NATIVE LIFE IN TRAVANCORE
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
QUOTE: In 1878, a Sudra, a drunken and violent character, happening to pass by the road from the market, saw a Pariah Christian woman, fatigued and footsore, sitting down by the roadside to rest a while. The man assaulted and struck her with his stick on account of her not moving to a distance to avoid polluting him END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The man assaulted and struck her with his stick on account of her not moving to a distance to avoid polluting him. Her son, who was present, defended his mother, giving the assailant two strokes in return, with a stick he had in his hand. This was supposed by the judge, who afterwards dealt with the case, to be “natural enough, though it may be a grievous offence for a low-caste man, especially a Pariah, to strike one of the higher caste, according to the Dharma Sastram.
But it must be remembered that the prisoner was a catechumen of the Mission, and that the necessary results of education and civilisation are a feeling of self-worthiness, and a yearning after independent thought and action. With these, one’s rights as recognized, or not recognized, by Society and by political Government are felt and dwelt upon END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The Dewan decided that this liberty should not be granted, and an order was issued on the occasion of a recent convert, an Ilavan, passing near a temple in the neighbourhood of the Mission House, asserting that “though an Illowan becomes a Christian, he still remained an Illowan,” and directing that converts to the Christian religion should not pass through the public highway, but must pass through the field road, that is the road the jackals go! ................ And after much delay the adverse decision, happily, was overruled by the Madras Government. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: In 1870, again, the Madras Government, urged by a case which had occurred some time previously, in which an Englishman was assaulted for passing through a Brahman village, and his assailants were only punished by a trifling fine, passed a censure on the Sirkar for permitting numerous caste disabilities, urged their removal, and expressed surprise that any class of the public should be excluded from public thoroughfares. They recommended the adoption of the principle that “the public high streets of all towns are the property, not of any particular caste, but of the whole community; and that every man, be his caste or religion what it may, has a right to the full use of them, provided that he does not obstruct or molest others in the use of them; and must be supported in the exercise of that right.” END of QUOTE
The social reforms brought in by the East India Company will not be liked to be mentioned by both the SNDP as well as the communist party. For, they want to claim all social developments and reforms from their side. It is doubtful if both the organisations do have the quality to bring in human refinement, being immersed as they are in feudal Malayalam. Compared to the contributions of the English East India Company, what they did is next to nothing, other than bringing in heirarchy of human levels.
QUOTE: Even Syrians are accustomed to bathe after touching a Pulayan, and will not admit converts from this class. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Pulayars meeting me, cried po, po (“go”) പോ, പോ, and stood still, till I assured them they need not fear me. END of QUOTE
The problem is that if anyone, even the lower caste man, comes up, then this po, po, can change into poda പോടാ!
QUOTE: Another serious evil arising out of the idea of caste pollution is that the covering of the bosom with clothing is forbidden, in order to the easy recognition and avoidance of the lower castes by their masters. This rule of going uncovered above the waist as a mark of respect to superiors is carried through all grades of society, except the Brahmans.
The highest subject uncovers in the presence of the Sovereign, and His Highness also before his god Patmanabhan. This was also the form of salutation even from females to any respectable person. Hence deadly offence was given by persons who had resided for some time in Tinnevelly and Ceylon, or by Christians who were taught in the churches to cover themselves in accordance with the claims of modesty and health.
END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Even to wear the ornaments customary to each caste it was supposed that special permission was required from the Sirkar, showing how the officers kept back the humblest rights of the people; and a notification was published by the Ranee when General Munro was Dewan, and again republished inM.E. 1040 (1864) by Sir Madava Row, that ornaments such as they have been in the habit of wearing according to the custom of each caste might be worn without asking special permission of the Sirkar, or paying a fee for the privilege. END of QUOTE
The effect of Englsh benevolence is seen here.
QUOTE: It will now be seen that the free access of the lower classes of the population to Courts of Justice, Government officials, and fairs and markets, however essential to the public peace, security, and prosperity, is still more difficult of attainment. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: 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. END of QUOTE
The fact is that even now, the lower financial classes are made subject to such humiliations by the officialdom.
