The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai

Postby admin » Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:00 am

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai
translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras
Volumes 1-3 edited by Sir J. Frederick Price, KCSI., Late of the Indian Civil Service, Assisted by K. Rangachari, B.A., Superintendent of Records, Government Secretariat, Fort St. George
Volumes 4-12 edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office
1904-1928

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by Sir J. Frederick Price, KCSI., Late of the Indian Civil Service, Assisted by K. Rangachari, B.A., Superintendent of Records, Government Secretariat, Fort St. George, Volume 1, 1904

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by Sir J. Frederick Price, KCSI., Late of the Indian Civil Service, Assisted by K. Rangachari, B.A., Superintendent of Records, Government Secretariat, Fort St. George, Volume 2, 1907

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by Sir J. Frederick Price, KCSI., Late of the Indian Civil Service, Assisted by Rao Sahib K. Rangachari, B.A., Superintendent of Madras Record Office, Volume 3, 1914

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 4, 1916

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 5, 1917

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 6, 1918

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 7, 1919

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 8, 1922

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 9, 1924

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 10, 1925

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 11, 1927

The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, translated from the Tamil by Order of the Government of Madras, edited by H. Dodwell, M.A., Curator, Madras Record Office, Volume 12, 1928
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33515
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai

Postby admin » Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:49 am

[Volume 1]

Chap. XII.

From February 7th, 1746, to March 16th, 1746


Portuguese ship St. Louis arrives — Pursued by English vessels — Cause of this — English anchor off fort — One of their ships departs for Fort St. David — Precautions against attack — Cargo of St. Louis — Governor directs letter to be sent to chief dubash, Fort St. David — Mahfuz Khan desires to visit Governor — Deputation goes out to receive him — Outrages by force at Tavalakuppam — Governor of Fort St. David arranges for reprisals — English ships arrive off Pondichery — Make attempt in boats to attack batteries — Retire to ships— Force at Tavalakuppam moves to Ariyankuppam — English squadron threatens night attack — Precautions taken — Return of deputation sent to Mahfuz Khan — Another pays ceremonial visit — Returns and reports to Governor — Appearance and manners of Mahfuz Khan — Reception by him of deputation — Return of troops from Ariyankuppam — Departure of the English ships — Mahfuz Khan requests same honours as Nawab — Governor consents — State entry with Governor — Value of presents made to him — Death of chief dubash Kanakaraya Mudali — Wife personally reports his illness to Madame Dupleix — Who visits the sick man — Wife claims the whole estate — Enlists, by insinuating language, support of Madame Dupleix— Who speaks to her husband on the subject — House, etc., of deceased placed under seal — The funeral — Marks of respect shown by Governor and others — Period of service of Kanakaraya Mudali — Male relatives of deceased visit Governor to express their grief — Propriety of Governor making presents suggested to diarist — He submits this — Governor gives orders to procure broad-cloth — Presents it to party and dismisses it — Diarist accompanies Chinna Mudali home— Summoned by Governor regarding disputed succession to estate of deceased — Reference to heads of castes ordered — These assemble — Arbitrators selected — The instructions given to them — Hear either side — Arguments adduced— Reply of Chinna Mudali — Arbitrators find that he is lawful heir — Record formal opinion as to treatment of widow, etc. — Make personal report to Governor — He questions them as to certain points — Directs formal award in accordance with their opinion — Approved and signed by Governor — Memorial service for Kanakaraya Mudali— Meeting of Council — Small force marches southward— Object of this — Governor sends for diarist —Referring to his indebtedness to Company, asks what he does with his money -- He defends himself — Governor suggests payment of certain money -- Diarist denies receipt of this — Questioned as to permitting a certain family to quit Pondichery — Again defends himself — Governor desires him to recall the party— Diarist urges that inquiry should be made into report against him — Governor turns the conversation— Diarist presses for inquiry — Governor still avoiding the subject, gives orders regarding other matters — Rascality of one Venkatakrishnan — His story to Appu regarding large loan to Minakshi Ammal— Connection of Madame Dupleix with attempt to recover this sum — Questions asked by Governor assigned to this — Moralisations on what has occurred.

[Monday], 7th February 1746, or 29th Tai of Krodhana. — The events of this day have been the following: —

At noon, the Portuguese ship St. Louis, captain, M. Antonio-de-Caetan, arrived here from Madras, cast anchor, and fired three guns to salute the vessels in the roads: these were returned by a like number. Seven guns were then fired by the St Louis, in compliment to the fort, which replied with a similar salute. Four English sail came in pursuit of this ship. Having caught sight of her, they hove to at a distance. The captain inquired why they were following him. It appears that when the St. Louis was on her way from Chandernagore, the English sailors at Madras seized and detained her in the roads there. When inquiry was made as to her nationality, the reply was she was Portuguese ... * [Perished in the original] Those in charge of her were asked to sell all the merchandise that was on board, and to buy goods there in exchange. They agreed to this, pretended to bargain, deceived the English, set sail, and escaped during the night. The St. Louis was therefore pursued on the following morning. Such was the explanation given. The three ships and the sloop which chased her arrived in the roads between 3 and half-past 4 in the afternoon, and cast anchor on the north-eastern side of the fort. Two others came from Fort St. David, and anchored to the south-east. Of the four vessels which came from the north, one fired a gun, and then started southwards for Fort St. David, bearing news to that place. When she arrived abreast of the anchorage, the Governor went to the fort, summoned all the soldiers who were there, distributed them in the batteries on the beach, directed them to load all the guns and mortars that were in these, and to keep ready powder, shot, shells, and grenades; in short, he made all the necessary preparations, and then, at half-past 5, proceeded home. The inhabitants of the town who went to watch this strange sight numbered 10,000. The Governor noticing all these people, said to them: “You have been looking at this long enough; you now had better go home.” I also went, and saw what was going on. The goods which were brought in the Portuguese ship St. Louis were wheat, rice, and candles; it is said that there were also some sundry goods from Chandernagore. This cargo was being unloaded by boats until 2 in the morning.

Tuesday, 8th February 1746, or 30th Tai of Krodhana. —... * [Perished in the original.] under that assumed name. They also said that the youngest son of one Fidelgue, formerly a resident of this town, had been appointed captain, and sent off.

The English ships which arrived yesterday are yet in the roads. They have not moved.

To-day, the Governor sent for me, and desired me to write a letter to Rangappa Nayakkan, the dubash of the Governor of Fort St. David. I accordingly did so, and kept a copy. "When a reply is received, I shall refer to it.

This day, Mahfuz Khan, the son of Nawab Anwar-ud-din Khan of Arcot subah, went to Arcot, met his father, who was unwell, and departed, intending to return to Trichinopoly. He was anxious to pay a visit, on his way, to the Governor of Pondichery, to whom he wrote to this effect. The report is that the Governor ordered a letter to be sent inviting Mahfuz Khan to visit him. He directed Chinna Mudali, the younger brother of Kanakaraya Mudali, and Madananda Pandit, to go out, and receive him. Accordingly, at 4 in the afternoon, Chinna Mudali, Madananda Pandit, and twenty peons, left for this purpose.  

This afternoon, inquiry has elicited the following information regarding the doings of the force which went to Tavalakuppam choultry, and its leaders. Having encamped at that place, their practice was to set out as though on a march, advance as far as the boundary of Marikrishnapuram, and waylay and ill-treat any persons whom they met. They even attacked the [English] Company’s post runners at Nallam Bspu Reddi’s choultry, and told them to inform their masters of what they had done. The Governor of Fort St. David, who came to hear of this, communicated the news to the commander of the men-of-war, supplied him with some Europeans and Carnatic sepoys, as well as three large boats, and instructed him to retaliate. He accordingly came with four ships. Anchoring in proximity to the coast, he despatched two or three native craft, each carrying a party of 100 men composed of Europeans and natives. These first approached the St. Louis battery, to the north of the fort, and there twenty of the men disembarked, but when they saw a gun in the battery trained upon them, they retired to their boats, and moved to the south of the fort, opposite to the St. Lawrence battery, where they again landed. On seeing however a gun there, too, aimed at them, they again took to their boats, and returned to the ships. What may take place to-night is not known. The object of the English in acting as they have done is to imitate the course followed by the French near Fort St. David, who made but a show of warlike operations, and in this respect they have outdone them.

The troops which went to Tavalakuppam choultry some time ago, and the officers and factors, moved to Ariyankuppam. The latter alone came to Pondichery this evening. It is not known whether the force at Ariyankuppam will remain there, or depart thence.

Wednesday, 9th February 1746, or 1st Masi of Krodhana. — The news of this Wednesday is as follows: Last night, at about three Indian hours after sunset, the English squadron, completely lit up, stood inshore for a while, and then moved back to its former position. The Governor, who was apprised of this, set out at once for the beach, having previously ordered the lights to be extinguished. He cautioned the soldiers and gunners there to be on the alert, and then returned home. He afterwards supped, and went to bed. This became known in the morning.

