Macaulay: Fixed by the RSS?

Well, well, well.

We have seen how the BJP and RSS have failed to understand the real India and have made the unwatchful reader believe that there used to be an Indian parliament before the British. But here's more stuff. This time, it's about Thomas Babington Macaulay, the architect of Indian Education, and a person infamous for allegedly making the following statement on February 2, 1835, in the British Parliament:
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 high 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...
Jean Dreze, a leading economist who has authored many articles and books with Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, argues in the Times of India today that Macaulay never said that. Dreze talks about this in the context of Macaulay's quote re-appearing in the BJP's manifesto (bold: ours):

This "quote" (abridged here) is a wonderful prop for Joshi's arguments. But there is a catch - Macaulay never said this. The quote is a well-known fabrication, which has been the subject of many comments and articles.
Sure enough, there is no dearth of Indologists, even of the likes of Koenraad Elst, a supporter of the Hindu cause, who argue that Macaulay actually never said that. Here's what Elst says about how the whole quote was "fabricated" (bold: ours):

Consider the same quotation as it appeared in the Arsha Vidya Magazine, September 2004: "His words were to this effect: 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. (etc.)"

Now things are becoming clearer. The "quotation" is introduced with the qualifier: "His words were to this effect." So there you have it: Macaulay never said this. The alleged quotation came into being as a mere paraphrase, and as we shall see, not even a very faithful one. It is given in that form in Niti (April 2002, p.10), a periodic publication of the Hindu nationalist association Bharat Vikas Parishad, Delhi, whence most of the Indian quoters have borrowed it. And this in turn has it from what appears to be the oldest traceable source of all these quotings: The Awakening Ray, vol.4, no.5, published by The Gnostic Center (USA).

This Gnostic Center had most likely acquired its knowledge of Macaulay from its Indian contacts, but unfortunately we have no information on that. At any rate, the quotation's publication in an American medium certainly added to its credibility among Indian readers, for that happens to be Macaulayism in action: accepting Western sources as a priori more reliable than Indian ones. From its subsequent transposition to an Indian forum onwards, all those gullible Hindus and Congress secularists and India's Muslim president have sheepishly swallowed it and relayed it to the next gullible audience.
Different historians have different versions of history. So we can't tell whether Jean Dreze and Koenraad Elst are right or whether the RSS is right. But for a think-tank (RSS) which can make people believe that there was an Indian Parliament which decided inter-state boundaries and names of states before the British, erecting a scarecrow called Macaulay is not a difficult task. Is it?

If what Dreze is saying is true, it's a pity that the RSS / BJP have to resort to negative tactics in order to foster a sense of political unity in India. While it is true that India is spiritually united, the RSS / BJP have tried to impose a false political unity on India's history. And what's worse, instead of taking up real issues such as providing good education in the various Indian languages, they still use these negative tactics.

On a similar note, while there is a lot to learn from the great literature base of Sanskrit, the RSS / BJP have learnt and taught what should not be learnt or taught - that Sanskrit is the mother of all languages - a blatant lie!

Given the fact that Shri Keshav Baliram Hedgewar founded the RSS with the aim of uniting India under a strong positive agenda, it's a pity that the RSS has strayed from its original direction and has started accommodating all these negative tactics and scarecrows.

30 comments:

Datta said...

I read your article and Mr.Dreze's on the Times of India. Contrary to his reputation, there was little scholarliness in Mr.Dreze's article. Giving one or two ill-supported examples and claiming an "exercise of obfuscation" lends little credence to his arguments. It is very clear that the article is not written with impartiality.

And Mr.Karnatique, I've read quite a few of your articles which have been very insightful and thought-provoking. It comes as a surprise that over the last few days, you have been publishing several negative articles. May we request that the focus of this forum be maintained, namely "the land. the music. the noise. the critique" of Karnataka?

editor, KARNATIQUE said...

Datta,

We maintain that a critique of the basic principles of the RSS / BJP is by no means irrelevant to the theme of this forum, especially since the two organizations hold a considerable sway over Kannadigas.

We agree that Mr. Dreze could not have been "impartial" in his article. But we do not agree with the typical RSS reply of "he's a foreigner, so he ought to be an enemy". Also, you don't expect impartiality on one end of the weighing-scale when it is found lacking on the other.

BANAVASI BALAGA has taken up the task of propagating the Kannadiga point of view w.r.t. happenings in the world. In fulfilling this task, we often pick up relevant opinions of thinkers belonging to different (often rival) schools of thought. As only discerning readers such as yourself probably recognize, that doesn't mean that we subscribe to the irrelevant or wrong opinions from those very same thinkers. This is true of Jean Dreze, this is true of the RSS, this is true of everybody.

As to the negativeness of the articles over the last few days - we can only say that it is but a reflection of the actual negativeness of the situation. If you feel there is an underlying positiveness in the political climate that surrounds us, please feel free to comment or even write an article. We can consider it for publishing if it's in line with the theme of this forum and this school of thought.

Sundesh said...

I do read articles in this post and enGuru also. But evevn i am not understanding why ur always giving nagative point on RSS/BJP Why not on Congress?..Is it a Party with Pure ethics?....I hope evevryone one know where the Congress stands now & its blatant lies it says?

editor, KARNATIQUE said...

Sundesh,

We're not talking about ethics here. We're talking about ideologies. In ethics, we all know where all the political parties stand.

Why do we talk more about RSS/BJP instead of Congress? The Congress doesn't even have a declared ideology! While the BJP and RSS atleast have an ideology (albeit we beg to differ in some important aspects), the Congress is completely devoid of any ideology. There's nothing in the Congress for someone seeking to understand their idea of India. All we know is that the Congress is anti-BJP!

victimofprejudice said...

Dear editor,

OK I am all for impartiality and credibility. In that case sticking to journalistic ethics please approve this post also. And let readers decide.

http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HkPage.aspx?PAGEID=8598&SKIN=B

Thank you.
VoP

maaysa said...

ಒಳ್ಳೇ ಬರಹ..

ಬಿಜೆಪಿ ಮತ್ತು ಅದರ ನಂಟಿನ ಗುಂಪುಗಳು ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಏನು ಮಾಡ್ತಾ ಇದೆ...?

ಬೆಳಗಾವಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಏನಾಯ್ತು?

ಬಿಜೆಪಿ ಯಾಕೆ ಹಿಂದಿ ಹೇರಿಕೆಗೆ ಬೆಂಬಲ ಕೊಡ್ತಿದೆ?

ಅದೆಲ್ಲ ಯಾಕೆ, ಮೋದಿ ಅವರು ಇವರು ಬಂದು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಂದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಯಾಕೆ ಮಾತಾಡ್ತಾರೆ?

ವೆಂಕಯ್ಯ ನಾಯ್ಡು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಿಂದಲೇ ಯಾಕೆ ರಾಜ್ಯಸಭೆಗೆ ಕಳಿಸಬೇಕು?

victimofprejudice said...

maaysa,

Once Islamic and Christian Terrorism are taken care of the playing field will be level to deal with other topics. Right now based on priority focus on Kannada an it's development has taken a backseat which is tragic. But more tragic is the very survival of citizens is at stake because of Terrorism. Once we can comfortably say "we can survive with our culture and identity intact" we need to focus on dear Kannada.

Alternatively my question is, among the two what is more important? ( recall the Satyadrshini episode of Sullus! )

a) Satyadarshini literature printed in Kannada but attacking our religion, culture, way of life

OR

b) Satyadarshini literature printed in English but truly reflecting our religion, culture, way of life

My choice is b).

There are people shortsighted enough to choose a) and that will be tragic in the long run.

CHINIVARA said...

This post is an eye opener, i really like congratulate for publishing this article and clarifying our doubts.

Initially, i thought this blog is biased, but i was wrong. Irrespective of the baggage of ideologies which we carry, it clarify in the perspective of a Kannadiga.

Often i hear comments from my friends about this blog, where every one is prejudiced since Banavasi balaga challenge the fundamental of their ideology. This challenge is not widely accepted in purohitashahi world at least.

Probably, i they may hire our darling journos like Pratap Simha or VB to write one fitting article to support RSS/BJP ideology.

-Chini

Jockey said...

victimofprejudice,

I'd rather have the proliferators of Christian Irreligion write their Satyadarshini crap in Kannada and have Kannadigas reject it as crap.

You see the difference?

ಪ್ರಸಾದ್.ಪ್ರೀತಿ said...

I dont know who is propogating what but definitely I do understand that you are chasing BJP :). Only the wise can take up the cue that u are "actually" talking about the flaws in the idealogy of BJP. So, as a commoner like me who has less knowledge about the ideologies of the parties it make me think about the points raised here and these thoughts will be only around the flaws of BJP and not on the good things. Which some times makes me feel biased against BJP so I would rather opt for congress or other parties except BJP 'coz now I do understand some of BJP theories are flawed. This looks worse isnt it? you go on thrashing BJP assuming that everybody has the same picture of the parties of what you have in mind!!

From what I read here, I understand only flaws of BJP and not about any other party!!! so it would look that BJP is worst than others so I would rather shift ot somewhere else rather than pondering over these issues. These days everybody knows we need to vote for the lesser evil. Sadly enough, here its only BJP bashing assuming everybody knows everything else!!!

If you really want to make people see the picture in its entirety please compare the same point among the other parties as well. Atleast then a commoner would be able to judge whose stance is where. Only as a reply to the comment posted you are telling that congress doesnt even an ideology but see for yourself, if you bash one & remain silent on the others anybody will easily assume others are good BJP is bad.

So please drag in all the parties and explain, on a particluar issue who stands where, atleast then some justice would be made to choose lesser evil.

editor, KARNATIQUE said...

Reply to ಪ್ರಸಾದ್.ಪ್ರೀತಿ and others with similar comments: http://karnatique.blogspot.com/2009/04/this-is-long-journey-buckle-up-and-try.html

Vishwa said...

Mr Editor, I have asked a few questions in the past as well.. but none of them have neither been answered nor been published. One more try...
I also agree that we should be judging people based on each context and not on just one context. So saying Macaulay is wrong in every way is not the right thing. But Whats the effect of Macaulay education system? We started to learn our history, our culture from a foreigners' mouth. There is a difference here.. When I talk about India and and European talks of India there is a emotional and social disconnect and there is no sense of pride as well. Its been proved that european indologists have misrepresented all Indian Scriptures be it vedas or upanishads(Elst has proved this beyond doubt in various of his works). Today we all read about Sati but does our education system at any point mention why Sati came into practise? Sati practice came into effect because of a social consequence. Does this mean that I approve of sati? Absolutely not today but it was probably a worth option for respectful women of our country to fall into fire rather than be a "third class slave". So here is the disconnect I was talking about. So the point is there are several such disconnects.. hence there is a base to RSS claim as well though it has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Now regarding political unity matters, I'm ready to debate once you publish this post.

Jockey said...

Vishwa,

What's the effect of Macaulay on the education system? Well, food, shelter and clothing for quite a few people!

Of course, history, culture, spirituality - all this have been sacrificed. But all these are second to food, shelter and clothing. This is the same reason why people are getting converted to Christianity even to this day, and you fools go on preaching history, culture and spirituality - stuff that the hungry don't give a damn about!

I'm not going to comment on your Sati stuff here, because it's irrelevant.

And oh - I agree that europeans cannot appreciate the Vedas and upanishads. But nor can Golwalkar. If you only look at how he twists the meaning of the "Chaturvarna" shloka from the scriptures, you'll understand what I'm talking about. Golwalkar claims that the "Chaturvarna" shloka is about "the hindu community". In reality, that shloka only sings praise of the Brahman. Golwalkar assumes that you fools (RSS guys) can never get around to understand the real meaning of that shloka, and tells you that the Upanishads talked about a community called Hindus!

And yeah - just to make sure you don't go barking about me being a communist after your brain having been numbed by years of brain inactivity in the RSS - no, I don't believe that the communists are right about Chaturvarna. It is the reality of all communities. Only, Golwalkar mislead you.

Kiran said...

Jockey,

I agree with that 3rd option where Kannadigas reject it as crap! I was just posing those two options only, hence my choice without considering how Kannadigas will/would react. I just wanted to highlight the fact that though language is important what is more important is what is conveyed through that delivery mechanism.

> What's the effect of Macaulay on the education system? Well, food, shelter and clothing for quite a few people!

Not quite. That was an unexpected by product for which even the British are worried now as it has resulted in job losses. The intention of the British was to "ERASE" our languages and then "RULE" our minds through English. They planned to stay forever in India. Well, that did not happen, not that easily though JNU folks, Marxists and elites are still stuck in a colonial mindset. I request you and readers to read why and how all those ills get magnified and who is behind it. One sample reading here => http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/04/30/the-brown-parrot/

> This is the same reason why people are getting converted to Christianity even to this day

Again false. Conversion by deception, fraud, inducement only goes so far. Islam and Christianity have belief that rest of the faiths are false. That motivates them to convert others by hook and crook. Recall Sulludharshini episode, recall murder of 80 year hindu swamiji by Christian maoists, printing of Cusaders Cross on 10 re coin by Sonia govt, supporting Christian LTTE etc.,. Please read section "MISSIONARY TERRORISM" on my website and then get back to me. Have a global picture of Christian crusades over 2000 years and you will know.

About other issues I think I will rest my case having posted the Haindava Keralam link. An economics student from India has handled Jean's trash quite well. What ultimately matters is Macaulay was part of an establishment that raped and pillaged India for 300 years. What he did say and did not say is not really worth nitpicking.

I agree with the editor also for presenting opposing opinions. Thanks.

Jockey said...

Kiran,

I'm glad you agree with the third option. But I'm pained you didn't think about it. And I'm pained you want to hide crap from Kannadigas because you assume implicitly that they can never graduate to a level where they can recognize crap.

The intention of the British was to "ERASE" our languages and then "RULE" our minds through English.
The British never tried to erase our languages. Yes, they believed that Sanskrit and Arabic were full of crap (which is wrong). But remember that Sanskrit and Arabic are not all our languages. Hey, you know what, Kannada is not derived from either. As proof that Macaulay never tried to erase Indian languages, read this statement made by him in his Minute:

"We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population."
The problem is, you have never been told about the part after the word "intellect". You yourself, in your previous janma as victimofprejudice, stopped after "intellect"! From the part after the word "intellect", it is clear that Macaulay sincerely believed that Indian languages need to grow to an extent where they start carrying Western science. The problem is, you have been told that western languages have nothing for Indian languages to "grow up" to. The problem is, you have been brainwashed into thinking that everything western is worth going into the dustbin. The problem is, that is not correct.


Of course, let me clarify once again: I don't mean that Macaulay had no ills. Of course, he was a Christian missionary in spirit, of course he was a racist. But still, he saw the need for Indian languages to develop. The problem is, the RSS did not. The problem is, Golwalkar did not.


And yes, I don't mean that Macaulay "respected" Indian langauges. Nope. He thought of them as failed students in the examination of survival, and probably thought of them with sufficient ridicule. But that need not stop us from accepting the fact that Indian languages were actually failed students in the examination of survival! The problem is, the RSS chooses to pride itself by denying this fact - and those with any commonsense do not.


And yes, Macaulay considered English superior to Indian langauges. But hey, you know what? Except the stupid Janapeetha awards which can only adorn show-cases in 6 homes, Kannada today is absolutely useless when it comes to any real learning. The problem is, the RSS does not recognize that. It is only now, with the rise of reason in Kannadigas, they have learnt to call a spade a spade.


And hey, stop playing the "hey, you see, Macaulay dislikes your own pet Kannada, so he's a bad guy" card. Not so simple, dude, not so simple! There are people here who can separate out the wheat from the chaff - wherever the wheat comes from in the world. And let me add - unlike in the RSS :-)

Conversion by deception, fraud, inducement only goes so far.
This is the problem with you guys. You fail to recognize that there's a problem. You fail to see that Christian missionaries are able to convert Indians by giving them access to education, healthcare and a better social status. You have been trained in wishing away problems instead of giving solutions!

An economics student from India has handled Jean's trash quite well. What ultimately matters is Macaulay was part of an establishment that raped and pillaged India for 300 years. What he did say and did not say is not really worth nitpicking.
The Mahabharata says that Noble thoughts should be welcomed from all quarters. You failed to learn that truth. You failed to recognize the good in Macaulay. You failed to recognize the truth pointed out by Jean Dreze, irrespective of his other follies. This is another problem with you guys: you want to quickly decide whether a person is to be believed or not, and once you make that decision, you guys want to either think of him as Rama or as Ravana! You don't even admit in-betweens. I see this need of yours to quickly come to a decision on the believability of human beings as an intellectual deficit. Not just you, the whole of RSS.

kiran said...

Jockey,

> You fail to recognize that there's a problem.

No. We have recognized it as soon as we were liberated from explicit British cloak and dagger and started working on it. But the (Christian Controlled) media, the implicit one, ignores it precisely because as long as the ills persist and keeps it magnified it favors their ulterior agenda. What is worse is when someone dedicatedly serves the poor to wean them from that very deceitful conversion then that Swamiji gets slaughtered. Christian Conversions thrive only when there's poverty, misery, anarchy. They will do everything in their might to invent these and enhance these. Even mislead you to believe that they are saints and we are sinners. Here's a famous quote that reflects the state of affairs

‘ The Christian resolve to find the world evil and ugly, has made the world evil and ugly.’ said Friedrich Nietzsche.

I am not interested in a debate with a person who believes in Christian Conversions. Conversion is to Christianity what Jehad is to Islam. Thank God smart Kannadigas recognize that, else we would know who would be in power now!

As I said earlier I have already rested my case!

Jockey said...

kiran,

you seem to be in a hurry to "rest" your case! and you haven't replied to a tenth of my arguments.

in any case, it's funny how you think i'm for christian conversions just because i show you the real reason for conversions!

the rss resolve to numb the brains of youth has rendered the brains of rss youths numb!

editor, KARNATIQUE said...

Comments from the following have been rejected for the reasons outlined below:

(1) Kiran -> Irrelevance. The issue here is not of religious conversion.

(2) Jockey -> Repetition. Your commentary on Macaulay's minute entirely anticipates your latest comment.

(3) Jugga -> Swearwords. It is our policy to discourage the use of swearwords.

(4) Mohan -> Irrelevance. Again, the issue here is not religious conversion.

A note on religious conversion:

BANAVASI BALAGA disapproves religious conversions. We like the fact that the RSS is trying to prevent them, but there are fundamental problems with the RSS's ideology because of which it is unable to convert intentions to actions in any significant way.

A note on further comments on this thread:

Bloggers are hereby requested to confine their comments to the theme of this article - which is - whether the RSS has fabricated the following statement attributed to Macaulay: "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 high 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..."

Jockey said...

Hello? Mr. Kiran? Where are you hiding? Why don't you tell me why your eyes have been blind to what Macaulay said about reviving Indian languages (and I quote below)? Did they remove this part from your pamphlets full of loaded crap because they don't want Indian languages to develop? Or because they thought there isn't anything worth learning in Western science? Or because they themselves thought talking about India's plurality of languages is against an imagined "National Life"?!!!! HA ha ha aaaa!!!!

To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population."Your pet ideology which gives lip-service to Indian languages doesn't even recognize the basic steps needed to pull up Indian languages from the deep slumber in which they are - while the articulators of those very ideologies cannot live without Western inventions such as the mobile phone! Hypocrites!

Vishwa said...

Jockey.. sorry for being late...
You have made some serious remarks... please substantiate.
You seemed to suggest (correct me if i'm wrong) that its only because of Macaulay that we have food, shelter, clothing. Please go back in the pages of history and where India's GDP, healthcare and per-capita income stood till the europeans entered india.... If you did go back you would be knowing that Macaulay did not give us food shelter and clothing. He(britishers in general) deprived it of us(reasons here are political, hence avoiding it)and created an illusion that by his way of modern educational system we can gain them.
If you want to take a stand that we(Indians) are atleast as good as we are today because of the british, then I'm sorry your version is more perverted than that of Macaulay himself.
Why is sati irrelavant? its a classic example... Well if you don't want to talk on that for what ever reason then I'll let it go...
Now Mr.Editor, Even I my earlier posts I have confined my arguments to the topic. I have only talked about the ill effects of Macaulay education. Now, did he say what is being quoted?Hmm.. you seemed to be convinced that he didn't.. Was the RSS the first ones who attributed this to Macaulay? Well you have filed the charge sheet and given the decision yourself. Upon your adivisory note I have not talked about causes and consequences of Conversions as well.

Jockey said...

It's because of the English education system that you have whatever job you have today. Ask yourself if you're getting any food, clothing and shelter out of your job, and you'll understand the help which Macaulay has done to India.

If India's GDP has not grown in these days, it's because of NOT FOLLOWING MACAULAY - who wanted the English educated class to bring education to the masses in Indian languages. I quote that part of Macaulay's minute once again for you:

To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the populationNow, this "class" never cared to "enrich those dialects". Even to this day, this "class" is so selfish that it doesn't even think of enriching Indian languages and rendering them "by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population". Even to this day, this "class" thinks that the way out for India is to adopt English as the language of educaiton - SOMETHING WHICH MACAULAY NEVER ADVISED, NEVER ADVOCATED FOR.

I don't deny that the British looted us. They did, for sure. But they also left behind an education system which, if it had done its job correctly (by way of enriching Indian languages), India's GDP would have hit the skies.

Don't blame Macaulay for your crap.

V.Hegde said...

I have followed many articles on this blog and appreciated its pro-Kannada stance. But it is very unfortunate that these days you have started taking anti-BJP/RSS, anti-Samskruta stance. Is this required?

Jockey said...

V.Hegde,

Try something intellectual next time you comment, or shut up. There's nothing anti-Samskruta anywhere being discussed here.

anti-BJP/RSS - yes. It's required.

Vishwa said...

"Ask yourself if you're getting any food, clothing and shelter out of your job, and you'll understand the help which Macaulay has done to India."
Going to the extent that if not for Macaulay India would have been rotten state is totally laughable and highly condemnable on a more serious note. India was a scientific society much much before Britishers entered the country.
If your contention is that Macaulay didn't say what is being attributed, I don't mind its ok even if he has not said it. But he has done lot of damage in term of destroying the self-pride because of the educational system.
Elst in his column also mentions this "he(Macaulay) repeatedly said that to the best of his knowledge, Indian culture was backward and inhumane and that it would be a big favour to the natives if they dropped it in favour of English culture" Why do you quote only one part of Elst's analysis?
"We must at present do our best to form a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect." Is this not a dis-service to the culture. If you convinced by the view of Macaulay on vernacular languages so be it, but at large he has been very successful in tying down the ancient Indian-ness by 'english by taste' kind of system

Jugga said...

Try to distinguish between these:

(1) Hinduism,
(2) RSS,
(3) BJP,
(4) Samskruta,
(5) India.

Some tips:

(1) is a religion. Religions are different from social organizations, political parties, languages and countries.

(2) is a social organization. Social organizations are different from religions, political parties, languages and countries.

(3) is a political party. Political parties are different from social organizations, religions, languages and countries.

(4) is a langauge. Languages are different from social organizations, political parties, religions and countries.

(5) is a country. Countries are different from languages, political parties, social organizations and countries.

:-)

Jockey said...

Going to the extent that if not for Macaulay India would have been rotten state is totally laughable and highly condemnable on a more serious note.You need a basic course in logic. Try this:

A: Thomas Alva Edison invented the light-bulb.
B: If not for Thomas Alva Edison, the light-bulb would never have been invented.

Do you realize that A does not imply B? Now ask your question again if it refuses to vanish.

If your contention is that Macaulay didn't say what is being attributed, I don't mind its ok even if he has not said it.Thanks for that. But my point is not to cleanse Macaulay's image in your mind or anybody's mind. My point was only that one needs to excercise more reason before simply brushing away the good things some people do even if they have committed follies in other areas.

But he has done lot of damage in term of destroying the self-pride because of the educational system.I don't deny that at all. But as I've argued earlier, there wasn't much to be proud of when it came to contemporary materialistic sciences anyway! Even before Macaulay, the Kannadigas (and every other people of India) were technolgically and scientifically challenged because of hardly any focus on the materialistic sciences. How could anybody have had self-pride because of Kannada (in the context of materialistic sciences)? So Macaulay could not have destroyed self-pride (in the context of materialistic sciences).

And coming to spirituality - of course, Macaulay tried to show that Indian spirituality sucks - but there he failed miserably, since Macaulay's very education system produced english-educated Indians whose faith in Hinduism only increased!!!

The point is - you need to learn to separate out the rights from the wrongs - even in one person, even in Macaulay.

Why do you quote only one part of Elst's analysis?Because this discussion is about Macaulay thoughts on Indian languages. And I've done sufficient service to what's wrong about Macaulay anyway. Since some of you guys were unable to look at Macaulay and say "hey, he did some good things too!", I needed to stress on the good things he did. Of course he did bad things, and we all know that.

If you convinced by the view of Macaulay on vernacular languages so be it, but at large he has been very successful in tying down the ancient Indian-ness by 'english by taste' kind of system Of course I am convinced that Macaulay was right about Indian languages (I refuse to call them vernacular languages), and it was probably because he wanted to spread Christianity in Indian languages.

But I disagree that he has been succesful in tying down any ancient Indian-ness. Firstly, if you mean spiritual Indian-ness, I agree that such a thing exists and existed, but I disagree that Macaulay has been able to destroy that. That spiritual Indian-ness is alive even to this date!! Secondly, if you mean political Indian-ness, I neither agree that such a thing existed before the British, nor that he has been able to destroy that. He was, in fact, part of the system which created a political unit called India.

Think before you reply. I am not for what you think I am for. I am only for something which you have been conditioned to discount from any discussion about India - reason.

Vishwa said...

You have made the points that I wanted to make in your first few lines. So its seems now that you agree as well that we would have started learning materialistic sciences at some point even if Macaulay were not to be there which is my claim.

Elst also mentions one more important thing in his essay "It could be argued, and I would in fact concur, that Macaulay's knowledge of India was superficial and that he did injustice to the unique merits of Hindu civilization as preserved in its literate traditions" This is the point I'm trying to make. So that should answer your spirituality question. That is the whole reason why the first versions of our civilization and culture we get in our text books is a mis-interpreted one.

So by your own logic(I need to take a course so borrowing yours for now), the positives from Macaulay would have happened even with out him. and the negatives, we all agree upon this.

So my conclusion is that for all the positive service he did and good intentions that Macaulay had towards Indian public, his ill-effects of his limitations of him not having a holistic view has set us back in several fronts.

Jockey said...

Vishwa,

So it did refuse to vanish, and it's back in another form:-)

Try this, again:

A: Thomas Alva Edison invented the light-bulb.
B: If not for Thomas Alva Edison, the light-bulb would never have been invented.
C: If Thomas Alva Edison had not invented the light-bulb, someone would have by now.

We've talked about A and B. Now, do you see that A doesn't imply C either? If your question refuses to vanish even now, ask it again.

I don't deny that Macaulay was a racist. But even though he was, he wanted to improve Indian languages -- so that the racial superiority of the Europeans can be taught to Indians. But the point I'm trying to make is - irrespective of Macaulay's intention behind backing up Indian languages, the fact that he did back up is something to be appreciated.

I'm not even claiming that Macaulay's net impact on India is positive. It's very likely negative. No doubt. But still, he had the right outlook when it came to Indian languages.

I'm trying to bring about a fine distinction between right and wrong here. Those without blurred vision can see it.

Vishwa said...

"I don't deny that Macaulay was a racist. But even though he was, he wanted to improve Indian languages -- so that the racial superiority of the Europeans can be taught to Indians"

"I'm not even claiming that Macaulay's net impact on India is positive. It's very likely negative. No doubt. "

That is enough for me. I have for long conceded to your argument about Macaulay's view on Indian languages. What ever Macaulay's intentions were I don't know but he had a view on Indian languages which may look good to some(means may not be to some others). I wanted to make only one significant point which is this blog should not be mis-understood with Macaulay as a "Hero of modern India"

Ok now coming to the logic part:
When I said "Going to the extent that if not for Macaulay India would have been rotten state...." you brought up the A may not imply B logic. So extending the same logic, A therefore may imply C. Bottom line is A will imply either of the 2.
Please note when we use 'may' it always include a 'may not'as a disclaimer which is what I have brought forward.

The only thing we seem to disagree upon at this point is logic and discussing what is logic and how it needs to be used is out of scope of this thread and lets allow it be how we both perceive it be for ourselves.

Conclusion:
I'm happy that at large my picture of Macaulay is not too different from that of yours(going by you last comment). Probably we have had to discuss for so long only because I was looking at the motive and effect of Macaulay's overall propaganda and you also seem to be ok with that. But you also wanted people to identify and appreciate the small positive things in him. Hope the last few lines are fair to both of us.

Jockey said...

"That is enough for me."

That's the whole problem. This is the beginning of the debate, not the end.

"I have for long conceded to your argument about Macaulay's view on Indian languages. What ever Macaulay's intentions were I don't know but he had a view on Indian languages which may look good to some(means may not be to some others)."

Now, show me in what way Macaulay's view on Indian languages doesn't look good to "some others". My argument is that it is the Indian administration's view of Indian languages which is imperial, not the British administration's!

"I wanted to make only one significant point which is this blog should not be mis-understood with Macaulay as a "Hero of modern India"

The blog never said that. It's typical RSS thinking that if anything about the West or Westerners is praised, then that is equivalent to everything about the West or Westerners being praised.

"So extending the same logic, A therefore may imply C. Bottom line is A will imply either of the 2."

So, your point is - if not for Macaulay, someone "may" (or "may not") have helped India progress in the material sciences. So what's the big deal? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Since there is no solid proof that someone would definitely have done the job, there is nothing wrong in accepting that Macaulay actually did a good job there.

"But you also wanted people to identify and appreciate the small positive things in him. Hope the last few lines are fair to both of us."

I'm glad we got till here. As I said, I don't give a damn about Macaulay - I give a damn about my own countrymen who need to apply reason instead of dismissing anything as wholly good or wholly bad.

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