Jambudveep's Blog

July 23, 2022

The Slavery of Bharatiyas (Indians) by the British- The case of Forced Labour in British India Part 4

This is continuation of the series on Forced Labour by the British in Bharata. The earlier parts can be accessed here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

1.  British Official Attitude towards Forced Labour

The British attitude towards forced labour is quite interesting. In most of the documents in the Dharampal collection, the one thing that comes out very clearly is that the British officials saw the practice as illegal.

There are very few exceptions to this rule. After accepting that the practice is illegal, most collectors then either rationalized the practice as a “necessary evil” or demanded tougher laws to ensure that the practice is legalized. Those who demanded tougher laws also asked for tougher punishments to Bharatiya’s who refuse to comply with this evil British practice. The punishments ranged from financial penalties to outright jail time.

1.Forced Labour is Necessary

From time to time, in response to public anger against forced labour, the higher authorities of the BOF used to make inquiries with district level officials such as collectors regarding forced labour in their domains. Each inquiry used to generate multiple responses from collectors of different districts in a presidency. While responses varied in describing how forced labour was carried out and the type of forced labour used, one thing was common in most responses: everyone seemed to agree that forced labour was necessary.

The term “necessary” had different meanings depending on the local context. For example, for some officials this meant that forced labour was necessary to save money and for others it meant that it was the only way Bharatiya’s could be forced to work for extremely low pay rates.

Among those who held the view that an enormous amount of money was saved was the commissioner of Kumaon in Himachal Pradesh, G.T Lushington. He wrote in 1843 CE to the Board of Revenue that,

Fully admitting as I do the hardship and inconvenience accruing to the people from the system adverted to, I at the same time feel that it could not be abolished, wholly or in part, without entailing some additional expense to the state and on this ground unless special permission authorizing me to propose a less objectionable and more costly system be granted, I do not venture to make any further suggestions regarding it”[i].

IOR:NWP Revenue Proceedings: P/218/42 (15.7 to 10.8.1843) Nos 143-6 ( 8 pages)

This callous indifference and hypocritical attitude to the suffering of Bharatiya’s was typical of the British occupation.

The case of the West Yamuna canal in the 1840’s where hundreds of thousands of Bharatiya’s were forced to slave has already been discussed previously. Reacting against the court order that prohibited impressing people to work on the canal, the superintendent of canal works emphasized that is was absolutely necessary, despite the practice being officially declared as illegal in the tyranny of William Bentinck who was the Governor-General of Bharat from 1828 to 1835 CE. The superintendent says that:

There is no doubt that a most stringent order was issued several years ago by Lord William Bentinck when Governor General of India, prohibiting the seizure of coolies and carriage, but it is of course well known both to the government and to the military board, that it has occasionally been found not only expedient, but absolutely necessary to act in direct violation of this general order ( as in repairing the embankments in the Burhanpur division and in the marches of the governors general, commanders in chief and other great personages)”26.

Thus the superintendent admits freely that everyone from the Governor-General right down to the lowest British clerk in Bharat had their snout in the trough.

Fast-forwarding to the 1870’s and we find the acting collector of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu giving the same justification for forced labour 49. He makes it clear that whenever the river levels drop (usually in summer), hundreds of people are forced to dig the river bed to ensure water supply. The tehsildars were the British instrument in this oppression.

In response to a demi-official inquiry from the private secretary of the Governor General of India in 1887 CE, the response from Assam was that while “the practice was objectionable” and “open to abuse” it was not possible to abolish it completely[ii]. The extent of this practice and how integral it had become to the functioning of the British occupation in Bharat is seen from the reply of the secretary to Chief Commissioner of Assam to a query from the secretary of the Government of India. The Chief Commissioner of Assam stressed the importance of not interfering with the prevailing practice of impressment. He made it clear that if the practice was stopped and declared illegal, it would result in stopping of all survey work, civil and police officials stranded in their headquarters, military supplies come to a standstill, and roads falling into ruin. His recommendation was to let sleeping dogs lie as stopping the practice would “not benefit the people”.

In different part of Bharat, there existed certain loopholes for people to escape impressment. One such loophole in Kumaon was payment of a certain amount of money to be exempted from the requirement for forced labour[iii].  However, since all forced labour was “necessary” the Commissioner of Kumaon, W.H Batten, justified forced labour by arguing that the money collected would not compensate for the amount lost by stopping all forced labour. Additionally like the example from Assam cited in the preceding paragraph, this official also rationalised that the “general pressure on inhabitants is not so great”.

Replying to another round of inquiries regarding forced labour, this time in Assam in 1882 CE, the commissioner of Assam valley districts, emphasised that the present system ( of forced labour) should not be tampered with as he could not think of a workable alternative [iv].  The commissioner further admits that the system is illegal and attempts to legalise it are not justified. He also proposes encouraging migration of people from other parts of the country who will willingly work as low paid coolies. This scheme was implemented by the British occupiers in different parts of Bharat, as due to the annihilation of industries there was a massive pool of people looking for work in order to survive.

2. Forced Labour is Illegal

There was a small minority of decent British officials who were keenly aware that the practice was inhumane and completely illegal. The administrators who fell into this category were opposed to the legalisation of forced labour. As the collector of Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh remarked in 1872 CE to a circular from the board of revenue inquiring about forced labour: “I have always maintained and am of the same opinion still, that unpaid labour is a mistake, and that to attempt to legally enforce it is a step unworthy of a civilized government24. He squarely placed the blame for the ruin of the traditional water storage methods such as tanks on forced customary labour. The collector shows unusual honesty when he says that as the British government already collects tax from the farmers, it is the responsibility of the British government to pay money and get work done.

Replying to the same query from the board of revenue, the collector of North Arcot district explains that the Taram assessment (tax) collected by the BOG was, “made up of a tax on the soil, plus a rate for the water which the government undertook to provide for raising wet crop47. Thus, forcing people to work for free on one hand on the excuse that it was their responsibility while also collecting tax for the same was patently illegal and unethical.

However, before we start applauding the collector, it must be pointed out that the collector spoke about two different kinds of forced labour:

  1. One was unpaid forced labour which was classified as customary labour i.e. what was supposedly done for generations before British occupation;
  2. The other category was paid forced labour in cases of emergency such as a bunds breaking or floods.

While the collector was opposed to people being forced to work under the pretence of customary labour, he advocated stringent punishment for those who refused to perform unpaid labour in emergencies. Referring to the assistant collectors communication which was enclosed in his letter to the Board of Revenue, he stated “As regards compulsory paid labour in cases of emergency I agree with the head assistant collector, whose report on the subject I enclose, in thinking that the provisions of Act I of 1858 are not sufficiently stringent to attain the object”24. The collector of Kadapa, in 1872 CE, had the same opinion and stressed that while he was in favour of forced labour during emergencies (such as bunds breaking), he was against enforcing customary labour.

A similar inquiry done by in Bombay Presidency in 1874 CE elicited similar responses from collectors in Maharashtra. The Collector of Ahmednagar was unusually candid when he said “the system is illegal, and no rules can legalise it”[v].

Nearly thirty years prior to the inquiry by the board of revenue in Madras Presidency, the sessions Judge of Kanpur, in 1843 CE, expressed the same sentiments when he gave a judgement on the illegality of forcing traders and artisans to accompany military detachments or those of high level officials such as the Governor-General when they moved around the country 23. He is explicit when he says that,

“(the practice of forced labour) is not…sanctioned either by law or justice, nor is it a case where the public service requires such a sacrifice of private rights”.

3. Innovative Workaround to Legal Problems

As we saw in the above section, British administrators were aware that the system of forcing and impressing people was illegal. However, they had compartmentalized forced labour into different categories such as:

  1. Customary labour,
  2. Free forced labour,
  3. Unpaid forced labour,
  4. Forced labour for emergencies.

With this cocktail of categories, their worldview regarding forced labour was extremely perverse. Thus, while some collectors might abhor forcing people to work in the name of customary labour, the same officials would not blink an eye to imprison people for refusing to work for free in an “emergency”.  Out of this dharmayuddha in the minds of the officials came novel proposals to either legalise forced labour or to circumvent the illegality of the practice.

We saw in the earlier section how the superintendent of the canals, West of Yamuna threatened to quit if he was not allowed to gather people by force. The story behind this is quite interesting, as he was actually reacting to a court order by the Nizamat Adalat in North-West provinces prohibiting forced labour. The local court in 1844 CE prohibited the forced impressments of artisans and trades people by military authorities. However, in a good exemplar of how justice operated in the BOB, under pressure from the military authorities, the judge modified this order to exclude military “emergencies”. The superintendent of the canals was told that this exception did not apply to forced labour for canal works. This is the point where the superintendent writes back detailing the enormous number of people forced to work on canals. He further expresses the wish that every canal officer is given a free hand in collecting any number of labourers, without fearing consequences from law.

One easy way to get over the illegality of the practice was to simply suppress all information. In the Dharampal records, there is a copy of a judgement from Maharashtra regarding forced labour [vi]. It is not clear what year the date of the record is and what the judgement overall is about. However, what it records is crystal clear. It turns out that villagers from villages near Mahabaleshwar (in Maharashtra) were forced to work as coolies and provide carts to Europeans who left the hill station in monsoon. The villagers were dragged away from their villages just as cultivation was about to begin and forced to provide every bullock for long distance travel. The court in its judgement upbraided the collector of Thana for suppressing these facts. The superintendent of Mahabaleshwar on his part, washed his hands off the affair. The ingenious ruse applied in this case was to force people from Satara, which was a princely state, to work as coolies .This meant there were no complaints from British territory and any complaints from Satara were in all probability simply ignored.

Demands were made to have forced labour legalised, as this would then insulate the British officials from any civil court cases. The Collector of South Arcot district[1] was not alone when he expressed in  1872 CE the desire to have a law which would enable collectors to force people to work for “customary labour” and exempt them from any legal liability[vii].

It needs to be understood that the British judicial system was not being swamped by cases filed by Bharatiya’s protesting against forced labour. The White occupiers were simply looking to cover their backs.

In the same year (and responding to the same query from the board of revenue) the collector of Vishakhapatnam points out for the need to have a law which defines the elusive beast that is customary labour and empowers collectors to press-gang people. The collector further explains the creative method employed to get repairs to water-works done for free by villagers:

“…there is no means of enforcing the execution of such repairs by the villagers except indirectly by refusing remission when loss of crops has been the result of negligence to perform customary repairs”38 .

This threat of remission i.e. a reduction in the tax paid by farmers, was a common weapon is attested by another collector from Tiruchirappalli district[2], who gleefully remarks that the threat is “found very useful in securing the required labour49. This despite the fact that in Tiruchirappalli district villagers paid a tax called “irrigation cess”, which ranged from 1 to 5 annas per acre of wet land. The money collected from this tax was used to maintain the canal and waterworks.

