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On Kiriyathil Nairs and Nair Aristocracy

Posted by Maddy Labels:

The position of Nairs in the caste and ruling structures of medieval Kerala is a very peculiar one, and this resulted in so many anthropological studies into it. Volumes have been written by people who understood it in parts, for decoding the structure and its peculiarities is not easy. I don’t claim to know even parts of it, but I thought I will cover a little bit of my gatherings on the specific aspects of Kiriyam and Kiriyathil nairs here and in particular, as related to Malabar, not Travancore.

During wedding planning in families which attach much importance to caste, an alliance is carefully checked to see what caste classification the prospective bride or groom belongs to. If they are both Nair’s they check to see what kind of a Nair the other is. So now that explains that there are different types of Nairs. It is a subject by itself which I will not get into, but briefly, there are quite a few and decided by pedigree as well as profession, social status and also positions granted by a sovereign in those old times. Some say there are close to 64 or so of such sub classifications. Examples are Illathu, Swaroopathu, Pattola, Maran, Idachery Nairs, Odathu, Athikurichikal, Chembukottikal, Chalia Nairs, Kalamkotti Nair, Pallichal Nairs, Veluthedathu Nairs, Vilakkithala Nairs and so on and so forth. Whatever said and done, the top position of differing tables created in Malabar, Cochin and Travancore regions are held by the Kiriyathil Nair. So what is a Kiriyath Nair supposed to be?

Note first of all that Kiriyam as terminology is not exlusive to Nairs. It is a term used by many other communities such as the Thiyyas, Kanakkans, Kurups and so on. Kiriyam can actually be said to mean clan. Illam as a family home or homestead is also not exclusive to Nambuthiris (Kulam is another nonexclusive term). The normal definition, dating back to Fawcett goes thus - The Kiriyattil, or Kiriyam, said to be derived from the Sanskrit word graham, a house (a doubtful derivation) is the highest of all the clans in South Malabar, and is supposed to comprise or correspond with the group of clans just named of North Malabar. In the old days every Nair chief had his Charnavar, or adherents. The Purattu Charna are the outside adherents, or the fighters, and so on, and the Akattu Charna are inside adherents, clerks and domestics. The clan from which the former were drawn is superior to the latter.

What brings these Kiriyathils Nairs to a primary position is the fact that they were not obliged to serve upper caste Namboothiris or the ruling Kshatriaya families (The Illath Nair or Illakar on the other hand served in Nambuthiri homes while the svarupakkar served the royal households e.g. Kolathiri, Perumbadappu etc). The Kiriyathil nairs tended to matters of their houses or estates, and were allowed to collect taxes on land holdings of Sthanis whom they were aligned to. Only the Kiriyam Nair was allowed to wear bracelets on both arms and they were also not classified as Sudra Nairs (not in the eyes of the Namboothiris though) whereas all other Nair classifications were.

Kanippayur provides two comparisons to explain the difference, firstly comparing the Tripunithara Rajas and the Kodungallur Chazhur kovilakom. Both were Kshatriya families in principle but the former were higher in social status, being the ruling elite. The males the royal house are called Thambrakkal whereas the males of Chazur are Thambakkal. The females are Thambrattimar and Thambattimar respectively. Similarly the Zamorins (Samoothirimaar) and other Eradi families are of the same category but the former are Rajas and their home, Kovilakoms. The Zamorin can sit and eat with a Namboothiri, but the Eradi could not.

In the old times, the land was divided into Naadu’s and Desam’s. Their rulers or chieftains were termed Naaduvazhi and Desavazhi respectively and were always of Kiriyath nair stock. Kiriryam therefore is considered to be the corrupted dialectic equivalent of the Sanskrit term ‘graham’ or homestead. The graham name and the land around it, owned by the owner is one that had been formally endorsed by the local Thambran. As the titles of Desavazhi and Naduvazhi lost prevalence when time passed, the honorific Kiriyam titles remained, thus creating the group of those aristocratic families and their descendants. Note here that the name of the home or in today’s terms the family name had to be kept intact to provide a manner of proof of the Kiriyam lineage.

