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March of the Evil Empires!
English versus the feudal languages!!
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
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First drafted in 1989. First online edition around 2000
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Part 2 - Delineation of a feudal language nation
14. A brief page on Kerala

Since I have taken Kerala as a base area to use for the purpose of examples and illustrations, it is good that I do give some historical data about this place. What I give here would be entirely different from the scholastic version of history, and would necessarily keep away from their domain.


When India was formed in 1947, there were two major states in South India. They were the Madras State and the Mysore state. The former was a Tamil speaking state, while the latter was a Kannada speaking state. At the same time, to the southern tip of Madras state, and to its western coastal region, there were two small independent kingdoms, by name Travancore and Cochin. Both were ruled by their respective native Kings. They were independent kingdoms. Yet, it was the British suzerainty in the subcontinent that assured their existence.


Let me mention about the Madras state. It had been a Presidency under the direct rule of the British. At the same time, it should also be understood that even during the British times, the actual local government was run by a native Chief Minister, with an elected legislative assembly to help him.


To the north of the above-mentioned two minor kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin, was a geographical area known as Malabar. This area was also a part of the Madras state. The language of the Travancore-Cochin area was Malayalam. While the native language of the Malabar area was something that can be called Malabari. It is now slowly going extinct. Malabar was a district of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. After the formation of India, Malabar continued as a district of Madras State.


The State of Kerala was formed, after independence, in 1956 on the 1st of November, by joining the Malabar region, with the Travancore-Cochin regions. The major unifying factor was the presence of huge numbers of lower-castes (Ezhava, Chovvan, Paraya, Pulaya, Vadan, Shanar &c.) from Travancore area, who had converted into Christianity. They spread the language of Malayalam into Malabar area. Moreover, their forced occupation and possession of huge stretches of forest lands in Malabar would have become a law and order issue, if Malabar had continued to be part of the Madras State.


The above-mentioned information is not liked by the Christians who belonged to the converted group. They do not like their ancestry to be associated with any lower castes.


In Travancore, the lower castes were severely suppressed for a long time. However, when the English Christian Missionaries from the London Missionary Society entered the kingdom and converted the lower castes, they improved intellectually. However, it was the intervention of the officials from the East India Company (later British-India) from the Madras Presidency that gave much social freedom to lower castes.


The above-mentioned information is not liked by certain lower caste organisations, who claim that it was their agitations that gave social freedom to the lower castes.


NOTE added on the 24th of May 2016: Read 1. Travancore State Manual 2. Native life in Travancore.


Both Malabar as well as Travancore-Cochin had the same kind of social superiors as seen in many other locations in the subcontinent. The Brahmins were on top. There was also the kingly race called the Varmas who were on par with the Brahmins. But then, it was the actual king who held real temporal powers. However, there is an argument that these kings were by ancestry from the Sudra races. It is seen mentioned that many social groups did attain higher castes levels by giving presents and other offerings to the Brahmins, who were the social deciders.


The above-mentioned information would not be liked by kingly races. For, they would be happy to claim that they are from Kshathriya caste of the Brahminical religion (common known as the Hindu religion).


The main serving class of the Brahmin were the Nairs. The link between the highest Brahmin family and a Nair family can be equated to that between the IPS ‘officer’ (royalty of the Indian police department) and a constable. Both the IPS and the constables are quite powerful at their specific locations. The Nairs were also quite powerful at the local village and town-level, as they stood above the lower castes under them.


By ancestry, the Nairs are mentioned as Sudras. Sudras are actually the lowest of the four-caste hierarchy of the Brahmin religion. However, when speaking about the Nair, if at all they do have any Sudra pedigree, its percentage is more or less negligible. For, there was a particular kind of social phenomenon in practise here. It was that the younger brothers of a Brahmin family could have casual marital or mere sexual relationship with the females of the Nair families. It was socially allowed and more or less, promoted.


