William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
The takeover of Malabar
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Now coming back to the book, Malabar, it can be mentioned that the following groups of persons were hell-bent on connecting the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas of north Malabar as well as the Makkathaya Thiyyas of south Malabar to the Ezhavas of Travancore kingdom:
1. Nayars of Malabar
2. Subversive elements in the Thiyya Community
3. The Christian Church of the converted Christians of Travancore, operating in Malabar.
To understand the aspirations of the Christian Church of the converted Christians of Travancore, there are basic ideas that have to be understood. It requires some bit of foundation building. For, it would require the visualisation of the local history from new framework.
As of now, everyone speaks of ‘Kerala’ as if it was the original conceptualisation of all ‘Malayalis’ who lived in a location commencing from Manjeshwar in the northern tip of Kerala to somewhere around Balaramapuram, at the southern tip of Trivandrum district. However, the fact is that this visualisation of a geopolitical area is just the creation of a concerted education and indoctrination. Actually when I first moved to Alleppy in the year 1975 from Malabar, it was literally like going to a neighbouring state. The people looked totally different. They spoke a different language. And for the same words in Malabar language, there was a totally different meaning in Malayalam.
In fact, I remember having a very heated argument with one person with regard to the word ‘Mappilla’. He very categorically said that it meant ‘Christian’. However, to me this mention seemed quite unacceptable. For, in Malabar, a ‘Mappilla’ was a Muslim (of Malabar).
As of now, the population has mixed and the newspapers, the cinemas and the radio broadcast etc. have established a Malayalam state called Kerala.
When the book Malabar was being written, there was no Kerala. However in the various textual wordings, one can see someone’s hand inserting ‘Kerala’ all over the location. It was as if someone wanted to change everything and create a state called Kerala. There is no historical evidence that can categorically state that such a kingdom had existed in any time in history, that was positioned right from Manjeshwar to Balaramapuram.
It is historically a impossibility. For, the Travancore antiquity is Tamil. While that in Malabar, it was a language that I would like to call as Malabari now. For, actually the name of that language could have been Malayalam. And it might have had a script, which is currently taken over by the new language of Malayalam. These inputs of mine are mere impressionistic ideas, for which I do not have any documentary evidences. However, from my acute understanding of how the people of this location manipulate history to accommodate their own interests, I think there might be some veracity in what I mention.
Just to understand what I am trying to convey, look at this map of the States of India, just after the nation was created.
The brown location at the south-western end is the Travancore-Cochin State. All around it is the Madras State. Just north of the Travancore-Cochin state was the Malabar district of the Madras state.
To come up with a fake history that the Travancore kingdom was close to the Malabar location is some sort of nonsense. In those days, travel was quite difficult. Malabar was thick jungle in most places. Even in the place where I am currently residing, that is Deverkovil, way back in 1966, when we first came there, there was no proper road. The place was sparsely populated. The terrain was not plain. It was totally uneven landscape with all kinds of blocks to travel; thorns, huge stones, varying levels of land &c. See these image here. The place was somewhat like this:
However as of now, everywhere good roads have come. The place is filled with people and houses.
In the Native Life in Travancore, Rev. Samuel Mateer does very graphically mention the problems faced by the lower castes like the Pariahs, Pulayas, Shanar, Ezhavas etc. who had converted into Christianity. It would be quite an erroneous idea that they converted due to any love or understanding of Christ or Christianity. The most fundamental attraction was that the evangelists were speakers of English. That itself was a very powerful allurement. For, when speaking with persons who speak English, it is a very commonly felt issue that the issue of degrading of human personality is not there in the verbal content.
This point is not known to native-Englishmen. However, on the contrary, they would get to feel the tremulous splintering and degrading of human personality that the feudal language speakers convey in words, facial demeanour and eye-language. If they, the native-English, are not properly shielded from its negative effects, they would literally try to keep a distance from the speakers of such satanic languages. However, this is again a problem. For, the satanic language speakers can quite easily define their action as ‘racist’. The whole scenario is quite curious and funny. The villains appear in the attire of great humanists! And the people of innate refinement appear as villains.
