOTE: on account of his good qualities, it is said, the land received the name of Kerala. END OF QUOTE
It does seem that Keralolpathi did influence the thinking pattern of all the people who came to know of it after Gundert made it famous. The three different geopolitical locations, Malabar, Cochin and Travancore seemed to be emerging from a single focal point. For, the natural question and assertion would be, “isn’t it what Keralolpathi says?” This tone is there in many locations in the book, Malabar.
It was one of the greatest kinds of deceptions made possible in the three minuscule geographical locations. Knowledge of this book might have seemed the singular essence of profundity and scholarship. It is clear that the object of the writers had been accomplished.
As to the claim that the land received the name Kerala, it is just fanciful writing. There was no consciousness of a Kerala, in any of the locations, unless this idea was inserted into the mind via education and indoctrination.
The tradition of one Perumal king converting into Islam is there in Keralolpathi. What does it prove? It simply proves that the writers copied the information from the local traditions that must have remained in the upper class households in Malabar.
In one location, there is this QUOTE: This Muhammadan Perumal must have lived subsequently to the seventh century A.D. when the Muhammadan religion was founded, and if, as the text says, Cheraman Perumal was the fifth of his successors, it follows that Cheraman Perumal must have lived after the seventh century A.D., whereas further on it will be seen, the text says, he went to heaven in the fourth or fifth century A.D. All the specific dates mentioned in the text are worthless. END OF QUOTE.
And again, QUOTE: Considering that Muhammad himself was born only in the 7th century A.D., the date mentioned is obviously incorrect, if, as stated, this Perumal organised the country against the Mappillas. END OF QUOTE.
Now does this above assertion stand to uproot the Keralolpathi? No, it simply tries to avoid the pitfalls of the book. By keeping this distance, the fraudulent book can still be made mentioned in a manner that the idea of a single Kerala can still be promoted into the mind of the readers. And through them to the immensity of people.
It is a known thing that even a very brief mention can promote a book, an idea and a person. There is no need to categorically praise a book, an idea or a person in very candid terms. A mere mention at an appropriate location will add to its grandeur.
Look at these QUOTEs: 1. The Brahmans, it is said, next sent for Valabhan Perumal “from the eastern country” and made him king of Kerala. He is said to have consecrated gods and built a fort on the banks of the Neytara river (Valarpattanam river). The fort received the name of Valarbhattu Kotta, and he appointed this as the hereditary residence of the future kings of Kerala.
2. Kerala, it will be noted, had now, according to the text, the restricted meaning of the territory lying between the Perumpula river and Putuppatlanam, that is, the dominion of the Northern Kolatiiris, North Malabar in fact. END OF QUOTEs
The second quote above declares the ‘Kerala’ as being confined to north Malabar. Second point is that, the whole textual description is like reading the doings of the ‘great freedom fighters’ of ‘India’ in the nonsensical pages of the Wikipedia India pages. Every one of them seems to be more or less doing things on which the whole nation seems to be hinging. However, the fact remains that not even a miniscule percentage of the people/s of the subcontinent were aware of their doings or had ratified or given them the due authorisation to represent them anywhere.
In the same way, when this great book is mentioning these great semi-barbarian kings, the fact that goes unmentioned is that there were many other locations which were populated by populations which had nothing to do with them. No mention seems to be there in Keralolpathi about the entry of the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas in north Malabar, the Makkathaya Thiyyas in south Malabar, the reason for them having the same name, the reason why the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas had a disdain for another population bearing their same caste name.
There is no mention about why two different sects of Nayars appeared, one in north Malabar and one in south Malabar. Why there was a repulsion for the south Malabar Nayars among the north Malabar Nayars. There is no mention as to why the Travancore side had a Tamil heritage. There is no mention of the various Shamanistic spiritual worship systems in the north Malabar region. There is no mention of similar shamanistic spiritual worships elsewhere in the subcontinent. There is no mention of the existence of a separate language in north Malabar, quite different from the Tamil traditions and modern Malayalam.
There is no way to understand why the Travancore people had a darker skin complexion, while the northern people/s including many lower castes had a fairer complexion.
As to proving that there was a landmass in the location of current-day Kerala, from times immemorial, there is no need for any such historical studies for that. It is most probable that the at least the north Malabar location had existed from very long past. The oft mentioned history of sea-moving-out and land-forming, could be more about Travancore coastal areas, than about north Malabar.
