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Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Sultan Tippu, generally known in the vernacular as Tippu Sulthaan or Tippu Saib.

It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!


He was not his father’s favourite. There was another person, whose close association with his father did create sharp envy in him. This individual was Shaikh Ayaz. He was actually a Nair boy of exquisite personal beauty. He became a Muslim under the forced conversion programme of Hyder Ali. See the quote below:

QUOTE: The noble port, ingenuous manners, and singular beauty of the boy attracted general attention ; and when at a more mature age he was led into the field, his ardent valour and uncommon intelligence recommended him to the particular favour of Hyder, who was an enthusiast in his praise, and would frequently speak to him, under the designation of “his right hand in the hour of danger.” . . . .In the conversation of Muhammadan chiefs, a slave of the house, far from being a term of degradation or reproach, uniformly conveys the impression of an affectionate and trustworthy humble friend, and such was Ayaz in the estimation of Hyder. END OF QUOTE.

On his father’s death, Tippu did unsuccessfully try to kill him.

Sultan Tippu have been as much or even more purposeful in seeing to it that the Hindus (Brahmins) and the Nayars are degraded to levels below that of the pariahs and pulayas. And he also wanted to see that the lower castes are relocated on the top scales of the social system.

If the English Company had not been there, in all probability, as of now the Hindus (Brahmins) and the Nayars would have been the lowest of the castes in Malabar. May be in Travancore also, something similar might have happened. Beyond that the Padmanabhapuram Temple would have been plundered and the fabulous wealth stored since antiquity inside the secret chambers inside the Temple would have been literally splattered on the streets.

QUOTE: Among other prisoners taken at the raising of the siege of Tellicherry in 1782, the Kurangoth Nayar, chief of a portion of the petty district of Iruvalinad, lying between the English and French settlements, had ever since remained a prisoner at Tellicherry. ................

The Nayar appears to have been set free, but in 1787 he was seized by Tippu, who hanged him and in spite of French remonstrances annexed his territory to the Iruvalinad collectorship. END OF QUOTE

There are ample contemporary records that attest to the fact that the people on Sultan Tippu’s side were extremely barbarous. See this quote from Travancore State Manual, as to what King Marthanda Varma said about him:

QUOTE from Travancore State Manual: ...........but when he has taken some of my people he has been so base to cut off their noses and ears and sent them away disgracefully. END OF QUOTE.

More or less the same thing is substantiated by James Scurry, an English sailor who had been handed over to Tippu’s people by the French after they had attacked his ship and imprisoned him.

QUOTE: Tippu’s affairs were not well managed in Malabar when he recovered possession of it. The exactions of his revenue collectors appear to have driven the people into rebellion. Ravi Varma of the Zamorin’s house received in 1784 a jaghire in order to keep him quiet, and even Tippu’s Mappilla subjects in Ernad and Walluvanad rebelled. END OF QUOTE.

Tippu’s rule in Malabar might have been just a version of the same old sultry rule in the subcontinent that had continued since times immemorial. Just collect the tax and squeeze the tenants.

QUOTE: On the 25th May 3 1788, the factors at Tellicherry received proposals from the Bibi of Cannanore to take her under their protection ; and her message stated that Tippu had advised her to make up her quarrel with the Kolattiri prince and to pick one with the English. END OF QUOTE.

These kinds affections were mere shifting affections, more or less just to tide over a difficult time.

QUOTE: On Tippu's inhuman treatment of his prisoners, it is unnecessary to dwell. Beginning with the brave Captain Rumley, he had already poisoned, or destroyed in other ways, all whom he thought from their gallantry or abilities would be dangerous opponents in a future struggle. END OF QUOTE.

There are enough and more illustrative eye-witness narrations of these horrible deeds.

QUOTE: Tippu complained bitterly of this evasion, and, on the 25th May, the Chief at Tellicherry had a letter from him complaining further that the Cannanore fort had been looted of everything, “and the said fort made empty as a jungul, and then your troops went away. END OF QUOTE.

This is with regard to the handing over of the Cannanore fort to Tippu by the English Company. The English side simply vacated the place, without waiting for Tippu’s soldiers to arrive. By the time Tippu’s men had arrive, the local populace of Cannanore had more or less looted the fort totally clean.