At noon this day, Tanappa Mudali and Madananda Pandit, who had been to see Mahfuz Khan, the son of the Nawab, returned, and reported to the Governor that they had visited him near Vazhudavur, and that he had halted at Kadirampillaiyar Koyil — called also Vira Reddi’s choultry — situated on the other side of Saram. At 4, the Governor deputed M. Miran and M. Barthelemy, together with Chinna Mudali and Madananda Pandit, and musicians, on another visit of honour to Mahfuz Khan. These paid their respects to him at his camp, and returning, reported to the Governor that they had done so. He informed them that he would invite Mahfuz Khan to visit him on the following day, and told them to go home; they then retired.

Being questioned regarding their interview, Chinna Mudali and Madananda Pandit said as follows: “When we visited him, he did not know how to treat us; he is incapable of making himself respected; his skin is exactly the colour of a Lubbay’s, black and ugly; manners are unknown to him; even our peons are orderly, decent, and wear clean cloths and turbans; he is worse than they; you can judge of him to-morrow when he comes here.” When they paid their respects to Mahfuz Khan, what happened was this: M. Miran and M. Barthelemy offered him their compliments. He bade them give his to the Governor, and said: “I have not brought any cloths. I came away in a hurry. I therefore have none ready to offer you. To-morrow, I will send presents to you, and to the Governor.” With these words, and in a beggarly fashion, he let them go. His desire was that the Governor should receive him at the town-gate — as he did the Nawab — and that all the marks of honour bestowed on him should be the same as were offered to that potentate. He requested Chinna Mudali and Madananda Pandit to convey this wish to the Governor, and they did so. We will see what is going to happen.


This evening at two Indian hours after sunset, the force which was at Ariyankuppam, and its leaders, came to Pondichery; without the knowledge of any one. What will occur hereafter is unknown.

All the English ships which were off the coast set sail at one Indian hour after sunset, and stood to the southward. Whether they will return to-night, or quit this neighbourhood, is uncertain. This will be seen to-morrow.

Thursday, 10th February 1746, or 2nd Masi of Krodhana. — When the Nawab came here some time ago with Mir A’zam, who had married the niece of Mir Ghulam Husain, he pitched his camp outside the town-gate, and tokens of respect were offered to him. Mahfuz Khan sent word to the effect that the same honours should be bestowed on him also. This was reported to the Governor, who consented to show him the attentions requested. Accordingly, a camp was erected near the Vazhudavur | gate, at the spot where tents are usually pitched for the reception of the Nawab. The Governor repaired to this, along with the members of Council, accompanied by kettle-drums and other emblems of state. He thence deputed Chinna Mudali, Madananda Pandit, and M. Miran, to meet Mahfuz Khan. It was 2 in the afternoon when they escorted him to the Governor, who went as far as the doorway, and there received him. After sitting for half an Indian hour in the tent, the Governor, Mahfuz Khan and Saiyid Jalil, entered a coach drawn by six horses: M. Miran accompanied them to act as interpreter, and the vehicle moved on. Some other influential men followed in carriages. All the guns in the two batteries were then discharged. Prior to this, and as the Nawab entered the fort gate, salutes were likewise fired. All the marks of respect which were accorded to Nawab Anwar-ud-din Khan, on his arrival here, were adhered to on this occasion. Presents were made to the extent of 800 pagodas. I will hereafter record the details of these. Some were given privately; some publicly. I will mention the particulars bye and bye.

Saturday, 12th February 1746, or 4th Masi of Krodhana. — This morning at daybreak, at 5 precisely, Kanakaraya Mudali, the chief dubash of Pondichery, departed this life.

On the afternoon of yesterday, the Mudali was very ill, and almost unconscious. His wife sent word of this to the wife of the Governor, and she went also in person, and reported the matter to her. She further went to the Mudali, and said to him: “You are so ill and broken, why do you remain away from your house? Please come home.” As he was displeased with her, he replied: "I will come; you had better go"; and he sent her away. The Governor’s wife came, and spoke soothing words to him, took him into her carriage, brought him to his residence, and put him in his bed chamber. Then Nakahatram, the wife of Kanakaraya Mudali, told the Governor’s wife of the misunderstanding existing between herself and her husband, and alluding to the steps which he had been taking for the bequest of his property to his brother and his sister’s children, — a fact which, she said was within the knowledge of Madame Dupleix -- she observed that his brother could have no concern in the estate; that after their father’s death, a division had been made between them, and that therefore Chinna Mudali had no claim whatever; that if he had had issue, the case would have been different; but that as he had none, he had no right of any sort to the property, and that she was the sole heiress to the whole of it. She then told the Governor’s wife, in insinuating language, that if she put her in possession of all the property, she would act in accordance with her wishes. She further said to Madame Dupleix: "After my husband shall have breathed his last, if you only seal his house and effects, we will see later on what can be done.” The Governor’s wife returned home, and having in view the prospect of gain held out, she minutely detailed to her husband all that had happened, and took the requisite steps to ensure the safety of the estate. This is what took place to-day.

Sunday, 13th February 1746, or 5th Masi of Krodhana. — The events which occurred at Pondichery this day have been as follows: After Kanakaraya Mudali expired yesterday, Saturday, at two Indian hours before daybreak, the King’s Attorney, Councillor M.... ,* [Blank in the original.] and the greffier M. Desmarets, came by order of the Governor, sealed the house and other property of the deceased, set a guard over them of eight peons and an accountant of the court, named Ranga Pillai, and went away.

The Mudali’s body, handsomely dressed, girt with the laced sash which M. Dumas had sent from Europe, and adorned in many other ways — exactly as a king when coming out of his palace — was then put in a coffin; and the corpse was brought out at 7 in the evening. A stately horse, followed by forty soldiers, bearing arms, was led in front of the procession; the drums beat a funeral march; forty European boys studying in the mission college marched along in two lines, on either side of the cortege; and the priests of the church of the Capuchins and that of St. Paul went along reciting prayers, according to the rites prescribed by their religion. Then the Councillors and the ladies of their families, numbers of the European gentry of both sexes, natives, Muhammadans, and other people, including women, came out to look at the procession. There was no one in the crowd who did not feel sorry for this death. As the corpse was in this wise being borne along from the house to the burial ground, amidst general mourning, the Governor, his lady, and some of the Councillors, came, and waited near the Kalatti Iswaran temple. When the coffin approached, the Governor and those with him stood up, holding candles in their hands, according to the rites of the Christian religion; and after it had passed them, they gave these away, entered their palanquins, and went home. When the corpse reached the cemetery, the coffin was lowered into the vault wherein the body of the Mudali’s son was buried; the soldiers then discharged a volley, and eleven guns were fired from the fort. After the deceased had been thus interred, the people departed. The regret and sorrow felt and expressed by the younger brother of the dead man cannot be described. When the mourners returned, those who had come to condole took leave, and went home.

The Mudali entered on his duties on Friday [15th September 1724], the 3rd Purattasi of Krodhi, being the twelfth lunar day, or Dwadesi, when the constellation was Magha. It was when in the employment of the Company that he died. He served twenty-one years, five months, and a few days. Scarcely has it been the lot of any one else to live without interruption in the same style, for so long a period.

Tuesday, 15th February 1746, or 7th Masi of Krodhana. — This morning at 8, Chinna Mudali, Jaganivasa Mudali, the latter’s younger brother Malaiyappa Mudali, and Asarappa Mudali, repaired to the residence of the Governor, and expressed to him their grief at the demise of Kanakaraya Mudali. He, and the Deputy Governor who was then there, told them that it was the lot of all mortals, and remained silent. Vasudeva Pandit then suggested to me that it would be improper if presents were not made to them by the Governor, and said that the slight would be imputed to me. Thereupon, taking Seshachala Chetti with me, I stood before the Governor. On his inquiring what we wanted, I told him that Seshachala Chetti desired to submit that Chinna Mudali and Malaiyappa Mudali should respectively be given four, and two yards, of broad-cloth. He accordingly ordered that six yards of this should be procured from the storehouse in the fort, as also betel, nut, and rose-water. These were accordingly brought, and this was reported to the Governor. He thereupon summoned Chinna Mudali and Malaiyappa Mudali, presented them with the articles mentioned, and bade them pray to God with all their heart. They then took leave of him, and returned to their residences. On the way, they called at the house of the Deputy Governor, who promised to do what he could for them. They thanked him, and went home. The Company’s merchants, I, and a few others, accompanied Chinna Mudali, and sat in the verandah of his house, where he presented us with betel and nut. We then took leave of him, and came away.

