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Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!

It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!


There was a small kingdom headquartered near to Tellicherry. It was the Kottayam kingdom. Even though a lot of fabricated fame and halo has been added to this tiny kingdom, most of the people who had heard about this kingdom did not really know where exactly this place was. The place name Kottayam was misunderstood as the Kottayam of Central Travancore.

In fact, when I once told a man in north Malabar this kingdom was near to Tellicherry, he replied thus, ‘Now only I understand. I was always wondering how the Wynad Kurichiyas were involved in a fight with the British in Kottayam.’

The issue here is that man’s native place was just around 35 kilometres from the location of this Kottayam and yet he had not heard of this place. Nor had this place been mentioned by my own family ancestors in Tellicherry.

However, the fame of this tiny place is being slowly built up by a series of fabricated stories, newspaper writings, fake-story films, and outright manipulation of written history, of how this kingdom fought for the ‘freedom of India’ against the British Empire!

The fabricated story was of the king of Kottayam fighting against the British to save his people, his kingdom, and ultimately India, with the help of the Kurichiya lower-caste tribals of Wynad forests. There are even persons who ascribe his team to have used the martial arts techniques of Kalari to defeat the British in various battles and guerrilla attacks.

This Kottayam itself must be a small place near to Tellicherry. However, the kingdom is mentioned as having its rights up to Kuttiadi and Kavilumpara etc. and inside Wynad also.

However, the so-called Pazhassi raja was not really the king of Kottayam. He was seen as an usurper by the real king of Kottayam.

As to Wynad, there is this point to be noted. Wynad forest area seems to be part of the Deccan plateau. I am not sure about this. However, it might be very much a part of the Mysore kingdom. But then being a thick forest location, there might not be much of a ‘rule’ there.

See this quote:

QUOTE: The Governor-General, Lord Mornington, after full consideration of the matter, came to the conclusion that “Wynad was not ceded to the Company by the late Treaty of Peace, and that it belongs by right to his said Highness the Nawaub Tippu Sultan Bahadur,” who was to be permitted “consequently to occupy the said district whenever it may suit his pleasure.” END OF QUOTE

Now, let us go through the text in this book, Malabar and try to place everything in the correct context. It may be borne in mind that the Nayar and higher caste sections would insert filtered information into this book in an attempt to portray the Kottayam insurgent leader in a larger than life version. The Company officials are also seen to be lenient to him in this regard without really understanding the social reality.

QUOTE: Of Rajputs, or foreign Kshatriyas, there are in Malabar (census 1881) only three hundred and sixty-two all told. The families of the Kottayam and Parappanad chieftains belong to this class, and the former of these chieftains used sometimes to be called the ‘Puranatt’ (i.e., foreign) Raja. The Parappanad family supplies consorts to the Ranis of Travancore, and also forms similar connections with the families of other chieftains in Malabar. They follow the Marumakkathayam law of inheritance. END OF QUOTE.

There might have been a sort of feeling that a mention of a connection to the populations of the northern parts of the subcontinent would give a better genetic address. It is seen mentioned that they follow the Matriarchal or Marumakkathaya law of inheritance. In which case, the same family system must be seen in the Rajputs who are seen mentioned as their family ancestry. I do not know if this true.

It is seen in this book that various persons when they assume or attempt to assure some regal title or address, assume the Varma name. This Varma name in Malabar might have helped earn a Kshatriya heritage and antiquity address. There is a general indoctrination in the social system that the Aaryan heritage is something superior, to the Dravidian heritage. The Dravidian heritage is generally connected to the Tamilians who are dark-skinned. Many of the dark-skin people have this skin-colour inferiority complex in themselves.

However, it would be most unwise to assume that all the south Indians are connected to the Tamilians or Dravidian ancestry. The Marumakkathaya Thiyyas, the Malayans, the Pulaya, the Pariah, the Makkathaya Thiyyas, the Nayars, the Shanars, the Vedars, the Chovvans, the Ezhavas, Nambhuthiri Brahmins, the Ambalavasis etc. might have different ancestry and antiquity. Each one of them would have connections to different population groups from all over the globe. In Malabar, Canara, Tamilnadu, Travancore etc. they got regimented under the same social system. With the Brahmins at the top. That is all.

Much before the Pazhassiraja insurgency, the Kottayam kingdom had long years of relationship with the English Company. This kingdom also made use of the Company to protect themselves from the insidious takeover attempts by other small-time kingdoms, nearby. Moreover, the kingdom did try its own game at make the best profit out of the competition between the English Company at Tellicherry and the French headquartered at Mahe. Tellicherry, Kottayam and Mahe are within a few kilometres radius.

QUOTE: And it was known that the Kottayam Raja, who had helped the prince to take it from the Mappillas, had agreed to give up the positions held by him on it to the French whenever they should choose to END OF QUOTE.