Interestingly in the Cochin area, some of these Kiriyam Nairs were also called Vellayma Nairs, signifying the connection to Vellala or Valluvan of the Tamil lands. If you recall, I had mentioned earlier (On the origin of Nairs) an article by U B Nair alluding to the advent (based on Oppert’s claim) of Vellalas into Malabar. It appears that 64 families of karakattu vellalars formed the original Kiriyathil Nair group. They were the groups which won distinction from the Pandya king for guarding the clouds and were apparently the ones brought in by Parasurama into Malabar. However this is debunked by UB Nair himself on the basis that Parasurama existed before the advent of Vellalas to Kaveripattinam and as he had brought Nairs to Kerlam, Nairs predated vellalars.

Continuing on, these lords or chieftains or Sthanis (Nadu Vazhi and Desavazhi) had additional titles such as Kurup, Kaimal, Nambiar, Kartha, Vazhunnavar etc. This authority to govern was the reason why the Kiriyathil nair families considered themselves superior to other Nairs. They were considered to be the aristocrats, they had the status, the upbringing, the standing, bearing and so on and were also authorized to settle dispute in their respective territories.

In general they are involved with agriculture, work as a Sthani’s or chieftain’s officer or as accountants. Should there be a dispute to adjudicate, representative from four kiriyams hear it and if they cannot resolve it, the matter is passed on to the Nambudiri (regional nambudiri council?). In those times, the Kiriyam nair married only from another kiriyam. It was also their responsibility to maintain the rules of pollution, for example, if a death occurred in a lower class Nair’s house and people including upper classification Nairs were attending, all the cooking could only be done by a Kiriyathil Nair. They were called Ejamanan and according to Kannipayur, prominent Kiriyathil Nair families preferred sambandham only from Nambudiri men for the women in the family. As days went by and the English came to take control of administration, the Kiriyathil Nair did not have much to do unlike the other Nairs who had held on to their hereditary professions. All they did therefore was living a life of landlords with revenues from the land tilled by their tenants.

Looking at Bhaskaran Unni’s magnum opus, ‘Kerala of the 19th century’, we see that the definition has changed. Quoting Chathurvarnakarmam, he states that while Kiriyam Nairs were aristocrats, there were also soldiers in their midst and adds Nairs, Kurups, Nambiar, Panickkar and Menon to this Kiriyam list.

We also observe that while Kiriyathil is the name of the highest class sub-caste of the Nair caste, they are found confined to the regions of Malabar and Cochin mostly and are rarely seen in Travancore where the second in line in Nair sub caste i.e. Illathu Nairs, take predominance.

Francis H Buchanan (vol2 p408) traveling through Malabar in 1800 affirms the above in his records - The Nair, or in the plural the Naimar, are the pure Sudras of Malayala, and all pretend to be born soldiers; but they are of various ranks and professions. The highest in rank are the Kiriam, or Kiriyat Nairs. On all public occasions these act as cooks, which among Hindus is a sure mark of transcendent rank; for every person can eat die food prepared by a person of higher birth than himself in all disputes among the inferior orders, an assembly of four Kiriams, with some of the lower orders, endeavour to adjust the business. If they cannot accomplish this good end, the matter ought to be referred to the Namburis, The Kiriat Nainmar support themselves by agriculture, or by acting as officers of government, or accountants. They never marry a woman of any of the lower Nairs, except those of the Sudras, or Charnadu, and these very rarely.

Kannipayur points out another interesting observation connected with Kiriyath Nair’s. If a Nair ate in a Nambudiri’s illam, he had to remove his banana leaf after the meal, himself. The women of the Illam are not allowed to dispose of these. However a Kiriyam Nair invitee also desists from doing this himself. Instead he brings along a Nair servant to do that menial service, demonstrating his higher status of Sthani Nayanmar. It is also believed that important Kiriyam Nair families, until about the end- of last century did not accept husbands from the Samanthan castes such as Nedungadi and Kartavu. 