QUOTE: 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. This procedure is diametrically opposite to the distinct orders of the British Resident conveyed upon the subject several years ago, abolishing the barbarous practice in the local courts, and we hope, therefore, that the Dewan will take the necessary steps to put a stop to the invidious distinction of caste prejudice and pollution so rampant in public places of business.”* END of QUOTE
Typical Indian official behaviour to the people of this nation
QUOTE: 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. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: One kindly official whom I saw there took great credit to himself for having ventured to propose that witnesses or suitors of low caste should be allowed to come up quite close to the window on the outside, and that a verandah should even be erected for their protection from sun and rain. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Such reforms, though continually pressed on the Sirkar by the British Government and by enlightened public opinion, and from time to time promised and even begun, are carried on slowly and grudgingly, and are still very incomplete. END of QUOTE
The continuous stress made by the English governing class for the social reforms here finds no mention in standard low quality academic textbooks.
QUOTE: Some of the very same classes in Malabar now creditably fill most important appointments. END of QUOTE
It is not the same class or caste, but similar castes and classes. In fact, the English education in Tellichery gave the historical opportunity for the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas to enter the higher levels of the British-Indian bureaucracy. However, they do not have any gratitude for that. Their attitude is same as what the blacks of the US have. Only complaints.
QUOTE: 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. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Over and above the religious aspect of this question there is of course, a strong conservative feeling among high castes, that if a man of low-caste birth were admitted to positions of authority, high-caste men would, on occcasions, have to stand before him, a situation very repugnant to caste prejudice. But this does not present any practical difficulty in British India. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The objection urged against granting to the lower castes admission into the public schools is the trite and futile one that, if they were admitted, the higher castes would at once leave the school. Even so able an administrator and scholar as Sir Madava Row was led astray by this notion. END of QUOTE
It is true that if the lower classes are given entry the higher classes would keep away. Even now, it is the truth, in all kinds of social interactions. In fact, the government officials and teachers cannot bear to be placed on par with the people of the nation. They would find it quite degrading.
QUOTE: But the experiment has been made over and over again in the railways, government service, army, and schools of British India. So long, indeed, as but a few schools are open to all, we may expect the high-castes to hold aloof from them as inferior and stigmatized by the presence of the despised children, and to hold out the threat in other schools, that if the low-castes are admitted they will leave END of QUOTE
QUOTE: But at present the excuse is available to them that they are not yet admitted into the Sirkar schools. Were the low-caste population permitted fully to share in the advantages of government education, the utter helplessness, arising from ignorance, which places them at the mercy of the high-caste employers, inferior officials, and writers of legal documents, would be removed; END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The education of the lower castes would also tend largely to develop the industrial and agricultural resources of the State END of QUOTE
QUOTE: In proportion as we thus show the example native rulers will follow it; and so will the higher castes among the Hindus, who are as much separated from the low-castes as Europeans are from Indians, or more; as much afraid of their rise, and as unwilling to concede liberty and social rights to them as the most intolerant and selfish individuals that can be found amongst Europeans. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The present Minister also, Hon. V. Ramiengar, is generally admitted to be an honest man, firm, prudent, and of great ability, noted for absence of caste prejudices, doing his best to benefit the country, spite of opposition from parties who intrigue against every British-trained administrator. His aim appears to be the public weal, the removal of oppression, and the attainment of efficiency amongst the members of the public service. Officials are sharply looked after; and, of course, those who are set aside through re-arrangement, or dismissed for incompetence, or otherwise disappointed, bitterly complain. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The exclusive caste schools, supported at the public expense, should be opened to all, and a larger proportion spent on primary education for the classes who need it most. In fact, the most serious real difficulty in the way of practical reform consists in the abject condition of the lower castes, who have been kept under and oppressed by the powerful official and landed classes so long, that they are now often content with their degradation, and rarely lay claim to the commonest rights of humanity. END of QUOTE
What is being advocated is social engineering. However, social engineering requires more inputs and maturity than mere mixing of populations. The more refined groups will simply suffer. Social engineering has to be done after understanding the issues in their perfect depth. Abe Lincoln made a mess of US social standards with this kind of social engineering without insight.
QUOTE: As Mr. Porter of Cumbaconam remarked, “A strong official class side by side with a timid and ignorant cultivating class — here is a combination full of temptation to an unscrupulous man, and requiring to be watched with peculiar care.” END of QUOTE
It is not that they are timid, but that the languages has only slot for such existence.
QUOTE: A badly written petition is sometimes rejected by an official on the pretence that “he cannot read it.” END of QUOTE
This is the typical attitude of the modern Indian official also, in his haste to garner ‘respect’ from the harassed public.