The king of Kottayam was also playing the seesaw game, with the English Company and the French. However, whenever things became too hot, the then ruler of Kottayam would rush to the English to ask for help.

QUOTE: But disputes early commenced between this Raja and Tippu relative to their respective boundaries, and the latter’s vakils complained also of the Kottayam Raja taking Wynad, which district the Commissioners were then of opinion was not ceded by the treaty. END OF QUOTE.

Wynad was not part of Kottayam territory, but more or less under the disputed ownership of the Mysorean kingdom.

QUOTE: The Kottayam Raja's alarm of invasion had meanwhile not abated, and on the 19th of February he sent to the Chief an unconditional agreement to plant the English flag and post garrisons on the island. END OF QUOTE

This happened when the Canarese army invaded north Malabar. It is quite funny that the well-established kingdoms had to run to the safety of a small trading settlement of the English Company whenever there was any attack on them from any neighbouring kingdom.

QUOTE: Meanwhile the mediation carried on by Kottayam went on slowly. He was in no hurry to arrange terms while being paid a personal allowance of Rs. 40 per day as may be imagined, and he appears not to have scrupled at declaring openly that he meant to make the most he could for himself of the troubles in the country. END OF QUOTE.

The king of Kottayam was ‘making hay when the sun was shining’, so to say. For, he thought as every other small-time kingdom in the locality did, that he could play French against the English and vice versa and get his due profit.

QUOTE: The Kottayam Mappillas deserted the Raja and assisted the invaders END OF QUOTE.

This happened when Hyder Ali invaded north Malabar kingdoms. The Mappillas supported the Muslim invaders. For, they had their age-long grievances against the Nayars and the higher castes.

QUOTE: It must also be here explained that with regard to the Chirakkal cowl it was granted to Unni Amma, a younger member of the family, who assumed the name of Ravi Varma, and was the only one on the spot, the real head of the house having fled with his mother to Travancore ; and that the Kottayam cowl was likewise granted to a junior member of the family, afterwards known as the rebel Pazhassi (Pychy) Raja, the senior Raja having also taken refuge in Travancore. END OF QUOTE.

This is the crucial information about the real reasons of how this ‘raja’ became an insurgent. The tale of this insurgency is actually a story of how his uncle, the real raja went on trying to subdue him, and the young man not willing to give up his title. For, in feudal languages, the moment a title is given up, all the verbal codes of ‘respect’ would get erased. It is like an experience of ‘free-fall’ down to the social depths for the person who has lost his ‘respect’. It is for this reason that politicians fight to retain their positions desperately in current-day India. The leader and the follower will be placed on the same verbal level, once the ‘respect’ is gone.

The English Company did many times try to help the Pazhassiraja to come to an amenable terms and relationship. However, each time, his uncle would thwart the attempt. For, it was in his interest to see that the usurper is not allowed any power at all.

QUOTE: As after events fully proved, however, the Kottayam nephew of Kurumbranad—the famous Palassi (Pychy) Raja was not amenable to control by his uncle, and the uncle was powerless to execute his own orders in the Palassi country. END OF QUOTE.

This is the true, much understated fact about the background to the insurgency, which was at best a struggle to get the royal title, and to safeguard his own ‘respect’ and honour by the Pazhassiraja. It was not any kind of a ‘freedom struggle’ against the British Empire. Only total nitwits will believe such nonsense.

QUOTE: The Palassi (Pychy) Raja had already, in April 1793, been guilty of the exercise of one act of arbitrary authority in pulling down a Mappilla mosque erected in the bazaar of Kottayam. The Joint Commissioners took no notice of the act, although it was in direct opposition to the conditions, of the engagement made with the Kurumbranad Raja for the Kottayam district. END OF QUOTE.

Actually the Mappilla presence in the kingdom would be a sort of social revolution. In that the lower caste might see the elevated stature of the Muslims, as they do not have any statutory hierarchies among them. Many of the Muslims could be recently converted from the lower castes.

As to the English Company not taking any action against this act of villainy, it might be just that they had not yet started their administration on a sure footing here. Things were still quite fluid. Beyond that there must have been so many similar events happening all around the geography.

QUOTE: Again, in September 1793, the Mappillas of Kodolli applied to the Palassi (Pycliy) Raja for leave to build or to rebuild a mosque, and were told in reply to give a present. They began to build without making the preliminary gift to the Raja, so he sent Calliadan Eman with five armed men to bring the Mappilla headman (Talib Kutti Ali) before him. The headman delayed; the escort attempted to seize him ; whereupon Kutti Ali drew his sword and killed Calliadan Eman, and was in turn killed by the others. END OF QUOTE.

Here there is a hidden issue. The Muslim headman would have to display his subservience to the small-time chief of Kottayam who was not really the king, but a usurper. The headman would invariably be addressed as Inhi (Nee lowest You) by not only Pazhassiraja, but also by most of his relatives. In such a scenario, many persons with some self-dignity would refuse to go to such a location. Or else, they would try to delay the going.

