Commentary on Travancore State Manual
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
A propitious relationship and a gullibility
As the book moves from King Marthanda Varma’s time, (when the true foundation of the kingdom was laid), one can discern a great relationship developing between this kingdom and the English East India Company. What is visible is the keen interest taken by the company officials to improve the kingdom, secure its safety and to develop the social system therein. This complete theme is totally in opposition to what is generally taught in the current day Indian textbooks.
[However, it must be admitted that there are certain few passages which seem to be some kind of insertions by persons with ill-intentions, in which the mood of the writing goes directly opposite.]
One sees the slow and gradual increase in the powers of the Diwan, their sort of overshadowing of the king and queen and their lowering to positions of mere rubber stamps, in terms of actual administration. The erosion of the powers of the king is seen going down during the reign of Swati Tirunal, when he was foolish enough, and swindled to appoint his own childhood teacher as his Diwan. This king seems to have been just a youngster all his life, with the Diwan in charge of everything. During the time of his predecessors, Marthanda Varma and Rama Varma, the king was the actual administrator, with the Diwan being just his chief of ministers.
However, the other side, the English East India Company does come out as quite foolish, naive and gullible. They seem to be on a ‘support the competitor’ policy in every one of their endeavours. The fact is that in the Indian peninsula, no one would actually help a lower positioned person to come up. Or to give knowledge and information to their side.If the higher side has any common sense.
For instance, I have seen very good carpenters who know very brilliant skills, being extra careful to see that their apprentices do not get to learn their skills. Whenever there is an occasion when the apprentice might chance to see the skills of precision engineering and of measuring and cutting, they would be very cunningly sent off to do some sundry work like sharpening the chisel.
This is the standard strategy used in this land since times immemorial. That is why, in spite of all jingoist claims that this land has so much knowledge and skills, there is actually nothing of that sort in the average common man.
Moreover, if the lower guy is a person of great rectitude and really wants to develop, the usual strategy is to see that he is affectionately helped and led to directions of growth which are actually cul-de-sacs.
However, in the case of the East India Company, they are seen to be very sincere in their efforts to see that the kingdom is given a great opportunity of security, so that the rulers can focus their minds in a most secure mood to develop their people.
English knowledge, education, technical skills, medical knowledge, building up of infrastructure, ideas of improving trade and much much else were given to the Travancore kingdom by the English. However, in India it is known that when the lower man improves, his first tendency would be to monitor his development in comparison with his benefactor. Has he risen above his benefactor or not? His understanding of having arrived to the heights is when he feels that he has risen above his benefactor. When this position is achieved, it is time for the change of indicant word. From Saar to Ningal to Nee. From Adheham to Ayaal to Avan. This is the real measuring tool for development in Indian feudal vernaculars.
A native of the Indian peninsula knows that if his menial servant is allowed to sit on a chair, address him by his name, allowed to wear dress that is of same quality as his own, allowed to learn English, allowed to imbibe his technical know-how, it is just a matter of time before the menial servant becomes another master.
Native superior castes in the Indian peninsula did not want their subordinate castes to even get to join their religion, pray to their gods, or to enter their temples. The reasons are as mentioned in the earlier paragraph.
See this quote: The fourth prohibited the lower castes of Valankai and Edankai from making religious gifts to the temple of Sakalakalai Martanda Vinayakar.
There are other similar instances also.
The poor Englishmen do not know anything about these satanic codes and tensions. Actually there is a very significant instance of this beginning to show in the mood of the Travancore Diwan once. It is with regard to the right to arrest and punish British European (meaning White Britons) for any violations of law inside Travancore. Once this can be done, it is a sort of passing the milestone. For ultimately the aim is to one day subordinate England. To see that Travancore has developed. There would be no aim to create a better quality nation than England in terms of people quality.
Looking at the issue from a dispassionate perspective, the Travancore claim would seem to be correct. However, this perception is not correct. For, the fact is mentioned in this book itself. The officialdom is corrupt, the police are brutal and the ordinary man is kept at the level of dirt, and in varying levels of caste or profession. Moreover the language is feudal, and words like Nee, Avan, Aval, eda, edi etc. are kept apart for the subordinated person. An Englishman cannot be made an equal into this diabolic environment.
In fact, it is morally wrong to allow even the current-day Indian police to arrest any man. But then the people do not have access to any higher levels of social training. Both they as well as the policemen have been trained by the insipid Indian school teachers, who use all the above mentioned non-acceptable words to the students. Without these words, there are no other tools for disciplining those who have come up through the vernacular training.
0. Book profile
12. Rama Varma
13. An antedating
17. Bala Rama Varma
24. Place names
27. What a fool did
28. The Royal Family