Currently, most Nairs do not have any lower caste appearance. Even though this is mainly mentioned as due to the presence of Brahmin blood in them, the actual fact would be that in all the small localities, they would be the master class holding modern police constable powers. They can address all castes under them as Nee, Eda, Edi &c. and use derogatory words of reference such as Avan, Aval etc. on them. Even their women would use these words on the lower castes individuals of whatever age.


Nairs existed as a sort of supervisory caste. When the language is feudal, this gives terrific and also horrible powers of addressing to them. They have to maintain their obeisance to the Brahmins. Then they position is assured. However, with the coming of the English rule in Malabar, the Brahmins lost their temporal powers. Then the Nairs revolted in a sly manner against the Brahmanical dominance. They slowly started refusing access to their females to the Brahmin males. However, by that time, the Brahmins were also slowly emerging from their own social and familial restrictions.


In the Malabar area, the traditional language was quite different from Malayalam. This information is not liked by the modern pro-Malayalam sections in Kerala. For, they have not been informed of this fact.


In the Travancore area, the traditional language was actually Tamil. However, this mixed with the local dialects and then added a lot of Sanskrit words, and the language of Malayalam slowly emerged. Most of the words in Malayalam are found either in Tamil or in Sanskrit. However, it does seem that both Sanskrit as well as Tamil had actually loaded on a different base language, which might be the base language of Malabari also.





Nair females (1914): When they address other men and women of lower castes with a Nee or Inhi, without the other side being able to reciprocate in the same manner, the latter would feel the degrading codes spreading over their body. Picture: http://pazhayathublogspotin/


The above-mentioned information that they are having Sudra ancestry would not be liked by the Nair. They go around claiming in all places that they are Kshathriyas.


Malabar region consisted of two distinctly different locations. They can be called the North Malabar and the South Malabar. Till the advent of the English rule in Malabar, both these locations were totally separate. A river by the name Korapuzha was the boundary between these two locations. In those days, the people of North Malabar had a sort of superiority complex with regard to the people of South Malabar.


The Nairs of North Malabar did not allow their females to marry into South Malabar Nair families. In fact, if anyone did it, they would be ostracised from the caste and family.


The next in line caste in Malabar was the Thiyya caste. Actually there are two different and separate castes known as Thiyyas in Malabar. In the north Malabar, the Thiyyas are Marumakkathaya (matriarchal) Thiyyas. Family property moves along the female line.




Thiyya women who came under the Nairs in the social hierarchy. The huge burden of being under the Nairs, who themselves were under a number of layers of social hierarchy can be seen in their demeanour. Ethnographically speaking, the oppression by the feudal language suppressive words would be felt more by persons who are not mentally willing to bear it. That is, it would be felt more by an IPS officer who has been addressed in the pejorative words by a constable, than by a menial worker addressed thus by the constable. Picture: Castes & tribes of Southern India by Edgar Thurston


In south Malabar, the Thiyyas are the Patriarchal (Makkathaya) Thiyyas. Family property moves through the male line.


In those days, the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas (north Malabar) did not allow marital relationship with the south Malabar Thiyyas. In fact, they treated the southern Thiyyas with disdain.


However, both came under the verbal thraldom of the Nairs, who could and would use derogative words like Inhi, Oan, Oal, Yentane, Yenthale, Aiyittingal etc. about the Thiyyas. So from the Nair perspective, both were same people. However, the North Malabar Thiyyas winced under their comparison and imposition of equality.


North Malabar Thiyyas do have a tradition that they are the descendents of people who came from some area in Kazakhstan.


Most of the Thiyyas over the centuries have ended up as lower-caste labour classes connected to the coconut tree climbing and tending. However, in North Malabar, where the English rule bestowed much quality improvement for the Marumakkathya Thiyyas, the modern Thiyyas would not like to be equated with the lower labour classes. They would mention evidence that North Malabar Thiyyas did have illams and aristocrats among them in days of yore.


To this extent, the above-mentioned information would not be liked by the Thiyyas, both southern as well as northern.





Chovvan. Picture: Native life in Travancore


In the Travancore area, the main caste that came just below the Nairs was the Ezhavas and associated castes. They are mentioned as people who came from Ezham or Sri Lanka island. Since whoever came to this location and ended up under the Nair castes were treated as labourers by the Nairs.