The team that went to bring the Mappilla headman also would use such tormenting words to the Mappilla headman. However, this would be in a location where the Mappilla headman would have his own supporters. The very word ‘Inhi’ would be highly inflammatory. He would turn homicidal, if he has any sense of self-respect left in him. That is the truth. Only in native-English nations, this information has not entered much to the bemused delight of outsiders/ immigrants.

There is no known defence to a degrading lower indicant word verbal attack. The affected person has only one option. That is to go berserk.

QUOTE: On receipt of news of this affair the Raja sent an armed party with orders to slay all the Mappillas in Kodoli. The party went and slew six Mappillas with a loss to themselves of two killed and four wounded. END OF QUOTE.

The Pazhassiraja was not a person with any kind of enlightened statesmanship. However, if he had become the king, naturally he would be ‘respected’ and honoured. That is all.

QUOTE: They (The English Company) contented themselves with a mild remonstrance addressed to the Kurumbranad Raja and with the despatch of troops to Kodolli and Palassi. END OF QUOTE.

The English Company initially had no intention of interfering into all the social issues of the land, which probably they (the native-English) could not understand. Moreover, if the Company tried to insert its own justice on all local rulers, they would have found it difficult to continue their trade there.

QUOTE: The Palassi detachment was accompanied by a European Assistant. The Raja, alarmed at the movement of troops, designed as he thought to make him a prisoner, refused to come to Tellicherry to explain the matters to the Northern Superintendent, and ironically referred the Supravisor for explanation to his “elder brother” of Kurumbranad. He further in his reply expressed surprise at his not being “allowed to follow and be guided by our ancient customs” in the slaughter of erring Mappillas. END OF QUOTE

Here there are more than one issue. Even though the detachment was accompanied by a European Assistant, it was naturally full of the local Nayar / Thiyya sepoys. They would use only the lower indicant (Inhi/Nee, Eda, Enthada) words if they were to accost him.

If he were to come to Tellicherry, he would not have anything to confirm that he would not be treated in a manner in which the subordinated individual is treated by the native rulers.

As to his ironical referring to his ‘elder brother’, the fact is that his elder brother would also have a similar opinion on what to do to the Mappillas.

His surprise is also quite noteworthy. Till the advent of the English supremacy in the subcontinent, the small-time rulers and other Adhikaris could literally do what they wanted to the people under them.

QUOTE: the Palassi (Pychy) Raja had threatened to cut down all the pepper vines if the Company’s officers persisted in counting them. In short he conducted himself in a way that fully justified the Joint Commissioners in styling him “the most untractable and unreasonable of all the Rajas.”

On the deputation of one of the Company’s Linguists, Mr. Lafrenais, to enquire into his grievances, it was discovered that his uncle, the Kurumbranad Raja, from views of personal advantage, had secretly instigated him to resist the execution of those very terms of settlement with the Commissioners which he had himself concluded with the Company on behalf of his nephew. He thus hoped to involve the Company in active hostilities with the Palassi (Pychy) Raja, who now, convinced of his machinations, entered on 20th December 1793 into an agreement direct with Mr. Farmer for the districts of Katirur, Palassi, Kuttiyadi and Tamarasseri on the same liberal lines as those accorded to Kadattanad. END OF QUOTE.

There is a wonderful illustration of how the social machinery works. Pazhassiraja’s own uncle makes certain settlements with the English Company. At the same time, he instigates Pazhassiraja to resist the execution of the terms of these very settlements. This is actually a technique even now followed in various situations in the subcontinent. That of acting as a sort of mediator between two groups, and then at the same time instigating each against the other.

The feudal language word codes actually promote these kinds of activities.

QUOTE: But over and above those concessions to the Palassi (Pychy) Raja, Mr. Farmer further agreed for one year, until orders could be obtained, not to collect the assessment on temple lands, and to remit further one-fifth of the revenues for the maintenance of the Raja, and for the support of the temples one-fifth more in consideration of the assistance given against Tippu and of the Raja’s ancient friendship with the Company. END OF QUOTE.

Actually these are all wonderful offers. Yet, the verbal codes in the social system can create havoc, in a scene where the raja is seen as a usurper and a threat by his own uncle.

QUOTE: The Kottayam and Parappanad leases were, however, once more executed by the Kurumbranad Raja—a repetition of the old mistake, as events soon proved, made originally by the Joint Commissioners.

-----------the repetition of the old mistake of entrusting the management of the Kottayam district to a chief who had no power or influence therein, and the passing over of the Palassi (Pycliy) Raja’s claims to the Government of that district, very soon bore disastrous fruit. END OF QUOTE.

This was the item that again made Pazhassiraja go astray. There would be very concerted planning on the side of the Kurambranad Raja to keep his claims out. And the English Company fell for this cunning.