South Malabar could be of either geological histories. However, I do not have the information to mention anything categorically about these things.
As to Onam and Vishu etc., no mention about them seems to be quoted from Keralolpathi about them in this book Malabar. I do not know more about this.
QUOTE: It is a noteworthy circumstance in this connection that even now-a-days the Travancore Maharajas on receiving the sword at their coronations have still to declare;—“I will keep this sword until the uncle who has gone to Mecca returns.” END OF QUOTE.
It is quite funny that the above claim in this book Malabar has been denied by Nagam Aiya in his book Travancore State Manual:
QUOTE: This statement, founded as it is on Mateer’s Native life in Travancore, is clearly incorrect. The Travancore Maharajahs have never made any such declaration at their coronations, when they received the sword of State from God Sri Padmanabha. The Valia Koil Tampuran (M. R. Ry. Kerala Varma Avl., C. S. I). writing to His Highness the present Maharajah some years ago received the following reply dated 10th April 1891: — “I do not know where Mr. Logan got this information; but no such declaration as mentioned in the Malabar Manual was made by me when I received the State Sword at Sri Padmanabha Swamy’s Pagoda. I have not heard of any such declaration having been made by former Maharajahs.” END OF QUOTE.
Then there is the issue of a Perumal king converting to Islam. It is given in this book, as understood from Keralolpathi, with very powerful supporting evidences. It is quite possible the persons who had compiled the Keralolpathi did collect a lot of local traditions in the upper class households of Malabar. However, there were other sides to the story which they did not hear:
I quote from Travancore State Manual:
QUOTE: Mr. K. P. Padmanabha Menon in a recent article in the Malabar Quarterly Review, denies the statement that the last of the Cheraman Perumals became a convert to Islam or undertook a pilgrimage to Mecca, but believes that he lived and died a devout Hindu. The legend is evidently the result of the mixing up of the early Buddhistic conversion of Bana, one of the Perumals, and of the much later Mahomedan conversion of one of the Zamorin Rajahs of Calicut, who claimed to have derived his authority from the last Perumal. The Hindu account simply states that Cheraman Perumal after the distribution of the Empire among his friends, vassals and dependants, went to Mecca on a pilgrimage and died there a Mahomedan saint. The Mahomedan account embodied in the Keralolpatti narrates that after the distribution of his kingdom, the Perumal secretly embarked on board a Moorish vessel from Cranganore, and cleverly eluding his pursuers landed at Sahar Mukhal in the Arabian coast, that he had an interview with the Prophet then in his 57th year, and was ordained by him under the name of Thia-uj-uddien — ‘the crown of the faith’, that he married Regiat the sister of the Arabian king and after having lived happily for five years, undertook a journey to Malabar for the spread of Islam, but died of ague at Sahar Mukhal where his remains were interred in a mosque he had himself erected. END OF QUOTE.
However, in Travancore State Manual, there is more about this:
QUOTE: Sheikh Zinuddin, the author of the Tahafat-ul-Mujahidin, says that there is but little truth in the account of the Perumal’s conversion to Islam. The Arab merchant, Suliman (851 A.D), ‘who wrote with knowledge as he evidently visited the countries he wrote about’, says expressly that in Malabar he did not know any one of either nation (Chinese or Indian) that had embraced Mahomadanism or spoken Arabic. None of the early travellers or geographers whether Mahomadan, Christian or Jew have left us any record of the legend. Abdur Kazzak who was sent in 1442 A.D. by the Shah of Persia failed in his mission of converting the Zamorin. He too does not mention the legend at all. END OF QUOTE
QUOTE: The Muhammadan was called Ali Raja, that is, lord of the deep, or of the sea. END OF QUOTE.
The above quote seems to contain a terrific error. It sure seems that the information was taken from a European / English version of events and inserted into the Keralolpathi. The word Ali is a Muslim name. However, does it mean the ‘sea’ or ‘deep’ or ‘ocean’?
The original Arabic meaning of Ali is seen mentioned as ‘high’ or ‘exalted’. How then did this ‘sea’ and ‘ocean’ and ‘deep’ come into the picture to an extent that even the persons who very fraudulently writing the Keralolpathi fell for this wrong meaning?