Since the English rule was not there in Travancore, the Ezhavas did not get the social liberty that had arrived in British Malabar. In that, they were not allowed to wear decent cloths or get access to education or the right to get government jobs under the king. It so happened that in the immediate aftermath of the creation of Kerala in 1957 by amalgamating Malabar with Travancore-Cochin state, the state administration saw the influx of a lot of English speaking incorruptible officer class of people from Malabar coming to Trivandrum.


Among them were the Thiyyas of Malabar, apart from other castes. The Ezhavas insisted that these Thiyyas were actually Ezhavas. Thiyyas, especially the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas objected to this. They argued that they are not Ezhavas. To a limited extend, the Makkathaya Thiyyas of South Malabar did not have much problem with being identified with Ezhavas. However, the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas of north Malabar were totally against being branded as Ezhavas.


The above-mentioned information would not be liked by the Ezhavas.


With the slow degrading of official standards, the earlier mentioned English-speaking Thiyyas slowly vanished from the administration. Moreover, Thiyyas also demanded lower caste reservation for jobs, which they saw was being given to Ezhavas. This led to a total upside-down tumbling of Thiyya features. Instead of high quality Thiyyas arriving inside the government jobs, totally unfit, no-English knowing, feudal-minded Thiyyas became the Thiyyas holding government jobs. There was no location of correspondence between the English-speaking Thiyyas in the government services and the Thiyyas who got government jobs via caste based reservation to government jobs.


The above-mentioned information would not be liked by the Thiyyas in government service, who got in through caste-based reservations.


Apart from all this, there is another history connected to the Thiyya – Ezhava dispute or amalgamation. That is connected to a Temple constructed in Tellicherry by an Ezhava leadership. It was part of a concerted conspiracy. This is a lengthy item. I cannot go into that. However, what can be mentioned is that there are a lot of manipulations in what is understood as history. [Tellicherry was once the Sub-divisional headquarters of Malabar district administration].


The above-mentioned information would not be liked by all or some of the caste members. Depends.


Below this tier of castes, there were other more lower castes, who were maintained in their respective lower statures by the castes immediately above them. This included castes like the Pulaya, Paraya, Vannan, Malayan etc.


They had actually lived in deep penury, in social conditions similar to slavery. But no chains were used. For, the language structure was so powerful that they were mentally indoctrinated about their own inferiority, that they would never even contemplate about being equal to any senior caste member. They were the classes that had suffered the most intense suppression in the class hierarchy. They include the etc.


When Queen Victoria* banned* slavery in the British Empire, and the order was enforced in all the places under the direct British rule, all over the world, and those under their suzerainty, it had its impact here also. Much legislation freeing the slaves were passed in the Madras Presidency and also in the Travancore-Cochin kingdoms.


The ethnographic information that needs to be mentioned here is that many of these lower individuals from the lowest castes have converted into Christianity. After moving to the Malabar regions, they have occupied and cleared many hectors of forest lands. As of now, they are living a middle class to affluent class lives. They do not bear any lower caste personality. For, they have been transported from the language code location where they were at the butt end of the feudal suppressive indicant codes, to the higher levels, where the verbal usage to many of them are of the Brahmanical levels. Once the hammering of the words was removed, the personality enhancement in them was phenomenal.


Many of them are not entitled to any caste-based reservations for government jobs or for higher education. Yet, they have not shown any backwardness due to this. In fact, there may be many persons from this group who are senior government ‘officers’. And some of them have even become central government ministers.


The above-mentioned information would not be liked by the Converted Christians of Kerala.


The lower caste individuals, who did not convert when the English Missionaries were doing it, missed the opportunity for personality enhancement via social improvement. Even though, they have caste based reservation for jobs and education, they have not been able to erase the lower-caste branding. But then, many of them might be financially quite rich. For government salaries and other perks are of the astronomical levels. Beyond that not many would refuse to extract a bribe, if they can.


The above-mentioned information might not be liked by the Scheduled Castes.