QUOTE: Some time before the lease was concluded, one of the Iruvalinad Nambiars—Narangoli—had brought himself within reach of the law. One of his people had been killed by a Mappilla, and in revenge the Nambiar put to death three of that class, being instigated (as it was alleged, but there was no conclusive proof of it) to that act by the Palassi (Pychy) Raja. However this may have been, the Nambiar fled to the protection of the Raja, and in spite of the Supravisor's remonstrances, that chief protected the refugee. The Supravisor then declared the Nambiar to be a rebel and confiscated his lands and property. END OF QUOTE.

Again it is the traditional antipathy for the Mappillas which created the rancour.

QUOTE: Two Mappillas were suspected of having committed a robbery in the house of a Chetti. The Raja explained afterwards that they confessed their crime; they were certainly kept in confinement for some months. Then they were tried according to the ancient usage of the country, it was alleged, and on their own confessions were sentenced to death. Their execution was carried out on or about the above date at Venkad by impalement alive according to ancient custom END OF QUOTE.

Again it is the antipathy for a class of people who were not in sync with the traditional hierarchal system in the society. If the traditional hierarchy were to be enforced, most of the Mappillas would go to the very bottom of the social set up.

QUOTE: shortly afterwards there arrived intelligence of another arbitrary act on the part of the Raja ; he, it was said, deliberately shot another Mappilla through the body while retiring from his presence whither he had gone to present a gift. These arbitrary acts could not be overlooked. END OF QUOTE.

Again it is the Mappilla man who has been killed. Now, it might be time to check why this happened. The man went to give a gift. Yet, was killed.

The reason is that when a person is out of step with an established system of hierarchy in a feudal language, a slight body posture which is not in sync with the verbal respect code would cry out the signal that the side that has to be ‘respected’ has been dishonoured.

It is like that of an ordinary man in India going to a police station and sitting down in front of the police inspector. In most probability, he would be slapped on the face with homicidal fury. As per the verbal hierarchy of the Indian officialdom, an ordinary man has to bent, bow and cringe, and display all kinds of subservience. Even a single item which is out of step would proclaim the information that all his other actions of ‘respect’ were mere pretences.

This is exactly what happened to the British Sailors who were imprisoned in Madras. They displayed their normal English behaviour and stature in an Indian police station. The police officials would go berserk. Just because they were from Great Britain, they were not physically attacked then and there. If it was a local citizen, he would have his bones broken, then and there.

QUOTE: The Supreme Government directed that the Raja should be put upon his trial for murder, but it was not easy to bring this about, for the Raja was well guarded by five hundred well armed Nayars from Wynad.

In August 1795 the Supravisor stationed detachments of troops at the bazaar of Kottayam itself and at Manattana to protect the Kurumbranad Raja s revenue collectors.

These detachments were withdrawn for a time because of troubles with the Mappillas in Ernad and Vellatiri, but they were again posted in November to keep the peace, and as Mr. Rickards expressed it : END OF QUOTE.

The mention of ‘five hundred well armed Nayars from Wynad’ could be just a mere hearsay or even an insertion by the Nayar section into the book. Getting five hundred Nayars from Wynad would be quite a difficult proposition, considering that the location was a dense forest. It would take at least a couple of weeks to get them to Kottayam (near Tellicherry).

Beyond that it does not look as if the Pazhassiraja could afford to maintain such a large number of Nayars for his protection. It is not that easy in that the other kings and rulers in the area did not want an upstart to grow up to regal levels.

There is another item to be mentioned. In Kottayam, the English Company was trying to protect the Mappillas. However, in South Malabar, the Mappillas were creating trouble for the Company by attacking the Hindus and Nayars. Their aim was not really the English Company. However, the Company was forced to intervene. Because it was the Company which was seen as the paramount power by everyone.

See these words of the king of Calicut, during the time when Sultan Tippu attacked:

QUOTE: To this I am obliged to reply that the country and the government is with the Company, whose armies must protect it ; that, unless they (the small-time kings) willingly contribute to the expense of maintaining them according to what is just, the country may go back to Tippu, and instead of living in peace under the shadow of the Company, all our troubles and vexations may return and we may be driven back into the Travancore country. END OF QUOTE.

QUOTE: “From this time forward the conduct of Kerala Varma, (Palassi Raja) continued to be distinguished by a contempt for all authority. He delighted to show how powerless Kurumbranad was to carry on his engagement for the Kottayam district. END OF QUOTE

As seen in the above quote, the Pazhassiraja was smarting under the snubbing he received from the Kurumbarand raja. That the English Company got involved was a mere coincidence.

QUOTE: King of Calicut says: “As for me, when my people ask for revenue (from the Mappillas), they shake their swords at them”. END OF QUOTE

So there are two separate items to be mentioned with regard to the Pazhassiraja insurgency. The first one was that he was not the real king. He was seen as a usurper by his own uncle who held the title of king. The other rulers in the area were not very keen on his gaining the royal title.

