The government have a monopoly there, no salt can be sold but by the government?Just so.
And that at a fixed price? Yes. The salt warehouses are open to all purchasers at a fixed price. They are established in different parts of the country, so as to give a facility to the inhabitants to purchase salt at the government price. Stipendiary servants are attached to them, who retail the salt.
No salt can be sold by the manufacturer but to the government? Just so; but a great proportion of the salt consumed in Malabar is foreign salt, which on importation is purchased by the government. It comes from Bombay and the Red Sea, and is preferable to that manufactured in the country.
The government equally derive a profit from it? Yes.
And those profits are appropriated to the support of the judicial establishment? That object originated the salt monopoly under the Madras Presidency.
I am not at all surprised at you not having found amongst the Malabar Cutcherry, records what Europeans are employed in the Salt and tobacco department because I never can suppose Government would lose sight of what was due to the Company and their subjects as to give their sanction to such a wanton enhancement of the monopoly price (which in all conscience is high enough) of those commodities – The arrangements, I believe, to be entirely Mr Warden’s and so far from any advantage to the company from it, I know quite sufficient, of these excise agents to pronounce that they would not hesitate to avail themselves of any opening to enrich themselves at the public expense .
The Duke of Argyle, the Secretary of State for India, said in 1869: "On all grounds of general principle, salt is a perfectly legitimate subject of taxation. It is impossible to reach the masses of the people by direct taxes; if they are to contribute at all to the expenditure of the State, it must be through taxes levied upon some articles of universal consumption. If such taxes are fairly adjusted, a large revenue can thus be raised, not only with less consciousness on the part of the people, but with less real hardship on them than in any other…
Well, the indigenous production of salt in Calicut, the very reason for its importance and rise, fizzled out and was eventually replaced by Bombay salt, just like its famed Calico cloth had declined in popularity. The town hall stands a mute testimony to the power salt had over the masses and the rapacious tax policy of the British. Today the importance of salt has not abated at all, in fact readymade food suppliers increase salt in their produce ever so gradually, people become over salted and end up with high sodium levels and high blood pressure, and drug companies mint money…That’s life..