07. The Macaulay Fraud


Fake news? Just part of our complicated modern lives.

And fake history too, for the computer age has not made us safe from historical deceit. In some ways we may actually be more vulnerable to it, because HTML code runs round the world much faster than the printed page ever could, and it convinces more easily than verbal rumour, because neatly arranged words on a screen easily take on the kind of authority customarily accorded to books, and thus carry more weight than the whispers that they really are.

Exactly this authority has been granted to a bogus quotation, supposedly culled from a speech by Thomas Macaulay in the House of Commons, which has now become a fixture of popular Indian history, accepted at face value by non-experts, and even on occasion used by very senior Indian politicians, including President A. P. J. Kalam.

For those of you who think this might be an academic issue, or some rarefied debate from another era, the quote has a current life in serious politics.

It appears, in full, on the BJP’s website, here.

And Imran Khan has quoted the same fictional speech as part of his protest campaign against the Nawaz Sharif government.

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59), was intimately involved with the policies of the British regime in India as it moved from ad hoc conquest to permanent dominion. He made his influence felt at a crucial point in the creation of the British Raj, as it was developing from a regime of pure subjection with no other ends but self-perpetuation, to a regime that betrayed some awareness of the responsibilities that ‘good’ government (in liberal terms) should take on. The job be went out to do, in 1834, was to draft a new unified ‘rational’ penal code for India. This new code was to replace the criminal law that came into force under Lord Cornwallis’ reforms of the early 1790s. This in its turn had replaced the Shari’a law enforced by the Mughals. Macaulay’s task was accomplished in two years, from 1836-8, and after much discussion, and some revision, was finally introduced in 1861.

He also, by the by, drafted a famous Minute on Education for Governor-General Lord William Bentinck in 1835, as the latter was reviewing how to spend the education fund set aside by the Charter Act of 1813, and deciding whether to forge ahead with a new style of education in English, or to stay with the more conservative, existing policy of providing (higher) education in Sanskrit, Persian and other oriental languages. Macaulay was decidedly in favour of adopting the new approach, and set out his arguments with typical eloquence. He felt that modern science could never come to India if Indians were not acquainted with English, and he felt that an education in English ‘humanities’ would accelerate the development of the country intellectually, as well as providing a steady local supply of amenable government servants.

It is principally on this second count that so many nationalist Indians have come to loathe Macaulay, and their general desire to discredit the man has led to the widespread dissemination of a damaging, highly illiberal quotation, allegedly from a speech made by him in Parliament. This quotation is a demonstrable fake, but a generation of internet cut-and-pasters, raised on facile conspiracy theories. have turned it into ‘truth’ by sheer multiplication. It is familiar to an Indian audience but it is almost entirely unknown in Britain. Here it is in full:

“I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

This text has no place as a trump card in any argument. It is clearly bogus, and can be shown to be such under any of three headings: its alleged date (usually given as February 2 1835), its political content, and its language.

  1. Macaulay was not in Britain in February 1835. He spent the years 1834-38 in India, as Law Member on the Governor General’s Council.
  2. Indian education was not a matter for discussion in Parliament, but for the Governor General’s Council in Calcutta. It was to this body that Macaulay delivered his famous Education Minute, which actually was dated 2nd February 1835.
  3. The views expressed in the quote do not correspond with Macaulay’s stated opinions about India and Indian culture. Like most of his contemporaries Macaulay believed India to be a land full of ignorant and dishonest people. The root causes of their degraded condition were despotic rulers and heathen religion. He wanted English language education specifically to ennoble and enlighten Indians, not to break, crush or destroy them. He also believed, from personal observation, that India was a poor country, and said so in a Minute proposing reform of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in Calcutta.
  4. The alleged quote also contradicts Macaulay’s stated position about India in general. He emphasised, in 1833, in a (real) speech in Parliament how chaotic India was before the British came. That too was a standard attitude. If he had seen any orderliness in India, then he would not have considered it a natural condition of the natives, but a result of the arrival of British rule.

So, we can see that the date 2nd February 1835 cannot possibly be correct, nor can the quote be credible given any date anyone might possibly dream up for it. Macaulay could not have spoken these words before 1834, because they contain references to what he says he has seen in India, which he had not then visited. So he could not have talked of travelling the length and breadth of the country at that time. Therefore the quote could only be delivered after his return. But he could not possibly have said them upon his return either, because by then his policy had been adopted, so he wouldn’t need to ‘propose’ anything. Thus, from purely internal evidence, the quote cannot be a report of anything ever said by Macaulay, in the House of Commons or anywhere else, before or after visiting India. He could not have come back from India and yet still be proposing reforms in London.