The second item was the Pazhassiraja shared the animosity for the Mappillas which was there in all who were stuck in the social hierarchical system with the Brahmins on the top. He took law into his own hands under the claim that it was his hereditary right, and impaled a number of Mappillas and also killed some other Mappillas otherwise.

Usually when eulogising the Pazhassiraja by the current-day academic histories to spray ignominy on the English Company, these information are kept hidden.

QUOTE: The pepper revenue of Kottayam, a most important item in the accounts, was in jeopardy owing to bands of armed men moving about the country.......................On December 16th, the Northern Superintendent came to the conclusion that the differences between the rival Rajas were irreconcilable, and suggested the issue of a proclamation to the people forbidding them to assemble to assist the Palassi (Pychy) Raja. END OF QUOTE.

Due to the feud between the Uncle and his nephew, the administration was suffering. Pepper revenue was lost. This is due to the fact that no worker would dare to go into the area for pepper collection. For, he might be hacked into pieces.

The English Company had to have financial acumen to administer this semi-barbarian land where the people were accustomed to hack or impale each other, if they get the upper-hand.

QUOTE: Moved by those threats, the Palassi (Pychy) Raja then openly visited Tippu’s Killidar at Karkankotta. END OF QUOTE.

This is was a very foolish item to do. It is like what happened to SubashChandran. He ditched his INA army and tried to move to Russia. There, it can be presumed that he was caught by the Russian soldiers. It is a real tragic affair to be caught to the Russian soldiers. There were news reports that came out during the Presidency of Gorbachev in Russia that he had been made a menial servant in a Siberian prison and that he had died there thus. There were other rumours that the Indian Prime Minister Nehru was hell-bent on seeing that he did not come out. For, if he came out, it would become a terrible threat to his own prime-minister-ship, which presumably had been grabbed with the clandestine help of the British Labour Party leadership.

QUOTE from dated: Jan 24, 2016: One of the disclosures in the Netaji files, made public on his 119th birthday on Saturday, is that Nehru had written to then British PM Clement Attlee about Subhas Chandra Bose, saying,

"Your war criminal has been allowed to enter Russian territory by Stalin. This is a clear treachery and betrayal of faith by the Russians, as they were allies of the British and the Americans. Please take care and do what you consider proper and fit."

While this would appear to confirm a testimony by a stenographer, Shyam Lal Jain, who had told the Khosla Commission set up in 1970 to investigate Netaji's death that he had typed such a letter dictated by Nehru in December 1945, the Congress jumped at the typographical and factual errors to claim it was a hoax. END OF QUOTE

If Pazhassiraja had gone to Sultan’s Tippu’s residence, he would more or less face the same problem of ‘respect’. Sultan Tippu’s people had the habit of cutting off the hand and other parts of the human body, to extract ‘respect’ from them. In fact, a number of British sailors and soldiers did experience this. See the story of James Scurry who had been imprisoned and converted into a menial servant under the subordinates of Sultan Tippu.

Tippu had a grudge against the Nayars and all the higher castes. Beyond that, Pazhassiraja had the history of impaling the Mappillas. It would have fared very bad for him if he had got caught by Tippu’s people.

QUOTE: It seems that Tippu agreed to supply him with ammunition, and to on station 6000 “Carnatics” under his Killidar at Karkankotta on the Wynad frontier, to be ready to help the Raja’s people in driving the British troops down the ghats out of Wynad. END OF QUOTE.

However, no such thing ever materialised in the small-time skirmishes that ensued later between the raja’s subordinates and the English Company.

QUOTE: Acting mainly on the advice of Shamnath, the Zamorin’s minister, the Commissioners had, just before the arrival of the Committee of Government, begun to raise a levy of irregular troops to harass the Palassi (Pychy) Raja, a measure which appears to have been attended with the best possible effect. END OF QUOTE

It is plainly seen that the king of Calicut wanted to see Pazhassiraja crushed. For, he was a usurper. He rising in power would embolden so many other similar usurpers in so many king houses, in the various small-times kingdoms.


1. After several ineffectual attempts of the Chirakkal Raja and Mr. Peile, the Northern Superintendent, had been made to induce the Palassi (Pychy) Raja, under the most unqualified assurance of safe conduct, to meet the Committee at Tellicherry, active measures were resumed against him,

2. pardon was likewise extended to the Narangoli Nambiar of Iruvalinad who as already related, had, after the slaying of three Mappillas, fled to the Palassi (Pychy) Raja for protection END OF QUOTE

Even then the English Company did try to reach out to him and settle matters amicably.

QUOTE: This Yemen Nayar, for whom Colonel Wellesley wrote, was an influential Nayar of Wynad, who, at the outbreak of hostilities with Tippu Sultan in 1799, had come to the Malabar Commissioners at Calicut and professed his attachment to the British cause. His professions were believed and assurances of protection to himself and his adherents were granted to him. He had since that time been admitted to the confidence of the authorities in Malabar, and it was to consult him as to local matters that Colonel Wellesley now sent for him prior to forming his plan of operations against the rebels in Wynad.