The passing of years did not bring any change in the British babudom’s attitude. The acting head assistant collector of Tanjavur district[3] expressed in 1876 CE the same longing for a law to legalise the inclusion of a tax in pattas or land deeds held by farmers[viii]. This collector obviously was not aware of the creative solution implemented by his predecessor in Tiruchirappalli in 1872 CE. Nearer to the Tanjavur collectors time and place, the collector of Salem, C.T.Longley, had actually created a draft proposal which he had christened the “Cauvery Channels Act[ix]. The proposed act was comprehensive and basically gave collectors the power to strip villagers bare if needed. Some of the salient features of the proposed act were:

  • The officer in charge of the channels would be empowered to requisition any material needed to construct and maintain the canals. This included trees and leaves, bamboos, straw etc.
  •   The officer would also have the power to cut down trees if needed and helpfully give receipts to the hapless villagers.
  • The villagers will not be able to run for justice in the courts as the act would provide immunity to the British officer.
  • Any disputes regarding this will be settled by the collector or an officer who is empowered to act as the collector.

It is not known whether this scheme took off the ground. Longley also recommended that the fees for repair and maintenance of canals be included in the patta of the farmers.

To be continued in Part 5.

[1] This covered present-day districts of CuddaloreKallakurichi and Viluppuram in Tamil Nadu.

[2] The British-era Tiruchirappalli district, called by the BOB as Trichinopoly district, covered the present-day districts of TiruchirappalliKarurAriyalur and Perambalur in Tamil Nadu.

[3] This covered the area of the present-day districts of ThanjavurTiruvarur and Nagapattinam and the Aranthangi taluk of Pudukkottai District in Tamil Nadu.

[i] IOR:NWP Revenue Proceedings: P/218/42 (15.7 to 10.8.1843) Nos 143-6 ( 8 pages)

[ii] A.M.,16.9.82

[iii] TH Batten, Esq .Commissioner ,Kumaon division to W.Muir,Esq. Secretary, Sudder Board of revenue, NWP,Agra: 30-09-1851 ( Pro: Vol 491,Cons 97; Letter No 255 of 1851)

[iv] No.366G,dated Guwahati, 03/07/1882 From- W.E Ward, esq,c.s, commissioner of the Assam Valley Districts, To-  The Secretary to the chief  commissioner of  Assam

[v] Revenue Department No.493 of 1874, Letter to revenue commissioner southern division, from G.Norman, Collector of Ahmadnagar 24-02-1874

[vi] IOR: Board Collection 2337: No 122510: Draft Judgement 117 (PC 6728): 70 pp

[vii] From  A.L.Lister, Esq., assistant sub-collector, to the collector of south arcot, dated  Virdachellum, 4th March 1872, No.90

[viii] C-26 From M.R.Weld,.Esq., acting head assistant collector of Tanjore,to H.S. Thomas,Esq., collector of Tanjore,dated Mayaveram, 15-01-1876,No.16

[ix] From C.T.Longley , Esq., collector of  Salem,to the acting secretary to the board of revenue, dated Salem, 03-09-1875,No.338

March 17, 2022

The Slavery of Bharatiyas(Indians) by the British- The case of Forced Labour in British India Part 3

Filed under: British Misrule — Yogeshwar Shastri @ 9:35 am
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This is continuation of the series on Forced Labour by the British in Bharata. The earlier parts can be accessed here: Part 1, and Part 2.

1. Effects of forced labour

Desolation of villages:

The most damaging effect of forced labour was that entire villages and settlements were abandoned as people ran away to escape being brutalised by the Christian whites. The problem was particularly acute in villages which bordered major highways. Tradesmen such as blacksmiths were particularly vulnerable to being dragged away by the British soldiers[i]. A very early record of villagers abandoning settlements is available from a Board of Revenue proceeding from 1795. This was a direct consequence of the fear generated in the people’s minds due to the brutality of the BOF and also due to complete loss of livelihood. This record states the condition of those part of the  Nizam of Hyderabad’s domains which saw frequent visits by the EIC military detachments. The record states that:

It is no uncommon thing, on the approach of a detachment, or of travellers, to see the people of a village immediately run off from the fear of being pressed to carry burdens and conceal themselves.”[ii]

A judicial note from 1849 records the desolation of settlements near Mumbai in the 1820’s:

An observation by Captain Clune in his “itinerary for Western India”, 1826, he observes that a part of the road between Dhulia and Bhiwandi, a place called Kussura (Kasara?) is deserted as the people have run away to different locations to save themselves from being pressed as labourers. This was a common occurrence on various places along the high roads and was confirmed by Collectors, who however pointed out that in 1841 the village of Kussura had been re-inhabited.”[iii]

The atmosphere of fear particularly that associated with being forced by the military to work as coolies was such that people avoided going even to the government Katcheri. A demi-official note from Assam states that, “I know during the Naga hills expedition the Golaghat cutcherry was nearly deserted. Neither complainants nor witnesses would go near the place for fear of being impressed as coolies, and trade was seriously interfered with[iv].

Economic losses:

Another evil effect of this practice was the monetary loss suffered by the Bharatiyas. A regular practice was to forcibly confiscate carts for use by white soldiers, government officials and soldiers. The cart owners were not compensated and neither paid detention allowance[v]. The usually practice was to have low level peons confiscate the cart. These bottom feeding traitors were infamous for overturning laden carts and dumping their contents on the road[vi].  Additionally these peons extorted money from other villagers by holding the threat of cart and cattle confiscation on their heads. The proof that this practice was pan-India is attested by a letter from the Collector of Kanara in 1874, where he clearly mentions that carts cannot be procured unless by force and this results in economic losses and hardship for the family[vii]. An even earlier occurrence of this practice was reported in 1839 CE by the acting collector of Tiruchirappalli (in Tamil Nadu):

An equally melancholy case presents itself in the losses sustained by the bandy owners in the detention of their bundies and the suspension in most instances of their trading concerns, during the absence of their bandies.”[viii]

A bandi or bandy means a cart, in this case a bullock cart, which were central to transport in 19th century what trucks and tempos are today.

A more serious effect was that the practices of forced requisition and forced labour worsened the famine situations. An illustrative example is from a collectors report from 1874 CE where the collector identifies the calamity that a government official’s camp with its 100 odd bullocks to feed will bring on a village[ix]. This was just two years before the terrible famine of 1876 which killed around 10 million Bharatiya’s.

An exchange between the governments for Northwest Provinces (Uttar Pradesh) with the Military board is quite revealing in the magnitude of losses sustained by trade people due to forced labour for military purposes. The document lists at least 34 different types of tradesmen (blacksmiths, sweet sellers, money changers, bakers, sooji makers, pan sellers, mochis etc.) who suffered considerable loss of business when the British troops dragged them along on the march[x]. The letter makes it clear that none of these people were paid any remuneration for their trouble. This practice was commonly followed by the English civil servants and even whites who were not government servants. This fact of tradesmen being gang pressed to work for free is attested by an English doctor who observed that blacksmiths lived under constant fear of being forced to labour for free for the white tyrants[xi]. The blacksmiths were forced to carry baggage for white civilians and officers at the time of the year when their skills were in the greatest demand. The Collector for Jabalpur describes the practice as it was in 1836 in the following words:

I am sorry to say that in some cases the European civil functionaries were just as bad. Another great abuse was also in vogue, vis, that whatever an English gentlemen might require even when residing at his own station sheep, fowls, workmen, building materials, were procured by orders to the police and revenue officers of which the consequence of course was that the sum paid for labour or articles, was below the fair price.”[xii]

It was public knowledge amongst British officials that the practice of forcing shopkeepers and tradespeople to work for free was illegal. However, to maintain the White class system no official took any action against those responsible for this dirty practice.

“As far as I know no magistrate besides myself has absolutely refused to exercise undue influence, or to do, what is, I believe avowedly illegal. Usual course was for the kotwal of the city to collect all the trades’ people; and they were forced to make up a purse among themselves with which they indemnified an individual of each craft, who was thus persuaded to go with the camp”[xiii].

In addition to economic losses, farming and cultivation also suffered. The key reason was that farmers were dragged away from their villages when cultivation was about to begin. They were as usual not paid for their troubles and made to work as coolies12.

The ryotwari system practically beggared the villagers as after taxation there was no surplus left for the villagers. The Bharatiya farmer was in effect performing “slave labour” for the British.

Destruction of traditional water sources:

 One of the pernicious side effects of forced labour was the gradual disuse and destruction of traditional water sources. Water tanks and channels from rivers were one of the chief sources of water for farms. With the British rulers extracting taxes and at the same time forcing people to maintain the water sources for free, the tanks and channels fell in disrepair. This was one of the many reasons why millions of acres of fertile land was turned to wasteland during the British rule.

The true estimate of the “worth” of the British rulers can be gauged from this statement by the Collector of Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh in 1876:

I have always maintained, and am of the same opinion still, that unpaid labour is a mistake, and that to attempt legally to enforce it is a step unworthy of a civilized government. That it is a mistake the wretched condition of our tanks all over the country bears testimony.”[xiv]

Another report from 1869 commented on the fact that the villages under zamindars were “verdant” and “fertile” while government lands were barren and desolate due to the poor state of water sources[xv].

“In one case (the Zamindari estates) there was abundance of water and the tanks and channels were in good repair. In the other ( government lands), customary labour had to a great extent fallen into disuse, the annual government grants for the repair of irrigation works had proved totally insufficient and consequently the tanks and channels got worse each year. Hence, government as a landlord, contrasted unfavourably with zemindars.”24

These observations were not that of one person, but of a whole gamut of decent officials who had the honesty to admit the results of the CBR actions. The collector of Godavari district wrote to the Board of Revenue opposing forced labour and advocating a maintenance allowance for water tanks23.

[i] IOR:Dufferin papers: MSS Eur F130/8A. The eyewitness account of Dr.Heynes recounts blacksmiths abandoning their homes to escape forced labour.

[ii] India Office Records: P/285/17 Madras Board of Revenue Proceedings 1st October 1795. (MRO: BRP: Vol.137: Pro 1.10.1795,No.12-13,pp 7354-64)

[iii] OR: Board Collection 2337: No 122510: Draft Jdugement 117 (PC 6728): 70 pp

[iv] E.C.B, 7.9.82

[v] Acting collector, Trichinopoly to Board of revenue: 17.12.1838. ( MRO:BRP:Vol 1642,Pro 3.1.1839, No. 44, pp 96-99).

[vi] Revenue Department No.506 of 1874. Letter to the Chief secretary to government from  J.Moore, Acting Collector,of Khandesh, N.D, 10-04-1874,Camp Borad.

[vii] Revenue Department No.1006 of 1874.Letter to chief secretary of government, from  A.R.MACDONALD Collector of Kanara, 24-03-1874.

[viii] Acting collector, Trichinopoly to Board of revenue: 17.12.1838. ( MRO:BRP:Vol 1642,Pro 3.1.1839, No. 44, pp 96-99)

[ix] No.240 of 1874,Memorandum, Ahmadabad collectors office,camp dhundhooka,17-02-1874.