Converting into Christianity now does not give the same effect as that of converting into Christianity when it was done by English Missionaries. For now, conversion just means moving into the command of another feudal language speaking leadership. For, the Christian evangelists who promote it speak feudal Malayalam.


Now, there is this bit of information also to be mentioned. All castes below Nairs are not actually Hindus. Hindu religion is the Brahminical religion. Till around the beginning years of the 1900s, castes in Kerala below Ambalavais were not allowed to enter the Hindu temples. Nairs also were not Hindus. They were not allowed to recite or study the Vedas or to pray to Hindu gods. The Amabalavasis were allowed entry into Brahmin temples for doing the various work inside.


All the non-Brahmin castes did have their own deities and other spiritual traditions. However, due to them having a low opinion about themselves, the lower castes aspired to get connected to the spiritual traditions of the socially superior castes.


The above-mentioned information would not be liked by the Hindu communal parties and organisations.


The Ezhavas are mentioned as traditionally praying to their ancestral deities, Madan and Marutha. However, most Ezhavas seems to have ditched their ancestral deities, and got into the Hindu bandwagon.


The above-mentioned information would not be liked by the Ezhavas.



As to the north Malabar Thiyyas, they have their traditional gods like Muthappan. However, as of now, they have also mixed their traditional practises of worship with that of the Hindu (Brahmin) traditions.


In Malabar, before the coming of the Engish-rule public education, entry into government jobs under the small-time kings was barred to the lower castes. However, the coming of the English rule changed the situation. During that period, a lot of social upheaval took place in the Malabar area. The English rule introduced English education, by which for the first time, the educated lower castes could contemplate a level of equality with the superior social classes. For, in Malayalam, it would have been near impossible to understand how a lower caste man is equal to a higher caste man. A communication with equal stature would have been totally impossible.


Many Thiyas, mainly from the Cannanore and Tellicherry areas went in for good English education, and later entered into the public service in a wide range of levels of positions.


At the same time in Travancore-Cochin areas, where the rule of the native Kings continued till the formation of India, the lower castes could only dream of these achievements of the lower castes of Malabar. It is possible that they did not dream of such things, as very few people would have known much about the Malabar realities, it being a different state, with not much administrative or social connection. In fact, till around 1980s, the common man in Malabar had only very limited information on Travancore areas of their own state.


Now speaking about south Malabar, there is a very heavy bit of history connected to the Makkathaya (Patriarchal) Thiyyas there. When both south and north Malabar locations were joined together into one single district by the English rule, a lot of social changes perched upon the region. Before this amalgamation, both locations were under the rule of tiny kings and small-time rulers. The Makkathaya Thiyyas were under the social and language code suppression of the higher caste Nairs and the Hindus (Brahmins). In the ensuing political freedom that had come upon the location, many of these lower castes converted into Islam. Whereupon they lost most of their language-code based mental inferiority. It then created a lot of brooding animosity in them against their former tormentors, the Nairs and the Hindus (Brahmins).




These people were addressed as Inhi by the Nairs and above. The Nairs were address as Inhi or Nee by Brahims. So there is a definite stronger hammering on the individuality of the Thiyyas. Beyond that, there comes an element of mutual back-stabbing competition among the the downtrodden to appear to better than his fellow man, in the eyes of the higher man.


This brooding mood culminated in a huge communal clash in the region. It is generally mentioned that the Muslim side was very brutal in their vengeance. However, the fact remains that the actual fighters on the Muslim sides would be the just converted to Islam people from the Makkathaya Thiyyas.


It is quite possible that the other populations including the non-converted Makkathya Thiyyas would have stood by their master class, the Hindus (Brahmins). They would have attacked the Muslims also in revenge. Whatever the minute incidences, the English administration set up Special Police force to deal with the communal clash.


The communal clash was crushed by the police force. Many of the rioters were packed off to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It is said that after the formation of India, many of these convicted were re-defined as freedom fighters. The communal clash itself was historical doctored as a revolt for freedom. The families of these ‘freedom fighters’ were made eligible for freedom fighters’ pension.