Tuesday, 1st March 1746, or 21st Masi of Krodhana. — At 10 this morning, the Governor summoned Karuttambi Nayinar and me, in connection with a difference between Chinna Mudali and Malaiyappa Mudali regarding the estate of the deceased Kanakaraya Mudali. He said that the dispute called for settlement by a reference to the leading members of the different castes, ordered Karuttambi Nayinar to convene a meeting of these next morning, and told him that he would afterwards give further instructions. The Nayinar accordingly sent the necessary intimation, through some of the peons of the Company, to the men concerned.

Wednesday, 2nd March 1746, or 22nd Masi of Krodhana. — The leading castemen assembled this morning, and were in attendance. This being reported to the Governor, he stepped into the great hall of his residence, and summoned them thither. They accordingly went in, and greeted him. He looked them over, and selected the following twenty as arbitrators, to adjudicate on the matter in dispute: —

Ananda Ranga Pillai.
Lakshmana Nayakkan.
Sankara Aiyan.
Adi Varaha Chetti.
Chidambara Chetti.
Arunachala Chetti.
Kalatti Chetti.
Ezhuttukkara Bhiman.
Kondi Chetti.
Nallatambi Mudali.
Tillai Mudali.
Pavazhakkara Uttira Peddu Chetti.
Peddachi Chetti.
Sungu Mutturama Chetti.
Sungu Seshachala Chetti.
Salatu Venkatachala Chetti.
Vira Chetti.
Ariyappa Mudali.
Chinnadu Mudali.
Karuttambi Nayinar.

These twenty persons were directed to hold an inquiry as to whether the brother of Kanakaraya Mudali, or the widow of the latter, was the rightful owner; and on whom the inheritance devolved. They were required to hear the pleadings of either side, and to conscientiously state their individual opinions. The garden-house which is at present the property of the Company, but which formerly belonged to M. Dumas, was assigned to them in order to hold sittings there for the prosecution of their investigations. The twenty arbitrators specified above made their obeisances to the Governor, took leave of him, and departed ... * [Perished in the original.]

Thursday, 3rd March 1746, or 23rd Masi of Krodhana. — The arbitrators assembled this morning in the Company’s garden-house, summoned Chinna Mudali, the brother of the deceased Kanakaraya Mudali, on the one side, and Jaganivasa Mudali and Malaiyappa Mudali, the brothers of Nakshatram Ammal, the widow of the deceased, on the other; and they were asked to state their cases. The former asserted that he was the legal heir to all the effects of the deceased, and that none other had any claim to these. The adverse party urged that the ancestral property of the family had been divided amongst the brothers, sisters, and their mother, and consequently that the partition which had been made precluded Chinna Mudali from preferring any claim to the estate of his brother. They moreover pointed out that in the year Siddharti [1739], when he was dangerously ill, he willed away all his property to his wife. They argued that he would not have done this, but for the existence of a previous partition between the brothers, and that his brother would not have agreed to such a disposition of property had matters been otherwise. They stated that in the absence of a joint interest in his estate, Kanakaraya Mudali allowed his brother to bequeath it as he chose, and raised no objection. The rejoinder of Chinna Mudali to this was as follows: “Of what weight, as proof, are these hearsay words? I, also, can say ten thousand things such as this. Is there written evidence, or partition deed, or are there eye-witnesses, to establish the division between my brother and me. Let them produce any such proof, and I will abandon my claim.” The arbitrators then asked him how he could account for the will alleged to have been executed by him during his illness. His answer was: "At the time that I was seriously indisposed, I sent for Sankara Aiyan, Adi Varaha Chetti, Chidambara Chetti, Vira Chetti, merchants of the Company, and two or three others, and requested them to represent to my brother that all my earnings would, as I had always been under his protection, amount to no more than 1,000 or 1,500 pagodas; that this amount would be less than his expenditure for a month; and that I admitted that I had no undivided right to my property, but if he permitted me to dispose of it as I wished, would bequeath it between my sister’s children, and my wife. I pointed out also that in comparison with his estate and gains mine were infinitely small. My brother thereupon gave me the required permission. Upon this I drew up a testamentary document to the foregoing effect, and forwarded it to him for attestation. I do not know by whose influence he was subsequently swayed, but he refused to set his signature to it. I then sent... * [Perished in the original.] Mudali once more, to make a suitable representation to him. My brother became incensed, asked what authority I had to will away my property, and declined to affix his signature to the instrument. His wife came, and exclaimed: 'What right has his wife to the estate? She is only entitled to food and clothing, and to nothing else. A will executed by him is of no validity.’ So saying, she began to take possession of my house. But the will of God was otherwise. In about four Indian hours, I urinated freely, and gradually recovered my health. What does this incident betoken? Is it not irrebuttable evidence in support of my statement that no partition has taken place? I am therefore the legitimate heir to the estate of the deceased. I challenge the production of an iota of evidence in disproof of this.” Chinna Mudali made a statement to the foregoing effect, and said many irrelevant things which I refrain from recording here. The arbitrators then asked Jaganivasa Mudali and Malaiyappa Mudali if they could produce any written document, deed of partition, or eye-witness, to corroborate their statements. They replied that they were unable to do so, but said that they would swear to the fact of the division. The arbitrators, however, told them that so long as they could not substantiate their allegations by material evidence, their cause must fail; but gave them a day’s time to consider further, and ascertain if any testimony was forthcoming on their behalf. In the course of the inquiry many unbecoming accusations and recriminations were exchanged by the parties; Chinna Mudali indulging freely in talk of this kind. I abstain, however, from chronicling all this rubbish.

Friday, 4th March 1746, or 24th Masi of Krodhana.  — The twenty arbitrators resumed their inquiry this day, at the Company’s garden-house, in view to determining whether Nakshatram Ammal, the widow of the deceased Kanakaraya Mudali, or his brother, was entitled to his estate. The following is the substance of the resolution at which, after further investigation, they arrived:

"Whereas both the parties were heard yesterday and the day before, and were examined to-day also, in order to obtain further evidence regarding the points at issue; and whereas Jaganivasa Mudali and Malaiyappa Mudali declared that they had nothing to add to the representations already made by them, and Chinna Mudali likewise affirmed that his statement of yesterday was final; we, the twenty arbitrators appointed to inquire into the merits of the claims of the two parties, do, after investigation and careful consideration, unanimously pronounce that the person who has the legal and valid title to the estate of the deceased Kanakaraya Mudali is his brother Chinna Mudali, and not Nakshatram Ammal the widow of the deceased. But at the same time, we adjudge that the lady shall be assigned in the family the position of an elderly matron, shall be given every comfort as regards food and apparel, and must be granted such an allowance as will enable her to distribute all reasonable charities. But, should her continuing in the family not be feasible, a sum of money sufficient for her maintenance and expenses, and for those of her daughter-in-law, shall be made over to these two. The order of the Governor being merely to determine the right of ownership to the effects of the deceased, the opinion of the arbitrators, as recorded above, will be communicated to him. If he desires to be furnished with their views as to what would be a suitable charge on the estate, on account of maintenance, this point will be further inquired into, and reported upon. Or if he will himself, after examination of the assets, fix and intimate to the arbitrators the amount to be provided for the ladies, they will announce his proposals to them, and communicate to him any representation which the parties may have to make.”

In pursuance of the foregoing resolution, the twenty arbitrators proceeded to the house of the Governor, after he had dined, and reported as follows: "The estate of Kanakaraya Mudali devolves on his brother Tanappa Mudali, who is also liable for the debts of the deceased. But as the widow had a grown-up son who died, and as she was the partner during his life of one who lived like a prince — a gentleman and a man of wealth — it would not be fair to allot to her a maintenance allowance such as is usually assigned to ordinary widows. A suitable proportion of the estate, enough to maintain her and her daughter-in-law in ease and comfort, and in a style becoming their position, should be apportioned to them.” The Governor thereupon said: "How did you deal with the allegation that a partition had already been effected between the deceased Kanakaraya Mudali, and his brother?” The arbitrators communicated to him all the circumstances connected with the transaction as explained by the opposite party, which those alleging the contrary had been unable to contradict by means of any evidence. He then observed: "Very well; then you say that the brothers have not effected a division between themselves, and that the survivor has therefore become entitled to the whole property. Supposing that the partition had been made; how would this affect his position?" They replied: "Even then, as Kanakaraya Mudali had no son, and as Chinna Mudali was his brother, the latter had a right to the estate of the deceased. Even if there had been no brother, and if he had had only a cousin, this cousin could claim the property.” The Governor then ordered the arbitrators to cause an award to be drawn up in the handwriting of the town accountant, and to bring it to him, with their signatures appended thereto. They said that they would do this on the following morning, and departed.  