[x] Govt NWP to Military board: 15.6.1844, no.2275

[xi] IOR:Dufferin papers: MSS Eur F130/8A

[xii] P.J.Shore  Offg commissioner,Jubbulpore to government NWP (8 July 1836, 9 paras, pp 4-11)

[xiii] Report on the administration of criminal justice for 1843 from sessions judge of Kanpur (extract)

[xiv] Collector of the Godavery district to board of revenue -22.4.1872 (MRO:BRP:Vol V,Pro.6.5.1876, PP.3817-65) No.96

[xv] Forced labour and kudimarammat in  Madras Presidency (AD 1869, pp.290, printed,ASOD 334/433 (in red))

April 13, 2021

The Slavery of Bharatiyas(Indians) by the British- The case of Forced Labour in British India Part 2

Filed under: British Misrule — Yogeshwar Shastri @ 10:42 pm
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Note: By the end of this year, I will be bringing out a book on the subject of forced labour, wherein I will also explain the analysis methodology in detail. If you are interested in the book ( as and when it comes out) please fill in this form.

The readers who fill up the form will be offered a discount of 40% once the book is published.

This part continues where Part 1 left off.

To carry baggage of the Civilian White administrators: A good summary of some of the purposes for which forced labour (called “impressment”) was employed is given by a note from the Collector of Tinnevally in 1860:

 “Impressment was employed for the service of government not for the service of travelers; for example to supply carriage to a regiment ordered to march, to convey treasure to the presidency, to carry salt from the pans to the beach for shipment etc.”[i]

A judicial note from 1849 CE observes that it was extremely suspicious that none of the magistrates had reported a single case of forced labour in Bombay Presidency. It doubts whether people are even aware of the plethora of legislation which prohibits forced labour[ii]. Also, villagers near Mahabaleshwar were forced to work as forced labour for Europeans who left the hill station in monsoon. They were dragged away from their villages just as cultivation was about to begin and forced to provide every bullock for long distance travel. The court upbraided the collector of Thana for suppressing these facts, while the superintendent of Mahabaleshwar washed his hands off the affair. The ingenious ruse applied in this case was to force people from Satara, which was a princely state and theoretically independent, to work as coolies. This meant there were no complaints from British occupied territory.

One of the most common uses was to carry baggage for the Katcheri (government office) as it moved from place to place. Villages which were unfortunate to fall in the route of the katcheri as it meandered through the country were forced to provide free labour to carry the baggage of the katcheri. The baggage usually consisted of the Collectors files, personal luggage and heavy items which were necessary for this institution to function. As the Principal Collector of North Arcot district wrote,

Coolies for conveying the Katcheri baggage are not the regular coolies of the country. They are ryots, village watchers or any day labourers belonging to the village the Katcheri has to pass through. They are not accustomed to carry loads and consequently what is put upon them is not equal to that of a regular hired coolie”[iii].

To put this in context one only has to imagine going to the train station to drop a relation and the local police catching hold of you and forcing you to carry 30-40 kilos of luggage of an IPS officer on your head. And this was not for short distances, it was for at least 20-30 kilometres till the next stop of the Katcheri.

The collector of Savanuru, Karnataka, writing in 1874, has given a good idea of the number of bullock carts which were impressed to carry the official’s baggage[iv]. The number of carts varied depending on how junior or senior the officer was in the food chain. Needless to say, the more senior an officer was (for example collector) the more carts he impressed. Table 2 gives the approximate number of carts impressed by each grade of district official.

 Carts OfficeCarts personalTotal
1st assistant collector2810
2nd assistant collector268
Supernumerary collector156
District deputy collector246

Table 2 the number of carts needed by different district officials while travelling from place to place.

The magic number of 52 carts is representative of only one district, there were scores of such districts in each Presidency in British occupied Bharat. In fact, Savanuru was part of the Kanara district of Bombay Presidency in the 19th century and remained so for some years after Independence. The British-era Kanara district virtually covered the entire coastline of Karnataka and stretched a little into coastal Kerala as well. The collector of Kanara writes in 1874 CE that the collectors were travelling for nearly eight months of the year and each collector required a minimum of 5 carts [v]. He further adds that, “The necessary transport cannot be procured anywhere in Kanara without compulsion”. The core issue in all of this was really saving money for the British Occupation government. If it meant forcing people to provide transport for free, well that was for their own good.

Forced labour for White civilians.

While the use of forced labour by government officials might be rationalised on one level, as possibly one of the evils of the BOB, what is surprising is that white people who were not government servants, made full use of free labour.

 The Collector of South Kanara remarks in 1860 CE that as bullocks were hard to find in South Kanara, people were forced to work as coolies and pull the carts of European travellers [vi]. He further adds that people only agree to this inhumane and degrading practice as they believe that they are required to do so by the British government. This practice was not only winked at by British administrators but also actively advocated to prevent “inconvenience” to white travellers. In the same year, the assistant collector of Vishakhapatnam writes to his superior officer, that, as the availability of palakhi bearers is patchy throughout the district it is necessary to force people to act as bearers for white travellers[vii].

As was usual practice in other parts of Bharat, people were corralled by means of lower-level minions such as peons at each stage of travel in the district. The white attitude is made clear in the officials’ statement when he says that:

To remove bearers from all control whatever, would be to place travelers entirely at their mercy, which would subject them to insufferable annoyance and insolence, and would open a door to unbridled extortion and combination, besides subjecting females in particular to the risk of being helplessly left in unhealthy localities, objects of contempt and ridicule, and of incurring constant collision between male travelers and bearers”.

C-26 From M.R.Weld,.Esq., acting head assistant collector of Tanjore,to H.S. Thomas,Esq., collector of Tanjore,dated Mayaveram, 15-01-1876,No.16

He snidely adds that people must be happy with the current situation as otherwise someone would have complained by now!

White memsahibs also made utilised the free labour service as productively as possible. In my personal experience, having interacted with white “civilization” over the past two decades, it is the women who are the most racist. Anyway, coming back to the point, the memsahibs sent off their peons to drag the nearest tailor from his shop and forced him to sew curtains[viii]. The tailor would rarely be paid and if he was it was below the market rate.

What was the British opinion of Bharatiyas?

The British vultures characterised Bharatiya’s as notorious complainers, apathetic and lazy dolts, selfish, short sighted and insolent. A particularly positive characterisation was of us as “obedient children”. And how did these genocidal buggers see themselves? As “enlightened rulers”!

Notorious Complainers

Consider a case from 1830’s Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh. The Collector C.Grant is desperately trying to cover his back against a complaint by Jagannatha Rao. The complaint relates to government officials using people as forced unpaid labour (remember the British concept of “caste” wasn’t applied wholesale to Bharatiya society at that time).The Collector is also accused of withholding petitions by Bharatiyas against government excesses. And how does this rat C.Grant characterise the upright Jagannatha Rao?

The rancourous spirits and the unworthy motives which seem to have dictated the petitions of the informant did not at all surpise me, when I saw the notorious names appended to them…The informant, who is a Brahmin, comes forward as the avowed defender of the ryots of the lowest class of the community which his own caste have trampled upon for ages.[i]

So there you go! How dare the oppressive Brahmin fight for the rights of the downtrodden? Not happening in the enlightened English rule. Of course nothing ever comes out of these complaints.

Lazy and Apathetic

Bharatiya’s were reluctant to provide free labour to the government for which they were paying heavy taxes as well. This reluctance was attributed to us being lazy and apathetic for the common good (i.e. the British rulers). The reality was this: the British government in exchange for all sorts of taxes and cesses undertook the responsibility of maintain agricultural and irrigation works. This was previously done by the villagers who pooled in their efforts. But will all independence and incentive taken away from the village system there was nothing left except pay taxes and provide free labour. A related characterisation of Bharatiya’s was as “selfish and short-sighted”. The British officers believed that it was their birth right to make us work for free[i].

The whole difficulty as to the enforcement of the rules for the management of tank calingulas and as to the non-observance by the people of their ancient obligations to make the petty repairs to their irrigation works from time to time required arises, I think from the following causes: their indolence, their short sighted and selfish indifference to the feelings and interests and wishes of others, and their proneness to faction and consequent inability to combine.”[ii]

To remedy this situation the innovative British officers suggested framing new laws or enforcing existing ones like Act I of 1858 to force Bharatiya’s to labour for free. A sample of their thought process is given in the report by the Collector of Masulipatanam below:

From the late collectors circulars in the gazette, and from what I hear from the superintending engineer, I fancy the ryots here are very apathetic about giving their labour; but I think that, if section 6 of Act I of 1858,was enforced here and there, and the villagers are charged twice the value of earth work  done by imported labour, they will learn to get rid of their apathy.”[iii]

Obedient children

At the other end of the spectrum was the classification of Bharatiya’s as docile animals who would follow the white man’s orders. One officer from Belgaum in 1874 CE identified that the obedience stemmed from the farmers resignation to being exploited by their rulers.

Here if carts are required a certain amount of compulsion is often necessary; i.e. the order is given, and the cultivators send their carts with little or no objection, as they regard the having to do so as a necessary evil, and it is one to which they have always been accustomed.”[i]

On the other hand the Collector of Tanjore in 1877 CE lamented in his report that the natives were becoming less “obedient” compared to previous times.

In the old days the collectors order was all that was wanted; like good children the ryots never hesitated to yield a willing obedience, and the recusant few, if there were such a breed, were hustled into good behaviour by the common sense of the village.”[ii]

The series continues in Part 2, Part 3.

[i] Revenue Department No.495 of 1874,Letter to chief secretary of government, revenue department, Bombay, from H.B.Boswell, acting Collector of Belguam, 15-04-1874.

[ii] From H.S.Thomas.Esq., collector of Tanjore,to the acting secretary to the board of revenue, dated Tanjore, 13-03-1876,No.1013

[i] Revenue Department No.506 of 1874,Letter to the Chief secretary to government from  J.Moore, Acting Collector,of Khandesh, N.D, 10-04-1874,Camp Borad.

[ii] From H.W.Bliss , Esq., acting collector of  Madura,to the acting secretary to the board of revenue,dated  28-01-1876,No.34.

[iii] From G.D.Leman,Esq. acting collector of the Kistna district,to the secretary of board of revenue ,dated Masulipatam,27-03-1872,No.1038

[i] Complaint of Jagannath Rao on forced unremunerated labour,Rajamahendravaram ( MRO:BP:Vol 1558, Pro:15.5.1837,Nos.37,pp.5300-3).

[i] No.1974  From J.Silver, Esq., collector of Tinnevelly, dated Tinnevelly,25/04/1860,No.153

[ii] IOR: Board Collection 2337: No 122510: Draft Jdugement 117 (PC 6728): 70 pp

[iii] Principal collector,North Arcot to Board of revenue: 17.17.1837. ( MRO:BRP:Vol 1566,Pro 31.7.1837, No. 47, pp 8658-9)

[iv] Revenue Department No.1211  of 1874,Letter to revenue commissioner, S.D., from E.P.Robertson, Collector of Savanur, 20-04-1874

[v] Revenue Department No.1006 of 1874,Letter to chief secretary of government, from  A.R.MACDONALD Collector of Kanara, 24-03-1874

[vi] Consultation  of board of revenue 15-05-1860, No.2270,  From D.Williams, Esq., Ag.Hd.Asst.Collector in charge of South Canara,08/05/1860,No.67

[vii] C-26 Consultation of board of revenue 23-05-1860 Enc.1 From R.Davidson,Esq.,Offg.Asst.Collector of Vizagapatam.          To E.G.R Pane,Esq.Collector of Vizagapatam,dated Vizagapatam, 05-05-1860

[viii] No.3285,dated 30th august 1883 From- H.E. Perries, esq, commissioner and superintendent, Rawalpindi division.
To- The secretary to government, Punjab

April 1, 2021

The Slavery of Bharatiyas(Indians) by the British- The case of Forced Labour in British India Part 1

Filed under: British Misrule — Yogeshwar Shastri @ 2:35 am
Tags: , , , , ,
Eminent historian Sri Dharampal (Image taken from here)

Before launching into the article, I would like to remember the legendary historian of Bharata -Sri Dharampal. Readers will probably be familiar with his ground-breaking work on Bharatiya society on the eve of British occupation.