QUOTE: By receiving a little education the people will become able to understand the precise nature and extent of their rights, and to claim them. END of QUOTE
Actually even after around 65 years after setting up the nation of India, the people still have not much rights. Or may be giving them more rights can be downright dangerous also. English training under Englishmen would have done wonders here. Instead a joker who came from a very rich family and who had the fortune to study in England, tried to fool the people by some tomfoolery, calling upon them to use loincloth. His name is mentioned as the Father of the Nation by the media and the school textbooks. At the same time, there is no such mention in any statutory books, as to him being a father of the nation.
QUOTE: The privilege of using palankeens in travelling, or at marriages, has long been claimed by some castes regarded as inferior; and a curious case occurred some years ago, in which a wealthy Shanar from Tinnevelly was severely fined for this by some officious subordinates, though the fine was afterwards remitted by the Dewan. In all British India the palankeen is freely used; END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Quite recently, too, it is said, a practice has sprung up in a Court at Nagercoil of insisting upon Christians declaring their former caste, and threatening any who may hesitate to do so with committal for contempt of court. END of QUOTE
Actually in these times, if the Christians can dare to mention their original caste names, they would be entitled to lower caste reservations in jobs and professional college seats. However, it is quite doubtful if they will avail of this. For, a link to a lower caste can be a great disaster for anyone, in the current day to mention only great ancestral links.
QUOTE: Many boats beyond what are required for public necessities are seized, and kept waiting for days. Numbers of coolies are impressed, and sometimes kept,as on the occasion of the visit of the last Governor of Madras, locked up till required to carry His Grace’s luggage, so that they may not run away in the meantime. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: but the question discussed by Mr. Shungoonny Menon is, whether they are descended by birth from the ancient Aryan Kshatriyas, who are reckoned as the royal or military caste of India. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: It is difficult for Europeans to form any adequate conception of the sway of caste and the power of its traditions over the minds of each class of native society — the amount of research bestowed by each to discover local traditions, verbal derivations, analogies in ceremonies or usages, or anything whatever that might enable them to outvie rival castes — the contempt felt for the boasting of others — and the age-long memories of reported or imagined honours once enjoyed by them. END of QUOTE
It is a wonderful delineation of the local habit that still persists. Of ‘us’ being the greatest in everything.
QUOTE: Some Shanars, who ought to have regarded themselves as simply “Christians,” without claiming any merit on the ground of heathen caste, published a pamphlet in 1871, seeking to prove by a variety of farfetched and ridiculous arguments that they once belonged to the Chetry or kingly caste; and in the census of that year some thousands of them in Tinnevelly described themselves as Kshatriyas, in so far falsifying and invalidating the enumeration. And now English writers, unacquainted with this circumstance, are quoting the supposed fact that the converts to Christianity in Tinnevelly comprise some thousands of Kshatriyas END of QUOTE
QUOTE: A curious instance of a kind of fiction, which probably was in more common use in the earlier ages of Hinduism, is seen in the conversion of the border tribes of Manipuri, about a century ago, by a wandering Sanyasi, who prescribed a suitable expiation for their neglect of orthodox faith and practice; and then declared that the whole people were received back into the Kshatriya caste, to which they had formerly belonged. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Now the Zamorin is admitted by all to be simply a Nayar chieftain and decidedly inferior to Cochin. The males consort only with Nayar women : the princes are called Erattu or cow-herd, and they have no ceremony to raise them to caste rank. But Travancore also is admitted by almost every native to be beneath Cochin in caste; and this has, at times, caused some little difficulties as to the forms of courtesy to be observed on public occasions. END of QUOTE
The Royalites of the place also have ancestry problems.
QUOTE: and Cochin, mainly by paying Namburi Brahmans to consort with their females, has won an admitted superiority of caste. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Men are not rarely raised in caste, or restored to its privileges, by penances for expiation, or by largesses to Brahmans; just as some sink by marrying their inferiors, or in other ways. Cheaper and easier methods than bestowing one’s weight in gold have been invented by the Brahmans. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The whole case is put in a nutshell by the learned Bishop Caldwell — “The Aryan immigrants to the South appear to have been generally Brahmanical priests and instructors, rather than Kshatriya soldiers, and the Kings of the Pandyas, Cholas, Kalingas, and other Dravidians, appear to have been simply Dravidian chieftains, whom their Brahmanical preceptors and spiritual directors dignified with Aryan titles, and taught to imitate and emulate the grandeur and cultivated tastes of the Solar, Lunar, and Agni-Kula races of Kings. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Such cruelties operated as an effectual warning, so that conversions from the Sudra caste have since been very few. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: “The idea,” writes Mr. Hacker, “of what were called low-caste people teaching divine truth, which at one time was such an abomination to the orthodox Hindu, is now becoming familiar. It is not an unfrequent sight now to see one of our Christian teachers talking about the highest truths to members of the so-called higher castes.” END of QUOTE
Mr. Hacker has no idea of what power the words Saar, Mash, Aashaan, Guru etc. holds in Malalayalam. Teaching is a technique to become a leader of others. It is tried by almost everyone here to acquire a Sar, Mash, Aashaan, or Guru suffix to their names.