The above-mentioned information would not be liked by the some populations in the mentioned locality.


When the northern and southern areas were amalgamated and made into Kerala, there was a mixing of bureaucracies. A lot of senior bureaucrats of Madras State entered into Kerala State service, at an appropriately higher level. These persons were good in English and stood in marked difference to the bureaucrats of South Kerala. For the latter were coming from a Malayalam dominated feudalistic bureaucratic culture, different from the Malabar bureaucracy.


Now, from this premises I want to go into some level of inference. It is generally seen that persons who enjoy a higher social class status in India, do show a markedly different physical features, facial expressions and postures, from that of the person who lives in a lower social class. This is a fact, and also a contention of my postulates on language codes.


For the purpose of study, I am taking the case of two castes of Kerala. That of Marumakkathaya Thiyas, and that of Ezhavas. Both were of comparable social levels, though the former was matriarchal, while the latter was patriarchal. It was observed, (by me), that the English speaking thiyas (during the British times, and in the years immediately following the British rule) who occupied higher government jobs did have a very liberated physical looks. They stood with a sort of unhindered dignity, and by complexion also, they seemed more lighter. This was not a common feature of all thiyas, for they in their feudal social system did have to be obsequious to a lot many other castes. That is, the English educated, Thiyas stood in noticeable difference to the non-English educated Thiyas. At the same time, it may be remembered that the Thiyas as a whole enjoyed much more social status in Madras state, during the English rule. Again, I must stress that the non-English educated Thiya, did maintain a certain level of crudeness in his common demeanour.


In 1956, that is, around 9 years after the formation of India, Kerala was formed by taking the Malabar district from the Madras state, and clubbing it with the Travancore-Cochin state. Many Malabar officials moved to Travancore areas. When the Thiya officers were posted in Travancore areas, the local populace found a class of persons, who though declared to be equivalent to the Ezhavas, but of definitely different demeanour.


This created a general talk that the Thiyas were a class that has inbred with the White men (supposedly British}. It is true that there were some families who did have British blood in them. However, this was not the case with the majority of Thiyyas who did improve through English education.


Actually there were a lot of other castes in the higher bureaucracy of Malabar service. All of these English-educated bureaucrats did exhibit certain common features, which were in contrast to that of the Travancore-Cochin bureaucrats. They communicated between themselves with a liberal dose of English, and even their communication with their junior staff was with a sprinkling of English words and usages. Many of them addressed their colleagues by their name, even if there was a slight difference in their positional status. They communicated fast between themselves to get their bureaucratic duties done. Most of them were honest to a fault. Had a feeling that they were really Public Servants and not Public Masters. Charges of corruption, nepotism, manipulation etc. could very rarely be attributed to them. Yet, it is possible that actually they were not innately noble in thoughts or deeds, other than from a sort of fixation forced by their thought process in English inside their work area.


When India was formed, many castes were declared backward and very backward, and they were given reservations in getting public jobs, and in getting seats in educational institutions and professional courses like Medicine, Engineering etc. Among them, the Ezhavas also got reservation. When Kerala was formed as a state, the Thiyas found the Ezhavas enjoying reservations in Public appointments, and in educational institutions, while they had to compete in the open merit. This created a hue and cry, and the Thiyas were also given reservation.


Within a few years of time, the newer generation started getting into the retirement vacancies in government jobs. These people came from the Non-English background. They were very much cocksure of their rights. They had an understanding in Malayalam that they were the Public Masters and not the Public Servants, of yore. In demeanour also, they did exhibit a remarkably stunted physical expression, with a heavy bearing and deliberate slowness of movement that is required to induce a feeling of reverence in the general public. They used the word Saar liberally to their seniors and colleagues. They expected that word and along with the connected deep, deferential obsequiousness from the common man. Not even a bit of argument, from the ordinary man was liked or tolerated. For, they would claim with a grotesque wretchedness that they are officers, and hence above the limits of such intrusions.


These observations are mine. There are means at my disposal to prove my contentions.