The local Sudra / Nayar people had given proper warning to the evangelistic that the lower castes, especially the slave castes were not fully human being, and more or less only semi-humans or half animals, or human beings with their mental facilities not fully developed. However, the evangelistic went ahead with their work. Actually in certain totally interior areas like that of Kottayam (north of Trivandrum), persons like Henry Baker and his wife, I am told, did stay there and set up schools for the despised classes.
The missionaries improved the status of the individuals who had converted to Christianity. They were made to learn to read and write the local language. I think, it was then that the missionaries started improving the local language or creating a new language. From Native Life in Travancore, it is understood that there were many languages which the lower castes used. Some of them were not understood by the higher castes. However, the slave populations had been maintained over the centuries as sort of cattle.
These lower castes soon improved in their personality aspect quite remarkably. However, due to the severe feudal content in the language/s, it was not quite easy to erase the various non-tangible social communication boundaries. The Ezhava converts absolutely refused entry to the pulaya, pariah &c. lower caste converts into their churches. They were frightened that if they went down to the levels of the lower castes, their social equation with the Nayars would be dismantled.
This is not a very difficult issue to understand. Look at this illustration:
Among the clerks in an office, there is much fellowship. The menial workers in the office address the clerks as Saar and refer to them as Saar. One of the clerks starts moving with the menial workers to the extent that they start calling him by his name, and he starts addressing the senior-aged persons of the menial workers as Chettan (respected elder-brother). They start treating him as one among them and address him with Nee and refers to him as Avan. It goes without saying that the other clerks would soon like to distance themselves from him.
Some of the converts soon became teachers amongst themselves, in the schools started by the Missionaries. This is a very great social elevation. For, they become some kind of Saar or Chettan (both titles of ‘respect’). It is a very curious situation. Persons who would have been treated like dirt are now in charge of establishments which were qualitatively better than most establishments run by the higher classes. For what was reflected in these lower caste establishments were a minor reflection of the England, in its native-Travancore form.
Here again, there is nothing for others to rejoice. For, these ‘teachers’ would set-up feudal hierarchical set-ups, in which they were the ‘Saars’ and ‘Ichayans’. And the others would arrange themselves below them in a ladder-step manner as Saar (highest You) – Nee (lowest you) arrangement. If any outsider tried to up-set this hierarchy, they would be treated with an immensity of rudeness. This rudeness would be of terrific content, because the population was innately lower caste.
A lower caste man using the word Nee word would have a terrific hammering effect, much more powerful than when a higher caste man uses it.
If the protective umbrella of the English administration from Madras Presidency was not there over them, it is quite easy to understand that all these great ‘teachers’ and ‘Ichayans’ would have been caught by their collars, addressed as Poorimone, Pundachyimone etc. (or some other profanity that would be effective on the lower castes – for many of the profanities that could hurt a higher class man might not have any effect on a lower caste man), tied up in bullock cart and taken to the public square. They would be nailed to the trees in the location. That was a usual practice done to the lower castes who tried to be too smart. In fact, Velu Tampi, who had been a Dalawa for a short period of time used to practise this art quite frequently during his tenure. Pazhassiraja in Malabar also was a practioner of this art.
The next point is that the lower castes were still the slave populations of the upper classes. They were not allowed to walk on the public roads. See this quote from Native Life in Travancore:
The children of slaves do not belong to the father’s master, but are the property of the mother’s owner. In some places, however, the father is allowed a right to one child, which, of course, is the property of his master. This succession is by the female line, in accordance with the custom of the Nayars, the principal slaveholders of the country.
“A great landlord in a village near Mallapally has nearly 200 of them daily employed on his farm, while three times that number are let out on rent to inferior farmers. The slaves are chiefly composed of two races — the Pariahs and the Puliahs— of whom the latter form the more numerous class.”
Further interesting details are supplied in the same periodical for February, 1854, in the form, of questions and answers, as follows : —
“Why do you not learn?”
“We have no time — must attend to work by day, and watch at night, — but our children teach us some prayers and lessons.”
“What are your wages ?”
“Three-quarters of an edungaly of paddy for adults over fifteen years of age, men and women alike.”
“What are the wages of slaves in other districts ?”
“Half an edungaly, with a trifling present once a year at Onam.”
“In sickness, is relief given by the masters ?”
“At first a little medicine, but this is soon discontinued. No food is supplied.”
“What is your usual food ?”