Over the course of decades, he diligently collected original material on British India and brought to light how the Christian British destroyed our industry, education system, distorted our culture and subverted Hinduism for their own ends. Most the material he collected from the India Office records ( stored in the British Library in London) in the United Kingdom. Without any prospect of remuneration or financial support he laboured on due to his love for the motherland.

This is what Claude Alvares, a scholar and publisher, whose publication house has brought out several of Dharampal’s works, has to say about the tapasya of Dharampal:

He did not have much of an income. There was also a family to support. But notwithstanding all this, he became a regular visitor to the India Office and the British Museum. Photocopying required money. Oftentimes, old manuscripts could not be photocopied. So he copied them in long hand, page after page, millions of words, day after day. Thereafter, he would have the copied notes typed. He thus retrieved and accumulated thousands of pages of information from the archival record. When he returned to India, his most prized possession was these notes, which filled several large trunks and suitcases.[i]

 From anecdotes on Twitter, his last years were particularly hard in terms of financial assistance towards his research. Not surprising, for the fate of gyana margi people in today’s Bharata is usually one of financial penury and societal neglect. When time permits, I will post the translation of a lament by G.H.Khare, an eminent historian (in the correct sense, unlike the Christo-Islamo-fascist eminences who pass for scholars) on the hardships he faced throughout his life.

A lot of the material Sri Dharampal selected has been put online by Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai. This amounts to nearly 15,500 pages of original British era records like Commissioners reports, collector reports, judicial reports etc. These have been very neatly categorized by the topic and size of the documentation. For every page Dharampal selected from the British archives, he would have to go through at several irrelevant pages. A lot of these he copied by hand and typed them up. Quite a few were cyclostyled by him.

Over the coming years I will be going through all this material and publish my analysis online and in book form.

Note: Some of the references are out of whack as I am still getting used to the new fangled WordPress editor. As they say you cant stop progress. I will sort these out as I get familiar with progress.

In this series of articles, I will be tackling the slavery of Bharatiyas by the British. This is euphemistically referred to in British records as “Forced Labour”. Just as Colonialism is a nice sounding label for outright genocide, similarly, forced labour is a term which blunts the true nature of the atrocities committed by the British. My curiosity in this topic was ignited years ago by a stray sentence in the introduction of one of Dharampal’s books (don’t remember which), where he mentions this as a topic which needs further investigation. Sometime in 2015, I came across the giant repository of Dharmapals documents uploaded by CPS and stumbled upon a folder titled “Dharampal Envelopes”. This again has several sub-folders which tackle different aspects of British oppression in Bharat. It is envelope series C-25 to C-30 which form the entire corpus relating to forced labour in Bharat. This runs close to 700 pages in total.

I went through around 700 pages of original British era records in the Dharampal archive to draw a true picture of how the British used Bharatiyas like beasts of burden, all free of cost. This analysis brings out some shocking and repulsive facts about how the British brought down our ancestors to the level of load carrying donkeys. I did this analysis on and off for nearly 6 years as it is very depressing subject for me personally. This is hardly the stuff that will brighten your day.

Along with the hidden facts of slavery of Bharatiya’s other darker secrets also emerged: the mass rape of Bharatiya women by the Christian British. This is another line of research and in the coming years I will bring out a detailed book on this subject. On a sidenote, these reasons ( alongwith the destruction of our economy) were the real reasons for the Bharatiya-Anglo war of 1857 CE. It is only morons who think that a pig and cow fat greased bullet caused people to magically rise in disgust and murder the white invaders.

I will spread out the content across several articles as it is too big to fit in one blog post. The method I used to analyse the documents is Grounded Theory , which if done properly brings out hidden aspects of the data.

By the end of this year, I will be bringing out a book on the subject of forced labour, wherein I will also explain the analysis methodology in detail. If you are interested in the book ( as and when it comes out) please fill in this form.

The readers who fill up the form will be offered a discount of 40% once the book is published.

All right, lets begin our journey to understanding forced labour in British occupied Bharat. In places I have used the terms “BOB” which stands for “British Occupied Bharat“.

What is forced labour?

Lets start with a textbook definition. Very simply put whenever you are forced to work against your will is recognised as forced labour. One of the definitions given by the International Labour organisation (ILO) for forced labour is:

Forced or compulsory labour is all work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.” International Labour Organization Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29).”[i]

Right, so big deal! How does this concern us? What’s this got to do with things that happened in Bharat more than a century ago?

Let’s simplify things with an imaginary scenario. Imagine you are driving on the outskirts of Bhagyanagar in your swanky new car. You see a roadblock ahead manned by cops. You dutifully stop your car. Next thing you know is you are dragged out, your wife gets molested, and the cops commandeer your car. Beaten and bruised you are dumped on the side of the road, while the cops jump in the car and drive off to the next city, say Warangal.

Let’s take this a bit further. You send your wife back home to Bhagyanagar and hitch a ride to the Warangal. On making inquiries you find out that the car is standing in the police commissioners office. You present yourself in front of the police commissioner, who promptly throws you into a cell. Where, of course, you receive the next round of beatings. Twice beaten, once shy, you walk out of the police station and from the corner of your eye you see a surprise. Dumped near the wall is the body of the car with all its parts stripped out. Wiping a tear, you limp into the wide world.

Another scenario while we are at it: A night in the balmy Bharatiya summer. After a long day you are dozing in the compound of your house. A series of loud bangs on the door rouses you from deep slumber. Groggy and bumbling you open the front door of the house. Next thing you know is you are being pulled by a couple of peons from some government department and dragged outside the house. In the morning you find yourself with a 40-kilo weight strapped to your back and trudging through the rising heat. You look back and see a line of unfortunates like you cursing their fate. The stragglers scream as a peon lashes at their backs with a whip. Leading the front is the District Collector sitting comfortably in his Ambassador car.

In both situations you don’t get a single rupee or ten rupees for your troubles.

Outlandish? Difficult to imagine today? Replace the cars with bullock carts and turn the clock back a hundred years and you get an idea what it means when the English talk about forced labour in Bharat. While the current crop of bureaucrats and police officers, in Bharat, are a law unto themselves, they are toddlers (anari in Hindi) compared to their white forebears.

In this part and the following parts, I will touch on each aspect of this oppression practised by the Christian British in Bharat.

What was forced labour used for?

Forced labour was used to run the British occupation in Bharat. This included:

  1. Government works (canals, railways, roads, bridges etc.)
  2. For government officers and their families
  3. Movement of troops
  4. European travellers. Any white person in BOB was referred to as a European. The term travellers meant these were not connected to the British administration but were people travelling on personal business.

I will be addressing each of these points one by one. It is important to note that very rarely were Bharatiyas remunerated for their misery. Most of the time it was free slavery to the British. It didn’t matter if you were in the North, South, West or East of Bharata. The Christian British were equal opportunity enslavers. The below statement made in 1844 CE by a Magistrate in Uttar Pradesh leaves no doubt as to what went on:

It is believed that the commissariat officers on the formation of large camps and the aggregation of large bodies of troops have been in the habit of requiring the intervention of magisterial authority in procuring the attendance of trade people and artificers of various denominations to accompany such camps without remuneration… with such requisitions the magistrates have complied without objection and without reference to the illegality and injustice of such impressment.”[i]

1.      Forced labour for government works

 In terms of sheer numbers this category overwhelms all the other categories.  Indians in their lakhs were forced to work as “free” labourers on government projects and regular maintenance of existing infrastructure. This included:

  1. Construction of canals.
  2.  Railways.
  3. Repair of existing water sources.
  4.  For the trigonometrical survey of Bharat.
  5. Constructing houses of the rapist British soldiers and officials.
  6. Working as porters for British officials who moved from place to place.

Repair and Maintenance of Waterworks: An illustrative example is that of the repair and restoration of the West Yamuna canal in the 1840’s. The issue of forced labour caused heated correspondence between the Superintendent of West Yamuna canal works and the local magistrate. This debate was sparked off by a Court order in 1844 CE which prohibited the forced impressments of artisans and trades people by military authorities. But a bureaucrat  by the name of J.Thronton wrote back to the court saying that for emergency purposes it was still necessary to employ forced labour. So, by 1845 CE the Judge accordingly modified his order to exclude military “emergencies20. As was typical of the devious British government machinery almost everything was fitted into this convenient category.

To this court order, a stronger reaction came from the Superintendent of Canals, west of the Yamuna, who threatened to quit if he was not given a free hand to collect people. He further expressed the wish that every canal officer is given a free hand in collecting any number of labourers, without fearing consequences from law. The Magistrate of Karnaul (Karnal near Delhi?), M B. Thornbull wrote back saying the canal works pay forced labourers 7 paise, whereas the “nerrick” (market rate) was 2 annas 6 paise and hence no one was prepared to work.

 The superintendent clearly mentions that 5, 18, 204 people were pressed as forced labourers for constructing the canal. This equated to roughly 43,000 people gathered monthly[ii]. And how were these people rounded up?

I have no hesitation in stating for the information of government, that to the best of my belief not a single large party has been collected unless by sowars, burkandazes, chaprasis, khalasis, malis or beldars of the canal establishment for purpose of bringing them together…” Comment by the Superintendent of Works, West Yamuna canal22.

The superintendent threatened to stop work on the canal if he was prevented from getting forced labour.

This was a pan-Bharat phenomenon and continued for a long time as evidenced from notes and records from all the four ends of the country. The British officials of North West Frontier provinces (now in Pakistan) have recorded in their letters of the growing anger in people due to impressment for canal works and repairs 89 . A note from the collector of the Godavari district in 1872 CE to the Board of Revenue clearly spelt out the free work that villagers were expected to do on canals and waterworks 24:

  1. Digging and repairing of channels by which water is immediately distributed to the fields from tanks or irrigation channels.
  2. Turfing the leaky bunds of tanks in order to prevent breaches,
  3. Making ring bunds when breaches occur.

The collector is very clear about the manner in which people were coerced when he says that, “No instance has come under my own observation in which the ryots of their own accord turfed the bund of a tank, but it is said to be recognized as a duty”27.

Repair and construction of roads:  In building roads the normal tactic to save money was to bundle of portions of the road to nearest village. Free labour was exacted for building roads throughout Bharat. This included the main highways (called as trunk roads and the ones connecting the villages to each other).  A document from 1849 CE mentions that till that time forced labour was used for building trunk roads in Salem district. The note further states that since Rs.9000 had been allotted for the repair of trunk roads, there was no need to force people to work for free 28.