Kannipayur believes that the Nairs came to the fore after the 12th century and following the defeat of the Cheras, to further split into multiple swaroopams. The Kiriyathil Nair from that point on was the eye and the hand of the overlord, and was the clan who administered smaller principalities (The Desavazhi was akin to a Village Munsif of British times). A desam incidentally is a village or the smallest administrative unit and had at least one Kiriyam Nair resident, who was therefore the village authority.

While this was what was in practice, it would be interesting to check what the lore and legend was in connection with the Nairs. In the words of Kerololpathi: “Parasu Rama having sent for Sudras from various countries, made them settle and prescribed various rules of conduct for them. He created adima and kudima in the Desom, protected Adiyans and Kudians, established Taras and Sankitams, separated the Nairs into Taras, and ordered that to them was to belong the duties of supervising (lit. the eye) executing (lit. the hand) and giving orders in such a manner that rights should not be curtailed or suffered to fall into disuse. To the kudians the kilkur (inferior share), to the Brahmins the melkur (superior share); to the former the kanom and to the latter the jenmam; and so the law of kanam and jenmam and the rules of conduct for the Brahmins and customs for the Sudras were ordained.”

It is clear from the above that the Nairs were connected with supervisory functions of that early feudal system and William Logan rightly observes: "they had as a guild higher functions in the body politic than merely ploughing the rice-fields and controlling the irrigated lands”

K Raman Unni explains the two differing levels of Kiriyathil Nairs in his 1961 thesis - As an example consider this - Kolappulli is a village headed by a Sthani nair who lives in Kavalappara, a village three miles away. Barely three fourth of the lands of the village belongs to the Sthani Nair and it is one of the few villages where his retainers, the Kiriyattil Nairs, reside. In each of the three villages, families of power belong to the retainer castes.

As the numbers of Kiriyattil Nairs increased, the category of Sthanis separated themselves from a broader group of Kiriyathil Nairs. Raman Unni explains - The Sthanis, literally meaning the holders of high social status are lineages of title holding and very wealthy Nairs originally drawn from different castes of Nairs, chiefly from the Kiriyattil Nairs. Most of them were in pre-British times Naduvaris (district heads) and some were powerful Desavaris (village heads…... Some of the Sthanis carry special ritual rights and privileges as a heritage from a remote past and some of them have these bestowed by the ruler who awarded the title.

Kiriyam Nair caste appears to have had off-shoots of differential rank named Kakka Kiriyam, Patti Kiriyam, Manala Kiriyam and Panom Kiriyam. The Kiriyattils in general everywhere were on a level with the 10,000 armed retainers (Purathucharnas) under the Zamorin. Menons in Ponnani taluk were in this manner title holders under the Raja of Cochin and those in Walluvanad were originally clerks under their Raja drawn from Kiriyattils and Purathucharna Nairs. Of the non-Brahmin high castes the Kiriyattil Nairs alone are said to have a relatively good mastery of the culinary art, perhaps in line with their tradition as 'Kitchen men' of their Sthani overlords. The Kiriyattil men of the less wealthy tharavad, on invitation, serve as cooks at feasts of Nair castes of the same group, a practice reported by more popular in earlier periods. The Kiriyattils (both Nairs and Nambiars) the adukkalakkar (kitchen men) send from each taravad at least one man to the Sthani head's house to cook during the fourteen days of death pollution of his taravad. Nairs in a mood of gossip or sportive ridicule would refer to the Kiriyam Nairs as "KolliUntikal" which means feeders of fire wood, with reference to their role of cooking for their Sthani-heads at ritual occasions.