Furthermore, the language is terse and crude and does not read in the least like Macaulay’s style. His speeches were balanced in their construction and felicitous in their vocabulary, following the classical models used by contemporary Englishmen. In the quote, the expression ‘self-culture’ is an anachronism, borrowed from later writings on self-improvement, and “I do not think we would ever conquer” does not make sense. In grammatical terms, at least half of it must be in the wrong tense. Nor could Macaulay have applied such language even with congruent tenses, because there was nothing future or conditional about the reality of the British conquest of most of India in 1835. By then the only major part of the Indian nation that had not already had its backbone broken was the Sikh part. Macaulay must have forgotten that to have sounded so gloomy.

So at the very least the quote is adulterated, if not misattributed, or at worst, completely made up. It does not exist in the sources and it is riddled with damning internal inconsistencies. If these words were spoken by someone else, in some other place, then we need to be told by whom and where. They have nothing whatsoever to do with Macaulay, nor do they accurately represent British education policy of 1835.

The best investigation of the original source appears, to his credit, on the website of Hindutva sympathiser, Koenraad Elst, who has traced its provenance to an on-line magazine-periodical named The Awakening Ray, Vol. 4 No. 5, (2000). Whereas the original quote opens there with a disclaimer that reads: ‘His words were to this effect…’ this subtle warning of impending paraphrase, précis or invention has been persistently overlooked by the enthusiasts who have copied the paragraphs that follow.

This chain of (mis-)attribution has now even found its way onto the Wikipedia page for Macaulay. The quote lives stubbornly on. Enquiries (by me) to The Gnostic Centre, publishers of The Awakening Ray, asking what their original source was, remain unanswered.

But this piece of mischievous myth-making is not the only attack on Macaulay, who has suffered repeatedly from assaults on his integrity.

Despite the fact that Macaulay was rather frowned upon in British politics for his intellectual independence, and was even attacked for his lack of Christian principles, he has regularly been turned into a front-rank missionary by some Indian writers, who are either incapable or unwilling to make accurate distinctions within British culture. To depict Macaulay as a militant Christian is incorrect. His brother-in-law Charles Trevelyan was a committed Christian, but Macaulay was not. His father certainly was, and the best evidence his detractors can produce for Macaulay’s alleged Christian enthusiasm is one sentence from one letter he wrote to his father, from India, expressing the hope that idolatry in India would fade away within thirty years. But the means he expected to accomplish this was the arrival of Western science and English literature, not deliberate attempts at conversion. Those who select this one passage and extrapolate a fanatical missionary zeal in Macaulay have clearly never taken the trouble to read his Education Minute, which is widely available on-line.

It contains this sentence: ‘We abstain, and I trust shall always abstain, from giving any public encouragement to those who are engaged in the work of converting the natives to Christianity.’ This, in plain authoritative black and white, was Macaulay’s opinion.

Macaulay’s intention was to educate Indians into liberalism, but not necessarily Christianity. What he was doing he supposed was useful, in the broad tradition of Benthamite Utilitarianism, though in another twist, Macaulay was not himself a Benthamite, and once had a public spat with Bentham’s greatest disciple, James Mill. There is no mention of Christianisation in the Minute of 1835. Macaulay personally thought archaic Hinduism to be absurd and irrational, and took it at face value, like most of his contemporaries. He was a rationalist and he took exception to the mythical elements in Hindu history. He was not impressed by the subtleties of Upanishadic philosophy, and remained happy to throw it out en bloc.

He was working for the British government of India and his aims were to improve that government, and to secure it by the creation and recruitment of suitable clerks. He did not, as is sometimes suggested, wish to abolish education in Indian languages. What he wanted to do was to conduct higher education in India in English, in order to give the best Indian minds access to modern science and liberal political philosophy, about which nothing was written in the ancient ‘classical’ languages of Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic. He actually wanted the more highly educated Indians to translate suitable texts into vernacular languages, in order that the wider population could become more conversant with general western concepts. He wanted to pacify, educate and advance Indian society, not to retard or destroy it, or to dominate it at a micro-managerial level. He was a sincere liberal, and he expected that Indians would sort out their own affairs, take on responsibilities, advance intellectually, and then eventually, of their own accord, abandon the archaic and oppressive superstitions that he, and most of his contemporaries, thought were perpetuating Indian poverty and backwardness.