There is transliteration error seen all over this book. The verbal sound ‘zha’ ‘ഴ’ cannot be written in English. Even the ‘zha’ cannot mention this sound. So, wherever this sound comes, it is seen that ‘l’ is used. In the case of the above Ali word, the actual word might be Aazhi (ആഴി) if one has to accept the meaning as ‘lord of the deep, or of the sea’. Aazhi (ആഴി) does mean sea, deep sea, ocean etc. Since I have not read the Keralolpathi, I cannot say what the exact name is that is given in that book. However, if the word is Aazhi, then it might mean that the writers of Keralolpathi depended on some English or European text.
If one presumes that one can check up with Arakkal kings of Cannanore (Ali rajas), the fact is that usually no family member really knows anything about their ancestors other than after the English administration arrived and started keeping written records. In my own parental families, paternal as well as maternal, there is no information among the current generation about who their ancestors were beyond their great grand families. (It has to be mentioned here that the Arakkal kings were not the rulers of the whole extent of Cannanore district. They held power only in small segment of the Cannanore town. Actually at best they were small feudal lords, who somehow got authority over certain Laccadive Islands. As to the word Raja etc., the fact is that everyone who gets some authority immediately takes up some form of royal title. It is a very effective tool for spreading a feel of dominance over the populace.)
I have even enquired with a certain Nayar family who has a family run temple, which conducts an annual shamanistic festival (Thira and Vellattam). The current-day members of the family have no information about the ancestors who had conducted the temple festivals. There are various complications which more or less makes everything quite hazy.
This ഴ, ഴിbeing written as ‘la’ and ‘li’ is there almost all over this book, Malabar. This more or less puts all ‘la’ and ‘li’ words suspect. Even the Kolathiri, could very well be Kozhathiri (കോഴത്തിരി). There is the instance of Ezhimala being named as Mount Deli. And there is a discussion in this book with connecting the name of the place to rats. ‘Eli’ means ‘rat’ in Malabari.
See this QUOTE: which the people of the country in their language call the Mountain Delielly, and they call it of the rat, and they call it Mount Dely, because in this mountain them were so many rats that they never could make a village there.” END OF QUOTE.
And then there is this QUOTE: like that which conferred on it likewise the sounding title of sapta-shaila or seven hills, because elu means in Malayalam seven, and elu mala means the seven hills, of which sapta-shaila is the Sanskrit equivalent. END OF QUOTE.
The local word for Seven is Ezhu, and the Tamil word is Elu. The reader can make his or her own understandings of the above ambivalent information.
QUOTE: So the expedition was organised and despatched under the Puntura youths. It is unnecessary to relate the events of the campaign, as they are all more or less of a mythical character and include the mention of the use of fire-arms and cartridges ! ! END OF QUOTE.
It does seem that the persons who wrote the fake history in the Keralolpathi had no information on when fire-arms and cartridges had come to the subcontinent.
QUOTE: This account of Samkaracharyar, which makes him a contemporary of the last of the Purumals, is interesting, because, as a matter of fact, the tradition on the point is probably correct. END OF QUOTE.
It could point to the fact that the writers did get certain things in sync with other historical beliefs.
QUOTE: it is probably an interpolation to suit subsequently existing facts END OF QUOTE. This is actually a very pertinent point. That a fake history book that purports to know ancient history was written by very cunningly drafting the event to arrive at certain later day actualities so as to make the writing seem authentic.
See the effect of this book. See this QUOTE: It cannot be doubted that the first half of the ninth century A.D, was an important epoch in the history of Malabar and of the Malayalis. END OF QUOTE
Even when the book is mentioned as of a dubious nature, it has been able to very quaintly insert the idea of a Malayali population. The word Malabar also is of very confusing content. There is a general tendency to extend the boundaries of Malabar to include Travancore. The cunningness of this idea is then to go back and make Malabar a part of Travancore. The reality that the location of Malabar (north Malabar and south Malabar) was not populated by Malayalis (Travancore people), but by different populations which are connected to each other by various kinds of antipathies, subservience or respect, is not mentioned.
QUOTE: The chief event was the termination of the reign of the last of the Kerala or Chera Perumals or Emperors END OF QUOTE. There is a very definite misuse of the word ‘Emperor’.