QUOTE: It was, on July 14th, that the next most important item of news reached the factors. They wished to send an express messenger overland with news of their situation to the Anjengo settlement for communication to Madras and Calcutta. Such messages had heretofore been safely entrusted to Brahmans who, from the sanctity of their caste, had hitherto been permitted to come and go without hindrance. But the factors now learnt that Brahman messengers were no longer safe ; a Brahman selected to convey the message refused to go ; and assigned as his reason that there was “a report prevailing that the Nabob had issued orders for all the Brahmans on the coast to be seized and sent up to Seringapatam.” END OF QUOTE.

This is was the state of the land. The distances are very small in modern perspective. However, no one can move beyond his own homeland without adequate protection. Literally anything can happen.

However, generally Brahmins were safe. Due to their being accorded the highest of ‘respects’.

QUOTE: And on the 20th continuation of the fact was received from Calicut, where “200 Brahmans had been seized and confined, made Mussulmen, and forced to eat beef and other things contrary to their caste.” END OF QUOTE.

It would be quite curious to think as to why they should remain Islam when the terror is over. It is generally mentioned that it is because their own caste would not accept them back. However, there might not be any problem in coming out of Islam and remaining as a different caste.

There might be some unmentioned item about this. The experience of being an Islam would in most probability give these ‘forced into Islam’ persons a lot of worldly experiences beyond the narrow confines of their home. Moreover, the experience in eating tasty ‘forbidden’ food articles would also be too alluring to leave.

QUOTE: First, a corps of “30,000 barbarians,” who butchered everybody “who came in their way next, Lally with the guns ; then, Tippu himself riding on an elephant, and finally another corps of 30,000 men. His treatment of the people was brutal in the extreme. At Calicut he hanged the mothers, “and then suspended the children from their necks.” Naked Christians and Hindus were dragged to pieces tied to the feet of elephants. All churches and temples were destroyed. Christian and pagan women were forcibly married to Muhammadans. END OF QUOTE

That was Fra Bartolomæo’s graphic account Sultan Tippu’s ways and manners in his expeditions.

QUOTE: Parappanad, also "Tichera Terupar, a principal Nayar of Nelemboor” and many other persons, who had been carried off to Coimbatore, were circumcised and forced to eat beef. END OF QUOTE.

In a way these are welcome pieces of information for current-day Muslims. The earlier statements that a lot Cherumar and Makkathaya Thiyyas had converted into Islam would have a very depressing effect on those who wish to connect to the highest classes of people, who they believe are the Hindus (Brahmins) and the Nayars.

QUOTE: On May 27th the Kolattiri or Chirakkal prince began to show his zeal for Tippu’s cause by demanding a settlement of accounts with the factors, and by asking for an immediate payment of one lakh of rupees, for which purpose he sent one of his ministers with orders to remain at Tellicherry till he was paid that sum. The factors were astonished at the demand since the accounts showed that the prince was over four lakhs in the debt of the Honourable Company. The Chief stopped the minister’s “diet money,” invariably paid while such officers remained in the Company’s settlement, and the minister after some demur departed. END OF QUOTE.

This is a very surprising feature of feudal languages. When it suddenly dawns that the ‘revered’ individual or institution is going to slip into ‘no respect’, then the persons who had till then being very submissive will start acting in a dominating manner bordering on rascality.

QUOTE: While these operations were in progress no less than 30,000 Brahmans with their families, it is said, fled from the country, assisted by Ravi Varmma, and took refuge in Travancore. END OF QUOTE.

It transpires that the great warrior class Nayars who are repeatedly mentioned in this book, Malabar, had no stamina for a fight. Beyond that, the tall claims of north Malabar being the homeland of Kalari, the fabulous Marital arts of unknown origin, also stood erased. There was no protection against the hordes that came rushing in from Mysore. The only unwavering entity that stood forth as a protective force was the feeble English Company at Tellicherry.

It should be quite a wonder that individuals who are quite effeminate, soft, detached, reclusive and of feeble sound and utterances could actually form a more powerful protective force than all the semi-barbarians who spontaneously made terrible noises and clamour.