Macaulay was in favour of a civilising, modernising, uplifting mission, not an explicitly evangelising one. As we have seen, he did not approve of missionary work. He was certainly prepared to dismiss and denigrate Indian culture, literature and philosophy, and was quite bigoted on the subject. He had nothing but contempt for ancient, oriental wisdom, which he considered to be obscurantist poppycock.

But he could not bear the thought that young, potentially loyal Indians, who might benefit from a western style education in English, could be left to rot with their old, discredited, priestly scriptures. He was not bothered about salvation. He was concerned with the administration of the Empire. There was no hidden agenda. He wrote it all in the Minute himself. If he was anything, Macaulay was expansively articulate, and perfectly straightforward within the liberal English tradition. He was culturally arrogant, and a great partisan of causes, but he did not wish India and Indians any ill; his speech on the Charter Bill in 1833 contains a long explication of the idea that, in terms of India, the British would be better off trading with wealthy equals than ruling a nation of impoverished slaves. He wanted Indians to improve and flourish, and to his way of thinking, that involved making them into brown Englishmen.

If that thought is still offensive, and to many it will be, then so be it. But it is actually what he wanted to do. Condemn or forgive him as necessary, but it is not possible to understand him, or Indian history, by distorting his views, or inventing views he never had.

(Comments temporarily closed. I can’t take that much spam. Sorry. To comment, go here.)


 Posted by at 8:46 pm

  42 Responses to “07. The Macaulay Fraud”

  1. Thomas Macaulay was born in 1800.

  2. Brilliant! Thank you for that. It is one good thing about the internet that many views, ideas and references can all be put forward and available. The hope is that the truth will surface. As for “brown Englishmen” I think that’s a jolly good idea but a whole country full somewhere else? Well that’s just not British. 😉

  3. Misconception abt Macaulay is ill designed politically motivated & had been presented since independence for political purposes.Even pre independence pd it might be obviously so based on his mission to spread English language as his fascination and to impart scientific approach n out look amongst indians to over come backwardness n superstitutions poverty etc.He might have felt much abt heinous crime being committed on prevailing Sati system.Moreover for his support to British rule all these nonsense things would have been framed to defame him despite his noble efforts made for noble cause of india minus one one pt of firmness of British empire.Swami Vivekanand has asserted repeatedly that purpose of life is not to be Magistrate or Dy Collector.He never stated clerk word in this regard.Without any clear stand n conception this post was coined to defame British what they want is only so and so.Divide n rule policy is also reffered much in general parlance for British which they actually did at d time of partion of india exploting d circumstances cropping up due to personality conflicts between Jinnah n Nehru which could not be solved by Gandhijee having much love towards both n facilitated pmship for both ignoring d its repercussions at later stage like a cancer disease for d people of both nations to suffer.Once SKSingh was promoted to SP from DSP ignoring seniority of english men to find Singh averting communal riots under his jurisdiction in Patna distt abt whom he was appreciated in London parliament.Just think over their approach over communal riots.And now we suffer riots frequently in free india.Once probably in 1977 in cleaning work before Deepawali i found a letter written by Macaulay in his manuscript dated very back at d residence of Nageshwar Mishra a noted pleader n sacy of CM College Darbhanga in which he had concluded that finding d propagation of english language in india it seems a day will come when in india english wll be a common language of d people of here.Unfortunately it got misplaced n lost a so valuable letter a testimony what his mission was.

    • Hi Rabindra,
      Your Lord Macualay’s soul would rest in peace at least knowing that he has managed to enslave generations of Indians….with your steadfast and loyal views on the noble British Raj,,,

      • At least he is being more objective than the nationalists were when that quote was faked. It reminds me of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which was also faked, and used for propaganda purposes. What I always find amusing and telling, as somebody from Africa, is the pedestal on which Gandhi is always placed. He was a self-confessed despiser of blacks. Here are a few quotes from him:

        “Ours is one continued struggle sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness”;

        “Thanks to the Court’s decision, only clean Indians or coloured people other than Kaffirs, can now travel in the trains”;

        “Under my suggestion, the Town Council (of Johannesburg) must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location. About this mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians I must confess I feel most strongly. It think it is very unfair to the Indian population, and it is an undue tax on even the proverbial patience of my countrymen”.