Saturday, 5th March 1746, or 25th Masi of Krodhana. — The arbitrators met in the garden-house of M. Dumas, and drew up an award in the following terms: —

"Dated 5th March 1746, corresponding to 25th Masi of Krodhana. Tanappa Mudali, the brother of the late Kanakaraya Mudali, and Kakshatram Ammal the widow of the latter, having preferred petitions before M. Dupleix, the Governor and Agent for the affairs of the Company at Pondichery, each laying claim to the estate of the deceased— Jaganivasa Mudali and Malaiyappa Mudali, the younger brothers of Nakshatram Ammal, appearing on behalf of their sister — the Governor listened to their statements, and sent for the following Mahanattars, or caste headmen; i.e., (1) Lakshmana Nayakkan, (2) Sankara Aiyan, (3) Ananda Ranga Pillai, (4) Sungu Mutturama Chetti, (5) Sungu Seshacliala Chetti, (6)Adi Varaha Chetti, (7) Chidambara Chetti, (8) Salatu Venkatachala Chetti, (9) Viraragava Chetti, (10) Ariyappa Mudali, (11) Chinnadu Mudali, (12) Peddu Chetti, (13) Peddachi Chetti, (14) Nallatambi Mudali, (15) Tillaiyappa Mudali, (16) Arunachala Chetti, (17) Kalatti Chetti, (18) Kondi Chetti, (19) Bhimanna Mudali, (20) Karuttambi Nayinar, and said to them as follows: ‘Please hear impartially the statements of both parties, and in consonance with the customs and usages of your caste, and your sastras,* [Precepts of the religious code.] decide as to who is the rightful heir to the estate of Kanakaraya Mudali, and report your decision to me.’ As directed, these twenty headmen met, and heard the statements of either side; when Tanappa Mudali deposed: ‘I am the sole heir to all the property acquired by my elder brother, the late Kanakaraya Mudali.’ Jaganivasa Mudali and Malaiyappa Mudali, said: ‘As a division was made between Kanakaraya Mudali and Tanappa Mudali of the property acquired by their father, our elder sister alone is entitled to the estate of Kanakaraya Mudali, and Tanappa Mudali has no right whatever to it.’ The headmen asked them if there was any written testimony, partition-deed, or eye-witness, to prove the alleged division of the father’s estate between the two brothers. They said they had none; whereupon the headmen decided that as there was no such evidence on this point, they could not recognise the claim of the widow; that Tanappa Mudali alone was the legal heir to the whole estate of Kanakaraya Mudali; and that as the widow and daughter-in-law of the deceased were entitled to be maintained from the estate, they ought to be treated with consideration.”

This decision was written by the court and town accountant, Muttaiya Pillai, and attested by Suriyan, accountant; and was approved and signed by the Governor, M. Dupleix.

Wednesday, 9th March 1746, or 29th Masi of Krodhana.—A. service was held this morning in memory of Kanakaraya Mudali, at the church of the Capuchins in the fort, which was attended by the Governor. A sitting of the Council was held at 9, and it rose at 10. Nobody knows what formed the subject of the deliberations of the meeting. Fifty-five Mahe sepoys, with two officers, set out this evening, and marched in a southerly direction. Whither they were bound is not known. Conjectures varied: some guessed that their destination was Karikal, and others that it was Porto Novo.

To-day, Appatambi, the son of Surappa Mudali, formerly an accountant of the court, expired. His remains were interred in the cemetery this evening.

Thursday, [10th March 1746, or] 1st Panguni of Krodhana. — Inquiry has elicited that the object of the despatch of the Mahe sepoys was to escort to Pondichery two brass cannon sent by Mahfuz Khan from Trichinopoly, for fear that when in the neighbourhood of Fort St. David, the English or others might waylay them. The two officers and the sepoys marched as far as Tiruvendipuram, where they fell in with the guns, and accompanied them hither this day.

Saturday, 12th March 1746, or 3rd Panguni of Krodhana. —

[Note. — The pages containing the diary of this date are in a very dilapidated state, and are for the most part not decipherable. Ranga Pillai seems to have recorded in them certain circumstances which point to his having suspicion that the partisans of the widow of Kanakaraya Mudali were compassing his death.] * * * *

Wednesday, 16th March 1746, or 7th Panguni of Krodhana. — I was at home this morning at 8, when a Company’s peon came, and stated that the Governor desired to see me. In obedience to the summons, I at once repaired to his house. He took me to his office-room, where no one else was present, and said: “You owe a good deal to the Company; you are in arrears. What do you do with all your money? What interest do you charge, when you lend it?" I replied: "Your money has not been embezzled. I have not squandered it in gambling. I have not expended it in vain. I have invested my funds in trade — in commercial enterprises beyond sea and in the manufacture of goods locally, as well as at places in the interior, such as Lalapettai. This is how my money has been laid out. My assets are double of my liabilities. The goods which I have on board ships, and the arrears which I have to recover locally, will be a sufficient security for what I owe the Company.” He rejoined: "I do not say that you are not worth the amount, or that you cannot meet your liabilities, but if you pay to the Company the 10,000 pagodas which you have received from the Brahman of Trichinopoly who has come here, it will be wise on your part.” I answered: "Sir, please summon the person who gave you this information, and also the individual said to have paid the money to me, as he is here; and hold a judicial inquiry. If it comes to light that I have received even a single cash, I will submit without demur to any penalty that the Company may choose to impose upon me. On the other hand, if it be proved that the allegation is false and unfounded, your informant must be held liable to the same punishment.” The Governor thereupon exclaimed: "Why, then, did you permit the wife and children of the Brahman to depart from Pondichery.” I replied: “Did you authorise me to detain them if they wished to go? On the contrary, at the outset, when you found that he had not come, you ordered that they should not remain at Pondichery. Being however of opinion that he should not be suffered to depart, I made of my own accord another attempt to detain him, though I was not confident of success. As I was thus instrumental in keeping him here, what need is there for me to answer this charge? I however set a watch over him, to make sure that he did not quit Pondichery without my knowledge. His son came here twenty times, and his wife twice or thrice. They had no particular object in visiting this. I invited them hither at my own expense. My motive in doing so was the feeling that if two or three families such as this could be persuaded to settle here, it would prove highly advantageous to you; and that my action in this respect would greatly commend itself to you, and induce you to become more warmly attached to me. Did I do anything connected with this matter at your bidding? Kindly consider matters in the light of my remarks.” He then replied: "Very well; tell him to recall his wife and children. If he will not, let him return the lease which I granted to him.” I rejoined: "So be it, sir; I will tell him this.” I however continued: "I beg to be pardoned for making another observation. Did I not tell you, sir, when they first came here, that to all appearances they had brought very little with them, for they were, to meet their expenses, disposing of the property which they had with them?” He remained silent. I then added: "Unless you summon your informant, and make inquiries, how are you to be convinced which of us is the liar? The whole town speaks ill of me, saying that I interest myself too much in your service. Some even watch for opportunity to attack and kill me. In spite of calumnious language such as this, and of attempts on my life, I have, with singleness of purpose, ever aimed at meriting your favour. This I have considered a sufficient reward, and have never cared to benefit myself pecuniarily.” To record my whole speech on this occasion would occupy about five or six pages. But in all essential points it was as I have already mentioned. The Governor then, to turn the conversation, asked me how the accounts of Sunguvar and those of the elephant dealers stood. I again said: “Is it not necessary for you to ascertain whether I am honest or dishonest? It is only after you have done this that I shall be restored to peace of mind, and that you will be relieved of any suspicions against me.” After I had continued in this strain for some time, he again changed the conversation, and directed me to despatch 100 rupees to the master of the ship at Alambarai, and to keep a careful account of it. When I was about to retire, he said: "Do not trust natives. How many letters have been received from men in the interior, asserting that the note which has been the cause of Tiruvengada Pillai’s imprisonment is a forgery? On seeing all those communications, Pedro declared that no confidence should be placed in natives. As you will succeed him, it will devolve on you to inquire into the case. I dare say that they will adduce several items of evidence in view to inducing you to change your mind. You had better go soon; write a palmyra-leaf letter to Alambarai, and send off the lascar.

Venkatakrishnan, the nephew of Konappaiyan of Trichinopoly — rascal that he is — has for the past two or three years been eking out a livelihood in this town, by dishonest practices. This fellow informed Appu, in the month of Margazhi [December] last, that Minakshi Ammal [This was the last ruler of Trichinopoly, who after, it is said, a gallant defence, was captured by Chanda Sahib in 1736, and by him thrown into prison, where she died of grief.] had borrowed of a Rajput at Trichinopoly the sum of 50,000 pons; that Kottaikattu Venkatachala Aiyan had stood security for the loan; and that there was documentary evidence in proof of the transaction. He further told him that in the event of the recovery of the amount, he would pay one-fourth of it to the Governor, and something to him also. Appu, at the time, made me acquainted with this. As owing to illness he is at present confined to his bed, this fellow has now pitched on Narayanan, the young dubash of Madame Dupleix; and this individual, in complicity with a Brahman from Madras, and another Tattuvadi Brahman, has offered to propitiate her with a quarter of the amount if she will take steps to recover the debt. Madame Dupleix has instigated her husband to take notice of the complaint. The question put to me by the Governor relative to the Brahman from Trichinopoly must have originated from this very source. Truth is truth, and what is false is false. In these days the mendacious seem to thrive. But truth will eventually establish itself, and falsehood can never hold its ground. Some uneasiness of mind is caused for the time being, but no permanent evil can ensue, for nothing is in the dark to the Omniscient, and what is true must endure.  
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33515
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai

Postby admin » Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:17 am

[Volume 1]

CHAPTER XV.