“Besides rice when able to work, often only the leaves of a plant called tagara (Cassia tora) boiled; and for six months the roots of wild yams are dug from the jungle.”
“How do you get salt?”
“We exchange one-sixth of our daily wages in paddy for a day’s supply of salt”
“And for tobacco ?”
“We give the same quantity for tobacco.”
“How do you do for extra expenses as weddings, &c. ?”
“We borrow, and re-pay at harvest time, when we get extra gleanings.”
“Are slaves sold and transferred to other countries, or to distant districts?”
“Four days ago we saw a man and woman and two children brought for sale.”
“In your neighbourhood, are wives and children separated from the father by these sales?”
“This sometimes occurs — the Wattacherry Syrian Christian family have four slave women, who had been married, but were compelled to separate from their husbands and to take others chosen for them by their masters.”
“Are slave children brought for sale?”
“About six months ago two children were brought and sold to T. Narayanan : the relatives afterwards came to take them away, but the master would not suffer it.”
“Are slaves sometimes chained and beaten?”
“Not now chained, but sometimes beaten and disabled for work for months.”
“In old age when disabled for work what support is given?”
“No pension or support of any kind.”
“How are children paid?”
“Not having proper food, the children are weak and unable to do hard work, therefore they are not paid any wages until they are fifteen years of age; they are not even allowed to attend the mission school, if their masters can hinder it.” END OF QUOTE.
There is something that is missed out in the above quote. A slave cannot answer such queries at this level of intelligence usually. The word Nee (lowest you), will erase much of his or her human qualities; because at his or her level of existence, this word Nee has the power of a terrific hammer.
The above scenario is not actually connected to the caste system. It is part and parcel of the feudal language social design.
Now, the question is when the lower castes are given education and made to improve, what is to be done with them? This was the actual crucial point that led to the takeover of Malabar by Travancore population.
The Christian Church of the converted Christians does seem to have a number of representative establishments or supporting establishment in the English-ruled Malabar. The English East India Company had prohibited all kinds of Christian evangelical missionary work inside the locations under its administration. Due to this, there was no conversion work anywhere in British-India. However, in Travancore, London Mission Society was able to conduct its work, with proper authorisation from the king’s / queen’s family.
However, the traditional Christians, the Syrian Christians, who had their own versions of claims to fabulous social status in yesteryears, were not quite happy with this new development which could really test the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith in them. In the feudal language situation, it is inconceivable that they would allow the lower castes to come on par with them socially. The solid fact is that no sane person from the subcontinent would dare to uplift a downtrodden population or person. For, the moment he or she gets a upper hand, the word codes would change.
It is a matter of ‘Avan’ (lowest he /him) becoming ‘Adheham’ (highest He / Him) and the traditional ‘Adheham’ turning into an ‘Avan’. This terrible information is not known to any native-Englishman even now. That is why England is slowly rotting.
With the establishment of Christian schools and other things there under the auspices of the various Christian churches in Malabar, it is possible that at least some of the converted Christians relocated to Malabar. Some could have become pleaders in the courts of Malabar. In fact, they would have sort of become included in the ‘educated’ folks of Malabar. I have no direct information on this. The issue is that a solitary converted Christian in Malabar was not actually alone. He had behind him a huge framework of the Christian establishment where he was at home.
This would have given a real personality enhancing experience for populations which were treated as despicable dirt in Travancore. Just cross over to Malabar and then they are in formidable positions.
However, there is this information from my own ancestral family in Tellicherry way back in the 1950s. A midget-sized, dark and grotesque looking young Christian from Travancore got connected to the household. He managed to infatuate one of the young females who was quite fair and of discernible beauty. From a very solitary perspective of human looks, it is quite inconceivable how he could manage this.
However, from a wider perspective, there are certain information that comes into my mind. The female was an educated Marumakkathaya Thiyya individual. What can an educated Thiyya female do in the social set-up? She cannot work in any of the local native establishment without losing the quality she had acquired via the English education. For, if she ventured for that, she would be quite easily addressed as Inhi and referred to as an Oal.
This is a very vital information. If the right codes of verbal respect are not forthcoming, individuals will refuse to come out of their houses, if they feel that they are of some kind of refinement. In fact, this information could explain the phenomenon mentioned as White Flight in areas in England occupied by feudal language speakers. The very eyes of feudal language speakers, if devoid of ‘respect’ have a very atrophying affect on the ‘not respected’ person.