It was never clearly proved, but it is almost certain, that he was all the time in secret correspondence with his suzerain lord of Palassi (Pychy), advising him of the measures to be taken against him. END OF QUOTE

These are the usual cunning used in almost all feudal language societies. There is indeed the history of Ajatha Satru who was a king of yore in the far eastern parts of the subcontinent. When he wanted to defeat the relatively more powerful kingdom of Vajji, which was ruled by an oligarchy of high class families, he simply acted out a fight with his minister. The minister went to the Vajji kingdom and asked for refuge. This was granted to him. Then from inside he slowly set each family against each other. When the internal rivalry was high, he sent word to Ajatha Satru, who came with his army and captured the kingdom.

If indeed the US government would check the Tiananmen Square incident acted out by the Chinese government, it would most probably seen that it was a very cunning event set forth with the aim of stealing the technological secrets of the USA.

The way these things are planned and acted out is not easy to imagine in planar languages like English. In feudal languages, there are powerful routes of command and obedience, even if the other man is on the enemy side.

This Yemen Nair would have his own vested interest in crushing the English Company. For, the English Company was the most dangerous entity to appear on the Malabar seashore. Its very existence would flatten up the social order, and the Nayar and the rest of the higher castes would be brought down to the levels of equality with the lower castes.

The Englishmen did not really understand the mental trauma which this eventuality would create in the higher castes. The rude and crude lower castes would be let loose in the social order. Then no higher caste individual, especially the female folks would be able to walk on the road. For, the lower castes would dare to use the lower indicant words on them.

See this QUOTE from Travancore State Manual:

QUOTE Brahmans never attend these markets. When this liberty was given to the low castes, Sudra women and others refrained for a while from attending market, but they are now getting accustomed to the new state of things, though they hotly declare their dislike to it. END of QUOTE

QUOTE: Colonel Stevenson entered the district in January 1801, the rebels were easily dispersed, and by the month of May every post of any importance in Wynad was in the hands of the British. END OF QUOTE

There were a few skirmishes before this and after this, in which the Pazhassi side did attack the English side by hiding in the woods and springing up upon them suddenly. However, there is no great battle or war seen mentioned in this book, Malabar.

QUOTE: Some five days previous to 11th October 1802, one of the proscribed rebel leaders, Edachenna Kungan, chanced to be present at the house of a Kurchiyan, when a belted peon came up and demanded some paddy from the Kurchiyan. Edachenna Kungan replied by killing the peon, and the Kurchiyars (a jungle tribe) in that neighbourhood, considering themselves thus compromised with the authorities, joined Edachenna Kungan under the leadership of one Talakal Chandu. END OF QUOTE.

This kind of cunning has been used many times in the subcontinent by various groups. When this killing is done, the killer informs the Kurichars that the English Company will catch them and do something terrible to them. The poor jungle folks who are literally at the mercy of the native-land bosses would not have the daring or information to question or doubt these statements.

They then fall in line with the commands of their own traditional tormentor class. For, they have been told that the English Company was terrible. They would even tell them that they would be caught and sold as slaves in the high seas.

See the same technique used by the Travancore Nayars to terrorise the lower castes, during the times of the Census conducted all over the Subcontinent by the English East India Company administration:

QUOTE from Native Life in Travancore: The Sudras also sought to frighten them by the report that the Christians were to be carried off in ships to foreign parts, in which the missionaries and their native helpers would assist. When numbers were stamped upon all the houses, people thought that soon they themselves would be branded and seized by the Sirkar. END OF QUOTE.

This is more or less the way in which the Pazhassiraja side defrauded the Kurichiyas to stand with his side. They would be made to do more and more crimes that they would really be terrified of getting caught by the English Company.

QUOTE: By June 20th Mr. Baber had succeeded by his personal efforts in dissolving the rebel confederation in Chirakkal ; he restored confidence in the most rebellious tracts, and undermined the influence of the rebel leaders by representing them in the worst light as the enemies of society. END OF QUOTE.

Actually if the English side did really understand the social system, they can very well explain the goodness that they were ushering in. However, the information on the feudal languages of the subcontinent simply was not detected by them. However, it was very plainly clear that their presence was unshackling the lower classes without much disturbing the higher castes.

QUOTE: The attack was made by Kurumbars, described as a desperate race of men, who were just beginning to waver in their attachment to the Palassi (Pychy) Raja, and whom the rebel leaders wished by some outrage to commit entirely to the Raja’s side. END OF QUOTE.

This was the rascality of the traditional tormenter class. They made the very population who they had been oppressing over the centuries to commit the crime against the very people who had arrived to save them from their social slavery. This kind of treacherous actions are very much part of the social system even now.