Actually the use of the word ‘Emperor’ with regard to many kings of the subcontinent is a misuse of the word. There seems to be not even one king who deserves to be mentioned as an Emperor. Simply overrunning and then handing over the power over the people in many locations to their henchmen is not the quality of an entity that can be called an Emperor.
There are many things a king can do. Like setting up a great administrative set up based on public service exams. A police system with written parameters of authority. A judicial system based on written codes of law. A public healthcare system for the common man. A basic educational system for the common children. A department of roads. A postal system which can be utilised by the common man. Like that there are so many things a monarchy can build. None of the kings in the subcontinent seems to have had any sense about these things. All they had was the terrible duty to enforce the hierarchies. Well, that is true. The languages enforce the hierarchies.
How does one compare a native king of the subcontinent with a monarch of England? Well, there it is not the capacity of the monarch, that really runs the systems. The language is so smooth that all systems run smoothly. Over here, the moment anyone speaks, various kinds of terrors, anxieties, reflexes, urge to backstab etc. get provoked.
When this is the condition of the kings in the subcontinent, what can one say about the Emperors? That they are worse than kings?
It is curious that the monarch of England who literally ruled a global empire was only a Queen of England. However, when her name got associated with the subcontinent, nothing less than the title of an Empress would do. That was the training the subcontinent gave to the native-Englishmen. That a mere ‘Queen’ will not do. There should be an Empress. Otherwise no one would listen to her.
This brings us to another most interesting thing about the history of location here. It is seen that persons who came to acquire some royal power immediately changed their name to some Varma or Veera or something similar. So, it does seem that the title Varma is not actually a hereditary title in many cases, but simply a title artificially adopted by the person to add to his right to rule some small location.
QUOTE: The Brahmans are notoriously careless of history and of the lessons which it teaches. Their lives are bound hard and fast by rigid chains of customs. The long line of Chera kings, dating back to the “Son of Kerala”, mentioned in the third century B.C., in King Asoka’s rock-out inscriptions, had for them no interest and no instruction ; and it is not to be wondered, at that the mention of them finds in the Keralolpatti no place. END OF QUOTE.
The above is a quote with more than one concern. Even though the Keralolpathi has been mentioned somewhere in book as promoting Brahmans, the truth seems to be elsewhere. There is no promotion of Brahmins seen other than in the very beginning of the fake history. The whole history is a silly listing of various rulers, who had nothing to do other than to ‘rule’. This is what I gather from the other books which I have mentioned and from this book, Malabar.
The next point is the use of the words ‘Son of Kerala’. It has been mentioned in another location in this book that the transliteration of the word found in the Ashoka edict is Ketalaputra and not Keralaputra. It is curious that the word Chera’s real meaning ‘rat snake’ is not detected by the writers of this book. But in the case of Ketalaputra, they can detect a ‘Kerala’ inside it.
The reason why Keralolpathi moves into a location where no Brahmins are mentioned could be due to the fact that the writers did not have any information about the Brahmin traditions. After all, the Brahmin caste was quite high for the lower-caste converted Christians, who presumably did the writing.
QUOTE: What is substituted for the real history of this period in these traditions is a farrago of legendary nonsense, having for definite aim the securing to the Brahman caste of unbounded power and influence in the country. END OF QUOTE.
Here again, there is an ambivalent stance. For here the statement is contrary to what has been said before. Here the contention is that Keralolpathi was written with the aim of securing unbounded power and influence for the Brahman caste. There is no hint that the book could have been a totally different invention with a totally different aim.
QUOTE: Parashurama is not found in Vedic literature, and the earliest mention of his character is found in the Mahabharata but with different names. There he is represented as an accomplished warrior-Brahmin, a sage and teacher of martial arts, but there is no mention of him being an avatar of Vishnu. He evolves into an avatar in the Puranas. According to Adalbert Gail, the word Parasurama is also missing in the Indian epics and Kalidasa's works, and appears for the first time in Indian literature around 500 CE. Before then, he is known by other names such as Rama Jamadagnya END OF QUOTE.
QUOTE: The state of Kerala and nearby regions of the Indian peninsula (Malabar Coast, in some versions including Konkan) are considered as Parashurama Kshetra. END OF QUOTE
This is a most curious statement. I really wonder who inserted the words ‘state of Kerala’. For there was no ‘state of Kerala’ when this book was written and published. Could this be an insertion done around 1951, when the government of India republished it? It is seen that this book was in great demand in the years around 1950. What could be the reason for that?