Now, coming back to the Christian man, even though he was known as Christian, there was no information that his ancestral links could be to some Pulaya or Pariah population in Travancore. This was a wonderful blackout. Actually even now, not many people in Malabar are aware of this. I should mention that this looks quite mean on my part to reveal it.
However, there is another much wider meanness that can be discerned on the Christian Church side of this group. They have kept this as a seal-secret, thereby more or less pushing the English endeavours to oblivion. Even when a birdbrain is currently creating a ruckus online claiming that Britain owes a huge reparation to India for ‘looting India’, this group keeps silence. This is a kind of unforgivable unkindness and ingratitude.
As to my own ancestral family, they did not seem to have much information on the ‘Nasrani’ from Travancore. In fact, they do not seem to have any information that there are various kinds of Christians in Malabar and Travancore. And the converted Christians are not very keen on mentioning their ancestry. There is no pride in their development from utter miserable conditions.
To know the real state of the misery, I need to quote from Native Life in Travancore:
QUOTE 1: The low-caste people who wish to present petitions are thus kept away from the court, and are made to stand day after day in the hot sun, their heads not being permitted to be covered, or they are exposed to merciless rain until by some chance they come to be discovered, or the Tahsildar is pleased to call for the petition.
QUOTE 2: At Karundgapally there is a new cutcherry; but the officials are mostly Brahmans, so that low castes, and even Chogan Christians, must stand at a distance. The Cottayam cutcherry is an old building and very inconvenient, Chogans being unable to enter, or Pulayans to approach very near. The distance required is about sixty yards. Changanacherry standing close to a temple, is worst of all, as Pulayars are not allowed to approach within about 200 yards, and cannot give their evidence with convenience.
QUOTE 3: and that the most oppressive and degrading of caste rules should still be in force, the lower orders being compelled to leave the public roads and retire to the jungle to allow high caste men to pass unmolested.
QUOTE 4: While some masters treated their slaves with consideration, others greatly oppressed them. If a cow gave them milk they must take it to the house of the master. When bought and sold, the agreement specified “tie and beat, but do not destroy either legs or eyes.” For faults or crimes they were cruelly confined in stocks or cages, and beaten. For not attending work very early in the morning, they were tied up and flogged severely. Awful cruelties were sometimes perpetrated. Cases are known in which slaves have been blinded by lime cast into their eyes. The teeth of one were extracted by his master as a punishment for eating his sugar cane. A poor woman has been known, after severe torture and beating, to kill her own child in order to accuse her master of the murder and get revenge. Even the Syrian Christians were sometimes most cruel in their treatment of their slaves. Rev. H. Baker, fils was acquainted with a case in which a slave ran away from his master, but afterwards returned with presents, begging forgiveness. He was beaten severely, covered with hot ashes, and starved till he died.
QUOTE 5: The social circumstances and daily life of the poor low-caste or slave women, who are obliged to labour for their daily support, and sometimes have nothing to eat on any day on which they remain idle, present a direct contrast to the comfort of these just described, as might be expected from the condition of extreme and enforced degradation in which they have been so long kept, and the contempt and abhorrence with which they are universally regarded. Yet they are human as well as their superiors. They work hard, suffer much from sickness and often from want of food, and generally, like all slaves, also form evil habits of thieving, sensuality, drunkenness, and vice, which increase or produce disease and suffering.
QUOTE: 6: A Zemindar was endeavouring to build up a bund, which the waters carried away as often as he made the attempt. Some Brahmans told him he would never succeed till he had offered up on the bund three young girls. Three, of the age of fourteen or fifteen were selected; the dreadful sacrifice was made, and the ground was stained by the blood of these innocent victims. Mr. Chapman showed me a place where some very large earthen vases have been recently discovered buried in a hollow in the laterite. All the natives without hesitation declare that they must have been the receptacles of human victims when this awful practice prevailed. Near each was another and minor vase, in which, it is said, the knife used in the sacrifice was buried.”
QUOTE 7: Slaves were so little valued by the higher classes, that in cases of repeated and destructive breaches in banks of rivers and tanks they ascribed the catastrophe to the displeasure of some deity or devil; and propitiated his anger by throwing a slave into the breach and quickly heaping earth on him.