FROM APRIL 12th, 1746, TO APRIL 22ND, 1746.


Visit of Deputy Governor, Tranquebar — His personal appearance — Reception accorded to him — Opinion as to grounds for honours shown — Ramachandra Aiyan asks diarist whether he intends to take up chief dubashship -- Conversation on the subject — Kesava Rao, agent of Fatteh Sing, sends letter to Governor — Contains inter alia request for large loan -- Considered a forgery — Verbal reply sent that matter would be discussed later on— Governor inquires into claim against W. Tiruvengada Pillai —Directs him and Vira Chetti to make oath in temple — Muttukumaran and others deputed to see to compliance with order — They converse with diarist on their way — Statements of parties on taking oath — Removal of surveillance over complainant — Accused released — The complaint against him — Diarist strongly condemns conduct of Governor — Mentions result of it — Further remarks on Governor — Mari Chetti brought from prison to diarist who advises him to pay his debts— Remanded to confinement — Again produced — Certain persons complain to Deputy Governor that traders are being ill-used and tortured — Being repulsed, go to M. Barthelemy alleging that diarist torturing Mari Chetti— He refuses to listen— Go to house of Governor, but leave without speaking — Complain to certain members of Council and to priests — M. Miran records statements, and takes these to Governor — Who comments unfavourably on them — Sends for diarist — Wife of Mari Chetti comes to her husband— He reassures her, and is relegated to confinement — Governor summons diarist — Chinna Mudali, Tandavarayan, and Rangan, present — Last two interrogated as to story told to M. Miran— Deny it — Governor holds an investigation — Interpreter of M. Miran examined — Wrath of Governor against Tandavarayan and Rangan — He severely censures M. Miran — Who resents this — Tandavarayan and Raman imprisoned — Governor directs their speedy trial and punishment — Mari Chetti executes bond for payment of debts — Flight of a certain woman, to escape creditors -- Remarks on this — Departure of Deputy Governor, Tranquebar — Widow of Kanakaraya Mudali and her daughter-in-law remove to new residence — conduct of Chinna Mudali towards former — Reflections on the fall in her circumstances— And on the instability of prosperity —Remarks upon character of Chinna Mudali — Contrasted unfavourably with his brother — His efforts to obtain chief dubashship— Avay Sahib purchases broad-cloth —Release of Mari Chetti and others— Avay Sahib makes more purchases— Price set off against debt due by Company to Imam Sahib -- Four traders execute bonds for debts to Company — Governor unable to see diarist, owing to illness— Traders therefore retained in custody — M. Desmarets comes to diarist -- States that Governor keeps secret contents of a despatch— Believed to be orders for dismissal of Deputy Governor and cashier— Diarist expresses astonishment at fault being found with former— M. Pesmarets explains how these two officers got into trouble — Conversation as to how contents of despatch leaked out— M. Coquet, of Company’s service, drinks spirits — Enters native house in view to annoy females — Fracas ensues— M. Coquet severely injured — Governor expresses his approval— Inquiry instituted as to assailants.

Tuesday, 12th April 1746, or 3rd Chittirai of Akshaya. — The Deputy Governor of Tranquebar, whose name I do not know, came to Pondichery this morning. He is plump and smooth, like a sweet potato pulled out of sandy ground. He has a broad face, and is tall and robust. He was on his way from Madras, and halting at Minakshi Ammal’s choultry sent word here of his arrival. Thereupon, M. de Kerjean the nephew of the Governor, and an officer of the guard, whose name is not known, went to meet him at the outpost, and bring him to Pondichery. As he entered the town-gate, a salute of thirteen guns was fired. The Governor advanced along the northern verandah of his residence to meet him. Receiving him with an embrace, he conducted him into the house. Coffee was served to the guests as soon as they were seated, and a conversation on general subjects ensued. The newcomer spoke French well. The Governor and he then talked on confidential matters. After this, dinner was served, and when the guests sat down, nineteen guns, followed by three more salutes, were fired. When I came to consider why such distinguished honour should be shown to this individual, the following reasons suggested themselves to me. The sloop which was fitted out by the French for Manilla, carried a Danish flag and passport, and had on board a captain and a deputy captain, who were Danes. The Danes, moreover, had always promptly obliged the French in everything that they asked. Besides this, there was the affair of the mishap to M. Puel’s vessel, which was attacked by English ships when in the roads at Tranquebar; and there was the subsequent conflict between the English and the Danes. It would therefore appear that the French wished to propitiate the latter, and hence the great honour shown to the Danish Deputy Governor. After dinner, the guest was taken out for a drive, and was accompanied by the wife of the Governor, and other ladies, and a few Councillors and officials, who rode in their carriages or palanquins. On his return, the Deputy Governor was regaled at 8 with supper, and taken to the house of M. Mathieu, where lodgings were assigned to him, and where he slept for the night.

As the Governor had directed me to despatch, by a boat, jars of ghee and cables, for shipment on board the ship lying at Alambarai, I went to the beach this forenoon. Whilst I was superintending operations there, Ramachandra Aiyan, the son of Melugiri Pandit, came, and expressed satisfaction at seeing me. "It seems a year," he said, "since you visited these parts; and I bless this day because I have met you.” He next asked me whether I intended to take up the appointment of chief dubash. I replied: "Why should I desire the place? Does the Governor treat me with less courtesy because I am not chief dubash? In fact, he accords to me more honour than to those who have filled that post. If I wanted it, he would this instant give it to me. But Chinna Mudali, the younger brother of Kanakaraya Mudali, is already acting in it, and he is likely to be confirmed.” Ramachandra Aiyan rejoined: "Chinna Mudali will never get the appointment. He is not fit for it. When he was interpreter of the court he was guilty of many misdeeds. He took bribes of one cash and upwards. Besides, the Governor has called him a donkey. So say all the other Europeans. For these reasons, he will never got the place.” "But I have another communication to make to you,” he continued; "and it is this: The Governor has said, in the presence of all the other Europeans, that you are the only person fitted for the post, and that he is determined to give it to you. M. Miran, also, has told my elder brother at the mint — and he is my informant — that the Governor intends to confer it on you. M. Le Bon and other Europeans residing near the beach moreover have said ...*" [Blank in the original.]

Wednesday, 13th April 1746, or 4th Chittirai of Akslaya.. — At 9 this morning, the following took place before the Governor. Kesava Rao, who, it may be known, arrived some time ago in the capacity of agent for Fatteh Sing, sent by a follower of his, a lean Brahman, a letter to the Governor which purported to have come from his employer. This was read and explained to the Governor by Madananda Pandit and Tanappa Mudali. As interpreted, it stated that the writer had addressed to Nawab Anwar-ud-din Khan a letter on behalf of Sahuji Rajd of Tanjore; that his communication was treated by the Nawab with silence; and that he was prepared to collect a force, and take the necessary action. It next begged the delivery to Kesava Rao of Rs. 20,000 in order to meet the expenses of collecting men, adding that the loan would be discharged, either from the treasury of the Raja of Tanjore, or by transfer of the debts due by Chanda Sahib. This request was couched in very polite terms, and it was further stated that when the writer could come to Pondichery, and have a personal interview with the Governor, many other things would be made known. When the rendering of the letter was finished, the Governor asked the interpreters what they thought of it. Madananda Pandit replied that judging from its tenor, it seemed to him that the letter was not written by the person by whom it purported to have been, but by some underling of his; that it did not appear to have been the work of the official who usually conducted such correspondence, nor was it in his style; that it read as if it was the composition of a little boy; that if it had really emanated from the source from which it claimed to do, it would not have been couched in such respectful — nay abject — terms, and that he was therefore compelled to regard it as a forgery. The Governor concurred in this opinion, and sent away the lean Brahman who brought the letter, with a reply that the matter could be discussed next day when Kesava Rao appeared in person. All this was reported to me by Madananda Pandit.