There is only one single reason. This is the book that must have been heavily used by the Converted Christian Church to force the creation of Kerala by amalgamating the Malabar District of Madras State with the Travancore-Cochin State.
Why should they do that? The reason is quite simple. The forest lands of the Malabar District of the Madras State had been encroached by the hordes of Converted Christian Settlers from the neighbouring state. It is only a matter of little time before the Madras government would take stringent action for their removal. It was a matter of life and death for these settlers that a new state is formed in which they had greater political say. Once this new state is formed, there is no issue of an encroachment from another state.
QUOTE: The Mahratta account states that Parasu Raman turned the Boyijati (fisherman caste) into Brahmans in order to people Keralam. END OF QUOTE
The Mahratta accounts and such other accounts traditional elsewhere seem to corroborate some of the things in the Keralolpathi. However the above contention is mentioned as not seen in Keralolpathi. Apart from that, the fact that many traditions of elsewhere do corroborate what is there in Keralolpathi does not prove its authenticity. It simply would prove that the writers of Keralolpathi were depending on various contemporary traditions and stories.
The contention that the Brahmins of Malabar and Travancore are the fishermen folks of elsewhere is a contention that cannot be acceptable to many. For, in which case, many peoples in Malabar and Travancore go under the fishermen folks!
QUOTE: They summoned him unnecessarily and he cursed them and “condemned them to lose the power of assembling together in council, and to become servile. They accordingly mingle with Sudra females and became a degraded race.” END OF QUOTE.
I am not going to pick anything out of this tradition, with regard to Brahmins or Sudras. However, the contention of becoming a degraded race by mixing with Sudra families is a very vital point about certain other things. It is related to the social and human design that language codes can arrange. A wrong connection or being placed in a wrong location in a link, would create havoc, if the language is feudal. This is an idea that no one seems in a hurry to deal with. The native-English populations have no information about this.
As to the feudal language speakers, they are aware of this issue in at least a vague manner. But no one is happy to mention this. For everyone are part and parcel of these evil codes. There is no escape visible in sight.
QUOTE: this, it is said, “the men of the port began to make voyages to Mecca in ships, and Calicut became the most famous (port) in the world for its extensive commerce, wealth, country, town, and king.” END OF QUOTE.
This is mentioned in the Keralolpathi with regard to the honesty of the king of Calicut. It is a most insipid statement. There is honesty in many locations in the subcontinent. Many things design it. One is the general attitude of a person not to cheat, whatever be the outcome. That is not very much possible to adopt if the honesty can lead a person to penury. For, along with penury, come the lower indicant verbal code definitions on the person.
However, the king of Calicut has no such concern.
Generally in a feudal language system, people are generally very honest to those who they treat as superior and respected. To those whom they do not feel this emotion, they are dishonest and they do cheat and go back on their word.
Beyond this, there is the general ‘frog-in-the-well’ tone in this claim. That ‘Calicut became the most famous (port) in the world for its extensive commerce, wealth, country, town, and king’.
A small king more or less a dependant on the Arabic seafaring populations. What kind of fame did this port have that the Continental Europeans and the English traders had to search hard to find it? They came not for its fame, but due to the fact that this was where pepper could be bought from. Pepper was an important food ingredient in England and Europe. For, it is the best preservative for keeping meat in an unspoiled condition during the winter months.
The adjective of ‘most famous’ famous is in sync with the words of Al Biruni, quoted in the beginning of this book.
Now, there a few brief queries in my mind. From where did Gundert get Keralolpathi from? Is the copy with the Church or with anyone else? If so, can the date of its creation be found out using scientific methods?
Then about the language of Keralolpathi. Is it the Malabari language (the original Malayalam) or is it in a language that was developed by the Christian evangelists in Central Travancore?
Then again about who actually did the writing? Was it written directly by Gundert himself, or did he get some scribe to do it?
What about the book of proverbs in Malayalam? Did he write it himself or did he use some scribes? Both the books do not seem to be written by the same person, even though the author names are given as Gundert.
Or could it be that the manuscript copies (in PDF) which I downloaded from archive.org are later day copies?
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