QUOTE 8: Rajah Vurmah Kulaskhara barbarously buried alive fifteen infants to ensure success in his wars with his neighbours.
If the reader in interested in getting more details of the slavery in Travancore, he can simply search for the word ‘Slave’ in the PDF digital book : Native Life in Travancore. (published by VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS).
When these persons improved tremendously due to the English protection and security given to them, and through the concerted efforts of the London Missionary Society, many moved to Malabar. What they saw in Malabar was a huge stretch of land that could provide the much required solace for the totally dismembered lower-castes of Travancore.
Once they arrive here, their traditional names as well as caste connections get erased. They are entirely new individuals. Since they have had many centuries of experience in real hardships (not the hardships faked on Hindi films by rich actors acting as poor individuals), they had the mental and physical stamina to withstand the ordeal. However, compared to what they traditionally experienced, it was not any kind of ordeal. They were literally in a blissful location, even when they were in a forest land in Malabar.
However, it must be admitted that the English administration in Madras did not give them any leeway to occupy the Malabar forests, which were under quite effective forest administration.
But then the information was with the Christian church that there was land ready for occupation. This would be the ultimate solution for their followers. It might seem quite surprising that an ecclesiastical organisation would stoop to cunning. The answer is that in this subcontinent, everyone are cunning. This is an information that the English officials in the subcontinent took a lot of time to imbibe. And way back in England, this information has not entered into the thick-skulls of the native-English politicians.
There is one historical event that seems to point to a cunning endeavour of this Christian Church. When I say ‘this Christian Church’, what is being conveyed is that there are actually a number of different Christian Churches in the location. I am not sure how they fare with each other.
And I must admit that I do not know much about any of the Christian Churches other than things which are quite positive about them. However, in this book, I am not taking that route. Instead I am going through the impressionistic path of understanding what took place.
Many years ago, that is around 1975, when we first moved to Alleppy from Calicut district in Malabar, a very quirky anomaly was noticed by me. I was then just around 10 years of age. The peculiar anomaly was in the railway route. There was no direct rail link to Travancore areas. The trains from Malabar went to Mattancherry Railway Terminus. From there another Railway engine was attached to rear of the train and it was pulled by that engine into another route to Trivandrum.
This itself should have look curious in a small state. However, I was too young to understand the issue. The real reason was that two entirely different geopolitical locations had been conjoined. Hence this anomaly.
However, the quirky anomaly that I have mentioned above was not this. It was that the train did not go through Alleppy. From some other station we got down and went by bus to Alleppy. In those days, the coastal areas of Alleppy were full of closed-down huge warehouses. I used to wonder how such huge business concerns could have closed down.
After a few years, on looking at the map of Kerala, I found that a very devious deviation has been designed on the rail route. From Ernakulum, the railway route turned inwards towards the East and moved through Kottayam. And then after touching Kottayam, the route moved back to the coast and reached Quilon. It is a wonder that even to this day no one in the state has even noticed this anomaly.
With this event, the commercial prominence of Alleppy went into oblivion.
Looking back from an impressionistic perspective, the events are very simple to behold. The Kottayam area has a lot of converted Christians. I am not sure if they are the only Christians there. Whether their exact antagonists the Syrian Christians are also there, I am not sure. However, there should have been very meticulously planned endeavour to make the newly planned railway route to wind eastward to touch Kottayam.
Even though these kinds of manipulations look quite difficult to accomplish, the actual fact is different. The railway planning would be done in some office in Delhi. The officials are generally the usual low-class Indian officials. They are ‘Saar’, ‘Adheham’, ‘Avar’ (all great level He / Him) to the common man. Yet, to their own political or religious or social leaders they are just cringing low-guys. A simple mention of this request to the planning office’s clerk, or section officer, or his higher boss would actually be enough to get the manipulation in action. However, it is quite sure that the Church would have higher officials also in its pocket.
In fact, the Church does sponsor political leaders from its own community. It is not the grand and great quality persons who are sponsored. Instead, cringing sycophants and such persons who are willing to offer their great subordination and subservience to the higher echelons of the religious hierarchy are selected for political leadership. The Church would then spend huge amount for concerted people indoctrination via various media including that of the newspapers and radio, and later the TV and films &c. This much I mentioned without any real evidence. However, I have heard occasional private talks from persons who seem to know these things directly. It is from certain inadvertent chance remarks that such information spurts out.