At 10 this morning, Wandiwash Tiruvengada Pillai was taken from prison, and placed before the Governor; as was also the wife of Kasturi Rangaiyan, the subordinate chief of the peons at Trichinopoly. The Governor addressed Tiruvengada Pillai thus: “On the one hand this woman asserts that she has lent you a certain amount; on the other, you deny her claim. Now, go to Vedapuri Iswaran’s temple, put out the light that stands there, and take your oath that you do not owe her any money.” He next summoned Vira Chetti, and directed him also to take his oath in the temple — by putting out the light— that he had not written the bond. Tiruvengada Pillai and Vira Chetti, assented to this. The Governor next turned to the former, and told him that it was not proper for a servant of the Company to take an oath, and that if he did, he must forfeit the appointment which he held at Karikal. On this he said to the Governor: "If it please you, I will go to Karikal only after you have given me permission to do so.” The Governor, I was told, remained silent. Thereupon Muttukumaran the brother-in-law of Asarappa Mudali, an adherent of Tanappa Mudali, Krimasi Pandit the subordinate chief of the peons, and Annamalai Nayinar, were deputed to go with the parties in the case, in order to see to the administration of the oath. On their way, they came to me at the arecanut storehouse, where I then was, and mentioned all that had happened. They also told me that they were proceeding to the temple to witness the taking of the oath by those concerned. I said to them: "Wherever there are hollows in the ground, there water gathers. Why hesitate if your minds are free from fear? Is not this matter known throughout the land?" Having made these remarks, I bade them go. They then repaired to the temple of Vedapuri Iswaran. Wandiwash Tiruvengada Pillai, when he took the oath, declared: "I only know that I went to Rangaiyan’s wife on three occasions, and gave her 29 fanams, and two measures of rice. I know no more. I never borrowed any money of her, nor did I execute any bond in her favour.” So saying, he extinguished the light, and tore up the bond. Vira Chetti declared: "I never wrote out this bond, neither do I know its history,” and he, too, put out the light. The wife of Kasturi Rangaiyan then said to the people assembled there: "I have done this because Tiruvengada Pillai made a similar statement before. His boldness has not yet departed from him.” After this, the two peons who had been set to watch her were directed by the chief of the peons, under orders from the Governor, to cease their surveillance; and they accordingly did so. Tiruvengada Pillai, after he had taken the oath, was released from custody, and went home. The complaint against him was lodged on the 7th Arppisi of Krodhana [20th October 1745], by Kasturi Rangaiyan’s wife, who demanded payment from him of 1,000 pagodas, with interest thereon. On the 24th, [6th November] Tiruvengada Pillai was confined in the prison at the western gate of the fort; he was afterwards removed to that at the eastern gate, from which he was taken to the court-prison. Thus, he lay in confinement for a total period of six months, less three days. Seeing that he was destined to undergo six months imprisonment, of what avail could any endeavours to effect his release be? None can escape the decrees of Providence. His destiny being this day fulfilled, he was set at liberty.

On considering this transaction, it appears to me that our lordly Governor was bereft of sense; and it was in this wise. He turned a deaf ear to the repeated solicitations of Tiruvengada Pillai, who whilst agreeing to pay down the 1,000 pagodas claimed in the bond, demanded an investigation at the hands of arbitrators, as to its genuineness. Tiruvengada Pillai said: "If Rangaiyan’s wife be proved guilty of forging the bond, let the fact be proclaimed; and let her be punished, and driven out of this. If, on the other hand, I should he shown to be the culprit, I will pay such fine, and submit to such punishment, as may be inflicted by the Company.” Although repeatedly urged to make inquiry, the Governor remained obdurate. He would take the advice of no one, but followed the counsel of Ranga Pillai, his accountant. In the meantime, petitions were sent by the bazaar-keepers to the Councillors, and to the priests of the church of St. Paul, complaining that the Governor had brought ruin on them. Noting the opposition offered to him, and the loud complaints which were being made, his wife remonstrated with him day and night. She pictured to him the dislike harboured by the Councillors, and the unpopularity which he was courting at the hands of the people, who, day after day, abused him for his unjust handling of everything that he undertook. It was only on being awakened by the remonstrances of his wife to a sense of his danger, that he directed the settlement of the case by the administration of an oath. Had he, disguising whatever fear he might have had at heart, assumed a bold front, and on the strength of the conclusion arrived at by Kanakaraya Mudali after inquiry, that the bond was a forgery, sent the woman out of the town with a threat and an injunction not to do the like again, released the man from custody, and permitted him to join his appointment: had he done this, and also taken the money which he had to receive, he would have preserved his credit, and gained the esteem of the public. As, however, he thought fit to pursue a crooked policy in the conduct of this business he only brought on himself discredit, lost what he would otherwise have obtained, and earned for himself the reputation of being an inefficient man. I could fill ten pages at least with remarks on this matter; but I refrain from doing so, because it does not appear to me to be proper. Those who are wise will comprehend the whole thing at a glance. Those who are not, would fail to understand even the most elaborate disquisition on the subject. In the evening at half-past 6, I went to congratulate Tiruvengada Pillai. Others of the townspeople did the same.

Thursday, 14th April 1746, or 5th Chittirai of Akshaya. — On the night of this day, I sent for Mari Chetti, and having impressed on him the fact that two or three traders who had been confined with him in the court-prison had obtained their release by executing bonds for the payment in instalments of the money due to the Governor, advised him to do the like, and go home. He hesitated, persisting in arguing the point; and it grew late. Intimating to him, therefore, that the matter would be discussed next day, I directed that he should be taken to the house of the chief of the peons, instead of to the court-prison.

Friday, 15th April 1746, or 6th Chittirai of Akshaya. This morning, I had Mari Chetti brought before me at the distillery, from the house of the chief of the peons, where he was detained. I again talked with him on the subject of the previous night, and explained the terms of the instalment-bond which he was required to execute. In the meantime, Devam Tandavarayan, and Rangan the brother of Govindan, who had previously been incarcerated with other traders in the court-prison, called together the parents of Mari Chetti, and a few men and women, and went with them to the house of the Deputy Governor. They took their stand before the gate, and loud enough for the Deputy Governor, who was within the house, to hear them, they bawled out a complaint that the traders who were taken to the court-prison were confined in a room, and not allowed to go out to take their food, or answer the calls of nature; and that they were tortured by being compelled to inhale the smoke of burning chillies. M. Legou, the Deputy Governor, hearing the noise came out, and inquired who they were. They replied they were traders. He told them that they were a pack of rogues, and directed them to go away, warning them, at the same time, of the consequences which would befall them if they did not agree to pay the money due to the Governor. They thereafter went to M. Barthelemy, and complained to him that, having summoned Mari Chetti before me, and finding that he would not execute the bond demanded of him, I had caused his hands to be tied behind him, and having hung him head downwards, was beating him; that the ropes with which he was bound were moistened with water to make them swell, and cut through the flesh; that the victim of this cruelty was also being compelled to inhale chilly-smoke, and was lying at death’s door; and that the men taken to the court-prison were confined in one room, were not allowed to answer the calls of nature, and were tortured by being forced to breathe chilly-smoke. These and other false charges were made before M. Barthelemy, who told the accusers that he had nothing to do with the matter. They next proceeded to the residence of the Governor. They were met at the gate by Chinna Mudali, who told them that it would not be proper for the whole party to enter the house; and that two of them had better go in, and make the complaint. To this they would not agree. They then went to MM. Dulaurens, Miran, Le Maire, and other Councillors; and to the priests of the church, before whom, severally, they preferred in detail the same charge as they had made before M, Barthelemy. M. Miran, however, caused them to repeat their complaints, took them down in writing, and went to the Governor, to whom he handed the deposition of the traders, and stated what they had told him. The Governor remarked in reply that what was alleged could not have occurred; that it was true that he had deputed me to bring the traders to terms; that two or three of them had already executed instalment-bonds, and had been released from custody; and that two or three more — as I have said — had agreed to do the same. He pointed out that it was therefore impossible that such things could have happened, but nevertheless he said that he would send for me and others, and make an inquiry; and finding that it was almost meal-time, he asked M. Miran to dine with him. A peon was accordingly sent to fetch me.