Malabar and Its Folk - T. K. Gopal Panikkar
Malabar Manual - William Logan
19’aam Nootandile keralam - P Bhaskaran Unni
Aryanmarude Kudiyettam 3rd volume – Kanipayyur Sankaran Namboothiripad
Caste in South Malabar – K Raman Unni
Census of India, 1901
Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages - Robert Caldwell
A hand book of Malabar law and usage as administered by the courts - B. Govinda Nambiar
Report of the Malabar Marriage Commission 1891

A peculiarity in North Malabar - There were three Kovilagams namely Chirakkal, Kottayam and Kadathanad, in North Malabar. The term 'Kiriyam' Nair is never used by North Malabar Nairs in speaking of themselves. Two main divisions are into Agatha Charnavar and Puratha Charnavar. There are Charnavar attached to each Kovilagam in North Malabar. The Nairs of North Malabar will generally consider that they are attached to one or other of the Kovilagams. A man will say that he is al-karan (adherent) of such-and-such a Kovilagam. If a man is alkaran of a Kovilagam it is that Kovilagam which

L Anatha Krishna Iyer on Kiriyathil Nairs basing his comment on Keralolpathi – The members of this subdivision are believed to have been the descendants of the early Brahmins, in their union with the Deva, Gandharva and Rakshasa women, bought into Kerala by Parasurama and their duty was primarily to serve them

Robert Caldwell - The word kiriyam according to Gundert, is a corrupted form of the Sanskrit word Kshayam which means loss, perhaps unrelated to the discussion but explains how it is difficult to obtains derivations for kiriyam from the Sanskrit word graham– Dr Robert Caldwell states - The hard, lingual sibilant of Sanskrit is unknown to classical Tamil. Sometimes it is changed into s’, a change which ordinarily takes place at the present day in the pronunciation of the lower classes in the southern districts, sh is sometimes, though rarely, converted in Tamil into r. Dr Gundert supplies me with some instances of this in old Malayālam—e.g., kshaya, Sans. loss, is in old Mal. written kirayam, and the name Lakshmanan in an old copy of the Ramayana is written Ilarkkanan. Here rkk stands for ksh. Sometimes sh is assimilated to a succeeding n—e.g., the name Vishnu becomes sometimes, both in poetical Tamil and in Malayalam, Vinnu.

Finally – Would these people have anything to do with the Kiriyam and Kriyavada doctrine of Mahavira preached by Jains?? The kiriyam doctrine teaches that the soul exists, acts and is affected by acts. Did these clans have anything to do with the large numbers of Jains we had in Malabar at one time? Food for thought….


William Logan (1841-1914)

Posted by Maddy Labels:

The author of The Malabar Manual and a friend of Malabar

There are many Scotsmen, Irish and Englishmen who have spent long tenures in India, and some have spent their entire adult lifetimes in India but have done little. Logan Sayipp as he was known in Calicut spent only a few years but left a huge mark, for unlike many others who followed, he loved the land (and the people) which he was sent to administer. This man of Scottish farming stock went on to write what we still consider as source book on Malabar and his history, the Malabar manual. Let’s now try to get to know the man behind it all, his life and times.

Interestingly, and many would not know it, he was the last foreign owner of the collectors bungalow in East hill, the very building which houses the Krishna Menon museum today. William Logan appointed as Collector of Malabar, purchased it from Athol MacGregor and lived there until his early retirement at the age of 46, after which he sold it to the brothers Koyotti and Chekutti Koya Haji in 1890. Some years later, the British government acquired it from the brothers. Those were the days when the British lived in a different Calicut than the one we see today and I had tried to recreate the scene in a couple of earlier articles. For William Logan, Malabar was a place which perhaps reminded him of the lowlands of Scotland and his farmer’s upbringing.

Logan (Courtesy KKN Kurup,
 Agrarian relations)
William Logan, the son of David Logan and Elizabeth Hasti, was born on 17 May, 1841 at Ferney Castle, a farmland near Reston - Berwickshire, Scotland. For over two centuries, the Logan’s were tenant farmers in these rolling arable lands of the Merse, lying a few miles north of the River Tweed and bordering England.