If the above visualisation of what had happened is true, then it can be said that the Church had very cunningly manipulated the whole planning of the newly-created state of Kerala to accommodate the interests of its members. And no one seems to be the wiser.
Even though the members of the Converted Christian Church are the lower castes, it is a foolish information that they were devoid of intelligence. Actually, in most probably, they were kept in social shackles due to the fact they were too intelligent to be let loose. It is like the issue of the immigrant populations from the subcontinent in England not liking to allow native-English men as their lower employees. The Englishmen and women have too much of an individuality to extend subservience to the feudal-language speakers of the subcontinent. So naturally, they will have to be crushed down.
If these immigrant populations are allowed to grow in economic power, in a century or two, they will have the native Englishmen and women treated like dirt and repulsive beings. If all goes well, in a five or six centuries, the descendents of the native-English populations would have the same looks and physical features of the most lower castes of the subcontinent.
It is the population group that extends the most obvious subservience that will be given a position of power and authority. The one which does not do this will be kept on the floor. It is like the case of the Nayars. They, who offered their everything to the Brahmins, were accorded the supervisory ranks. Those who did not make such offers were kept down. This is how the social hierarchy works in feudal languages.
The Converted Christian Church seems to have promoted an idea that the whole of Malabar was actually a continuation of the Travancore geopolitical location. It had a sort of agent in Gundert who, I am told, stayed at Tellicherry. He and many others with him must have served as its willing agents.
As to the native-English folks, they were more or less gullible in everything they did. For one thing, Gundert was not an Englishman or even a Briton. He was a German. Germans are the exact antithesis of Englishmen. They and many other (not all) Continental Europeans have piggy-back ridden on the England address all over the world during the colonial times. It is seen mentioned that many Germans when they travelled in the African continent in the colonial times, used to carry a Union Jack with them. This was so due to the formidable reputation that the Union Jack had in the continent.
From various sources, including the Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, I have come to understand that the German language is feudal. If Mein Kampf is read, the German society that it pictures of those times looks quite similar to the Indian societies of current-day times. Please check my book: MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler A demystification!
There is a lot of mix-up in almost all the colonial times writings. The word European is seen used many times. It sort of confuses the information. When this word is used to include the native people of England and Britain, the word becomes quite mischievous. For this inclusion of the native-English into this word only enhances the quality of the word ‘European’ and atrophies the words ‘Britain’ and ‘English’.
I think Gundert was given some official authority by the English East India Company / British administration in British-India. This was off course a very foolish item to do. That of diluting English refinement content by inserting others, whose only right to be inside this system seems to be their skin colour. Gullible England took a long time to get a hint that White skin colour does not make anyone an Englishman.
The Converted Christian Church in Malabar had to contend with the local languages. The first was the languages of Travancore. It is seen mentioned that certain lower-caste spoken-languages which were not comprehensible to the others. This issue was there in many locations of the subcontinent. Moreover, their level of competence in Malayalam was also quite low. The above two bits of information has been mentioned in Native Life in Travancore.
However, as of now, it is seen that the best Malayalam is available in the locations where the majority populations might be the descendents of these lower castes. Some kind of inconsistency should be noted in this. The location of the populations which had the worst quality of language competence displaying the best language quality.
Here we should come to a location for enquiring about the language history. It would be quite foolish to take up most of the ‘scholarly’ writings of the current-day academic geniuses. For, many of their writings are in the style of ‘We were the greatest’; ‘We were the highest’; ‘We were the best’; ‘We were the most ancient’; etc., just like Al Biruni had mentioned.
Way back in 1977, when I moved to Quilon, and in 1982 when I moved to Trivandrum, I found that the local language had a lot of Tamil influence, which was not there in the academic textbooks. I did come across families where the ‘respect’ word for ‘respected elder’ brother was the Tamil ‘Annan’ and not the Malayalam ‘Chettan’. With regard to this word, I have found two different Christian groups using two different words for this. The Converted Christians were known to use the word ‘Chettan’ / ‘Chettayi’. While certain others were found to use ‘Ichayan’. In fact, I have found that the Converted Christians who relocated to Malabar area being referred to as ‘Chettans / Chettammaar’.