QUOTE: Throughout the northern and western parts of the district, I found the sentiment in our favour, at the same time a considerable disinclination to afford the smallest information of the Pyche (Palassi ) Rajah or his partisans. END OF QUOTE.

The people understand the refinement of the English Company. But then, what is to be done? They cannot openly support the English side. For, the social system is full of treacherous elements. One small whisper is enough to get a person hacked to pieces by the insurgent side, which is hell-bent on continuing the age-old enslavement of the lower classes.

QUOTE: the most wealthy and numerous of whom were the Chetties and Goundas,—a vile servile race of mortals, who are strangers to every honest sentiment, and whom nothing but one uniform system of severity ever will prevent from the commission of every species of deceit and treachery. END OF QUOTE.

I think the Chetties and the Goundas were the traditional landlord classes in Wynad. Naturally they would be very cunning. For, they have to keep a huge section of people as their slaves for centuries. But then, it would be quite unwise to brand them exclusively with these vile attitudes. The fact is that almost all persons in the subcontinent who has some clout and power does practise all this either inadvertently or deliberately. This is so, because the codes for this attitude are there in the language codes.

QUOTE: “The Kooramars (Kurumbar), a numerous race of bowmen, by far the most rude of all the Wynadians, had to a man deserted their habitations and estates and betaken themselves to the strongest parts of the country, where they had removed their families and were dragging on a miserable existence, labouring under the dreadful impression that it was the intention of our Government to extirpate their whole race. As those people were exclusively under the influence of Palora Jamon (Pallur Eman), it is not difficult to explain whence this unfortunate notion originated ; it is only those who have had a personal opportunity of knowing the extensive abilities and artifices of this man who can justly calculate upon the mischief and dire consequence that must ensue where such qualifications are employed against us. END OF QUOTE.

The capability of cunning of the upper classes of the subcontinent is actually of the most unbelievable quality when seen from English. This is so because in the native languages here, by a slight change in the verbal codes, huge emotional swings can be created. There is no information on these things even now in English.

QUOTE: A few movements of our troops soon brought the inhabitants to a sense of their own interest ; they had been driven from mountain to mountain, their jungly huts were destroyed, their families were reduced to the greatest distress. They had seen with surprise that no injury was offered to their habitations or cultivations and they began now to conceive the idea that we were as ready to protect as we were powerful to punish them. END OF QUOTE.

The English Company’s army was disciplined to the utmost. I have been told that even women were safe with these units passed through a location. This is not very easily achieved. For, in all the other armed groups, the chance to molest women and to plunder is the most alluring aspects of joining raiding team. There is no professional army in that sense in any of the kingdoms of the subcontinent.

QUOTE: “After proceeding about a mile and a half through very high grass and thick teak forests into the Mysore country, Charen (Cheran) Subedar of Captain Watson’s armed police, who was leading the advanced party, suddenly halted, and beckoning to me, told me he heard voices. I immediately ran to the spot, and having advanced a few steps, I saw distinctly to the left about ten persons, unsuspecting of danger, on the banks of the Mavila Toda, or nulla to our left.

“Although Captain Clapham and the sepoys, as well as the greater part of the Kolkars, were in the rear, I still deemed it prudent to proceed, apprehensive lest we should be discovered and all hopes of surprise thereby frustrated. I accordingly ordered the advance, which consisted of about thirty men, to dash on, which they accordingly did with great gallantry, with Charen (Cheran) Subedar at their head.

“In a moment, the advance was in the midst of the enemy, fighting most bravely. The contest was but of short duration. Several of the rebels had fallen, whom the Kolkars were despatching, and a running fight was kept up after the rest- till we could see no more of them END OF QUOTE.

This is the ‘great’ war that was fought between Pazhassiraja and the English East India Company. However, actually it was a fight between the Pazhassiraja and the Kolkars of the English side. Kolkars are peons by designation. Or rather untrained foot-soldiers in this context.

QUOTE: I learnt that the Pyche (Palassi) Rajah was amongst those whom we first observed on the banks of the nulla, and it was only on my return from the pursuit that I learnt that the Rajah was amongst the first who had fallen. END OF QUOTE.

It was a fight with a small group of people.

QUOTE: “The following day the Rajah’s body was despatched under a strong escort to Manantoddy, and the Sheristadar sent with it with orders to assemble all the Brahmins and to see that the customary honours were performed at his funeral. I was induced to this conduct from the consideration that, although a rebel, he was one of the natural chieftains of the country, and might be considered on that account rather as a fallen enemy. If I have acted unjudiciously, I hope some allowances will be made for my feelings on such an occasion. END OF QUOTE.

The English side was still quite magnanimous. For, if it was a local native king who had defeated his enemy, the enemy would be tortured to death. And if already dead, his body would be desecrated to the utmost. The female members of the fallen enemy’s household would be molested by the foot-soldiers and the peons.