Another alternative to get work done free of cost was to use convicts for road and public works. This was eerily similar to the “slave labour” employed by the Soviet Union where prisoners were forced to dig canals, build roads and do just about anything that the communist party desired (Library of Congress, 2010). An example of use of convicts with details of how much money was saved is given in a report by the public works department on the feasibility of using prisoners to build roads. This report deals with Salem in Tamil Nadu mentions that due to high death rate of prisoners, the use of convicts for road repairs and construction was temporarily stopped in 1844 CE. That this experiment was already tried elsewhere is demonstrated by the report writers statement that,

the employment of convicts in gangs, at a distance from their gaols has been peremptorily prohibited by the Honourable court of directors and the government of India. Chiefly on account of the sickness and mortality which followed the adoption of a similar plan in Bengal”[iii].

The following table gives details of the death rate vis-a-vis the total number of prisoners in the prison in Salem. The total number of deaths comes to a staggering 19,845 people in a short span of 7 years.

 Proportion of deaths to Numerical Strengths
 Convicts employed on road labourPrisoners in gaols
First half of 18398702665
Second half of 18395002630
First half of 18409272743
Second half of 18406863310
First half of 18415002016
Second half of 184118102737
Total Deaths19,845 
Table 1 The death rate of prisoners employed on road construction

 The British occupation government saved an enormous amount of money by experimenting in using convicts to do work instead of forced labor from people. As is presented in this volume there is irrefutable evidence that usually all public works were carried out with free labour. The key focus on saving money, nothing else. The conclusion of the board of public works in their report was, “It is satisfactory to find that the labour of the convicts has been very nearly as cheap as free labour28.

This meant the villagers were responsible for not only building the road for free but also maintaining it. And all the while they were paying high taxes for the “gift of white rule”. This was identified by in a report by the Board of Revenue of EIC:

When the road passes through jungly, or naturally barren lands, the villages are few, and the population very scant. This road labor then must be very oppressive for great lengths of road are portioned off to small villages and the workmen have to waste much time in going to and from.”[iv]

Like most other uses of forced labour, the use of forced labour for making road was a pan-Bharat phenomenon. This is attested by other documents which are from the other extremes of Bharat i.e., Himachal Pradesh, Arakan hills tracts (Myanmar), Dera Ismail Khan, and Assam.

In case of emergencies such as floods and major damage to roads it was almost certain that villagers would be corralled into the repair effort. In Dera Ismail Khan, sometime in 1883 CE, large number of villagers were forced to repair roads and a bridge which had been swept away in a flash flood [v]. This large number was usually in the thousands not hundreds. From the letter it is clear that this was hardly an one-off occurrence.

 In the 1860’s, Sir Henry Ramsey, placed in charge of Kumaon as Commissioner, ruled as a petty tyrant. He constructed dak bungalows and large number of roads from where British officials exercised tyranny over Indians. Kuli, bardaish and begar were different appellations of forced labour, mean, impressed labour with miniscule wages, labour without payment, and grabbing food articles etc. by Government officials without paying for them.

Begar was compelling of people to labour without any payment. Miles and miles of roads were cut into mountainsides by using free and forced labour. In the case of Assam, the deputy commissioner of Gaolpara states in 1881 CE that there were “two instances” of people being forced to work on repairing roads in the district [vi]. It needs to be kept in mind that the commissioner was referring to parwanahs which were essentially records of the orders given to grab people. However, a vast majority of instances were never recorded, being accomplished with verbal instructions to the subordinate Bharatiya officers.

Another instance is from Madras Presidency where a government circular from around 1849 CE which asks officials not to use forced labour in main highways also notes that use of free labour for the major trunk roads was a common practice[vii]. In 1880’s, in Kumaon (Himachal Pradesh) a similar practice existed where the villagers were forced to maintain district roads, while the trunk roads were maintained by the government [viii].

To maintain canals and water storage: A response to a demi-official circular from 1887 CE  asking collectors about the practice of forced labour in Punjab admits that it is common practice for the maintenance and clearance of canals. The local term used for this was “cher[ix]. The legal backing for this practice is cited as Part VIII of the Canal Act of 1873. The same demi-official circular evoked interesting responses for government officials across Bharata. One response from Bombay Presidency asserted that in addition to forced labour for transporting baggage of Europeans, for troops and forced confiscation of carts, it was also used to maintain canals [x]. This was the response from Madras presidency as well where the legal backing was cited as the Act I of 1858.The justification for forced labour is that people are paid rates which are higher than the market rate.

A very common use of forced labour for government works was done under the excuse of “customary village labour”. The word customary had nothing to do with what was traditionally the villager’s responsibility, it had everything to do with what the British civil servants thought the villagers should do. Customary forced labour was commonly used to maintain the water channels, clear riverbeds, repair breaches in the canals and dams etc.

Additionally, even British officials admitted that there was no clarity as to what customary labour constituted[xi]. The acting collector of Godavari district, H.E Sullivan, characterised customary labour in 1872 CE as a “flimsy pretence” to force people to work for free [xii] . It needs to be kept in mind that the villagers were paying a wide assortment of taxes to the British rulers to maintain the waterworks. Collectors and tehsildars routinely used the threat of punishment to force the villagers to look after the irrigation works [xiii]. By the second half of the 19th century forced labour had become a way of life for most Bharatiya’s. Hence, it is not surprising when the Acting Collector for Godavari district informed the Board of Revenue in Chennai 1872 CE that:

“(In this district) the obligation to furnish unpaid labour for petty repairs to irrigation work is recognized by the ryots, and there is no practical difficulty in exacting it.”[xiv]

A detailed list of what all the villagers were forced to do is given in a reply to the question of forced labour around 1874 [xv]:

  1. Fill up dry gullies or repair other injuries caused by rain or the action of the water to the tank bunds and supply channels.
  2. To clear bunds and channel banks of prickly pear and other weeds.
  3. To remove accumulations and deposits in supply channels and sluices.
  4. To perform minor repairs to the amount of rupees 15 or 20.
  5. To strengthen tank bunds in all dangerous places and to watch them carefully in the rainy season, and to turf those parts liable to be acted upon by the waves.
  6. To construct temporary dams across jungle streams to catch water.
  7. To construct ring dams where necessary.
  8. To clear sluices and to close or keep open calingulahs with reference to the state of supply in tanks.
  9. Erecting embankments in the beds of rivers to lead the water to the head of channels.

The fact that these extensive works were standard across the board in South India is shown by the consistency in the replies given by various collectors to the Board of Revenue’s query to collectors in the Madras Presidency in the early 1870’s. The list of activities clubbed under the label “customary labour” is consistent with a few variations according to the geographic location. Punitive fines which had no legal basis were levied on the farmers who refused to slave for free. Farmers were beaten into submission by the British overlords or their Bharatiya minions. They had little say in the matter as they were ignorant of their rights. One such fine was levied in Nellore district was called a “nagalu” and was levied by the Tehsildars to bring errant farmers into line [xvi].

Most collectors were of the view that fines should be imposed on those ryots who refused to perform free labour. In fact, often fines were imposed, irrespective of their legality, and the collector’s acted as demi-gods who could fine and punish the ryots. One method to make the ryots submit was to force them to pay double the cost of the earthworks or refuse to lighten their tax load in times of distress [xvii]. One collector even recommended that revenue officers should be given legal powers to impose a fine four times the value of the work and the ability to auction off the zamindars and ryots properties to realise the money [xviii].

Prior to British rule (i.e. before 1800’s) the usual practice was for farmers to maintain the village tanks and other water storage sources. The key point to understand is that taxation in money was unknown in Bharata and the ruling powers (the Hindu ones) did not expect the farmers to pay tax and also maintain the water tanks, canals etc. The revenue was taken in form of grains and an amount set aside for repairs of the water tanks. In a letter from 1872 the collector of Chennai observes that there existed 2,885 small tanks which “were constructed by individuals or village communities and not by the Circar (the British government), and many of them are ancient ruined tanks restored by the ryots[xix].

 In the early 1800’s the asura Munro introduced the ryotwari system which was the caused tremendous damage to the social and economic fabric of Bharata. This imposed a fixed money assessment i.e. every year the farmers paid a fixed amount depending on their landholding. This amount was paid in cash and did not vary with the dire straits that farmers often found themselves in. After the imposition of the fixed assessment the creative and devious government officials came up with ways to make the farmers work for free. One method was to make the farmers responsible for any repair works below a certain sum. For example, in Madras in the 1870’s farmers were expected to carry out repairs under the sum of Rs.25.

This was also attested by the collector of North Arcot in 1872, when he wrote that, “(when a) Taram assessment imposed by the British government the state than assumed the responsibility of maintaining all works of irrigation on this consideration, that the so-called Taram assessment is made up of a tax on the soil, plus a rate for the water which the government undertook to provide for raising wet crop”[xx]. That the government did not fulfil its part of the bargain was evidenced by the complaints made by the farmers regarding the poor maintenance of large water channels [xxi].

Force was almost always necessary to compel people to work for free. On occasions where hundreds of “coolies” were needed for works such as clearing the dry riverbeds, tehsildars were deputed to terrorise the people into submission [xxii].  Farmers paid taxes such as the “irrigation cess” which was around 1 to 5 annas per acre of wet land 44. This cess was used to maintain the water channels and ensure regular distribution to the villages. However in spite of collecting this cess, the British officials utilised “customary labour” to make up for any shortfall in the cess collection. The focus thus was on saving money and maximising revenue for the British machinery in Bharat.

To carry troop supplies:  Like rest of the government machinery the most atrocious use of Bharatiya’s was to act as mules for the genocidal white army in Bharat. As the British Indian Army was the sole means by which the British ensured their occupation, no complaints were entertained against the atrocious behaviour of the military 4.  The military officers used to pressurise the local civilian officials, such as district magistrates, and get them to round up people to carry their supplies. This was mostly “free” and in many cases resulted in losses for the Bharatiya’s, who had to leave their occupation and slave for the white oppressors. No varna or jati was free from this atrocity and anyone at hand was dragged to work as beasts of burden for the evil British. The troops could be under the command of Bharatiya traitors or White people, but the result was the same: loss of livelihood and acute distress to the Bharatiya people.

“When detachments are marched under the charge of European officers, sometimes pressed coolies are paid and sometimes they are not. Similar treatment occurs when officers are travelling in consequence of removals etc. as well as when other gentlemen pass through the country.”[xxiii]

This practice was common right from the time the English were fighting for military supremacy in Dakshina Bharata. A letter from 1773 CE from Sir Robert Harland to the Earl of Rochford, where the former decries the loot perpetrated by the officers of the East India Company in Arcot [xxiv].  At this point in time Arcot was ruled by the Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah. The letter notes that, “The pressing of his people to serve as coolies, and their bullocks to carry baggage, which ought to be employed for the purposes of cultivation,are what would appear to be some of the Nabob’s greatest grievances.”