        There are plenty more.

  4. Thanks for clarifying the facts about this quote. Wiki quotes clarifies it further.

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  5. Your article confirms that Macaulay had a colonial supremacist mindset. His letter as stated by jha confirms that his aim was to replace vernacular languages by English. What else is perennial colonization.

  6. Please check your facts before soaring your Lord McCaulay.

    The actual words from Macaulay in 1835:
    “I accept catholic beyond the across and across of India and I accept not apparent one getting who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such abundance I accept apparent in this country, such top moral values, humans of such caliber, that I do not anticipate we would anytime beat this country, unless we breach the actual courage of this nation, which is her airy and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I adduce that we alter her old and age-old apprenticeship system, her culture, for if the Indians anticipate that all that is adopted and English is acceptable and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their built-in self-culture and they will become what we ambition them, a absolutely bedeviled nation.”

    Available in the archives to genuine researchers. Not for followers of the “If it cannot be Googled it did not happen” doctrine

    • Well, that’s complete gibberish. But probably not spam.

      I’m fair minded, so I’ll let it stand, as it is.

    • can i have the reference please?

    • Does it matter if the speech was a little tampered with if he was not in Britain to begin with ? And I think people are smart enough to change the speech too, after following all the criticisms these many years.some of which are
      1) No reference to it has ever been found any older than 1998 (reportedly from a American neo-gnostic publication).
      2) Lord Macauly is known to have been in the middle of a stint in India (halfway around the world) in 1835 when this was supposedly delivered to Parliament.
      3) It does not appear in the Hansard for that date, as everything else said in Parliment then does.
      4) He did produce a minute for his employers while he was in India around that date, but it did not contain this text.
      5) The language is too modern for the 1830’s.
      6) The cynicism displayed is completely out of character for Macaulay, who believed strongly in British Empire’s “high moral purpose”.
      some of this have already been stated in the given article.

      But something that I am really interested to know is what or which culture and education is one praising. The concept is mainly used by extremists to boosts the glory of their culture but as history states it India was ruled by Muslim rulers when the British charged in. So supposedly it must be the Islamic culture or the mixed culture which Macaulay talks about.Or does it only pertain to the Hindu culture who even believe to have created a flying machine before the right brothers. Controversies are so amazing.

  7. Macaulay’s a goner and the country he came from – is ruled and populated by immigrants whom they set out to teach “Culture and English”. A reverse conquest I’d say. What goes around comes around. What’s that ….the law of Karma, or is it determinism..aren’t both this Eastern philosophies that we in the west still find it hard to accept in results, in process due
    to our classical religious conditioning a borrowed religion born just a coupla thousand years ago!
    What was Macaulay smoking?

    This ain’t history. This is a history maintained by Europeans only. How cnn this be world history. It never will be.

    These words are also in close synchronicity with those that he used in a letter to his sister around the same period and available in archives :

    There never, perhaps, existed a people so thoroughly fitted by nature and by habit for a foreign yoke.

    However, there does exist a supercilious xenophobic group on the internet which continues to idolise Macaulay and is trying to prove that he could not have uttered words similar to above. Any books and citations by Indian authors or of Indian origin are dismissed in limine and discredited by this xenophobic mindset clearly forgetting that the British Imperialists had strict controls over the Local Press in India. They insist on documentary evidence, where none has been allowed to exist..and continue to propagate the belief that Macaulay never could have uttered these words.

    • I think you are missing the point here. No one contests that Macaulay was first and foremost loyal to the Crown and an imperialist who genuinely believed that his culture was superior to that of the Indians. He did not appreciate _any part_ of Indian culture and thought it was his duty to ennoble the natives, or to bring them out of centuries of darkness. This attitude was common among Europeans in those times and for sure by modern standards they are racist. But one has to also know there were many who were had the same mindset without being necessarily all the way evil. Even Charles Darwin shared some of the same ideas although he noted that natives of Terra Del Fuego whom he found to be like savages probably thought the same way as any Englishman and this was from his experience when sharing the same ship (the famous HMS Beagle) across the Atlantic to South America. Darwin by the way was also an abolitionist and hated Brazil for the culture of enslaving Africans there. Interesting Abraham Lincoln also thought the blacks were an inferior race but nevertheless probably from liberal or religious ideology thought enslavement was an evil that could not be tolerated.