QUOTE: The unhappy captives gave a forced assent, and on the next day the rite of circumcision was performed on all the males, every individual of both sexes being compelled to close the ceremony by eating beef.” END OF QUOTE.

The forced eating of beef might be mentioned again and again as a very repulsive event for the higher castes, especially the Brahmins and the Ambalavasis. Yet, once they experience the Muslim culinary skills, this very repulsive practise might entice them in.

QUOTE: Hereafter you must proceed in an opposite manner ; dwell quietly, and pay your dues like good subjects : and since it is a practice with you for one woman to associate with ten men, and you leave your mothers and sisters unconstrained in their obscene practices, and are thence all born in adultery, and are more shameless in your connexions than the beasts of the field : I hereby inquire you to forsake those sinful practices, and live like the rest of mankind. END OF QUOTE.

These can be claimed to be the great words of a social reformer. However, Sultan Tippu was a conqueror and raider. When he did both, the others with him would do all kinds of molesting.

As to liberating women (or is it confining women?), the social communication is much more complicated than can be improved by these kinds of reckless gimmickry.

Nothing that these ‘great’ social reformers did would come anywhere near to what the English administration offered. And that was English education. Even now, not many persons would like to give English education to the downtrodden. For, it will only liberate them to the levels of competitors and degraders. In fact, all the higher castes in the subcontinent knew it then, and all the higher classes know it now, that it is like taking a poisonous creature from the fence and placing it on one’s own shoulder, to allow the lower classes to learn English. For, they will develop and try to attack the higher castes and classes.

QUOTE: However that may be, it is certain from Tippu’s own account, as well as from the factory diary record, that his body was treated with the greatest, indignities by Tippu. He had it dragged by elephants through his camp and it was subsequently hung up on a tree along with seventeen of the followers of the prince who had been captured alive. END OF QUOTE.

This is about the fate of the Chirakkal Prince who was till the arrival of Sultan Tippu’s ravaging team had been very hostile to the English Company. He had to come seeking the protection of the feeble English Company at Tellicherry.

In James Scurry’s account of his subordination to Sultan Tippu, there are many more terrible events described in a very stark manner.

QUOTE from James Scurry’s account:

Now followed the fate of the poor Malabar Christians, of which I shall ever consider myself the innocent cause, in reading what was written by General Matthews, as stated in the preceding note. Their country was invested by Tippoo’s army, and they were driven, men, women, and children, to the number of 30,000, to Seringapatam, where all who were fit to carry arms were circumcised, and formed into four battalions.

The sufferings of these poor creatures were most excruciating: one circumstance, which came under my immediate notice, I will attempt to describe. When recovered, they were armed and drilled, and ordered to Mysore, nine miles from the capital, but for what purpose we never could learn.

Their daughters were many of them beautiful girls, and Tippoo was determined to have them for his seraglio; but this they refused ; and Mysore was invested by his orders, and the four battalions were disarmed and brought prisoners to Seringapatam. This being done, the officers tied their hands behind them. The chumbars, or sandalmakers, were then sent for, and their noses, ears, and upper lips, were cut off; they were then mounted on asses, their faces towards the tail, and led through Patani, with a wretch before them proclaiming their crime.

One fell from his beast, and expired on the spot through loss of blood. Such a mangled and bloody scene excited the compassion of numbers, and our hearts were ready to burst at the inhuman sight. It was reported that Tippoo relented in this case, and I rather think it true, as he never gave any further orders respecting their women. The twenty-six that survived were sent to his different arsenals, where, after the lapse of a few years, I saw several of them lingering out a most miserable existence.

Some time after our initiation, (about nine months,) many of the mechanics were brought from their different prisons to Patam, and sent to his arsenal, to their different employments; about eighty was their number; they had a tolerable allowance, but were all circumcised. One, whose name was William Williams, effected his escape, but was taken, and treated as the above, with the exception of losing only one ear, with his nose; which was executed before us, as a terror, no doubt, to prevent our attempting any thing in the same manner.

Most of those unfortunate men were put to death; nine of them, including to this office; and such was their brutality, that they frequently cut (or sawed, rather) the upper lip off with the nose, leaving the poor unfortunate wretch a pitiable object, to spin out a most miserable existence, being always sent to Tippoo's arsenals, to hard labour on a scanty allowance.