A note from the collector of Tinnevally in 1837 admits that, “the baggage for troops marching is invariably carried by carts or by coolies, engaged to perform service for the whole distance”[xxv].  This was hardly service done by Bharatiya’s out of love for their oppressors. The usual tactic was to get a white civilian officer to force them to work as slaves. Sometimes the carrot of a slight reduction in their taxes was used as inducement to try and get the Bharatiya’s to work for free.

Occasionally a right minded British civil servant such as a magistrate would protest against being made to forcibly impress Bharatiya’s of all walks in order to serve the British occupation army. One such honourable exception was the Magistrate of Kanpur who in 1843 wrote a strong letter to the commissioner of Allahabad division about the illegality of asking public officers to grab trades people whenever the military asked them to 52. He pointedly remarks that a majority of magistrates simply agree to whatever demands the military made in terms of impressing people. He further describes the method in which this was done, “Usual course was for the kotwal of the city to collect all the trades people; and they were forced to make up a purse among themselves with which they indemnified an individual of each craft, who was thus persuaded to go with the camp” 52. The military officials, referred to as the Commissariat, refused to compensate the tradesmen who were thus forced to accompany army divisions on the march, and insisted that they earn their living by selling goods within the army camp [xxvi]. The magistrate’s letter led the Lt. Governor of North-West Provinces (today’s Uttar Pradesh) to inquire with the Commissariat regarding the magistrate’s accusations. The commissariat flippantly replied that, “We would suggest that the magistrate be advised that it rests entirely with himself to refuse compliance52.  The Magistrate of Kanpur listed thirty-four types of tradesmen who were forced to accompany military units on the march. These tradesmen were forced to carry their tools and supplies for long distances without the guarantee of any payment for their trouble.

It is worth noting that till the advent of the mass manufactured automobile in the 20th century the main vehicle of travel and for carrying supplies was the bullock cart. When fighting with Bharatiya powers in the 18th and early 19th century, the British forced our people to give up their bullocks and carts in their thousands. A good example of this is the forced requisitioning of around 3000 to 20000 bullocks by Munro from Andhra Pradesh during the Second Maratha-Anglo war of 1803-1804 CE (Stein, 1989). Thousands of bullocks died during the war and the lack of bullocks for tilling the fields led to severe famine in coastal Andhra Pradesh (Ceded districts).

This became the routine even when the white tyrants had established their power in Bharat. Every time British troops and their local mercenaries marched through the country, carts and people were forcibly procured and used.  In the early 1820’s the Magistrate of Bellary in Karnataka, A.D Campbell, wrote to his seniors about the severe hardships the local people faced  from being forced to serve as coolies and to furnish supplies from detachment of troops [xxvii]. He details how in the short span of three months, eight corps and numerous smaller detachments marched through the district. The chief complain of the people was not about providing labour but about not being paid properly and being mistreated by the occupation forces. Campbell listed the following military formations which had marched in the district from around June to end of August 1820 CE: 1st of the 7th N.I, 2nd of the 16th N.I., 3 of the 17th N.I., 1st of the 19th N.I., 1st of the 20th N.I., H.M 3rd regiment, H.M 46th regiment, and  2 light cavalry besides smaller detachments.

The carts and their owners were dragged to wherever the soldiers were marching and this could be hundreds of miles away. They were rarely paid and had to come back empty thus forgoing their livelihood for many days altogether . To escape this tyranny villagers used to dismantle the carts and hide them in the jungle. The British resorted to keeping the “knowledge of the movements of troops in the background, as long as possible, so that district officers may, when the carriage is required, pounce down and seize every available cart” [xxviii]. This continued for a long time and in response to a circular from the Governor Generals office asking for details of forced labour, a reply was received from Bombay Presidency that forced labour was used for movement of troops [xxix].

It was not only carts and coolies that were commandeered by British troops, boats were requisitioned as well. This caused considerable hardship to the boatmen who lost their livelihood for as long as the occupation forces needed their service. The assistant commissioner of Sylhet (now in Bangladesh) writes about an incidence where boats were forcibly requisitioned to facilitate the movement of the 10th regiment of the N.I 55. The Bharatiya lower rung officials such as Mirasdars absconded when the assistant commissioner sent orders to grab boats and boatmen. These absconding officials were then taken to task by the commissioner for “neglecting” their duty. The commissioner details the whole disgraceful episode as ,

In the cold weather of 1880, when the 10th regiment N.I passed through the Karimganj subdivision en-route to Cachar, about 20 boats were impressed in the sub division and sent to Balaganj (20 hours journey downstream) to assist in transport. Boats and boatmen were impressed with considerable difficulty”.

Continued in Part 2.

The series continues in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

[i] Registrar Nizamut adawlut NWP to Magisterial authorities : 24.8.1844, no.1364

[ii] India revenue dispatch, March 1846: 1/Ap/NWP/N.4/1846 (extract) Registrar Nizamut adawlut NWP to Magisterial authorities : 24.8.1844, no.1364

[iii] Report from the Board of public works on the experiment of employing convict labour in construction of public roads. Ref: Appendix to the minutes of evidence taken before select committee, Appendix B, no .106,Public Works Department

[iv] Gratis, unpaid labour on road building in Madras Presidency (MRO:BR: PWD Cons: Vol.47, Cons: 25.11.1851, No.10-1, pp.1766-85,extract).

[v] No.385,dated dera ismail khan,10th august 1883 From- Lt.Col E.L. Ommanney, Officiating commissioner and superintendent, Derajat division To- The secretary to government, Punjab
[vi] No.391, dated Dhubri, 14/09/1881 From T.J.Murray, Esq, C.S., Offg. Deputy commissioner of Goalpara, To – the commissioner of the Assam valley districts

[vii] MRO:BR: PWD Cons: Vol.47, Cons: 25.11.1851, No.10-1, pp.1766-85,extract.

[viii] Northwestern provinces and Oudh ( Demi official, 07-05-1887)

[ix] Punjab ( Demi official, 28-04-1887)

[x] Bombay ( Demi official, 28-04-1887)

[xi] From  E.J Melville, Esq., acting collector of Vizagapatnam,  to the acting secretary to the board of revenue.dated  Vizianagrum, 14th February 1872, No.30

[xii] From H.E.Sullivan,Esq.Acting collector of the Godavery district,to the secretary to the board of revenue,dated Cocanada,22nd April 1872,No.96

[xiii] Proceedings of board of revenue, Consultation of 19-03-1860,No.1258 From J.Silver,Esq.Collector of Tinnevally, dated ?, 13-03-1860, no.96.

[xiv] Consultation of board of revenue 6-05-1876.From H.E.Sullivan,Esq.Acting collector of the Godavery district,to the secretary to the board of revenue, dated Cocanada,22nd April 1872,No.96

[xv] From G.Vans Agnew,Esq. collector of Nellore,to the secretary of board of revenue district,dated Nellore,26-06-1872,No.1441

[xvi] Rom G.Vansagnew, Esq.,Collector of Nellore,to the Secretary to the board of revenue, dated Nellore, 26th June 1872,No.1,441

[xvii]  G.D. Leman, Esq. Acting Collector of  the Kistna District, to the secretary  to the Board of Revenue, Dated Masulipatnam, 27th March 1872, No.1038.

[xviii] J.H Garstin,Esq., Collector of South Arcot, to the  Secretary to the Board of Revenue, dated Cuddalore, 26th March 1872, no.99

[xix] From W.Mcquhae, Esq., Acting collector of Madras, to the secretary to the board of revenue, dated 24th January 1872, No.21

[xx] From J.D Robinson, Esq., Collector of North Arcot, to the secretary to the board of reveneu, dated Gudiattum, 14th February 1872, No.63

[xxi] From T.A.N Chase, Esq., Collector of Kurnool , to the Secretary to the board of revenue, dated 23rd November 1871, No.386

[xxii] From W.S. Whiteside, Esq., acting collector of Trichinopoly, to the secretary to the board, board of revenue, dated 29th Febraury 1872, No.50

[xxiii] India Office Records: P/285/17 Madras Board of Revenue Proceedings 1st October 1795. (MRO: BRP: Vol.137: Pro 1.10.1795,No.12-13,pp 7354-64)

[xxiv] Home Mic. III East Indies 19,1773,Sir Robert Harland to Earl of Rochford (No XII) Recvd 10.4.1773

[xxv] collector,Tinnevelly to Board of revenue: 5.8.1837. ( MRO:Vol 1569,Pro 21.8.1837, No. 31, pp 9556-8)

[xxvi] From the magistrate of Cawnpoor to the commissioner of the 4th or Allahabad division on the administration of criminal justice for 1843, 28-02-1843,general remarks para 15

[xxvii] C-28, Magistrate  ,Bellary to Government, 31-8-1820 (MRO: Jud. Con.: Vol no. 151.B, coN 15.9.1820, Nos 9-13, pp.2203-68)

[xxviii] C-26 Letter to  Chief secretary to government, Bombay, from  J.W.Robertson, Collector, Tanna,  27-05-1874.

[xxix] Bombay Demi-Official ,05-05-1887

[i] https://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_agraw_dharampal_frameset.htm

[ii] http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/news/WCMS_237569/lang–en/index.htm

March 10, 2020

Of Indological Frauds and False Gods : Book review of “Truths- 500 Years European Christians in History”

Filed under: Book Reviews — Yogeshwar Shastri @ 6:25 am
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Indological Frauds and False Gods


Prologue: I was first sent this book for review nearly 4 years ago, around 2016, but life intervened and every time I sat down to write a review, something came along and derailed the process. Given the nature of the book, I kept coming back with the intention to read and review it every year. This led to me reading through it 4 times over an equal number of years. This year I decided that it had to get out of my “To do” basket.

Here is the review of a worthwhile book which makes us rethink some of the crap we have been fed by our useless education system. This post is a book review and a general article on the subject rolled into one. Reading through the book, I strongly felt that simply writing a review of the book would not do justice to the book or to the topic.

I have freely borrowed from the book and have tried to attribute where my memory didn’t fail me.  In any case, if a sentence/sentences seem to be taken from the book, it most definitely is. No plagiarism intended.

In the book the authors have correctly identified Western Indologists from 200 years back till today as intellectual prostitutes. In the early days of Western Indology, frauds such as William Jones and Horace Hayman Wilson used local Pandits as useful idiots to get their translations done. Today the Indologists are more sophisticated and make use of “dictionaries” and English translations (in many cases brought out by Bharatiya institutes such as MS University, Vadodara). Some of the more intrepid ones take the effort of coming to Bharata and learning one language. They then become “super-scholars” who are considered superior even to their Bharatiya Gurus. The Indological eco-system in the early days (18th, 19th and part of 20th century) was mostly White dominated. In the last few decades they have recruited Bharatiya Sipahis to do the dirty work and extoll their white overlords. One such sipahi, Ananya Vajpai, wrote an article extolling her white PhD supervisor, as a “Scholar of Scholars”. There is no dearth of intellectual prostitutes and morons in Bharata.