      To get back to Macaulay, if indeed what he wrote to his sister is true, there is no contradiction: he did see Indians as an inferior race if people who could be dominated easily because of their very nature, and he probably he thought they needed it for their own good too. This kind of logic still exists among racist people. I lived a few years in Java where there is an Indian community which was mostly very racist, even to the extent framing unwritten laws which forbid mixing too closely with the locals (of course I hated that and did just the opposite). Another thing really surprised me: Indians generally considered the local population to be lazy and too laid back, and therefore needed a sort of master/servant relationship to get things done. In reality, the locals were paid may be 1/4th of what the Indians were paying and had to do many times the hard work.

      I am not supporting the groups that idolise Macaulay or the Hindutva supremacist groups. Macaulay had slightly more liberal view although hardly worth mentioning because of his conditioning. The present generation of Hindu nationalists are leading the country to a dangerous situation and already have blood in their hands. I do not believe their agenda is any good for the country as a whole or world peace for that matter. But that’s just me.

      I do understand your point about reverse colonization but it makes me think that there is going to be even worse backlash against it because the second generation of immigrants are not necessarily being assimilated well in the British, European or American way of life or at least the liberal cultural bubble.

      On the other hand, the insistence for providing accurate evidence is important or history can never be a science, and just an imaginative re-creation of past events. To conclude, in many ways Macaulay represented the typical methodical colonialist but at the same time we have to give the devil his due: he was not an advocate of proselytisation which current Hindutva parties are so very keen to abolish and he did not want to crush the people’s spirits but wanted an advanced nation the way he thought it should be however faulty his ideas were by modern standards.

  8. Hello Maxel,

    I detect some intellectual thread in your comment, but as a whole it seems garbled, contradictory and unnecessarily hostile. I do not have the time or energy to unpick all the layers of incoherence you have presented, especially as I see you have simply c and p’d a chunk of a clearly hacked Wikiquote page.

    But here’s a quick overview.

    Are you seriously contending that modern Britain is run by Asian immigrants? I suggest you have little acquaintance with the place. And if you do think that, then you’re better off on a BNP site, and you would not be welcome again here. How can you spout such utter nonsense?

    And the fact that there was a vernacular press in India rather goes against your crude contentions about Macaulay and the Raj.

    I also suggest you cannot have much acquaintance with the methods and standards of historical writing either, if you reject the discipline of documentary evidence. Actually the criterion is credible evidence, supported by logical argument.

    And to take the contrary stance, do you think that it is acceptable simply to make stuff up, just because you believe, for your own reasons, that it might be true? If you do, then write plays or scripts, and leave history alone. See my articles here on Akbar and the theories of P N Oak.

  9. Looks like leftist/communist apologists who can’t argue about the Maculay attributed statement are trying to completely disown the statement from him to save their failing desperate arguments! The reasons given to say it is fraud are ridiculous! If he was not in London at that time may be some one else would have read that for him in his absence or the date may be wrong due to some other technical reason. About language type used, very silly argument to make. Overall the reasons used are not serious and no research to disprove his statement otherwise,

    Typical leftist/communist propaganda, like the one on Aryan theory in-spite of genetic evidence done using modern labs. to prove otherwise. Indian leftists are real contribution of Lord Macaulay to India, his real putras! But truth can’t be hidden forever like fire nor can be covered forever! Time to close JNU left safe heavens!

    • Genetic evidence says Indians came from Africa and it actually proves the Aryan theory.

      • no u idiot aryan was not a caste or any kind of tribe aryan is said to those people who are higher i any community whether it is brahmin,kshatriya,vaishya or shudras. the high rank people within these communities are called to be aryans and it has been proven by taking the blood samples from the indians and other countries like africa,russia,japan,korea and other countries of asia and after checking the dna of these people that aryans were in india only they never came from africa or any other country and the aryan theory which is been taught in India and any other world contains false information bcoz ur fucking asshole macauley was never in favour of Indians knowing about their real history because he wanted to create people of India by body but english by mind and soiul he destroyed our gurukuls in which at the times of 1830s 18 subjects were used to taught like vedic maths, astrophysics, medicine and surgery,metallurgy and many more advanced which are today’s times advanced subject. u knw kangda university at that time used to be famous for surgery and medicine and at that time the medical’s advanced subject which is rhinoplasty used to be done and also skin graffting and this was also stated by ur Macaulay and general coot whose nose was cut down and then it was rhinoplasted there and ur macaulay only said in house of commons that in england no one is even capable of teaching mathematics the only subject they can teach in england is bible and that too only on sundays thats why some schools in england are called sunday schools and only subject they can teach is bible nothing more than that might be some literature or little bit of science might be every technology is been stolen from India and the knowledge is then given to world by other names. hahahaha and u people talk about technology who were not knowing even a little bit about that and this all data about macaulay and house of commons is written in english parliament documents u can go and read them for ur clarification. thank you jai hind vandematram