Two carpenter’s mates, belonging to the Hannibal, Archy Douglas, and another whose name I have forgotten, were hung on one tree, because one of the party, named Flood, a sergeant-major in the Company’s service, to pass away a tedious hour, had been taking a sketch of the surrounding scenery; this was the crime for which they all suffered death! END OF QUOTE

QUOTE: Another conquering race had appealed on the scene, and there is not the slightest doubt that, but for the intervention of a still stronger foreign race, the Nayars would now be denizens of the jungles like the Kurumbar and other jungle races whom they themselves had supplanted in similar fashion. END OF QUOTE.

This is the statement that should be read to the birdbrain who is now campaigning in England among ‘White skinned persons’ that if England had not come to ‘India’, ‘India’ would have been ‘rich’. The damn truth is that he would have been a menial servant in that rich ‘India’ administered by the Cherumars, the Pulaya and the Pariahs. That is the unmentionable truth.

QUOTE: In 1788 the Zamorin was accordingly induced by a promise of the restoration of a portion of his territory to put forward some rather antiquated claims to suzerainty over Travancore. But being disgusted at the forcible conversions which followed the sultan’s advent, he drew back from the arrangement. END OF QUOTE.

The king of tiny Calicut would have drooled over the prospect of being offered the kingship of Travancore. However, on a deeper pondering, at least his family members would have remonstrated at his wavering stance.

QUOTE: Tippu had, unfortunately for himself, by his insolent letters to the Nizam in 1784 after the conclusion of peace with the English at Mangalore, shown that he contemplated the early subjugation of the Nizam himself. END OF QUOTE.

This is in the realm of verbal codes. When he is feeling that he is going to be paramount, his words would become filled with lower pejorative addressing (Nee/Thoo) and referring (Avan/USS) of the other. However, when he does not become paramount, these very words become triggering codes of brooding hatred; that the other man would not be able to sleep in peace until he has been avenged.

QUOTE: Tippu, it seems, was still inclined not to appear as a principal in the attack on Travancore. During the monsoon months, before setting his army in motion, he had sent a message to his tributary, the Cochin Raja, to proceed to his camp at Coimbatore. It is understood that Tippu really wished to avail himself of the Cochin Raja’s name and services in his attack of Travancore. The Raja, however, having the fear of forcible conversion to Islam before his eyes, replied that he paid his tribute regularly, and that he had already paid a visit to his suzerain. END OF QUOTE.

Even though this terror can be very easily attributed to the ‘horrors of Islam’, the fact remains that actually all the purported ‘horrors of Islam’ are connected to the Islamic people being located in very specific location in the virtual code arena that is created, designed and maintained by feudal language codes.

However, this was the social reality of the South Asian Subcontinent, in which some kind of civil behaviour was ushered in by the native-English administration.

QUOTE: General Medows was at this time following Tippu, who, with his superior equipments, was leading him a merry dance, and who was now after leaving the neighbourhood of Tiurchirappalli, plundering, burning and carrying ruin into the very heart of Coromandel. END OF QUOTE.

It is generally mentioned in a most casual manner that the English won on every front due to their superior weapons and knowledge. There is no truth at all in this claim. For, in almost all the confrontations between the English and the native rulers of the subcontinent, the latter had the full support of Continental Europeans. The French being the foremost in this regard. However, such other Continental European nations as the Portuguese and the Italians also did come to their help at various times. For instance, the Mysoreans even had a European regiment and even European commanders.

In terms of weaponry, the Mysorean could have been in a level of higher sophistication. Yet, the English side prevailed at the end. On the Mysorean side, there was always the possibility of backstabbing and treachery. In fact, the moment his father died, one of the first deeds of Tippu was to try to kill his father’s most trusted commander, Shaikh Ayaz.

Read the following narration of what took place.