Calicut in those days was a bigger place though considered a dying entrepot, compared to the little village of Reston with 321 people and Malabar was where the young lad would soon head to, to better his fortunes. Even during his school days at the age old Musselburgh academy, William distinguished himself with a Dux medal in 1856, before moving on to Edinburg University. It was at this juncture that fate intervened and the Sepoy mutiny took place. In the aftermath of the Rebellion, under the provisions of the Government of India Act 1858, the British Government nationalized the Company. The Crown took over its Indian possessions, its administrative powers and machinery, and its armed forces. With the British crown now responsible for the governance of the presidencies of India, youngsters desirous of going to India did not any longer have to buy commissions, but obtained positions after open competition.

That was how William Logan, a bright and plucky lad, appeared and passed the exams to travel to India and join the MCS or Madras civil service, in Aug 1862. His first challenge was to pass the vernacular tests in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu which he did. At the age of 21, in 1864, he was appointed as an assistant to the collector and magistrate at North Arcot. He was then moved to Malabar as an assistant to the collector, but was quickly reposted to Tanjore and soon enough, right back to Malabar in 1866, as acting head assistant and then head assistant. He then took a number of positions within the Tellichery and Calicut Collectorate till he finally became the chief administrator of Malabar – The collector and magistrate, in 1876, aged 35.

But in between all that he did find time to settle himself by finding a wife, in 1872, while on furlough. His wife, Anne Selby Burrell Wallace, daughter of a banker, accompanied him to Tellichery where they begot a child Mary Ord. By 1876, moved to South Malabar, they had settled down at the East Hill collector’s Bungalow at Calicut which we talked about earlier, and went on to live there for the next 12 years. As DLH states -

Logan was often seen on horseback touring the areas of Malabar frequently, accompanied by one or two servants, constantly stopping and talking to small groups, and asking questions. His care for the people of Malabar, his passion for doing what was right, his built in faith in God, all of these were put to work during his stay in Calicut.

His other children William Malcom, Elizabeth Helen were delivered in Malabar while Anne Selby Burrel was born in Scotland.
Reston - Scotland

One of his first and notable involvements was related to the administration of the Lakshdweep or Laccadive Islands and the Ali Raja’s monopolies related to the coir trade. The islands had been controlled by the Ali Rajas and the Beebi of Cannanore and generally accepted so by the British who had agreed to a status quo, until W Robinson visiting the islands in 1847 suggested much needed reforms. The islands were later attached by the British due to unpaid arrears and it was in 1869 that Logan was deputed to the islands for a review, with the Ali Rajah in tow and trying his best to obstruct him from getting information. Logan completed his investigations and submitted different schemes for raising revenue, entailing the abolition of the monopoly but these suggestions were not accepted and from the time of the British government taking over the control of these islands in 1875, the prices paid were assimilated to those paid on the South Kanara islands.

But a bulk of his work was done in the mainland, all resulting from his love and sympathy for the people of Malabar. Even though he was a mainstay for the British Raj in Malabar, his appreciation for the unique culture of Malabar can be seen in his writings. I will not dwell in too much detail with his specific contributions and for that one only needs to peruse the commentaries in the Kerala gazetteers edition of the Malabar manual (circa 2000), especially the contributions of KKN Kurup, Ravindran Gopinath and Kesavan Veluthat. Additional analysis is provided in the works of KKN Kurup’s seminal work (study in agrarian relations) and VV Kunhikrishnan’s (Tenancy legislation) detailed analysis. Nevertheless, I will provide an overview for the sake of completeness. Editions of Malabar Law and custom which were published after the Malabar manual often refer to his works and his legal decisions, as a base.

As a collector he had a tremendous amount of work to do and we can still see the fruits of his efforts. He was very much involved with the plantations of Wyanad, starting of garden schools, and the development of the Calicut port. The railway link to Beypore had been completed and Logan wanted to link it to Trivandrum and other sections of the South eastern railway through Cape Comorin.