It is my conviction that words in a language can be studied to trace the routes of ancestral movement of a relocated population. I had mentioned this in some of my earlier writings. However, I have found the same idea having been already mentioned a couple of centuries earlier. I think I have mentioned this somewhere in this commentary.
My first query would be how did the lower castes of Travancore come to possess a language called Malayalam, which was actually not the traditional language of Travancore? How did this language become of so huge verbal content in their hands that it is their locations in Travancore that is known to have the correct quality Malayalam.
However, this question would go into a lot of other confusing elements. For instance, there is the word Mappilla. This word in Malayalam means ‘Syrian Christians’. While in Malabari / Malabar, it means Malabari Muslims.
The Malayalam from Kottayam was strongly promoted by a Christian Newsmedia group. However, this group does not seem to be from the Converted Christian group. For the word Mappilla is there in their family name.
Even though I do not have any information, I feel that English evangelists who lived in the Kottayam areas worked hard to create a content-rich language for the lower caste converts. They had their agent in Gundert. He was there in Malabar, more or less transferring whatever could be had from Malabar to this endeavour.
This issue of language has to be dealt in a slightly more detail, depending soley on the books I have mentioned earlier and on this book, Malabar.
That there had been a traditional language in north Malabar quite different from Malayalam is known to me. Even the words mentioned as Malayalam of Malabar are not the traditional words of Malabar.
The traditional language of north Malabar can be detected in the Tottam chollal (sacramental chanting) done in Muthappan and other connected ancient Shamanistic worships. However, it is mentioned in Travancore State Manual that the traditional language of Travancore was Tamil. Almost all the stone inscriptions in Travancore are mentioned as in Tamil and some in Sanskrit. Even the information on ancient Onam celebration was found in a Tamil inscription. Travancore people did have a slightly darker hue to their skin complexion. This might denote a Tamil population link.
Now, comes the issue of the script used in Malayalam. It does not look like it is a new creation, other than the fact that there have been recent changes inserted into it to suit the conveniences of the typography of the letter-press times. Could this script have been taken from Malabar and inserted in the language which they developed and then named it as Malayalam? Actually the word Malayalam seems to have been the name of the language of Malabar.
It is a very curious suggestion. That the name ‘Malayalam’ was actually the name of the language of Malabar. However, could this name have been taken away to Travancore and made the name of the language that was developed with the active support and endeavour of the Christian church.
The actual Malayalam that was spoken in Trivandrum streets in the 1980s was a very crude one with a lot of Tamil words interspersed inside it. However, these words were not seen in the filtered-out written Malayalam language of Travancore.
The next point that comes to my mind is that there is absolutely no mention of the fact that the language of north Malabar (I do not know about south Malabar) was absolutely different. This sounds quite curious. For, even now, when Travancore people come to interior Malabar areas, they find that there are many spoken words which they do not understand. These things can be brushed off as dialect difference. However, that would simply be sidestepping the issue.
For, there is much more in common between Malayalam and Tamil than there is between Malabari and Malayalam. However, as of now, pure Malabari has vanished. Almost everywhere, the traditional Malabari language has been pushed out by Malayalam, through the daily onslaught of TV, Newspapers, Cinema, school education etc. In fact, when people speak Malabari, others seem to guess that they are uneducated low-class people.
This is a very curious turn of events. For, the language of Malayalam is seen to have been developed for the lower castes of Travancore. How this language seems to have become the language of Malayali higher cultural quality seeks many answers.
However, since I am not an expert in any scholarly academic studies, I have to confine my thoughts to what I have seen in the books mentioned before.
But then it is like the case of the dark-skinned, short-statured, a bit English-knowing, Converted Christian man coming to a household in Tellicherry and infatuating a beautiful female. The framework of a powerful church that had its tentacles all over the land, and beyond was a very powerful platform. He stood on that platform. It is a like a Gandhi standing on a stage / platform and promoting himself in newspapers. It makes even a midget look like a giant.
If all the Sanskrit words that have been inserted artificially or inadvertently into Malayalam are removed, the language of Malayalam would look quite slender. And if Tamil words are also removed from Malayalam, what would remain remains to be checked.
