Author: Margret Frenz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0 19 566321 7
This study provides a new perspective on the transition from pre-colonial to early colonial rule in late 18th century Malabar. Making extensive use of Malayalam sources, it considers an important, largely neglected region of India, and offers a fresh approach towards the analysis of colonial encounters.
The book focuses on the construction and legitimation of rule by elite local groups in Malabar and the implications of British conquest. At the centre of the study is an exploration of the clash of sovereignty that occurred when two very different concepts of rule collided-that of the British, built on the Euro-centric notion of the state with an all-pervasive administration, and that of the Malabar elite, a complex indigenous idea of the state based on redistributive processes. In the face of the British drive for supremacy local rulers could either co-operate, as did Vira Vermma of Kurumpanatu, or rebel, like Kerala Varmma Palassi Raja of Kottayam who presented one of the most significant challenges to colonial domination.
A major contribution to academic literature on the region, this book combines detailed case study with broader ideas about the phenomenon of conflicting cultures and the resulting negotiation of new values within the spheres of politics, society, and economy. It will interest students and scholars of Indian history, politics, sociology, and anthropology as well as general readers interested in South India’s colonial experience.
ONE: MEETING MALABAR
Malabar in the Eighteenth Century
Pre-colonial Social Order
Pre-colonial Land Law
TWO: LEGITIMATION OF RULE
The Model of the Little Kingdom and Its Modification
Contact Zone as a Model of Interaction
THREE: IN SEARCH OF BLACK GOLD
Economic Attractiveness of Malabar
The Portuguese, the Dutch and the French
Initial Contacts with the British
The Invasions of Haidar Ali and Tippu Sultan
FOUR: CLASH OF SOVEREIGNTY
Maisurian Policy Meets Resistance in Malabar
British Policy Towards Malabar after 1792
Conflicts between the Local Elite and the Colonial Administration
FIVE: CONCEPT OF RULE
Kottayam-a Little Kingdom?
Contact Zone Malabar
The Aftermath in the Nineteenth Century
SIX: TRANSFORMATION OF RULE IN MALABAR
Notes on Sources and Transliteration