  10. Here is the address text from the Columbia Univ archives http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00generallinks/macaulay/txt_minute_education_1835.html

  11. British raj, Brown Englishmen… haha

  12. Please go through the research work and books by Dr. Dharmpal. The books named –
    “The Beautiful Tree” and
    Indian Science and Technology in Eighteenth Century.
    Give me ur mail id and i will send u the pdf copy of the books.
    The person quoting it as a hoax will get his answer.
    This is another trend in the internet world.
    Whatever true information doesn’t suit your interest. Call it a hoax.
    Kindly do some more research brother.

    C. P.Mittal

    • Hello Shri Mittal,

      I have actually read some of the Dharmpal material, such of it as I could find on line. I found it very interesting. I am interested in the roots of Indian modernity, and Dr Dharmpal seems to have had a similar concern.

      Thank you for your interest. My email here is: rm [insert-AT] historydetox.com

    • please send me the pdf of whatever documents you have.


  13. I agree it is necessary for the christian evangelicals to hide the truth of India but truth cannot be wished away just like that.

    Here is an OFFICIAL DOCUMENT of Government of India quoting IT’S RECORDS. The attribution may not be correct but the content is the SAME. of course for white man who wants to show India as having been bad and they came and lifted it up and the necessity of evangelical turds to spread their false religion will keep screaming otherwise. Its OK. truth remains truth and it cannot be hidden with lies


    • Not sure what any of that means, apart from that you are angry enough to be foul mouthed.

      That link doesn’t work. I assume you meant:


      which does work, but has nothing to do with Christianity, missionaries, Macaulay etc, all of which are very scrambled in your mind. Anger does not fix anything, and it has a tendency to confuse those in its power.

    • Ehh, besides that being hglihy illegal, you’d need to be very well acquainted with programming and computers to be able to infect them without them downloading anythingBetter yet, log their IP, contact your ISP, and get them arrested. Use a CLEAN vm without ever using it to access anything, even email and facebook. They can steal passwords.

  14. Admire your patience! Here’s more dope on the Dharampal treatise and the impact of colonial education if you haven’t seen this already. Check chapter http 4. http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/pol-agenda-kk.pdf

  15. Read full speech and Para 31

  16. I was a English buff till I visited Paris in 1986 ,1988.and 2005 and a few European countries .When I repeatedly tried to converse in English with local , only cold stare confronted me .My friend advised me from trying English and if I insist I may get a slap! Lord Macaulay has ensured that even if that language “dies”
    elsewhere in the world ,it will certainly survive in India and Philippines.Successive Indian Govts. have ensured that all BABU jobs are reserved for the english educated ones and only menial types of jobs can be earmarked for those with regional language knowledge!While in Europe every activity is done in their mother tongues incl.software ,this is found not feasible in this great Country! IF you ask a Narayan murthy or Azim Premji ,probaably they may sound the ” it is not feasible”.
    A simple test will prove .Look at our young people flocking to Maxmueller bhavan and Alliance Franchise
    before embarking for higher education or jobs!

    • The quote attributed seems not believable. Firstly, the text seems more modern in style. Secondly being an Indian I cannot believe that somebody had such a high opinion that he has not seen a beggar or a thief in India in 19th century India! Thirdly, if this guy was impressed by India so much, he would not have said publicly that he would want to destroy the education. Fourthly, the Sanskrittan system of education was rubbish and education was simply not available to the masses.

      It has become a fashion for Indians (mostly Hindutvas) these days to live in the mindset of 1920s hating the west while the west has moved on to greater things. IMHO, the English brought the education to the masses, leveled the education field, brought a good judicial system and some self respect and rational thinking to the masses who were oppressed by millenniums in a casteist society full of superstition. I can tell you this, without the English, (we) Indians will still be sporting Kudumies and progress would have been nil.

