[WSMDiscuss] Third World Quarterly row : Why some western intellectuals are trying to debrutalise colonialism (Vijay Prashad)

Shiva Shankar sshankar at cmi.ac.in
Fri Sep 29 05:20:41 CEST 2017

... By 1838, when Macaulay sailed back to Britain, his Committee had 
established forty English-medium schools which were open to all regardless 
of caste, in itself a revolutionary step in a society where the lower 
castes had been strictly forbidden to study. ...

"... Or, to go to India itself for an instance, though I fully believe 
that a mild penal code is better than a severe penal code, the worst of 
all systems was surely that of having a mild code for the Brahmins, who 
sprang from the head of the Creator, while there was a severe code for the 
Sudras, who sprang from his feet. India has suffered enough already from 
the distinction of castes, and from the deeply rooted prejudices which 
that distinction has engendered. God forbid that we should inflict on her 
the curse of a new caste, that we should send her a new breed of Brahmins, 
authorised to treat all the native population as Parias ... It is an evil 
that any man should be above the law, that it is still a greater evil that 
the public mind should be taught to regard as a high and venerable 
distinction the privilege of being above the law."

The above quotes are from Lord Macaulay's Speech in the British House of 
Commons. ... We must be enlightened enough to take his anti-Hindu, 
anti-Caste views, in correct spirit.

Reinventing Lord Macaulay By Chandrabhan Prasad, 27 October, 2004 

How Thomas Macaulay ‘educated’ India by Zareer Masani, Nov, 13 2012 

... Indians themselves were voting with their feet: "…we are forced to pay 
our Arabic and Sankrit students, while those who learn English are willing 
to pay us’. ‘The state of the market," Macaulay maintained, ‘is the 
decisive test.’ Pointing to the recent petition from ex-students of the 
Sanskrit College, protesting that their Oriental Studies had left them 
unemployed, he declared: ‘They have wasted the best years of life in 
learning what procures for them neither bread nor respect. Surely we might 
… have saved the cost of making these persons useless and miserable …’ The 
Arabic and Sanskrit texts being printed in such large quantities by the 
Committee were languishing unread, with 23,000 surplus copies lying in 
‘the lumber-rooms of this body’. English school books, on the other hand, 
were selling in their thousands and raking in large profits. ... While 
accepting that the British must be respectful of Indian religions, 
Macaulay maintained that it was not the job of the government to bribe 
students ‘to waste their youth in learning how they are to purify 
themselves after touching an ass, or what text of the Vedas they are to 
repeat to expiate the crime of killing a goat’. He dismissed as 
patronizing Orientalist concerns that English might be too difficult for 
Indians to grasp in sufficient depth. ...

Reinventing Lord Macaulay By Chandrabhan Prasad

... We are victims of civilisational faults, as we missed, by 
civilisational disgrace, any standard of ethics, morality, and hence, we 
are historically programmed in living with falsehood. Worse still, we, as 
a civilization, find it almost pathologically, constrained to live as 
honest people. ... The Parliament owes its birth to the basic principle of 
modern system of governance, i.e. "Rule of Law", with attendant feature of 
the doctrine of "Every one Equal before Law". ... India, on its own, never 
had, in at least our known history, the notion of the "Independence from 
foreign Rule", "Rule of Law", or " Every one Equal before Law". The 
India's indigenous system of education never dealt with sciences, the 
sciences that we possess today. ...

...  Unless, therefore, we mean to leave the natives exposed to the 
tyranny and insolence of every profligate adventurer who may visit the 
East, we must place the European under the same power which legislates for 
the Hindoo. No man loves political freedom more than I. But a privilege 
enjoyed by a few individuals, in the midst of a vast population who do not 
enjoy it, ought not to be called freedom. It is tyranny. ...

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