His efforts in understanding the issues with the Moplahs of Malabar is well documented and Hussein Randathani adds - As a political and economic analyst Logan had done a wonderful job in finding out various reasons connected with the peasant revolts of Malabar. He thoroughly goes through the economic grievances which precipitated Mappila revolts and at the same time he brings out the ideological factors behind them. However sympathies aside, he administered the law in very strict terms as was the case during the Trikkaliyur riots.

Perhaps his biggest contributions lie in the understanding and documentation of the traditional land and agrarian systems of Malabar. While it is said that he erred on the side of the peasant and did not quite side with the landlord due to his own background as a Scottish peasant, his recommendations on land tenure decisions did not find favor with his masters who for the sake of smoother administration decided to maintain a status quo. Ironically, some of the succeeding Kerala administrators of independent India, though many decades later, found many of his arguments perfect.

Following all this, in 1881, Logan took on the role of special commissioner to study the issues in the Moplah districts after the government’s receipt of an anonymous petition with public opinion explaining certain agrarian reasons as the reason behind Moplah violence. Logan found fault with the implementation of British law in tenancy cases and presented a very detailed study of the rules of the land vis-à-vis the situation faced by the tenants, coupled with their abject poverty, ending usually with forceful evictions. He also outlined various religious issues affecting Moplahs as well as the issues faced by Hindu lower caste tenants within the tenurial system, resulting in others describing his outlook to be one of a ‘primitive socialist’. The government did not agree and kept Logan out of the final committee drafting the revised Malabar tenancy bill. Eventually more revisions took place and the act came out in 1887, something I would assume was to Logan’s complete discomfiture and the principal reasoning behind the British governments transfer orders for Logan to Andhra, culminating in his resignation and departure from India.

During this period, while different committees were analyzing the various issues relating to Logan’s report, he was given numerous differing responsibilities. While he was an acting resident of Cochin and Travancore between 1883 -84, he was again on special duty relating to land tenures and finally sent back to Calicut as collector. Calicut remembers him for many an interesting action when he served as its collector. He was the first to record the peculiar trail of chastity or smartavicharam where an offending Nambudiri woman was cruelly outcasted. One should also not forget his relentless effort to create a classic botanical garden in the area where we have the SM Street these days. The idea for the government to acquire a 7 acre piece of land from the Zamorin’s family did not quite pan out due to the arrival of the railway and the resulting increase in land prices. Even when Logan changed his plans to have a much smaller 1 acre garden, the idea did not eventually get an approval from his superiors. 

He was the person who decided the location of Calicut’s railway station (the Chaliyam railway station lost out in the bargain) upon what once was the route of the dried up Robinson canal or the bazar canal. Logan was a just man, who was severe not only on people who disobeyed the law, but also errant government officials. He was also against the smalltime kuris of Malabar mainly because many of them were dishonest and robbed the poorest off their little earnings. He was once tasked with determining if explosive gunpowder was being misused to make crackers in Calicut (this was during the Moplah disturbances), and Logan after a careful study explained that gunpowder was as such only used in temples for the “kathana’ and not in any crackers. He also had some tiffs with the Zamorin’s family over matters such as appointments in their schools and college. His involvement in demarcating the lands of the French Loge was something we talked about earlier. Stories of his direct involvement in many such matters make interesting reading and prove that he was a collector who really loved and cared for the people of his district.

Logan’s involvement in the Attapadi silent valley suit and his recording of facts and evidences helped in the preservation of the Attapadi forest including the Silent Valley, something ecologists of Kerala proudly mention even today. RJ Herring observes, citing Logan - the effect of colonial law was to simplify, collapse and locate concretely the bundle of rights in land with the objective of creating property rights in the sense of market property. Simultaneously, vast tracts were "reserved" for the state on the claim that unused "waste" land had traditionally been "the property of the state"

But his superiors were in general not too pleased with all this I suppose, for Logan was transferred in 1888 to Cudappah as the district and sessions judge, and for Logan I believe, that it was the last straw, and just two months later he resigned and went back aged just 47, to Scotland to lead a life in obscurity, to retire as they say and become a gentleman hunting and playing golf. His picture from Scotland does show a portly country man in breeches, with his cap and a bent pipe hanging from his lips. It is mentioned that for a while he continued correspondence with some of his friends in Malabar.

