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January 28, A friend has recently forwarded me a quote from Lord Macaulay's speech in the British Parliament on 2nd February I reproduce the quote below: 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.
I was tempted, but there were two oddities about this quote. First, the language, which appeared too modern. Second, this was far too obvious and too cynical for Macaulay, who was an apologist of the empire, and believed in its high moral purpose.
The quote was obviously a fraud. I was, however, tempted to check the source of this quote [I take this blog seriously! The author also claims that it is unlikely that such a speech was made, as Macaulay would have been in India on that date.
Then I found more information on Macaulay's speech on a book called Distinguished Anglo-Indians, which contained the text of Lord Macaulay's Minutes on Indian Education See herewhich told me that Macaulay addressed the parliament on about Indian education.
However, what is overlooked, rather conveniently, is this comment contained the same document: Are we to keep the people of India ignorant in order that we may keep them submissive?
Or do we think that we can give them knowledge without awakening ambition? Or do we mean to awaken ambition and to provide it with no legitimate vent?
Who will answer any of these questions in the affirmative? Yet one of them must be answered in the affirmative, by every person who maintains that we ought permanently to exclude the natives from high office.
I have no fears. The path of duty is plain before us: There is indeed a clear reason why this distorted quote was invented.
This is indeed RSS and its followers, who put words on Macaulay. The quote above, passed on by my trusting friend, is a spoof, RSS trying to interpret what Macaulay might have meant. This, more than anything else, explains why Macaulay became such a hate figure for the Hindu Nationalists as they came to adopt, dare I say this, the European ideas of nationalism on their own.
India is one of those countries with a great past and a promising future - and a present made up of unending conflicts between the two. No wonder Lord Macaulay has been invoked again, by email! And, no wonder it is a spoof, suiting some political Indian's view of the world.
However, the colonialist that he was, India can thank Lord Macaulay for its modernity. Chandrabhan Prasad of University of Pennsylvania's Center For The Advanced Study of India has written another excellent article, outlining Macaulay's contribution in India read this rather combative article here.
He scripted the Indian Penal Code. He made no convenient adjustment to local religions. He wanted to build an education system secular and scientific, free of age-old prejudices and at par with the Western world. While his comment on Indian and Arabian literature was certainly ignorant, he played his part in building the modern India we are all so proud of.
Since I wrote this post, Macaulay kept coming back to the conversations.Essay on Popular Culture's Subserviance to High Culture - Popular Culture's Subserviance to High Culture For about a century, Western Culture has really been divided into two cultures, the traditional type of 'high culture' and a 'mass culture' manufactured wholesale for the market.
and reference work the Dictionary of Literary Works is unique, or have achieved a measure of critical and/or popular acclaim, and/or have been frequently anthologized, read, studied, seen, and/or alluded to, or a high intelligence—these are the hallmarks of Malcolm X’s life and story.
Popular Culture's Subserviance to High Culture For about a century, Western Culture has really been divided into two cultures, the traditional type of 'high culture' and .
Essay on Popular Culture's Subserviance to High Culture - Popular Culture's Subserviance to High Culture For about a century, Western Culture has really been divided into two cultures, the traditional type of 'high culture' and a 'mass culture' manufactured wholesale for the market.
its our good fortune to have a journalist of such a high caliber, a man with principals, an intellectual with a conscious, its why I will never lose the hope that the USA will eventually become.
If so, this is what I think: I think culture and religion is inversely related - religion being the offspring of culture, serving it as a 'knowledge system', a system of codes, symbols, heros and taboos.