However, if Sanskrit and Tamil words are removed from Malabari language (the original language that must have represented the word Malayalam), it is possible that there would not be much content loss in it. But then, there are Arabic words in Malabari. If these are removed, then the original language that subsisted right from the hoary past would remain. If this language can be studied, then the location from where some of the population groups of North Malabar, i.e., the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas, north Malabar Nayars etc. might be arrived at.
There is another curious item that might be mentioned here. It is about the tribal populations of Wynad. In the year around 1982, when I visited a settler-house in Wynad, I found that the tribal females working there as domestic servants there. When seen from a native-English perspective, the profession of a domestic servant might not seem terrible. However, in the ambience of the local feudal languages, they are addressed as the Nee (lowest level you), and referred to as the Aval (lowest level she). The domestic servant has to consistently address the householder with ‘respectful’ You and He, and She. The problem is that if this oppression is not practised by the householders, the servant-maid might use the degrading words to and about them.
This leads to a social climate wherein the servants are to sit on the floor and eat; Sleep on the floor; and use all the untidy parts of the household and attire.
The wider issue about this kind of social pattern is that this is how the Indian officialdom sees the people. They do not like to offer a seat to the common Indian. As to the common Indian, he is innately trained to accept this kind of behaviour from his government and vernacular school classrooms. If such persons are offered a seat, they would literally be uncontrollable. That is the common understanding.
Now, coming back to the tribals of Wynad, I noticed that they had a language of their own which I could not understand. I think that language has withered away and Malayalam has replaced it. Here the issue is that Malayalam is a very feudal and personality-atrophying language, for the lower-placed persons. The government officials who were sent to ‘develop’ the tribals, invariably used the lower-indicant words of You, He, She etc. to the tribal people. This invariably led to the loss of stature among them. Their male populations literally were treated like animals by the officials.
One official of those times mentioned that they used the method of ‘hybridisation’ to improve them. He was laughing out boisterously. Here again there is a problem. The officials of the state government are not fully higher caste persons. There are many of them from the erstwhile lower caste populations who had converted into Christians. There is nothing to prove that these persons were nicer to the tribal populations, who actually were quite similar to their own ancestors (converted Christians).
There are a lot of simplistic ideas on class and class affinity. The truth is that there is no such thing. Every organised group, which speaks feudal languages, are dangerous to other un-united populations. For instance, I was told by an old Converted Christian settler in Malabar forest areas (it was by then filled with grand plantations) that in the early years of the mass migration to the Malabar forests (just after the departure of the English rule from the subcontinent), youths among them would organise in the night hours to converge on isolated tribal hamlets. They would poke their hands through the thatched walls of the huts, catch hold of the female legs and pull the females out.
The issue that these kinds of information brings out is that no political philosophy can explain these things in the light of grand ideas of socialism or revolution or class conflict. For, the settler populations were literally the same tribal kind of populations in Travancore who were improved by the London Missionary Society. However, the wider fact is that with the departure of the English rule in the subcontinent, the administration and concepts of rule of law were a mess in Malabar.
In the Madras State, the incorruptible officialdom (officer-level) collapsed and withered away into desolation. The newer officialdoms were what diffused into the English-ruled areas from the various independent kingdoms. This collapse of a grand and efficient administration led to a state of free for all. The Malabar forests were literally taken over by the Converted Christian populations from Travancore State. The newly formed Kerala administration was more or less designed by the fully corrupt to the core barbarian officialdom of Travancore kingdom. The incorruptible Malabar officialdom literally was pushed into oblivion when British-Malabar became Indian-Malabar. It was some kind of satanic alchemy at work. Gold turning into stinking dirt.
However, the converted Christian’s Church had been quite far-sighted. It had been patiently working on a very detailed manipulation of history.
They had to be ready for an eventuality wherein the forest lands had to be taken-over with impunity. For this, a few fake historical settings had to be indoctrinated in a very casual manner.
That Travancore and Malabar historically were one single geopolitical location.
That the languages of both Malabar as well as Travancore were one, and that it was Malayalam.
That the corresponding castes above the Nayar levels and those below the Nayar levels were one and the same.
It is possible that the takeover of the forest lands of Malabar could have been accomplished without the formation or creation of India. For, even before the creation of India, this occupation of forest lands was taking places in a quite manner in certain locations.
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