QUOTE: The man who, using the superior knowledge with which he is gifted, would wish to accomplish a deed contrary to caste prejudice, would not so much fear the resistance of his fellow castemen as that of his female relatives. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Owing to the comminuting and insulating action of Caste, the conversion of large numbers of the lower classes in some of our missions, though it will ultimately, through the beneficent action of the Gospel, so raise them in character and social position (as it is already doing) that they will become the really higher classes; END of QUOTE
QUOTE: It happened that, in the early stage of the mission, the lower castes joined first, and in large numbers; and this circumstance of itself proved a hindrance to the higher castes coming in and mixing with them. “Where conversions are made from the lower strata of the Hindu polity in large numbers, great difficulties will arise in getting the better classes to join such rising churches END of QUOTE
Off course, since the church is identified with the converted lower castes, it would be terrible imposition to join them. It will be come a social burden as the lower indicant words in the feudal language will diffuse into the others also, from the lower castes social attribute.
The real Social Reformers
The next issue that should be taken up for discussion can be of a perilous kind. The case of social revoluation in Travancore and Kerala are generally claimed by SNDP and the communist party. However, no one seems to mention the fact that centuries old social slavey and caste based rigidity was not removed by either of them.
Actually in North Malabar, this social revolution was ignited by the English education given to the lower castes such as the Marumakkathya Thiyyas. The main area in this area can be mentioned as Tellicherry. From the Thiyya caste, many joined the British-Indian administrative service. Some of them got into the ICS and there was one man who got into the British Airforce as a fighter pilot. Before that there was one Choorayi Kanarkan who reached up to the level of Deputy Collector.
The nairs, who were the immediate higher caste, had to bear the anguish to face this uprooting of the social discipline. As to the Thiyyas themselves, it is quite possible that many of the Thiyya elders were not quite happy with the turn of events. In that individuals who should have been below them went ahead using English education. As to Choorayi Kanaran, he must have faced a lot of problems inside the officialdom wherein he was a lower caste person. However, he himself would have had the other problem of individuals from his own lower castes improving. Instead of showing them the exact route to improvement, which was to learn English, he would also take pain to contain the upstarts outsmarting issuing. The Thiyya females, who lived with Englishmen in a live-in-together style and had children from them, actually were treated with ‘respect’ by the other Thiyyas, in their presence. However, in their absence they would be mentioned with scorn. This much I have got mentioned by a person who had seen this.
There would naturally be a concerted effort to contain this Thiyya development by the Thiyya leaders themselves. It is from this background that one might be to discern the real reason that an SNDP wing was started in Tellichery and an SNDP temple set up. SNDP was connected to Sri Narayana Guru, who was a Ezhava individual having followers in Travancore kingdom. It is mentioned by the SNDP that Sri Nayarana Guru was fighting for Ezhava social development including the right to public education and public service employment, both of which had been denied to the lower castes in Travancore.
Actually these issues were not in existence in Malabar which was under British rule. At the same time, the Thiyyas of South Malabar did have a social equation with the Ezhavas of Travancore in terms of family system. This setting up of a Ezhava Temple in Tellicherry had the affect of submerging the qualitative stamina of most Thiyyas in North Malabar. And this temple remains as beachhead for Ezhava leadership to assert claims of leadership over North Malabar Thiyyas. The temple more or less promotes a shady kind of idol worship, wherein Sree Naraya Guru’s idol is positioned for the worshippers to come and pay obeisance and prayer.
Now going back to the Travancore kingdom, the fact is that social change came with the insistence of social correction by the East India Company administration based in Madras. And later by the British Crown rule that succeeded it. All the rights that the lower castes got in terms of dressing standards were more or less the legacies of this intervention by the English administrators. However, since Travancore was an independent kingdom, it was not possible for the English administrators to do more. And this situation continued till 1947, when Travancore lost its independence and was forced to join the new nation of India, under the threat of military intervention.