Whilst this was going on, I was at the distillery-house endeavouring to bring Mari Chetti to terms. As I was thus engaged, his wife arrived, and said to her husband: "Devam Tandavarayan, and Rangan the brother of Govindan, told us that you were being beaten by Ananda Ranga Pillai. They took with them your parents, and some others, and have gone to make a complaint to the Governor. I have come here to ascertain what has happened.” Mari Chetti replied that they lied, and that he was merely having a talk with me. He thereupon told her to depart, which she did. I continued to try to convince him, but in vain. I then sent him away to the house of the chief of the peons, and went home at half-past 12. I was bathing, when one of the Company’s peons delivered a message to me that the Governor required my presence, after I had taken my meal. Having eaten my food, I set out at half-past 1, for the Governor’s house. My arrival was reported to him, and he thereupon sent for Chinna Mudali, who came at once. He had previously summoned Devam Tandavarayan, and Ranga Pillai the brother of Govindan, and they were already there. Chinna Mudali and I presented ourselves before him. As the Deputy Governor of Tranquebar was seated with him at table, the Governor when he saw us left it, and retired with M. Miran to his writing room. Chinna Mudali, Tandavarayan, and Rangan, were then sent for, and when they entered the apartment the Governor told Chinna Mudali to ask Tandavarayan and Rangan what they had said to M. Miran regarding my treatment of them. To this question they replied that they had already stated I had done them no injury, but that the warders of the court-prison  had put them to a good deal of annoyance, by not permitting them to go out, either to take their meals, or to answer the calls of nature. The Governor then asked what they meant by telling a tale to M. Miran about my having caused Mari Chetti to be hung up head downwards, and beaten in that position, and about Mari Chetti’s being compelled to inspire the fumes of chillies, etc.; and then quite a different story to him. They replied that they had not said what was imputed to them, and that they only complained against the warders as regards their treatment of them when prisoners. M. Miran testified that he took down their statements as they were translated to him by his interpreter, Surappa Mudali, for whom he then sent. The Governor now made a sign to me to advance from where I was seated apart, and asked me what I had done to induce the traders to come to terms. I replied that a few of these men had sent their relatives to treat with me; that on my refusal to hear them, on the ground that they were a litigious set and that I could not put faith in their words, they besought me to listen to them, and agreed to execute bonds undertaking to pay by instalments; and that thereupon I communicated this to him, took documents from two or three of the traders, and released them from custody. I added that, whilst I was treating with Mari Chetti this day on the subject of his bond, the two men mentioned above collected a crowd, and made false charges against me to the Councillors and the priests, to the effect that I had beaten and otherwise ill-treated him; and that this was all I knew about the matter. He asked me why I did not make a report to him. I replied: "Is not this a complaint preferred against me? I therefore thought it would be better to wait until my accusers had had their say. I did not like to prejudice your mind by first telling you what I knew.” Chinna Mudali then said to the Governor: "These people came, and complained to me. I investigated their allegations, and finding that they were making false charges, I spoke angrily to them, and bade them go away.” "Why did you not of your own accord tell me about this?" asked the Governor. He in reply alleged that as a crowd had gathered at the time, he could not find an opportunity to convey to him any intimation of what had occurred. Surappa Mudali, the interpreter of M. Miran, who had been sent for, now came. The Governor desired him to repeat what Tandavarayan, and Rangan, had stated to M. Miran. He stood trembling in every limb; his tongue clove to the roof of his mouth; and he was unable to utter even a word. The Governor said encouragingly to him: "Be not afraid. Tell us what happened.” Surappa Mudali stammered out a few unintelligible words, and then exclaimed in Tamil: "There are witnesses who heard what these complainants told me. The men who before this said certain things to me, now deny them altogether.” This speech was interpreted by Chinna Mudali to the Governor, who then turned to Tandavarayan, and Rangan, and wrathfully asked them what harm the Councillors and priests, to whom they had made false complaints, could do to him. He next addressed M. Miran, and said with anger, both in his voice and manner: "Is it not because you, and all the other Councillors have given occasion for indignities to be heaped upon me — inasmuch as you have not in the first instance properly investigated the false complaints preferred by these dogs — that these worthless men do as they like. Now, do not M. Dulaurens and all of you share in the profits realised by the sale of goods to these traders? Am I alone the gainer thereby? Do we not all equally share both the profit and the loss?" M. Miran, frowning, replied: "This is the first time that I ever heard these complaints. As soon as I did so, I reported them to you, in order that inquiry might be made.” The Governor afterwards directed that Tandavarayan and Rangan, should be confined in the court-prison, and sent them away in custody. He next told Chinna Mudali to go to the court on the hearing day, and ask the Deputy Governor to take up, as the first for hearing, the case of false charge of which these two men were guilty, and to mete out to them a proper punishment. I thereafter went to the distillery-house, and sent Arunachala Muttu Chetti to my brother, Tiruvengada Pillai, to communicate to him all the tidings of the day. Towards evening, Mari Chetti came, and having executed before me a bond for payment in instalments, in favour of Wandiwash Ranga Pillai — his house being the security for the money due by him to the Governor — he returned to the house of the chief of the peons.


Two Indian hours before daybreak this morning, Rangammal, the wife of Kasturi Rangaiyan, the subordinate chief of the peons, escaped from Pondichery, to avoid her creditors. Tyaga Aiyan, the elder sister’s son of Gopalakrishna Aiyan, was distressed because she fled with 130 pagodas of his money. A few consoled him for the loss, by saying that he had had his satisfaction otherwise. A few others, who hoped to reap a little money by the scandal, were much chagrined, and remained in-doors, through sheer vexation. A few more were transported with joy because they felt the riddance of her as though they had been relieved of Saturn.* [The most malignant, in astrological influence, of all the planets.] Others again, who had been quaking with fear lest she should prefer false accusations against them, now felt their hearts revive. So her flight was hailed with delight by many, and regretted only by a few. The latter were Ranga Pillai, — the Governor’s accountant, — Arunachala Chetti, Vijayaragava Chari, Ranga Chari, Tyaga Aiyan, Ramachandra Aiyan, the son of Melugiri Pandit, and his brothers: the many were the rest.

Monday, 18th April 1746, or 9th Chittirai of Akshaya. — This afternoon at about half-past 4, the Deputy Governor of Tranquebar, together with the factor who accompanied him, dined at the house of the Governor, took leave of him, and departed. When they issued from the Cuddalore gate, a salute of seventeen guns was fired from the ramparts on either side of it, as well as from the corner bastion to the south.

Early this morning, Nakshatram Ammal, the widow of Kanakaraya Mudali, and her daughter-in-law, Chandra Muttu Ammal, excluded for ever from the home of their late husbands, removed to the house south of Arunachala Mudali’s in Vedapuri Iswaran Temple street. The new house was one which had belonged to catechist Muttaiya Pillai. It was purchased by Malaiyappa Mudali, the son of Tambicha Mudali, and repaired by him. Nakshatram Ammal strove to the uttermost not to be ousted from her deceased husband’s house. But his brother, Tanappa Mudali, stubbornly insisted upon her quitting it. He moved the Governor to cause her to be ejected by force. She wished to take with her a few copper pots, a cot, a mattress, a box to keep her clothing in, and a few other sundry articles of furniture — worth in all about 20 pagodas — and believing that Tanappa Mudali would not allow her to remove them from the house, she sent word to me through court accountant Azhagappa Mudali; and on my intercession she was authorized to transfer them to her new place of abode. When one considers how this woman, who had possessed the most unlimited power, and the most uncontrolled right to everything in that house, was now not only obliged to give it up, and was deprived of every concern in it; but had also to seek humbly the leave of another to appropriate therefrom for her use a few copper vessels, a bed, and a cushion, what certainty can one attach to temporal wealth? Although its unstable nature is known to all, every one acts as if his affluence was enduring, and as though his mortal frame would last to the end of the world. What is more surprising than this? What a delusion it is! The dispensation of Heaven by which human beings are tempted — with a full knowledge of the consequences of their acts— to plunge madly into a course which leads them to hell is mysterious, and impenetrable... * [Perished in the original.] If I were to record here how this man, lost to all sense of honour, behaved towards that woman, without the slightest regard for her as his brother’s widow, I fear that any one who read my statements would not give credit to them. When one listens to his philosophical rant before the public; his declaration that after the death of such a brother life was not worth living; his hypocritical talk of the renunciation of all earthly pleasures — as though he was in the brown garb of an ascetic—: his pretended outbursts of grief wherever he appears; and the lavish use of consolatory words which is required to soothe his bleeding heart, one is struck with his fraternal affection. But what is he at bottom? He sternly refused to part with a copper pot required for the use of the widow of Kanakaraya Mudali. He objected to give her a bed and a mattress. He instigated a mean servant-girl to eject her from the house. These things are within my knowledge, and Azhagappa Mudali also is aware of them. I have never seen such a consummate dissembler; seeming to all outward appearance a paragon of virtue, but possessing a heart so cruel as it is. The articles in the house were all acquired by his brother, and not by him. Nevertheless, he was unwilling to give that brother’s widow a cushion and a mattress. The wise have only to judge for themselves what will be his conduct when he comes to deal with the affairs of others. But his character for the last thirty years, in his capacity as interpreter of the court, is well known. Little is therefore required from my pen in the way of describing his nature. Although his brother Kanakaraya Mudali was also cruel-hearted, he never showed his feelings. He would nurse a grudge in his heart, and ruin his opponent when opportunity offered. Although he would not be of service to his friends when their circumstances needed anything out of his pocket, or the use of kind offices of other descriptions, he would not vilify his enemies. He was a man of some forbearance, and his actions indicated depth of policy. But Chinna Mudali is of a different mould. Even if the person concerned were a son begotten of his own loins, he would, if he could, extort money from him. Were she his mother: if he could, by attacking her, make some money, he would not hesitate to set upon her. The saying is ‘Namasivayam * [Known as the "five lettered” prayer to Siva.] for each handful.’ Governed by this motto, he will, if he goes to one’s house, ask: ‘What will you give?’; or if one visits him: ‘What have you [brought]?’... * [Perished in the original.] In virtue of the position of his brother Kanakaraya Mudali, who was the chief dubash, his misdeeds remained unnoticed; they would not under any other circumstances have been tolerated. It was on account of his brother that the Governor, also, overlooked his faults. I need not dilate upon this, as it is known to every one, including the Europeans. Kanakaraya Mudali, on the other hand, had some merits. He was not pusillanimous, as his brother is. Although the popular opinion was that he was a miser, he sometimes spent money liberally, and in accordance with his position. He erected a church on the road to Ozhukarai, at a cost of 7,000 pagodas. He constructed a monument in the cemetery, which called for an outlay of 500 or 600 pagodas. In matters of this kind not even a thousandth part of this amount would be spent by Chinna Mudali. I have been obliged to dwell upon the conduct of the latter at some length, in consequence of his behaviour towards his brother’s widow.