QUOTE: Directly therefore Tippu assumed the reins of Government on the death of Hyder Ali, he despatched secret instructions to the second in command at Bodnur to put Ayaz to death and assume the government. What follows is thus narrated by Wilks :—

“ Whatever may have been the ultimate intentions of Ayaz at this period, it is certain that apprehensions of treachery were mixed with all his deliberations : he had taken the precaution of ordering that no letter of any description from the eastward should be delivered without previous examination ; and being entirely illiterate, this scrutiny always took place with no other person present than the reader and himself, either in a private chamber, or if abroad, retired from hearing and observation, in the woods.

“On the day preceding that on which the ghauts were attacked, and while Ayaz was occupied near Hyderghur, in giving directions regarding their defence, the fatal letter arrived and was inspected with the usual precautions ; the Brahman who read it, and to whom the letter was addressed as second in command, stands absolved from all suspicion of prior design by the very act of reading its contents ; but in the perilous condition of Ayaz he durst not confide in a secrecy at best precarious, even for a day ; without a moment’s hesitation, he put the unfortunate Brahman to death to prevent discovery ; put the letter in his pocket, and returning to his attendants instantly mounted, and without leaving any orders, went off at speed to the citadel to make the arrangements for surrender which have been related, it may well be presumed that this horrible scene could not have been enacted without some intimation reaching the ears of the attendants, and the very act of abandoning the scene of danger contrary to his usual habits, spread abroad among the troops those rumours of undefined treachery which abundantly account for their dispersion and dismay.”

“He accordingly surrendered to General Matthews the fort and country of Bednur, of which he was the governor, on the condition that he was “to remain under the English as he was under the Nabob (Hyder Ali).”

“Of the unhappy results of General Matthews’ expedition it is unnecessary to say anything. Shaikh Ayaz fled precipitately from Bednur on hearing of the approach of Tippu with the whole of his army, leaving General Matthews and his army to its fate, and his flight was so sudden that he lost the small remains of property belonging to him. END OF QUOTE.

If this be the social situation inside the subcontinent, there is no doubt that the English perseverance would prevail at the end.

QUOTE: The Coorg Raja next renewed his complaints about the boundary in dispute with Tippu, and Captain Murray was in consequence deputed to his country and appointed Resident at his court. END OF QUOTE.

The fabulousness of the English side was that whatever number of persons were appointed in all kinds of location, they were all focused and united on the platform of pristine-England. As of now, this is the greatest drawbacks that England is facing. The social platform has been rapidly been shifting from that of pristine-English and pristine-England to an utter nonsense called Multiculture.

QUOTE: In 1787 Tippu caught and hanged him and annexed his Nad to the lruvalinad Revenue Cutcherry. END OF QUOTE.

That was Kurangott Nayar.

QUOTE: Ponmeri, In the Siva temple is an ancient inscription on a broken slab in unknown characters. The temple is very old. It was destroyed by Tippu’s soldiers. END OF QUOTE.

It is a very lucky thing for Travancore that the English Company was there to protect the kingdom. Otherwise, there would be no one to stop Tippu’s raider from entering the Sree Padmanabha Temple at Trivandrum.

QUOTE: The Mysorean Government continued its payment to church till 1781, when Sirdar Khan, Tippu’s fouzdar, stopped the allowance. But the Vicar raised the revenue from the glebe lands till 1788, when a Brahman named Daxapaya came as Tippu's Revenue Collector of Calicut, and demanded from the Vicar, Gabriel Gonsalves, the church revenues and imprisoned him ; but the Vicar effected his escape with the connivance of Arshed Beg Klhan, Tippu’s fouzdar, and fled to Tellicherry. END OF QUOTE.

The problem with dealing with or having a treaty with the semi-barbarian rulers of the subcontinent was that their actions and administrative policies were more or less based on momentary whims and fancies. The problem here is that in feudal languages, very minute social, body-language and verbal signals can swing a person’s mood and mental dispositions quite violently. In fact, a simple action as sitting down without a due permission or standing with a straight back can bring in a sort of hatred quite near to homicidal mania.

QUOTE: Ferokh. It was planned by Tippu whose intention it was to make it the capital of Malabar, but his troops were driven out of it in 1790 before the design was fully carried out. He compelled a large portion of the inhabitants of Calicut to settle here, but on the departure of his troops they returned to their former abode. END OF QUOTE.

May be he wanted a new city known in history as founded by him.


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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