Figure 1 William Jones- Godfather of Indological frauds

The book also has a decent overview of the father of all Indological crooks: William Jones. This swindler set up the “Asiatick Society of Bengal”, where only white Europeans were members for a long time. He encouraged them to write about Bharata, its culture and its people. It didn’t matter if what they wrote had anything to do with reality, output was important, as this was then circulated in London and the European capitals. William Jones knowledge of Sanskrit is brought out in a letter he wrote to another “Indologist” Charles Wilkins: “It is of utmost importance, that the stream of Hindu law should be pure; for we are entirely at the devotion of the native lawyers, through our ignorance of Shanscrit (Sanskrit!)”. The book correctly points out that William Jones was forgotten after 1850, and why and when was his name revived as the father of Indology?

Another fraud character dissected is Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860) who went on to become a Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford. He brought out the first Sanskrit-English dictionary in 1819 with the help of Bharatiya Sipahis. The Boden chair was established in Oxford using looted funds from Bharata. The money was looted by a white mercenary with the Bombay Army, Joseph Boden. His daughter created the chair. The objective of the chair was to convert the Bible into Sanskrit to convert the heathen “Hindoos”. Of course, H H Wilson was never able to translate as he had no knowledge of Sanskrit in the first place. In his 28 years in the chair he never published any worthwhile Sanskrit work.

It would have been quite entertaining to read the frauds and swindles carried out by this bunch of morons if the consequences had not been so serious for Bharata today. Local brown Sipahis are constantly advocating that Whites should be the rightful owners of Sanskrit. Take this article by a self-proclaimed scholar, Sumit Paul, who advocates handing Sanskrit expertise to White people. Sumit Paul claims to have taught at Bhandarkar oriental Research Insitute (BORI) in Pune. It turns out Sumit Paul never taught at BORI. This fact was observed by Prof. Saroja Bhate, who herself  is a very senior scholar and was with BORI for a long time. Such frauds and swindles are still perpetrated today.


Introducing Moksha Mulla Bhatta alias Max Müller

 The book “Truths- Europeans Christians in History” is a detailed and critical examination of a long dead eminent white Indologist i.e. Max Müller (1823-1900 CE). Before we go further here is a short bio of Max Müller,

“Müller was instrumental in editing and translating into English some of the most ancient and revered religious and philosophical texts of Asia. Especially noteworthy are his edition of the great collection of Sanskrit hymns the Rigveda, Rig-Veda-samhitâ: The Sacred Hymns of the Bráhmans (6 vol., 1849–74); his work as editor of the 51-volume series of translations The Sacred Books of the East; and his initial editing of the series Sacred Books of the Buddhists. In addition, Müller was an important early proponent of a discipline that he called the “science of religion”;”[i]

And , “Müller’s work contributed to the developing interest in Aryan culture, which often set Indo-European (“Aryan”) traditions in opposition to Semitic religions.[ii]

Long story short, he was one of the early माई बाप of the current breed of Indologists (or Orientalists as Edward Said characterised them) and more importantly he was the key founder of the Aryan invasion myth. This myth has been used for over 150 years to de-stabilise and divide Bharata. Max Müller’s fake and outright ridiculous theory of Aryan invasion is responsible for dividing Bharata on the fake lines of Aryans and Dravidians. I have had the misfortune to witness morons from Uttarapatha (Northern Bharata) proudly claiming to be “fair skinned Aryans” in front of their white colleagues. Add to this mix are white racists who foolishly think themselves as Aryans.

Another of his achievements was to date at Rig-Veda at 1200 BCE. In practical terms his pronouncement made in one stroke our पुराण, इतिहास, and traditional dating systems a tissue of lies and falsehoods. All our great dynasties were either slashed from the chronology of time or squashed together to conform to an arbitrary start date of 1200 BCE for Hindu civilisation.

I won’t blame readers for exclaiming, “What nonsense! How could a white man’s writings have influenced how we look at our past? Does it even matter now?”The one big reason why random white ravings became words from heaven was the genocidal British occupation of Bharata which started in early 1600’s and reached its climax in late 1800’s CE. This is politely whitewashed as “colonialism”, as if it was some kind of a favour by the British on us poor Bharatiya’s. The period from early 1800’s marked the beginning of Bharata’s Dark Age under the Christian British occupation. Our indigenous education systems were destroyed, temples looted, women raped en-masse and millions pushed to death by starvation or outright butchery. The British system that replaced our education system was restricted to certain classes of Bharatiya’s who either had the means or who collaborated with the oppressors.

Traitors and mercenary bastards like Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) and Dwarkanath Thakur (Tagore) (1794-1846) made their fortunes exploiting Bharatiya’s on behalf of their White masters. These dirty rats, especially Ram Mohan Roy, are held as great reformers and “yugapurushas” in today’s Bharata. The nodal agency which allocates book ISBN’s in Bharata is called the Raja Ram Mohan Roy National Agency for ISBN (No offense to the government agency, I have dealt with them and they are very efficient!). Captain Vadakayil is bang on target when he details the dirty deeds of these third rate traitors.

These elite were shepherded through the missionary schools and colleges which sprang up with active support of the Christian British. These “institutions” pushed their distorted view of Bharatiya’s and their Itihasa down the throats of at least 3-4 generations of Bharatiya’s. This fake narrative was continued after independence by the brown successors of the white British.

With the Bharatiya elite becoming consumers of white Christian views of Bharata, it was only a matter of time before their derision towards everything Dharmic trickled down to different social classes. One of the greatest crimes of the Christian British was the deprivation of the bulk of Bharatiya’s from education. Our countrymen became what we derisively call today as “illiterates”, as if gaining a certificate made one the smartest person in the world!

Thus, even though the white Indologist is long dead, it is important to break down the ऋषि like aura which has been imparted to these crooks. Max Müller has a god like status among western Indologists, with the practice of referencing keeping him permanently alive in the Indological literature. In the next section I will detail how the authors have gone about demolishing this halo of a scholarly genius.

A Quest for Truth

The authors of this investigative work are Prof. Prodosh Aich and Mr. MVR Nair. The researchers have explained that they arrived at facts as a result of trying to answer two key questions:

  1. Who is the narrator of a tale?
  2. How does the narrator know what he is speaking about?

Using these questions the authors have subjected to intense scrutiny Max Müllers claims of collecting and editing the Rig Veda. The authors have put in tremendous effort to translate every letter written by Max Müller to his mother. The letters were written in 19th century German (which is quite different to contemporary German). Each letter is reproduced in full. This is keeping in line with the authors’ litmus test for reliability of information: “If a fact cannot be verified from a primary source, then it is almost certain it is fake (not simply someone said this or that, a nonsense approach which has become an integral part of भारतीय culture today).

Not only Max Müller, but his so-called गुरवः in संस्कृत and anyone remotely claimed to be a संस्कृत expert is destroyed by the authors stabbing searchlight of truth. Max Müller is revealed to be a low-grade swindler (no surprises here!) like most Indologists past and present. To sum up: Max Müller does not know संस्कृत, cannot read or speak संस्कृत but is an authority on all things Bharatiya. This is the scene very much in play today as well. Western Indology is a racist discipline with a hierarchy dominated by whites. Max Müller was a typical White swindler looking to bake his bread on the “Orient”, more specifically on Sanskrit. In 1845, Max Müller was in Paris, 21 years old and was already marketing himself as a scholar of Sanskrit.

A good question raised by the authors and very much relevant today is: how did white people, with English or German as their first language and an extremely limited proficiency in any भारतीय language (leave alone संस्कृत) become the supreme authorities on all things भारतीय?

Second question is: how reliable are the translations done by this pioneering generation of cultural bandits? And how honest are the biographies of these thieving bastards?  Do they even contain a modicum of truth or are they simply a bundle of lies?


Fake Doctor, Fake PhD

Wikipedia उवाच :

“In need of a scholarship to attend Leipzig University, Müller successfully sat his abitur examination at Zerbst. While preparing, he found that the syllabus differed from what he had been taught, necessitating that he rapidly learn mathematics, modern languages and science[4]. He entered Leipzig University in 1841 to study philology, leaving behind his early interest in music and poetry. Müller received his degree in 1843. His final dissertation was on Spinoza‘s Ethics[3]. He also displayed an aptitude for classical languages, learning GreekLatinArabicPersian and Sanskrit.”

I have lifted this from Fakopedia as the article is a good aggregator of “standard” references on Max Müllers life. The references cited by the Wikipedia article are: the book Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; and article on Max Muller written by two doctoral students in the University of Glasgow. From the Wiki bio it is clear that Max Muller was nothing short of an academic genius and completed his PhD from the University of Leipzig, Germany. But how much of this is true?

The first aspect of the Max Müllers impressive bio to collapse are his “claimed” academic degrees. Ever since the British genocide of our culture, we have become obsessed with degrees and certificates. The more foreign sounding and sophisticated, the more respect you command. Of course, if you are white skinned, the respect goes up 10X. If you are brown skinned but have the white man’s certificate, expect 5X in terms of respect. Do a social experiment: pretend you are from Harvard, Stanford, Yale, or Oxford…see the reaction from the intellectual elite and the rich in भारत.

The authors have presented evidence that Max Muller never had a doctorate from University of Leipzig. There are no records of him being granted any PhD in that university.  It is interesting to note that he dropped the “Dr.” tag once he was settled at Oxford. All his subsequent publications carry the honorary Master of Arts that he was given at Oxford. The authors have shown how lies are mindlessly parroted by biographers and Indologists without even verifying the source. One scholar states a lie as fact and everyone refers to this fake source till it becomes an accepted fact.

Many letters of Max Müller, especially those printed by his wife Georgina Muller after his death in 1901, are shown to be fake. One such faked letter is one from Max Müller to his mother, written in 1844. An extract from that letter says, “I especially dwelt on the likeness between Sankhya and his own system and remarked how an inclination to the Vedanta showed itself. He (Schelling) asked what we must understand by Vedanta, how the existence of God was proved, how God created the world….” The letter refers to Max Müllers meeting with Friedrich William Schelling (1775-1854). Where this published letter trips over is the fact that Schelling had nothing to do with Sanskrit, Arabic or even Persian. In 1844, Schelling was 69 years old and Max Müller was 21 years old and Muller had no clue to what Vedanta was.

More instances of outright fakery and tall claims abound in both Georgina Muller’s book and Max Müller’s own autobiography. Georgina claims that Max Müller was fluent in Pali and Hindustani. How did he become fluent when he had no actual teachers, and this was in 1844? All fairy tales, of course.

Several claims by Max Müller are systematically demolished based on the letters he wrote to his mother. He comes across as an average and an extremely needy person whose confidence is rock-bottom. One of the celebrated claims, which is duplicated in most books on his life, is that he translated the Hitopadesa in 1844 when he was around 21 years old. How could he translate from the original Sanskrit if he had no knowledge of it at all? The modus operandi was to use existing Latin and English translations and then try to make them correspond with a patched up Sanskrit text (or no Sanskrit text at all).

What was Max Müllers method of learning Sanskrit? In his own words, “ I soon found out that it was not in my nature, to copy from a Sanskrit manuscript, even for 3-4 hours without mistakes… this new process ( for copying Sanskrit letters) I discovered by using transparent paper, and thus tracing every letter”.  The approach to learn Sanskrit was basically to copy, trace the Devanagari letters and somehow hack through the translation. Who, except a moron, will learn a language this way? The authors have correctly pointed out the futility of translating Sanskrit into inferior languages such as English, “there is no substitute for the spoken modus. Written Sanskrit texts therefore can never substitute the wholeness of these texts handed down in the oral tradition. Comprehending the wholeness of a foreign culture and knowledge by its written expression is impossible…”

Max Müller stayed in Paris for 450 days but claimed to have copied 6000 pages of Sanskrit in Rig-Veda using this copy, paste approach.

