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Commentary on Travancore State Manual
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
An unassuming talented historian

There are many insights in this book. The writer of the main part of this book is V. NAGAM AIYA. I think that many Indian academic historians, who have endeavoured to write the history of ‘Modern’ India, should take lessons from this most unassuming writer, V. NAGAM AIYA. For, they have written the history of ‘Modern’ India in terms of and the perspective from, the Party congresses, meetings, terror activities, splits in political parties, and the doings, and ways and manners of various small-time political leaders who aspired to national leadership in the wake of the British Empire being dismantled all around the world by the foolish leadership of the British Labour Party. However, in this book, history is written from the perspective of creative activities, social improvements, educational developments, administrative reforms etc. done by the rulers.

In fact, there was always the possibility of writing it from various other perspectives in sync with the manner in which history of ‘Modern’ India has been written. For example, there was the continuous social rebellion by the Shanars in Travancore. If Shanars had taken over the rule, they would have written a history similar to that written by Indian academic historians. Containing the history of their various political meetings, memorandums, agitations, hartals, violent activities, shootings, bomb attacks and other political blackmails and intimidations. And about the various attainments of their various leaders.

Instead of that, this is a different kind of history writing in which the history of the nation is followed as it slowly moves from barbarian features to that of focused civilised achievements. The first thing that I noticed was the quality of the English. It is quite good, readable and yet perfectly scholarly. Not like the modern day academic pedants who pretend to more than they possess, and allude to more information than they can really assimilate.

One very striking point in the book is the usage of ‘honourable company’ with regard to the East India Company. This adjective of ‘honourable’ is a necessary item in the feudal vernaculars of the Indian peninsula. Without this adjective, (mentioned or unmentioned), words and attributes can go down. However, there is this issue. The same word can have severely differing meanings when seen from English and from Indian peninsular vernaculars perspectives. In English the sense of ‘an honourable man’ is that of a person who is honest, has rectitude, wouldn’t cheat, would keep his words, would be fair in dealings etc. However, the vernacular sense is none of these. Here it is a forcible imposition meaning that the entity has to be ‘respected’.

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