But he left behind what is considered to be his magnum opus- the Malabar manual in 3 parts. A fine 1200 page manual later printed in two parts, he recorded all that he could about the people of Malabar, their history, culture and varied practices. (‘A Collection of Treaties, Engagements and other papers of importance relating to British affairs in Malabar’ written by him was earlier referred to as the Part 3).  

Logan is sometimes titled the Gazetteer of Malabar. Now what was a Gazetteer supposed to do? Gazetteers became popular in Britain in the 19th Century, many of whom were Scottish, documenting activities to meet public demand in Britain for information on an expanding Empire. Logan simply put, produced in ‘Malabar manual’, the work of an enlightened administrator, an assiduous scholar and an authority on British affairs in the region. Dr. M. G. S. Narayanan opines "Logan was sincere and serious about the task entrusted to him. He was an efficient Collector who had an affinity with the people of Malabar. The personal contribution is evident all along. The details given by Logan with regard to dress, festivals and other social customs go a long way in providing insights on the social history of Malabar. The cultural heritage of Malabar, the race for hegemony in the trade of pepper and spices, the Mysorean invasion, and finally British supremacy find mention in his book”.

Logan’s admiration for the Nair community is something he exemplifies in words in the Malabar manual. He stated "I would more especially call attention to the central point of interest, as I look at it, in any descriptive and historical account of the Malayali race - the position, namely, which was occupied for centuries on centuries by the Nair caste in the civil and military organization of the province, - a position so unique and so lasting that but for foreign intervention there seems no reason why it should not have continued to endure for centuries on centuries to come. These Nayars," he wrote, "being heads of the Calicut people, resemble the parliament, and do not obey the king's dictates in all things, but chastise his ministers when they do unwarrantable acts."

The manual does have its deficiencies and in certain cases does not reflect all the truth. It is said that the manual shows a stellar administration in charge of Malabar and issues such as the 1876-78 famines were not depicted correctly.But Logan with characteristic humility states in the preface of his work "I shall consider that I have
MM sculpture Calicut
failed in one main object if I do not succeed in arousing a feeling of interest on many points whereon I have necessarily touched, but briefly in this work." He added “Many things I would no doubt find wherein my knowledge was defective , and many more still in which fuller investigation would through new, and perhaps altogether different light on what seems plain enough now”.

A wonderful man, all in all. I only hope that the people of Malabar will continue to prove that they deserved him and I do hope they do more to remember him. There is a road  in Tellicherry, the town up north, where he had served, carrying his name but William Logan's presence was not very much visible anywhere in Calicut, save for an alcoholic bar with his name in the local 5 star hotel and recently a nice sculpture of the famous Malabar manual.

Himmat Sept 22, 1978 – William Logan Bio – DLH
A Short Account of the Laccadive Islands and Minicoy By R. H. Ellis
Tenancy legislation in Malabar - VV Kunhikrishnan
A study in the agrarian relations of Malabar – Dr KKN Kurup
Malabar manual – Malabar gazetteers (2000)
Kozhikodinte Paithrukam – TB Seluraj
The Collector of Malabar - John Logan Marjoribanks, Our valour, Clan Logan society, vol 3 issue 1, Jan 2008

Reston - a village in Coldingham parish, Berwickshire, near the right bank of Eye Water, with a station on the North British railway at the junction of the Berwickshire branch, 8¾ miles NE of Duns, 11¼ NW of Berwick, and 46½ ESE of Edinburgh. It has a post and telegraph office under Ayton, an inn, a market cross, a public school, and a Free church (1880; 260 sittings), erected at a cost of £1150. Pop. (1881) 321.—Ord. Sur., sh. 34, 1864.

MM sculpture - Midhun Chunakara
Logan - KKN Kurup