      • Indian society was an open society evidenced by the many different philosophies that arose here through history. But being part of the Islamic world from late first millennium closed Hindus off to the renaissance and industrial revolution in Europe, which in my view Hindus would have been otherwise open to and would have absorbed the ideas and concepts into its own fabric several centuries earlier. It is a fact that when the English brought in modern education, Hindus quickly flocked to it in far greater numbers. Could India have developed modern science on its own ? Who knows, but certainly the pre-Islamic Indian society was a dynamic one. English colonial rule did far more good to India than the muslim colonial rule that preceded it and without the muslim colonial rule there might not have been an English colonial rule at all !

    • Most European countries are homogeneous. Germany, France, Denmark, Poland etc… are more or less homogeneous with only a few ethnic groups. Countries like japan and S. Korea are homogeneous too. China a big country is 90% Han Chinese, Russia is 85%+ Russian. India on the other hand is made up off many ethnic groups and the biggest group of Hindi speaking North Indians are only about 25 to 30%. There is no comparison. Why should the rest of Indians, Bengalis, Gujratis, Mizos, Khasis, Sikkimese, Oriyas etc… speak Hindi? South Indians definitely do not want Hindi as their official language. English is a neutral language and for 95% of India it is second language. Thus in exams it is a level playing field neutral language. Hindi people will get an advantage in competitive exams if Hindi is medium of all entrance exams and government jobs.
      Besides the whole world is becoming mad to learn English, China is making English compulsory in it’s schools. China perhaps has millions of schools, all of them are hiring English teachers, the rich ones in Shanghai from Anglo Saxon countries. Even Poland is making learning English compulsory in its schools. We will be fools to leave English.
      Besides you are obviously lying as most people in Belgium, Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries can speak English as well as their local languages.

  17. Macaulay’s Minute on Indian Education from 1835

    Macaulay’s Minute, sometimes referred to as a speech given in Parliament or a minute presented to Parliament, is not a Parliamentary record so is not held by the Parliamentary Archives. Baron Macaulay, historian, essayist and poet, was an MP between 1830-1834, 1840-1847 and 1852-1857. His famous Minute on Indian Education is dated 2 February 1835, when he was not an MP. He had resigned his Parliamentary seat in early 1834 and sailed for India, as he had been made a member of the Supreme Council in India. The Minute was therefore presumably written for the Supreme Council, not the British Parliament.

    The text of Macaulay’s Minute can be found on many websiteS using a search engine such as Google and entering the title and name of the author. Alternatively, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography records that Macaulay’s Minute was printed by G. O. Trevelyan in an appendix to his book The Competition Wallah (1864). The Parliamentary Archives cannot vouch for the authenticity of any of these websites, nor does it hold a copy of Trevelyan’s book

  18. when we dont know what is right even about 10 days back (that is published), how can we know what happened in 1835?
    some questions that arise are:

    1. why did British wish to teach English to us Indians? was it to get resources to support British Government?
    2. Why did East India company come to India ? did they come to a poor country?
    3. and finally, Did British leave us Indians richer or poorer?

  19. While almost everything you wrote here could be accurate (or inaccurate), you surely were wrong on one point (your point 1).

    Proof: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00generallinks/macaulay/txt_minute_education_1835.html

  20. To be fair to Macaulay, he wrote his minute before James Prinsep (brother of his opponent on Sanskrit education, Henry Thoby Prinsep) deciphered the Brahmi Script. Having no knowledge of Pali, he had no access to, say, the Majjima Nikaya of the Buddhist scriptures. He had no knowledge of Indian learning, and was mainly intent on creating a class of Brown Sahibs to act as a buffer between the British and their native subjects. His interest was in spreading the utilitarian doctrine, which his colleagues promoted with zeal in Sri Lanka, leading to the destruction of the local farmers and the watershed forests (not to mention the slaughter of thousands of elephants who were exterminated in their montane habitat), the creation of a disastrous system of mono-culture coffee plantations and to the foundation of the ethnic problem.
    HT Prisep and James Prinsep knew what they were talking about, unlike Macaulay.

    • An interesting point. And not one usually made like that. Though I do think you are slightly conflating Utilitarianism and capitalism there.

      My great-grandfather published a critical edition of the Pali Canon.

  21. In addition to debunk these hoaxes, we need to think that who are the people creating it and what are there motives to do it? Do we Indians, suffer from inferiority complex?? Who are there to gain from these kind of hate propaganda which spreads like a wild fire!