William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
Misconnecting with English
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
There are a number of locations wherein English words are used as seeming translations for local usages.
1. Of the hero of the original Tachcholi pat—the Robin Hood of North Malabar— many traditions are extant.
[My note: Actually the Tachcholi pat or possibly the Vadakkan pattukal cannot be compared with the native-English stories of Robin Hood. There is a qualitative difference. In fact, no individual or entity in a feudal language social system can be compared with anything in a planar language social system. Both are in totally different frameworks which have no corresponding elements between them.]
2. This designation may be exactly reproduced by the phrase from the *English wedding service in which the mutual contract of the parties is “for better for worse, for richer for poorer.”
[My note: This is another instance of trying to find commonality between two items which cannot be equated to each other.]
3. probably Commissioner of the Perumal
[My note: The use of the word Commissioner to define a subordinate of a semi-barbarian ruler has its problems. The word ‘semi-barbarian’ is taken from Travancore State Manual, in which V Nagam Aiya has very categorically mentioned the peoples and cultures of the subcontinent pervious to the advent of the English rule as ‘semi-barbarian’.]
4. his officers and ministers
[My note: The use of the word ‘officer’ to define any official in the ancient and medieval kingdoms in the subcontinent as an ‘officer’ is just a display of the stark ignorance of what the word ‘officer’ stands for. In English, an officer is a gentleman. An official in the subcontinent and in the three current-day nations formed in the subcontinent, viz. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, who uses words like Thoo/Nee, USS / Avan / Aval, Eda / Edi etc. to a citizen of the nation cannot be mentioned as an officer and a gentleman. Mentioning them as officer is a stark misuse of the word. From this perspective, the above-mentioned nations do not have any officers at all in their service, other than for the exceptions to prove the rule.]
5. Ordered with the sanction of the Palace-major Vyaraka Devar,
6. either the hereditary military commandant of the Desam
7. Pandarappad, treasury officials
8. he was, in short, chairman.
9. Hydros Kutti who was, it is said, the Commissioner appointed by Hyder Ali
[My note: 5 to 9 are other examples of this misuse of English words.]
10. I have heard well authenticated cases of Englishmen, who have shot three and four cow bison of a day and have left them to rot where they fell.
This is a very curious location. For, the point is that the Englishmen are seen as having acted quite un-English. However, there is a wider explanation to all this, that is rarely noted down.
Imagine a person from the subcontinent going to England and doing the same. Will it be allowed in England? It is most preposterous idea that such an attempt would be allowed or condoned. Off course, there are items over there that can be mentioned to say that in that nation also such things occur. I will not go into those items here. For, it will only confuse the issues.
The point is that when a native-Englishman comes to the subcontinent, it is the others here who tell them what to do, what is allowed and how they should act. In almost all these cases, the natives of the subcontinent give advices which are in sync with their own mentality.
For instance, there are many photos on display nowadays showing white-skinned persons in circumstances which look quite at odds with an English attitude. That of them, standing along with a tiger they had shot. Or them going in a hand-pulled cycle-rickshaw pulled by a very dried-up person. That of well-dressed English men and women in the midst of very poor looking natives of the subcontinent. There are photos of the poor natives of the subcontinent bowing before Englishmen who are sitting on a very comfortable leaning chair, with the legs stretched out.
If a person looks at these pictures and start creating a huge understanding of how the Englishmen and women behaved in the subcontinent based on these images, he or she will be making a grievous mistake.
These are pictures that actually picture the actual state of the land, into which the Englishmen and women are mere momentary insertions. I will explain this statement.
One of my parents was an officer of the Madras State Civil Service which had been an immediate continuation of the Madras Presidency Civil Service. All the officers of this service then in the 1950s were quite good in English. My parent worked in the Malabar district. The very noticeable difference that these officers had from the later-day Kerala government ‘officers’, was that they generally communicated to each other in English. As to referring to or talking about a common man, who had come to the office or to the officer’s house with any help request was that, the words in English ‘he / him/ she/ her etc. were used. If the Malabari or Malayalam word had to be used, the word of reference would usually be ‘Ayaal’.
Yet, in the case of a lower stature common man, like a labourer, agricultural labourer, financially low agriculturalist etc., even though they are addressed with a decent word like ‘Ningal’, they invariably bent and bow and show all kinds of obeisance and servitude. Even though at times, they are told not to exhibit these kinds of servile behaviours, it is not possible to do a personality enhancement training upon each person. So, in general, the officers do not take much efforts to tell them to stand straight.
For the social training in subservience is part of the feudal language training that is automatically there in the social system.
Now, look at this picture.
It is quite easy to think that it is the English officials who are oppressing them. Actually the truth would be that these people approach the English officials with the full understanding that they would get help without any strings attached only from them. When they display any kind of worshipful-ness, it is actually their expression of pleading for help, in a terrible social system in which each individual is out to suppress another. That is how feudal languages are designed.
In many contrived history books, one might see refined-looking English colonial residences. And along with them, are shown terribly shoddy residences of the poverty-stricken natives of the subcontinent. These kind of picture combinations are deliberate attempts at misguiding.
For, the subcontinent was full of extremely rich and affluent landlords. Their residences are literally unapproachable for the lower classes and castes of the land. The cunning history textbooks never attempt to showcase the terrible differences between the residences of the native rich and the native poor. Actually the native poor are not actually ‘poor’. They are various levels of slaves.
And even the word ‘slave’ would not suffice. For, if the negro slaves of the USA are taken into account, from all perspectives, they are very much higher than the ordinary lower class and lower caste individuals of the subcontinent.
The lower caste / class individuals of the subcontinent are addressed and referred to in the pejorative word level of verbal codes. That is, they are addressed with the lowest You, and referred to with the lowest he/him, she/her. Once a person is thus defined at the bottom end of a hierarchical social ladder, their very sight, touch, seeing etc. become items of acute repulsion and inauspicious.
They are not allowed to sit on a chair or to eat at a table. In all reference to them, a verbal code adjective of ‘despicable dirt’ would get encoded. In fact, if anyone arrives at this level of subordination under a feudal-language speaker from the subcontinent, within a few generations, the individuals would look terribly degraded. (Let the native-English population of England beware, and take appropriate pre-emptive steps to forestall this eventuality!)
However, each level would strive to get someone under them. For, that would provide an upward thrust in social buoyancy.
Apart from all this, when viewing the old colonial pictures, there are certain more information that have to be borne in mind.
One is that inside British-India, everything was perfectly administered as per written codes of law. However, only around half of the subcontinent was British-India. The rest were independent kingdoms. These independent kingdoms stuck close to British-India due to the fabulous connection to England it provided. Most had alliance treaties with the British-Indian government. A British-Indian resident was posted in many of the kingdoms to advice the kings on various items. It was as a sort of a representative of the British-Indian government in a semi-barbarian kingdom.
Yet, the kingdoms were independent. They had their own traditional customs, social systems, officialdom (most of them corrupt to the core), police, judiciary etc. They allowed many things which would not be allowed inside British-India.
In fact, inside British-India, even Christian missionary work was prohibited. Inside Travancore, this was allowed.
Apart from all this, there is this fact also. British-Indian government was an English government. Yet, there were people from Irish, Scottish, Welsh nativity and even Continental Europeans working in the government apart from a huge percent of natives of the subcontinent.
To that extent, the government was not English fully.
To add to this error, all White-skinned persons inside the subcontinent were very easily identified as British. And the British were very cunningly identified as Europeans. However, the fact remains that in most of the big battles fought against the British inside the subcontinent, a major chunk of the soldiery were Continental Europeans. In fact, it might be very easy to mention that most of the ‘freedom fights’ inside the subcontinent against the British rule, were fought by Continental Europeans. Not only in the Battle of Plassey, but even in the fights by the Mysorean rulers Hyder Ali and Sultan Tippu, there were a lot of Continental Europeans.
Why these Continental European ‘freedom fighters’ are not mentioned or celebrated inside Pakistan and India is a very funny query, that can be asked. For they antedate most of the current-day mentioned ‘great freedom fighters of India’. If this point looks quite odd, then it might be mentioned that most of the so-called ‘freedom-fighters’ were not from British-India. Hyder Ali was from Morocco. So naturally his son Tippu was also not Indian or British-Indian. Gandhi was not from British-India. Travancoreans cannot be mentioned as freedom fighters, against the British-rule. For, their kingdom was not ruled by the British.
Arab supporter Mappillas of Malabar were not fighting for the ‘freedom of India’. Their actual loyalty was to the king of Egypt.
See this QUOTE about how Hyder Ali made use of the European regiment which fought on his side :
QUOTE: The Europeans inspired the Malabars with a new terror by this exploit ; and Hyder, to increase it, spread a report that he expected many thousand men from Europe ; he added that they were a cruel people and devourers of human flesh, and that his intention was to deliver all the coast to their outrages. The rage and fury by which his small handful of French were urged on to revenge their murdered countrymen gave much force to the belief the wretched inhabitants were disposed to afford to his reports. Wherever he turned he found no opponent, nor even any human creature ; every inhabited place was forsaken ; and the poor inhabitants, who fled to the woods and mountains in the most inclement season, had the anguish to behold their houses in flames, their fruit-trees cut down, their cattle destroyed, and their temples burnt. END OF QUOTE
The above is a sample of the ‘great’ ‘Indian freedom fights’.
Many persons from Continental Europe did piggy-back ride on England inside the subcontinent. And the British officials were quite foolish not to pick them out and throw them out of their areas of administration. In fact, Gundert who is celebrated by many academic scholars was a German. He should not have been allowed to be anywhere near to any English administrative systems.
When viewing pictures showing White people in very cantankerous postures, where is the evidence that they are British or English? And if they are British or English, what of the location where the photo was taken? Was it in British-India or in an independent kingdom in the subcontinent? And if they are from British-India, what about the possibility that they were being misguided into such awkward behaviour by their own staff-members from the sub-continent and by other local chiefs?
A very powerful example can be mentioned in making many of them Saabs and Memsaabs. These are feudal ennobling words used in Hindi. It is not something brought from England. I have seen many local rascals use this example to mention that the English were feudal oppressive people. Actually, these words are pressed upon the local people by the local staff members of the English administration. However, when the administration is in such lousy feudal language like Hindi, this is the only way to communicate with a government officials. As of now, the common Indian is a Thoo while the Government official is an Aap. And no one dares to complain!
English administration was pro-English language. Not supportive of any low-class human degrading language like Hindi &c. of the sub-continent.
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