When both the SNDP as well the communist party makes claims, they forget to mention the British administrators who were the real bringers of social change in both Malabar as well as in Travancore Kingdom. Col. Munro is a very much mentionable name. There are others. Henry Coonoly the Collector of Malabar district is another such person. However, by a great paradox he was cut into pieces by the South Malabar lower-caste converts to Islam.
In fact, if the British supremacy had not been in existence in the Indian peninsula, it is quite doubtful if any lower caste man would have been allowed to do any kind of social revolution in his own caste. In fact, Guru Sri Narayana’s life was secured because of British supervision on Travancore.
As to the Communist party, Sri. CP Ramaswamy, the later day Diwan of Travancore did make a desperate attempt to change the nation into an ‘American’ style nation. Even though it is not clear as to what was his aim in this regard, the fact is that this can be conceptualised only by changing the national language into English. In fact, Sir CP was quite good in English. Somerset Maugham has mentioned these words with regard to him, in reference to the occasion he met him:
QUOTE: “He had the geniality of the politician who for years has gone out of his way to be cordial with everyone he meets. He talked very good English, fluently, with a copious choice of words, and he put what he had to say plainly, and with logical sequence. He had a resonant voice and an easy manner. He did not agree with a good deal that I said and corrected me with decision, but with courtesy that took it for granted I was too intelligent to be affronted by contradiction. END of QUOTE
This Diwan was treated as a direct enemy by the communist party, in that they must have feared that he would improve the working class and other suppressed classes. If this happens, then communist party and its leaders lose their relevance. However, in recent times, at least one ‘great’ leader of the communist party in Kerala has his family in the USA. He visited the US, and saw the wonderful ambience. It was only a matter of time, before his son moved into the US.
Other communist leaders’ family members are sure to follow.
Sir CP had incurred the enmity of ruling congress leadership, i.e. Nehru by mentioning very bad opinion about Gandhi to Lord Mountbatten. It is now not possible to say for sure how much this contributed to the killing of Gandhi and also to the murderous attack on Sir CP Ramaswamy.
The next item to mention is the rich heritage of corruption, bribery and official harassment of the common populations of the Subcontinent by the native officialdom. The fabulous difference between British ruled Malabar and the king ruled Travancore was the more or less wiping out of corruption at the higher levels of administration in Malabar. In Travancore, corruption was always a way of life.
See these quotes:
QUOTE: So also a distinguished native clergyman, the Rev. George Matthan, in 1856, relating a case of cruel beating of a slave by his master for keeping the Sabbath day, says, “I thought it would be of no use to complain to the authorities; for I despair of justice being obtained, from the general corruption of the courts of law in this country, and from the jealous eye with which any attempt to raise the slaves would be viewed by the officials.” END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Still, there is no doubt that progress is being made, and that in the right direction. The present Maharajah before coming to the musnud at a mature age, enjoyed and fully availed himself of ample opportunity for study and travel in India, intercourse with the people, and familiarity with current affairs, and with the corruption which previously prevailed, and is certainly the most enlightened of all the princes of India. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Officials occupying the very position of our author received bribes with both hands, and administered the country with shameless and unblushing corruption, as every native knows; and yet, except in so far as Mr. Shungoonny Menon incidentally, or by implication, reveals the true state of things, these facts are concealed, misrepresented, or extenuated. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: Not long since two young men of gentle birth and liberal education, being disgusted with the world, and the corrupt state of society around them, became ascetics, and wandered away from the sphere of duty, instead of setting themselves manfully and prayerfully to fight in the name of the Lord against the prevailing evils END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The rowers often complain of suffering from impressment for travellers, the Beach Superintendent, one of their own class appointed by the Sirkar, taking bribes from those who are better off and strong in body, and often seizing the poor, the aged, or boys, beating those who attempt to flee to avoid the inconvenience. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: The subordinate governors and officials as in all Oriental despotisms, ground down all beneath them. Paying for their appointments and giving also annual “presents,” they were obliged to squeeze the necessary amounts from the unfortunate people. The heads of the respective castes also paid an annual sum for their dignity. Bribes and pecuniary gratifications were everywhere expected, and nowhere forbidden. The ruling power and subordinate officials were ever ready to snatch from the people as much as possible. When a cruel ruler was on the throne, the country suffered much; when a benevolent one, it gained little. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: It seems evident that we shall never, in all probability, in such a country, obtain complete information as to the history of court intrigues, immoralities, and follies, as well as of reforms and political progress — the sale of offices, bribery, and interference with the course of justice — factions and cabals in favour of the sovereign, or of the heir, or of rival ministers — secret executions and assassinations, and other events that would reveal the actual state of things in the past or at present, and prove a warning beacon for the future. END of QUOTE
QUOTE: On the other hand, nothing is more common than to ridicule men of truth and honesty as fools. Again, when two young and intimate friends meet, the staple subject of conversation is — the beauties of the locality, their paramours, their intrigues, their successes, disappointments and revenges — spiced with the needful scandal. Or, the subject is bribes, bribe-givers, bribebrokers, and bribe- takers.” END of QUOTE
Summing up Date: 05 October 2014.