For a month past, he has been making attempts to obtain the appointment of chief dubash through the influence of the priests, who have recommended him to Madame Dupleix. Narayana Pillai is the intermediary between him and the lady, and acts as the negotiator. It is not known how his efforts will end.

Avay Sahib, the agent of Imam Sahib, has purchased from the fort sixteen bales of broad-cloth, and purposes buying another sixteen to-morrow.

On this day, of the traders who were in confinement, I freed Mari Chetti, Tirukami Ramalingan, and a man named Tillai. Counting Virappan, and Velan's son... ,* [Illegible in the original.] who have already been discharged, the number of persons set at liberty up to date is five. I will record the full particulars of this matter after the other traders have been released from custody.

Tuesday, 19th April 1746, or 10th Chittirai of Akshaya. — Avay Sahib, the agent of Imam Sahib purchased at the fort, up to the evening of this day, fifty-seven bales of broad-cloth, less one roll. Yesterday he bought thirty-three bales, less one roll. The total cost was Rs. 25,300. This amount was set off in part discharge of the debt due by the Company to Imam Sahib. The broad-cloths in the possession of the Company still remaining unsold are all of inferior quality. They are the balance of those imported during the governorships of MM. Lenoir and Dumas, and are consequently much faded; or else mildewed, or moth-eaten. The remaining bales number forty or fifty. As previously stated, they are not of good quality.

Wednesday, 20tli April 1746, or 11th Chittirai of Akshaya.— Four persons, named Govindan, Teperumal the son of Devam Tandavaraya Chetti, Arunachalam the son of Ekambara Chetti, and Arunachalam the son of Anda Chetti, who were in prison, executed this day term-deeds running for two years, in favour of Wandiwash Ranga Pillai, pledging their houses or stock in trade as security for the due payment of their debts. There was also a secret agreement made with these men to remit a part of what they owed. To intimate this to the Governor, and also to obtain his orders for the release of the traders on the morrow, I made inquiry as to when it would be convenient for him to see me. I was told that he was troubled with a boil in his groin, and was unable to dress himself, or to see visitors. I thereupon sent the men away to he retained in custody in the house of the chief of the peons, and returned home.

This evening, I visited the garden of plantain-trees laid out in Kilinjakuppam.

Thursday, 21st April 1746, or 12th Chittirai of Akshaya. — The Governor being still troubled with the boil did not come out. Nothing of consequence.

Friday, 22nd April 1746, or 13th Chittirai of Akshaya. — This day, whilst I was at the arecanut storehouse, M. Desmarets came to ask me for carts for gravel. He said to me: "In the mail bag which came four days ago from Mahe, there was a letter from France. This was first sent to Bussorah; whence it was despatched, by way of Surat, to Mahe, and thence here. The Governor read it, and keeps the contents to himself. He also has not delivered the letters from France which were addressed to other individuals. It is reported that this letter, which is to the Council of Pondichery, contains some news of interest — at least some people in Mahe have written to this effect to MM. Barthelemy and Dulaurens, and a few others. Now listen to me, and I will relate to you the particulars, as far as I have learnt them. I was told by M. Vincens that M. Dupleix has received an order to dismiss M. Legou the Deputy Governor, and M. Guilliard the cashier, and that the letter addressed to the Council intimated that two commissioners are on their way out to hold an inquiry. I was further informed that M. Dupleix let out, when chatting at table, that he has been given full powers to act in the matter, and that he is perplexed as to the manner of communicating the order to the persons whom it concerns.” I remarked to M. Desmarets: "M. Legou has served the Company for forty years; he is, besides, a man of respectable character, of amiable disposition, and of good conduct. He has no equal as a judge of the qualities of cloth. There is everything about him with which the Directors should be pleased; and how is it possible that they should dismiss a man who has committed no fault.” M. Desmarets replied: "M. Porcher, when he was Administrator at Bandar, was charged with misconduct, and deprived of his Councillorship by M. Dumas, who also passed an order incapacitating him from serving the Company again. M. Porcher went to France, and laid the matter before the Directors, who confirmed the order of M. Dumas, but granted him permission to trade in the East on his own account. He, accordingly, returned to this country. When M. Dupleix became Governor, the case was again laid before his Council, and M. Porcher being declared innocent of the charges brought against him, was restored to his Councillorship. But the Company not having confirmed this, he was obliged to resign his appointment. In the course of the second, investigation, MM. Legou and Guilliard gave evidence to the effect that MM. Golard and Delorme had testified, to the innocence of M. Porcher, when he was on his trial before M. Dumas. This matter became known in France to M. Dumas, and he asked the Company whether such time-servers as MM. Legou and Guilliard, who altered their statements to suit the occasion, could be permitted to remain on the Council. Again, M. Dumont, a private merchant at Chandernagore, wrote to M. Soude, his agent, to realize a debt of 600 pagodas due to him from M. Mossac, a kinsman of M. Dupleix. M. Soude demanded payment from M. Mossac, who however repudiated the claim. The former then petitioned the Council to hold an investigation. On inquiry, it held that a false claim was preferred in M. Soude’s petition, and that what was mentioned in M. Dumont’s letter to him was untrue. As a matter of fact, however, M. Mossac subsequently repaid at Chandernagore the amount alleged to be due to M. Dumont, and requested him not to reveal the fact of his having done so. In this affair there was some perjury on the part of M. Guilliard, who was then the King’s Attorney; and M. Legou was accessory thereto. These acts on the part of the two Councillors were laid hold of by M. Dumas, who put it to the Directors whether men such as these, who were guilty of perjury and giving false evidence, could be allowed to continue in the service of the Company. They thereupon passed an order dismissing them.” In reply to this statement by M. Desmarets, I asked him how it happened that the contents of the despatch had leaked out before they had been made known in Council. He replied that some individuals in Pondichery had received communications on the subject from Mahe. I inquired who they were. He mentioned the names of MM. Barthelemy, and Dulaurens, and a few more; and said that he was told that these people had been talking over the matter in confidence. I observed that the whole truth would come out in the course of ten days more. Thereupon, he bade me farewell, and went home.

Last evening at 7, M. Coquet, the Notary Public and a subordinate merchant, left his house, and went to the garden of M. Basque in Mirapalli. There he drank spirits, and as he was returning home he entered a house in a certain street, for the purpose of annoying the women there. As it was dark, he pulled a firebrand from the hearth, and was waving it in the air in order to cause it to blaze before commencing his search, when a girl rushed out. He kicked off his slippers, and ran after her. The girl, however, fled to a neighbouring house, and called for help. On hearing her cry, the Tamil neighbours and passers-by assembled, and instituted a search in the house which the Frenchman was reported to have entered. He however escaped, and took refuge in a building hard by, which was in course of erection, and had no outer door. The Tamilians, fearing to venture in, surrounded the house, and kept watch. After a while, the Frenchman issued from his hiding place, and threw clods of earth at those who were watching for him in the street. Four men approached from behind, and seized him. He was then set upon, and beaten by all the persons assembled there. The gold buttons on his dress fell off, and all his clothes were torn. His sword and cane were wrested from him, and he was taken as a prisoner to the house of the Deputy Governor. The beating which he received was so severe that his skull was fractured, and his life is despaired of. Whether he will survive the rough treatment to which he has been subjected, remains to be seen. The Governor, who was apprised of what had occurred, expressed his approval of the action of the people in these words: "Should the Tamilians bear with the conduct of a European who enters a native house to outrage the women? They have done well in making a thorough example of him.” Those who were concerned in assaulting the Frenchman are not known, and inquiry is being held. No arrests have as yet been made.  
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33515
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Political Science

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron