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of the municipal council, the building is to be called the ' Chester

The municipalities of Palni, Periyakulaui and KodaikanrJ also
maintain hospitals. The first two of these institutions were
opened in 1872 and the last in 1873. Hospitals are kept up by
the local boards in Bodinayakkanur (started in 1880), Uttama-
pdlaiyam (1873) and Usilampatti (1876).



In addition to tlie three municipal dispensaries at Madura CHAP. IX.
and Dindigul already mentioned, others liave been maintained Medical
from local funds at the places, and since the dates, noted Lelow :
In Dindigul taluk, Kannivadi (1884) and Yedasandur (1879j ;
in Kodaikanal, Tdndikkudi (1891) ; in AJolur taluk, Mel6r (1879)
and Nattam (1888); in Nilakkottai taluk, Nilakkottai (1891);
Solavandan (1 888) and Yattilagundu (1881) ; in Palni, Sattirapatti
(1897) ; in Periyakalam, Andipatti (1891) ; and in Tiriimangalam,
Saptur (1888) and Tiruiuangalam itself (l&7;i). Except those at
Melur, Nattam, Nilakkottai, iSolavanddn and Tirumangalam, all
these are located in rented buildings.



Karly' History — The tliree Sangams— The new Sangarn — Education under
the Nd^akkans. Census Statistics— Figures by religions and tuluks.
Educational Institutions — The Pasumalai College — The Afadura C(jllege
— Upper secondary fscliools — fjower secondary schools— Other schools
— Newspapers, etc.,

CHAP. X. Madura was famous as a seat of learning in very early times.
Earlt Tradition says that the Pandya capital was the home, at different

^^ ' periods, of three different Sangams, or bodies somewhat similar

The throe f,,, fhe existing French Academy, which sat in judgment on literary
angams, -works submitted for their approval and without whose imprtmatur
no composition could hope for a favourable reception. The first
of these was at the old capital of the Madura country which (see
p. 28) was swept away by the sea ; the second at Kapddapuram,
its successor as the (.-liief town of the Pandyas ; and the third was
at the present town of Madura.

Fabulous stories are told of this last. The Madura st//ala
puyiiua recounts a long tale of how Sarasvati, the goddess of
learning, was impudent to Brahma and was accordingly visited
by him with a curse compelling her to undergo forty-eight
successive births on earth. Afterwards, relenting somewhat, he
allowed the sentences to run concurrently ; and a forty-eighth
part of her soul was thereupon transfused into each of forty-eight
mortals who became poets of transcendent excellence, were received
with honour by the Pandyan king, and formed the Sangam.
Tiiey were, however, constantly annoyed by the absurd pretensions
of others who claimed to be their equals, and at length Siva gave
them a diamond bench which contracted and expanded so as just
to accommodate those of the forty-eight who were present and no
more, and thus prevented any unworthy aspiraut from attempting
to take his seat among them. When at last, says another tale,
Tiruvalluvar, the Faraiyau composer of the famous Rural,
brought his work for the .approval of the Sangam, its members
declined to ' crown ' it ; but the miraculous bench, knowing
the worth of the book, expanded to make room for it, and the
book then in its turn grew bigger and bigger and pushed all the
forty -eight off their eat.s


Native literary critics of mucli repute have held that it is CHAi'. X.
doubtful whether any Sang-am ever existed at all ; but the weight Karlv

of opinion is in favour of the theory that the third of tliem is an ^^^

historical fact and tliat it flourislied in the early years of the
present era. Mr. Kanakasabhai Pillai ^ gives the sober version of
its reception of tlie Kural in tlio time of the Pandyan king Ugra-
peru-vabati (see p. 27 above).

The 'New Madura Tamil Sangam,' a flourishing literary t hp now
society, was established in 1901. Its object is the improvement Sjiigam.
of the Tamil language ; its income from endowments is returned
as Rs. 4,850, and from subscriptions Rs. 10,974 ; its supporters
include the Raja of Pndukkottai and many well-known natives
of Madura, and the members number 525 ; it maintains a boarding
institution in Madura where Sanskrit. Tamil and English arc
taught ; possesses a library of 3,800 books and manuscripts in
these thiee languages ; issues a monthly journal from a press of its
own ; holds examinations and awards medals to those who are suc-
cessful in them ; and conducts original research and the editing of
ancient Tamil works.

Under the Nayakkan rulers, tlie education of Brdhmans Education
(apparently other classes wore neglected) was subsidised by the under the
state on an unparalleled scale. The Jesuit missionary Hobert "^ *^
de' Nobili wrote in 1610 that more than ten thousand Brahmans
were being taught, boarded and lodged at the ]niblic cost in
Madura, and that the courses of tuition provided not only for the
instruction of boys, but for the education of adults in philosophy
and theology. Sanskrit, and not Tamil, was the medium of
instruction. The fall of the Nayakkans put an end to these classes,
and in the disturbed times which followed education seems to have
been almost entirely neglected. "When the English first acquired
the country hardly any one in rural parts except a few hereditary
village accountants and headmen seems to have been able to read
and write, and the Tamil Jin'ihmans in the towns were so ignorant
that, as elsewhere, Marathas and other foreigners had to be called
in by the Government to do its work, the records were kept in
Marathi, and this tongue became almost the official language.
The American Mission (see below) wore the first to re-introduce
systematic education in tlie district, and it was not until 1856
that the first Government Zilla school, referred to later, was

In the separate Appendix to this volume will bo found tlio Cknsur
chief statistics of the last census and of the Educational department Statistics.

' The Tami/.s eighteen hundred year.s ago, 138-140.


CIIAF. X. regarding- tho present state of education in Madura. The census
Tkn-sis sliowed tliat in tlie literacy of tlie males among its population the
rA tTsii cs. rligtrict ranked sixth in tlie Presidency, but tliat it came only
fourteenth in the education of its girls. Taking both sexes
together, the number of people in it who know how to read and
write is slightly below the average of the southern districts and
numbers just over seven per cent, Tamil is the language most
generally known and only three persons in every thousand can
read and write English. Among the eleven towns in the Presi-
dency which contain over 5U,000 inhabitants, Madura ranks
sixth in the education of its males and eighth in the literacy of the
other sex.
Figures by Figures of education among the followers of the different

talukV '^""^ religions show that (as in several other districts) the males among
the Musalmans are better educated than those of any other faith.
The Madura Musalmans are mainly Ravutans, a pushing commer-
cial class to whom a knowledge of reading and writing is essential.
Next to them, but a long way behind, come the males among the
Christians, and the Hindus of that sex bring up the rear. In the
literacy of their girls, however, the Cliristians, as usual, easily take
the first place among the three religions, neither the Musalmans
nor the Hindus even approaching their standard.

Education is most advanced, as is natural, in the head-quarter
taluk of Madura. Excluding Kodaikanal, the conditions in which
are exceptional, Periyakulam comes next. Between the other
taluks there is not much to i choose, but Tirumangalaui is at the
bottom of the list.
EDccATiOiNAL Thc cducatioual institutions of the district include two colleges ;

N'sriTunoxs. j^^j^^i^.^ ^]-^^^ formerly maintained by the American Mission at
Pasumalai, 2| miles from Madura, but now transferred to Madura
itself, and the Madura College.
The Pasuuia- The former is the older. It originated in a seminary which

lai College. was opened at Tirumangalam in 1842 and moved to Pasumalai
three years later. The original object of the mission was to
provide in this school a high class education for youths of all reli-
gions, the Bible and the tenets of the Christian faith being
included in the curriculum. But alterations and re- alterations of
this plan took place, owing to changes in the views of the authorities
upon the question whether the work of the institution should be
confined to the instruction of candidates for missionary labours,
or so extended as to include non-Christian students as well. In
1875 it was resolved that the latter of these plans should be
followed, and subsequently the department for the training of
missionary agents was separated from the rest of the institution.


In 1882 the school was raised to the position of a second-grade CHAP. X.
college, but the high and middle school classes were retained. In Educational
1886 a normal school with a primary practising branch was added, nstitutions.
and in 1892 the first of its hostels was opened. The institution
now stands on a site some 50 acres in extent, which inclndes tennis
courts and a field for football and cricket, and is accommodated in
buildings which have cost over Es. 80,000. It has a consulting
and general library, its own press, and an. endowment fund the
interest of which is devoted to scholarships. The college classes
have very recently been moved to the mission's high school
building in Madura, as Pasumalai is so far from the town, and a
proposal is on foot to construct, from the mission's share of Mr.
Eockefeller's recent munifkent gift in furtherance of education, a
new college building on a site belonging to the mission near the
Collector's residence

The Madura College is a development of the Grovernment Zilla Tho Madura
school which was established in March 1856 as an outcome of the ^'^^'®^®-
Directors' famous despatch of 1854 on education. It was at first
located in the north-east corner of the great arcade of Tirumala
Ndyakkan'g palace ; and, on this being pronounced likely to fall
down, was moved to the Naubat khana, or music pavilion of tho
palace, which then stood near the Ten Pillars (see p. 274), was
afterwards used as the Police head-quarter office, was eventually
pulled down because it was unsafe, and the site of which is now
occupied by the Patnulkarans' primary school. About 18ti5 the
Zilla school was moved to a building near the railway-station
(apparently erected partly from public subscriptions) which now
forms part of the existing college. In March 1880 a colleo-e
department was opened in the institution, but this was abolished
in 1888. In the next year the school building and library were
lent to the committee which was managing the then Native High
School and this body started the present college. The institution
was affiliated to the University in the same year. In 1891 the
extension of the premises at a cost of Es. 11,750 was. sanctioned
and in the following year the new block was opened by Lord
Wenlock. The attendance in the college classes is about 120.
The institution is now managed by a committee of native gentle-
men. Attaclied to it are three lower secondary branches located
in rented buildings.

The upper secondary schools of the district are six in number • Upper
namely, that maintained at Dindigul by the municipality, those in ^scondsiy
Madura kept up by the American Mission, the Patntjlkdran com- ®°'^°°''*
munity and the committee of the Madura College (the ' SetuiDati











High School '), the American Mission's school for girls in the same
town, and the school maintained at Periyakulam by M.E.Ry.
V. Kdmabhadra Ndyudu, the present representative of the old
poligars of Vadakarai (see p. 323).

Lower secondary schools for boys number twelve, and comprise
those kept up by the American Mission at Dindigul and Meliir
and by the Roman Catholic Mission at Madura, the Dindigul
Muhamraadan school, the schools at Solavanddn, Madura, Palni,
M^lamangalam (near Periyakulam), Uttamapalaiyam, Bodinayak-
kanur and Tirumangalam, and the general education branch of the
local board's Technical Institute at Madura. Schools of the same
grade for girls are three in number ; namely, the Government
school at Dindigul, the American Mission practising institution at
Madura and the South Indian Railway's school for European girls
in the same town.

Government maintains a training school for masters at Madura,
the local boards have a sessional school, and the American
Mission keeps up a training school for masters at Pasumalai and
another for mistresses at Madura.

Excluding classes for book-keeping, type-writing and the like,
the only technical instruction obtainable is that given in the local
board's Technical Institute opposite the railway-station at Madura.
There, besides those learning drawing, about 100 pupils are being
taught calnnet-making, metal-work, etc.

Some 190 boys are instructed in the Vedas and Sastras in a
number of pdthasdias kept up in various parts of the district at the
cost of the N^ttukottai Chettis and others.

Five newspapers or periodicals are published in Madura. The
American Mission issues a fortnightly English and Tamil paper
and a monthly Tamil periodical, both of which are devoted mainly
to religious matters ; the Tamil Sangam has its own organ (a
Tamil monthly) ; and there are two newspapers, namely, the
Tamil monthly Viveka Bhdnu with a circulation of about 800
copies and the South Indian Mail, an English weekly with a
circulation of 400.



RicvEXUE History — Nat'vo revemie pyatems — Methods of the Nayakkans— Of
the Marathas — And of the later renters — British administration : in the
DindigTil country— Mr. McLeod, first Collector, 1790 — Jlis incapacity— Mr.
Wynch and his n;aladministration, 1794 — Commission of eucjuiry, 179G — Mr.
Hurdis' CoHcctorship — Order restored and survey and scittlement begun,
1800 — Principles of these— Miscellaneous taxes — The financial results —
Mr. Parish becomes Collect?r~The district declines, 1805 — Mr. Hodgson's
report upon it — Triennial village leases, 1808-10 —Mr. Rous Peter's reductions
in the assessments, 182.3 — Further reductions, 1831 — Abolition of vdnpayir
assessments, 1854— Unsettled palaiyams — British administration in the
Madura country — Difficulties at the outset— Formal cession of the country,
1801 — Early settlements in it — The various land tenures — Government land
— Hafta devastanam — Sibbandi porv/ppv, — Jivitham — Poruppu villages —
Church mdniyams — Cliattrani land — Arai-l(attalai — Arai-kattalai villages—
Ardhamo nit/am, etc. — Defects of the settlement — Triennial leases and the
ryotwari system — Reductions in assessments. The existing Survey and
Settlement, 1885-89 — Principles followed — Rates prescribed — Resultant
effects — Settlement of hill villages. Inams. Existing Divisional Charges.
Appendix, List of Collectors.

Of the details of the revenue systems in force under the various CHAP. XI.
native governments which held the Madura country before it came Revenlb
into the possession of the English, exceedingly little is known. H istor y.
Besides the land-tax proper, there were several smaller imposts on Native
the soil. Among these (in Tirumala Nayakkan's time at least ;
no continuous particulars are available) were the plough-tax, which
required owners of land to furnish the Ndyakkan when called upon
with one labourer, free of charge, for every plough they owned ;
the ferry tax for the upkeep of the public ferries on the rivers ; the
kdvali-vari, or tax for providing crop watchers ; and the ter-uliyam,
or car-service, which required each village to provide a fixed quota
of men to drag the great temple cars. Also every kind of art and
profession was taxed.

' Every weaver's loom paid so much per annum ; and every iron-
smelter's furnace ; every oil-mill ; every retail shop ; every house
occupied hj an artificer ; and every indigo vat. Every colloctur of wild
honey M'as taxed ; every maker and seller of clarified butter ; every
owner of carriage bullocks. Even stones in the beds of rivers, used by

' The early part of this chapter is for the most part an abridgment of the
full account of the matter given by Mr. Nelson in the 19G pages of Part IV of
his book.






Methods of
the Nayak-

washermen to beat clothes on, paid a small tax. In the towns there
were octroi dutins on grain and other commodities brought through
the gates. And lastly there were the land customs.'

The revenue from the land was however always the chief main-
stay of the public exchequer. Tradition ^ says that under the
Yijayanagar kings (it is useless to attempt to trace matters
further back) the state was held to be entitled to one-half of
the gross produce of all land cultivated. This revenue was realised
by parcelling out the greater part of the country — the Nayakkan's
private estates and the favourable grants to temples, charities and
Brahmans were excepted — among the poligars already (p. 42)
referred to, and entrusting them with the collection of it subject
to certain payments and services. The rapacity of these men and
their servants was usually limited only by the inability of the ryot
to pay, or by his success in deceiving or bribing the collecting
staff ; and oppression was rampant.

After the disruption of the Vijayanagar dynasty in 1565 at the
battle of Talikota, these methods still continued ; but they were
complicated by the fact that the Ndyakkans of Madura frequently
declined to pay their dues to their nominal suzerains, the fallen
kings of that line. The system and its deplorable results are
graphically described in a letter from a Jesuit priest, dated Madura,
30th August 1611, which is preserved in La Mission du Madure
and may be rendered as under : —

' The king, or great Nayakkan, of Madura has only a few estates
which depend immediately upon him, that is to say which are his
own property (for in this country the great are the sole proprietors
and the common people are merely their tenants) and all the rest of
the land belongs to a crowd of small princes or tributary poligars.
These last have, each in his own estate, the entire administration of
the police and of justice — if justice it can ever be called— and they
levy the revenue (which comprises at least half the produce of the soil)
and divide it into three parts. Of these, the first is set aside as tribute
to the great Nayakkan, the second is allotted for the upkeep of the
troops with which the poligar is obliged to furnish him in case of war
and the third goes to the poligar himself. The great Nayakkan of
Madura, and also those of Tanjore and Gingee, are themselves tribu-
tary to the king of Vijayanngar, to whom thoy have each to pay
annually irom six to ten million francs. But they are not regular in
sending these amounts, often make delay, sometimes even refuse
insolently to pay at aU ; and then the king of Vijayanagar appears,
or sends one of his generals, at the head of 100,000 men to collect the
arrears with interest. When this happens (as it often does) it is once
more the poor common people who pay for the fault of their princes \

^ Sir Thomas Munro's report cited in the BeUarij Gazetteer, 150.


the whole country is devastated, and the inhabitants are piUaged or CHAP. XI.
massacred.' Kevenuk

After the Marathas came into power, things were even worse ; Historv.
for John de Britto, an eye-witness of what he described, wrote of of the
the neighbouring Tanjore country in 1683 that — Marathus.

' Ekoji (the Maratha king) levies four-fifths of all the produce.
As if that were not enough, instead of accepting this ehare in kind he
makes the ryots pay in money. Aad since he is careful to fix the
price himself at a figure much above that which the cultivator can
get, the proceeds of the sale of the whole of the crop are insufficient
to meet the land assessment. Thus the ryots linger under the weight
of a crushing debt and are often pat to crael tortures to prove their
inability to pay. You will hardly be able to realize such oppression,
and yet I must add that the tyranny in the Gingee kingdom is even
more frightful and revolting. But I will say no more on the matter,
for words fail me to express its horrors.'

Under the Musalmans, the Madura country (like other parts
of the Presidency) was usually rented out to farmers for fixed
suras, the farmers being left to make wlmt profits they could by
grinding the faces of the ryots.

About 1742, as has been seen above (p. 69), the province And of the
of Dindigul was leased in this manner by the Eaja of Mysore to ^^tcr renters.
Birki Yenkata Bao ; in 17o5 Madura proper and Tinnevelly were
similarly rented by Colonel Heron to Mahfuz Khdn for fifteen
lakhs of rupees and in 1758 to Muhammad Yi'tsuf for five laklis ;
in 1772 Haidar AH of Mysore leased the Dindigul country to his
brother-in-law Mir Sal\ib, and in 1784 Tipu Sultan leased it to Mir
Sahib's nephew Saiyad 8ahib. In fact the land revenue in most
of the area which now makes up the district was administered
in this way up to the time when the British obtained final posses-
sion of it. These renters were usually tyrants of the worst
description. Colonel Fullarton wrote that the object of each of
them —

* Too frequently was to ransack and embezzle, that he may go off
at last enriched with the spoils of his province. The fact is, that in
every part of India where the Renters are established, not only the
ryot and the husbandman, but the manufacturer, the artificer, and
every other Indian inhabitant, is wholly at the mercy o£ those
ministers of public pxaction. The established practice throughout
this part of the Peninsula has for ages been, to allow the farmer one-
half of the produce of his cro]i for the maintenano of his family, and
the re-c\iltivation of the land ; Avhile the other is appropriated to the
Circar. In the richest soils, under tho cowln of Haidar. producing
three annual crops, it is hardly known that less than forty per cent,
of the crop produced has been allotted to the husbandman. Yet


CHAP. XI. Renters on the coast liave not scrupled to imprison reputable farmers,
REfENOK andtoinQict on them extreme severities of punishment, for refusing
History. to accept of sixteen 'in the hundred, as the jiroportion out of which
they were to maintain a family, to furnish stock and implements of
husbandry, cattle, seed, and all expenses incidental to the cultivation
of their lands. But should the unfortunate ryot be forced to submit
to such conditions, he has still a long list of cruel impositions to
endure. He must labour week after week at the repair of water-
courses, tanks, and embankments of rivers. His cattle, sheep, and
every other portion of his property is at the disposal of the Renter,
and his life might pay the forfeit of refusal. Should he presume
to reap his harvest when ripe, without a mandate from the Renter,
whose peons, conicopolies, and retainers attend on the occasion,
nothing short of bodily torture and a confiscation of the little that
is left him, could expiate the offence. Would he sell any part of his
scanty portion, he cannot be permitted while the Circar has any
to dispose of ; Avould he convey anything to a distant market, he is
stopped at every village by the collectors of Sunkum or Gabella, who
exact a duty for every article exported, imported, or disposed of. So
uDsupportable is this evil, that between Negapatam and Palghaut-
clierry, not more than three hundred miles, there are about thirty
places of collection, or, in other words, a tax is levied every ten miles
upon the produce of the country ; thus manufacture ■ and commerce
are exposed to disasters hardly less severe than those which have occa-
sioned the decline of cultivation.

' But these form only a small proportion of the powers with which
the Renter is invested. He may sink or raise the exchange of specie
at his own discretion ; he may preveut the sale of grain, or sell it at
the most exorbitant rates ; thus at any time he may, and frequently

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