This is a great book. I wanted to write a much longer commentary. However, for the past so many months, I could get no time to pursue this work. So, I am winding up the commentary here. However, I must mention here that British rule, especially the English rule of this sub continent was a wonderful historical event.
So much lies are being taught to in academic textbooks and mentioned in the news-media about the evil deeds of the British rule. None of them do have any correctness when viewed from a larger perspective of the realties of a subcontinent that around 650 significant rulers, and around a few thousand other minor rulers. All of these native rulers as well as native officialdom were quite horrible to the people here, who existed under them as slaves.
Policing behaviour of the officialdom was also terrible. Unbearable profanities were in common use. The abusive words such as Nee, Eda, Edi, Avattakal &c. that are there in local vernaculars more or less allowed the communication to move to more horrible standards.
Slavery in the subcontinent was a hundred times more horrible, in that it was not legal slavery, but something enforced through the feudal languages of the subcontinent.
The amalgamation of Travancore to Malabar actually led to the wiping out of a fabulous incorruptible British formed officialdom from Malabar, and to the spread of Travancore culture into Malabar. The language that was there in Malabar, which can be identified as Malabar Language, was also wiped out. However, Malabar language was also equally feudal. Currently both Malabar as well as Travancore has the negative sides of both cultures. There was no one of quaint quality to lead the direction to collection of the better sides of both cultures.
It may be noted that almost all the good quality buildings, public library and much else now seen in Trivandrum from the times of the Travancore kingdom times are due to the English link.
Everyone wants to mention a contrived history about themselves. All castes make claims that aim to show off themselves as higher than so other group whom they view with repulsion. The Ezhavas mention the Thiyyas of North Malabar as their sub sect, while the latter view this attachment as nauseating. The North Malabar Thiyyas have their own claims, which might not be tenable to others. They trace their original ancestry to Greece.
The Nairs would go homicidal if their real caste categorisation as Sudras is mentioned. The Kshatria castes, which are called Varmas in Travancore, would find the contention that they are Sudras who used monetary presents to the Brahmins to upgrade them, as totally unacceptable. The Syrian Christians are not mentioned as of fantastic heritage in this book, even though they themselves sell out such a claim.
The Christian settler folks. who flocked into the Malabar forests in the wake of the breakdown of perfect law & order machinery in the wake of the British departure from the subcontinent, would like this book. For, it claims that they were the very low castes, including the Pariyas, Pulayas and much else of the Travancore kingdom, who were developed painstakingly by the English Missionaries from the London Missionary Society.
All these above mentioned populations who improved tremendously from a semibarbarian state with the advent of the British East India Company supremacy in the peninsula, teach and learn the utter nonsense the English rulers were thieves and looters. The terrible ingratitude in this attitude is beyond mention.
As to the native populations of England, they stand fooled by their own academicians who dish out utter nonsensical ideas of British colonial history. Rev. Matters has this hope about his work in Travancore:
QUOTE: to lay the foundations of a Christian Church in India, which shall be the admiration of the world a hundred years hence; to train the future teachers and preachers, the future fathers and mothers and citizens of India; to help the poor and needy; to rescue the perishing; to proclaim liberty to the captives of sin, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. END of QUOTE
However, he was a fool in this sense. Christian church does not stand for the betterment of the common population of the land. It also aims for domination through a population explosion in its own congregations. Even though it does manage a lot of English schools, for the rich, for the common populations, the vernacular language is what is being doled out. Indian Christian churches are just another feudal language created institutions with the same feudal, suppressive ideologies of the Subcontinent.