Another example of making up facts is this quote from one of Max Müllers published biographies, “Recently (around 1846) I came to know an Indian, Dvarkanath Tagore, with whom I fumblingly smattered in English and Bengali. Presently I am engaged to compose a Bengali grammer in French.” The authors have pointed out that this meeting is not mentioned anywhere in Dwarkanath Thakurs minute records. In 1846, Max Müller was 22 years old and did not have an opportunity to smatter in either English (very limited knowledge) or in Bengali (no knowledge at all). As I have mentioned earlier, Dwarkanath Thakur was a British pimp who made millions running opium businesses, prostitution (Sonagachi in Kolkata is his creation), and generally selling the country to the British asuras. He grew up in the East India Company network and started working for them since he was 16 years old. By 1842, he was important enough to be received by Queen Victoria and the Rothschild family on his visit to the UK. Captain Vadakayil has written that he was a front for Rothschild group. I won’t be surprised if he was, even today many leading Bharatiya Vaishya’s are simply fronts for external forces. This gutter rat was the grandfather of Rabindranath Thakur. How Rabindranath was marketed and made into an intellectual needs further analysis.

गुरु परंपर of Frauds

The perception is that Max Muller was a scholar of “Sanskrit”, but who were his so-called Gurus? And were they experts in Sanskrit? The authors have presented evidence that none of his so-called Gurus had even an iota of knowledge of Sanskrit. Most couldn’t even differentiate between Sanskrit and languages like Persian. How did these frauds learn Sanskrit?

Here is how they became overnight experts in Sanskrit: Take a translated version and the original book. It doesn’t matter if the translated version is also a translation from a translated version. Anybody who has played the game of Chinese whispers (the name itself is racist), knows the distortion that occurs when even a simple message is passed around multiple people. Can you imagine the distortion when a text in Samskrit is first translated into Arabic, then the Arabic is translated into Latin, and finally the Latin one gets translated into one of the European languages. Even in the European languages it is further translated between the languages. For example: from English to German etc. This is precisely what went on, as even the so called scholars of “Sanskrit” in EIC relied on native informants (“Pandits”) to translate from Samskrit to English.

So here is a short bios of his Gurus:

  • Hermann Brockhaus is known as one of the first Indologists/orientalists in Europe. He is a professor who teaches Sanskrit grammar in Leipzig University. Max Müller is known to attend his classes between 1842-1844. However Brockhaus’s Sanskrit knowledge is worse than rudimentary and all of it gathered through Arabic and Latin translations. Brockhaus taught subjects like “History of Indian Literature” and “Prabodha Chandrodaya” in Leipzig. For this he used a translation of J.Taylor (published in 1812). Of course, no one knows how good or horrible the quality of the translation was! Brockhaus was in turn a student of August Wilhelm Von Schelgel who studied Sanskrit for 4 months between 1812-1813 with Franz Bopp, another crook who becomes father of linguistics and other non-scientific disciplines which are marketed as “social sciences”. Franz Bopp in turn has no idea of Sanskrit in 1813, he is still trying to learn Arabic, Persian and then Sanskrit. However by April 29, 1814 Bopp claims to have mastered Sanskrit without any help. In short a self-taught expert of the fraud variety.
  • Franz Bopp came to Paris in 1812 to learn Sanskrit from another orientalist: Antione Leonard De Chezy, but even by 1814 Bopp has not managed to learn Sanskrit. Chezys knowledge of Sanskrit is revealed by a letter from Bopp to his teacher Professor Windichmann in 1813: “I want to contribute my utmost that it (Ramayana) can be read in German language. I am already now capable to translate the first part, available in English translation. Without a translation, I am unable to translate any Indian manuscript yet, Chezy, either, hardly can, although he is engaged in that 6 years longer.” One of the gems from Bopp, “One writes Sanskrit in more than 10 different ways”. What was he talking about? Incredibly by 1816 publishes the first book on Sanskrit grammar! In the corrupt Western academic system he is made a Professor for Sanskrit in Berlin in 1825 CE. Talk about blind leading the blind.
  • Friedrich Von Schlegel claims to have learnt from Alexander Hamilton in the time period of May-November 1803 CE. Thus, Friedrich Schlegel becomes a Sanskrit expert in 4 months. By 1808 publishes “On the Knowledge and wisdom of the Indians”. And who is this great Pandit Alexander Hamilton?   He is a low level functionary in Kolkata of the East India Company. Arrives in Kolkata in 1783 CE as an ensign, which is the lowest rank in the infantry. The authors have shown that there is no record of him learning Sanskrit or becoming a Sanskrit scholar. All references are second hand or forged. He lands in Paris as a prisoner of war when the fight starts in earnest between the French and the English in 1803 CE. However, he is promoted by Loius Mathieu Langes, who is the keeper of the Oriental Manuscripts in the royal library in Paris. This is what “scratch my back and I scratch yours” in action. Alexander Hamilton becomes the first person to “teach” Sanskrit in Europe. On his part, Friedrich Von Schlegel does not teach anyone Sanskrit.

This is a brief review of the Gurus of Max Müller.

Max Muller- Back from the dead

A major coup in getting Max Müller back into the public limelight was Nirad Chaudhari’s book “Scholar Extraordinary, The Life of Professor the Right Honourable Friedrich Max Müller, P.C”, which was published in 1974. He was airlifted by the British establishment to Oxford in 1970 and commissioned to write a book on Max Müllers life. The book is a hagiography of a crook like Muller who is glorified as the demi-god of Sanskrit and Bharatiya culture. Nirad Chaudhari was probably an Englishman reincarnated in a Bharatiya’s body due to some good deeds in his past life. In these cases the current life form (jiva) still retains a strong affinity and identification with its previous life’s homeland. Unsurprisingly, this is how the Encyclopedia Britannica describes Nirad Chaudhari: “who was opposed to the withdrawal of British colonial rule from the Indian subcontinent and the subsequent rejection of Western culture in independent India. He was an erudite and complex individual who seemed to have been born at the wrong place and in the wrong time”[iii].

The books gives other examples of the way in which these long dead Indologists are kept alive in the academic realm. One example is a 2002 publication by Jon Stone, an academic from California State University. The book is titled “The Essential Max Müller” and parrots the same lies about Max Müllers degrees. The same old sources are referred to as universal truths without bothering to check the truthfulness of their claims.

General Observations about the Book

The authors have perceptively identified that the various labels given to the Christian European genocide and destruction of non-Christian cultures is deceptively packed by White academics as colonization, human rights, democracy etc. etc. These are simply cover-ups to mask the relentless assault on Bharata. The book also gives a brief history of genocidal Christian looters such as Robert Clive, Warren Hastings, Vasco Da Gama, Alfonso De Albuquerque, Roberto De Nobili… they have selected for practical reasons a small selection of names from an endless list.

I was sent a pdf version of the book, hence can’t comment on how the printed version’s quality. The pdf had its own issues, for example, no page numbers. As it was bound to happen, I mixed up the printed pages before getting it spiral bound. Invariably I had to spend a lot of time trying to figure out which page led where.

The book content is clearly for a reader who is in search of the truth and will be persistent enough to soldier on through the dense content. While the hard work and superb research of the authors is to be praised, the language is labored and repetitive in places. As I indicated to one of the authors in an email exchange, it needs to be professionally edited to make it more readable. The book has to reach a wider audience as the content deserves to be included in NCERT textbooks. I would also encourage the authors to get it translated into several Bharatiya languages and reach a much wider audience. This is easy for me to say as it depends on the authors financial resources, but will be a very worthwhile undertaking.

I have no financial interest in this book or its sales. The book can be purchased from:

1) AMAZON IND – https://www.amazon.in/TRUTHS-years-European-Christians-History/dp/9383826215/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=truths+500+year&qid=1583737792&sr=8-2
2) AMAZON .com – https://www.amazon.com/Truths-Years-European-Christians-History-ebook/dp/B07859FZT9
3) google books – https://books.google.com/books/about/Truths.html?id=J6NuCQAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y



Overall I would recommend serious seekers of the truth to buy this book and support the authors. There is no point crying about “lack of Dharmic scholars” if you are not prepared to put your money where your mouth is!

[i] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Max-Muller

[ii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_M%C3%BCller#Aryanism

[iii] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Nirad-C-Chaudhuri

November 11, 2017

In Memory of Aie

Filed under: Life in general — Yogeshwar Shastri @ 3:07 am


My dear  Aie , Prof.Sunanda Shastri passed away on 15th October 2017. She was a wonderful and compassionate human being and a profound scholar of Sanskrit. I will be updating this post later with details of her life and work.


April 4, 2017

Goodreads Competition winners- Copies in the post

Filed under: Sriyogi Books and Publications — Yogeshwar Shastri @ 10:50 am

Dear all,

Congratulations to all those who won a print copy of “Indrajit-Siege of Kamboja” and thanks to all those who participated.

The first batch of copies was posted today to readers in India.

Rest  of the world will be posted tomorrow as customs forms need to be filled out. Overseas readers please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Thank you for your patience.



March 18, 2017

Print book giveaway: Indrajit Siege of Kamboja

I am giving away 20 copies of “Indrajit -Siege of Kamboja” on Goodreads.com

How does the Goodreads giveaway program work?

Beats me! But in their own words:

If more people are interested in a book than there are copies available, we will pick the winners at our discretion. The factors that go into our algorithm are: randomness, site activity, genre of books on your shelves, current phase of the moon, and more.

It works as some kind of a lucky draw, if more than 20 people sign up for the giveaway.

Here is the link to the Goodreads giveaway :


You will need to signup for Goodreads to enter the giveaway.





March 12, 2017

Indrajit- Free download on Kindle


For the next 5 days till 17th March, you can download Indrajit for free from any of the Amazon websites (US,UK, India,Australia etc). In sometime zones the book will probably be available for free from tomorrow.

Some links:

India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01EXQLCLW

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EXQLCLW

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EXQLCLW

Australia : https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01EXQLCLW

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01EXQLCLW

You will probably need to register for the Kindle Unlimited program to download the book for free.



January 28, 2017

New Novel Release: Indrajit- Siege of Kamboja



I am happy to announce the release of the paperback version of my novel ” Indrajit- Siege of Kamboja“.

You can buy the book at Amazon India : http://www.amazon.in/dp/0473384833

For a limited time I am offering trade discount of 25%  off the MRP of Rs.250.

Please use the discount code BM9BG8MY to claim the discount.

Thus the special price is Rs.188 ( excluding postage) within India.

If you are outside India please drop an email to : sriyogipublications@gmail.com for postage costs.

The book has an original map of 6th Century Afghanistan created by me.

You can download the chapter here :  Indrajit Sample Chapter

Details of the book as below:

Title : Indrajit- Siege of Kamboja

Pages: 172

Book type : Paperback

ISBN: 9780473384838



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