Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
Pestilence, famine etc.


QUOTE: Malabar does not produce grain sufficient for the consumption of the home population, and this has been more especially the case since, by the introduction of European coffee cultivation into the Wynad taluk, the jungle tribes and other servile castes, who used to cultivate the rice-fields in that region have been attracted to the more profitable employments on coffee estates. END OF QUOTE.

The terrific information that the jungle tribes escaped from their age-old tormentor does not hold much attraction for the current-day people of India. For, it is a fact that is not very helpful in a feudal languages social system. When the lower ‘he’ (Avan/ Oan) improves, it is possible that this ‘he’ will topple down the higher ‘he’ (Avaru/ Oaru /Adheham).

And again the word ‘European’ is not a tenable one. The word could have been British or English, even though it is possible that other Whites would have also entered into the scene using their white-skin colour to confuse everyone.

This confusion has been a source of woe in those days. When the British West African Squadron patrolled the West African coasts to catch the slaver-ships, the native-blacks could not really make out if they were the saviours or the enslavers.

There were certain tragedies associated with the saving of potential slaves. The Black natives could not differentiate between their saviour and their tormentors. Sometimes, they mistook their British liberators for slave traders; there being a lot of Europeans also in the vicinity, along with the local enslavers.

One time, a young Royal Navy officer by name Cheesman Binstead gave chase to a convoy of canoes on the Congo River, seeking enslaved persons. When he came near to one of the canoes, the people inside simply jumped into the water and met a watery grave. They did this because they thought that he and his companions were slave traders.

When this is the reality, the use of the word ‘European’ as a synonym for ‘Briton’ or ‘the English’ is an act of utter rascality. Continental Europeans might have put up appearances of being British or English. However, that was probably only a very thin veneer. The difference is caused by their native language codes.

QUOTE: Thus in October 1755, the King of Bednur, to whom the rice -exporting port of Mangalore belonged, laid an embargo on grain, because of the ravages committed in his country by a buccaneering expedition under the Mappilla chief of Cannanore. This placed the French at Mahe, the English at Tellicherry, the Dutch at Cannanore, and the Malabar Nayars and Mappillas—the whole community in fact -- in a state of comparative famine. END OF QUOTE.

This famine came as a punishment.

QUOTE: But of real famine in the land there are few records. During the long period in which the Honourable Company occupied the factory at Tellicherry, there is but one record of a real famine.

........On examination of the factory storehouses, there was found to be bare provision for the place for one month, so an urgent requisition was sent to the Anjengo factors for supplies. On the 8th September, there was famine in the land and the record runs that the factory gates were daily besieged by people begging for support. END OF QUOTE.

It is possible that the English Factory did try its best to give solace to the people, even though the word gratitude is not ingrained in their brain. For, every single ideology, gratitude and loyalty is connected to the powerful strings of ‘respect’. Their whole endeavour is to gather ‘respect’.

QUOTE: One meal of rice kanji distributed gratis to all comers daily during this season of the year at many places throughout the district sufficed to stave off actual famine in 1877; the number thus daily relieved aggregated at one time over 40,000. END OF QUOTE.

The English Company administration certainly was taking up a lot of burden. Yet, one might find in the writings of silly writers that every single work done in the subcontinent was aimed at gathering profit for the company’s shareholders in London.

QUOTE: In October 1730, the Tellicherry factory diary records— “The pestilence which has raged for some time among the people of this district being now come to such a pitch, as, with difficulty, people are found to bury the dead, and our garrison soldiers, Muckwas (fishermen, boatmen) and others under our protection being reduced to such extremity by this contagion, so as not to be able to subsist in this place any longer unless relieved by charity, it was agreed to build barracks for the sick and to entertain attendants” to bury the dead.

What the “pestilence” was the records do not give information, but it was probably cholera. A fortnight later requisitions were sent by the factors to Anjengo and to Madras to raise soldiers to supply the vacancies, as the garrison was obliged to do double duty on account of the increasing of the contagion. END OF QUOTE

I remember the time when there was an earthquake in Gujarat around 1999. India has a huge army. Not even a single army personnel was sent for rescue work. The people stuck inside the buildings went on screaming for hours, till at last all sounds ceased. This is what was reported in the newspapers. In the subcontinent, people who are safe are not very much bothered about the people who are doomed.

QUOTE: One has only to attend one of the dispensaries in Malabar, or walk through the bazaars of some of the principal towns, and see the great, amount of people with anæmia, dropsy, and enlarged spleens. These classes of diseases fill our dispensaries —all the result of neglected ague or from repeated attacks of it. END OF QUOTE.

This is one problem with the English colonial rule. They have recorded everything which actually in the subcontinent no one really cares about. If there is terribly poverty in one location, the affluent classes look away. It is not that the affluent classes are wicked or bad. It is just that to converse or communicate with the financially backward classes is difficult, unless there is some way to enforce ‘respect’ from them. If they do not concede ‘respect’, instead of compassion what comes out is hatred and homicidal mania.

QUOTE: The native system of medicine and surgery is based upon the obsolete ideas, apparently borrowed from the Greeks, of the body being composed of fives elements -earth, water, fire, air, and ether END OF QUOTE.

It might not be correct to be judgemental about native herbal cure. Herbal treatment has been a part of all the populations all around the world. In Europe, there was the Western Herbalism in practise. Chinese Herbalism is also much known nowadays. In South America, Africa, other Asian nations etc., this kind of treatment system has been in vogue.

However, when speaking about the Herbalism in the subco