Beyond that the English official obviously makes the mistake of defining the fallen enemy as the natural chieftain of the country. Pazhassiraja was not even the real king of Kottayam. His main fight was with his uncle who tried to degrade him by placing a lower grade man above him. These are very powerful things, which would make the verbal codes change from that of ‘respect’ to ‘degrading’. In the ultimate sense, Pazhassiraja was the victim of the language codes. He did not get the ‘respect’ he yearned for. However, if the Mysorian invasion had not taken place, he would never have had a chance to be on the top for a temporary period.

Being on top for a temporary period is a very dangerous thing in a feudal language. For, the moment he steps down, the verbal codes changes to that of degrading. It is an unbearable scenario.

QUOTEs: 1. On the cession of Malabar to the British in 1792 some unfortunate misunderstandings arose, and the Palassi or Pychy Raja, the de facto head of the house, rose in rebellion, and maintained a sort of independence so long as Wynad

2. Palassi amsam— the seat of the Raja known in Malabar history as the Pychy (Palassi) Raja of Kottayam who carried on warfare against the East India Company for a long time, and who was finally killed in 1805, his whole estate being confiscated to Government. END OF QUOTE.

The above quote is from another section in this book. The sense that this quote gives is much different from what had been mentioned in the history part. These kind of different perspectives or indoctrinations are part of this book, Malabar. It proves that different persons have written different sections in this book, which purports to be a book written by William Logan.

There is no long time independent rule in Wynad. Wynad was at that time a terrible forest location with few locations of human habitation.

There was no great or long-time warfare. Pazhassiraja is said to have impaled the Mappillas in 1795. His rebellion against his uncle commenced a few years later. He was killed in 1805. So the length of his rebelling will not even be ten years. Actually it was only around five years at the most.

QUOTE: I observed a decided interest for the Pyche (Palassi) Rajah, towards whom the inhabitants entertained a regard and respect bordering on veneration, which not even his death can efface. END OF QUOTE.

There are issues with this quote. In a feudal language system, the degraded subordinate views the ‘respected’ higher man with veneration. However, if this degraded subordinate is allowed to improve, sit on a chair, address the senior as an equal etc., this veneration will vanish. So, the exact codes of such veneration is connected to being maintained as a subservient.

The second point is that Pazhassiraja is seen as daring to fight with the ‘great’ English Company. Actually this Company is more humane and less dangerous. However, if Pazhassiraja had been mentioned as rebelling against a less venerated entity, like the lower castes or Mappillas, the level of veneration would go down.

This is a very powerful information that the current-day native-English nations have no information of. For, when they enter into a fight, the enemy side’s stature goes up. People respect them more and would line up to join them. However, if they are heard as fighting with some low class populations, the glow will vanish and their supporters would not bask in a halo.

QUOTE: Edachenna Kungan, being sick and unable to escape, committed suicide to prevent himself from falling alive into the hands of a party sent in pursuit of him. END OF QUOTE.

This information has some understanding problem for the native-English. If this man had been captured by the Kolkars (peons), they would not allow him to die fast. They would question him with the words Inhi - Nee, Ane - Eda, Yenthane - Enthada, Oan - Avan etc. This is a kind of dirtying and defiling of the human soul of someone who had been a leader, which has no parallel in English. In fact, there is no way to convey to a native-Englishman as to what this experience is. It is more easier to die than to be made to bear this.


Commentary                MMVol 1               MMVol 2

Book Profile

1. My aim

2. The information divide

3. The layout of the book

4. My own insertions

5. The first impressions about the contents

6. India and Indians

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

13. A digression to Thiyyas

14. Designing the background

15. Content of current-day populations

16. Nairs / Nayars

17. The Thiyya quandary

18. The terror that perched upon the Nayars

19. The entry of the Ezhavas

20. Exertions of the converted Christian Church

21. Ezhava-side interests

22. The takeover of Malabar

23. Keralolpathi

24. About the language Malayalam

25. Superstitions

26. Misconnecting with English

27. Feudal language

28. Claims to great antiquity

29. Piracy


31. Slavery

32. The Portuguese

33. The DUTCH

34. The French


36. Kottayam

37. Mappillas

38. Mappilla outrages against the Nayars and the Hindus

39. Mappilla outrage list

40. What is repulsive about the Muslims?

41. Hyder Ali

42. Sultan Tippu

43. Women

44. Laccadive Islands

45. Ali Raja

46. Kolathiri

47. Kadathanad

48. The Zamorin and other apparitions

49. The Jews


51. Hinduism

52. Christianity

53. Pestilence, famine etc.

54. British Malabar versus Travancore kingdom

55. Judicial

56. Revenue and administrative changes

57. Rajas

58. Forests

59. Henry Valentine Conolly

60. Miscellaneous notes

61. Culture of the land

62. The English efforts in developing the subcontinent

63. Famines

64. Oft-mentioned objections

65. Photos and pictures of the Colonial times

66. Payment for the Colonial deeds

67. Calculating the compensation

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