Shameful to call Raja Ram Mohan Roy a British stooge!


Raja Ram Mohan Roy

In recent times suddenly there is a cry that our history has been distorted by historians who are more leftist. Unfortunately I find it’s now another set of so called Historians who are hell bent on discrediting our freedom fighters and reformers of that era in the name of “Discovering new facts of true History”. Today I am going to take up one issue and show how distorted their views are as it’s time we come out strongly and make sure these mischievous people don’t get away with such mudslinging. Yes the article would be a long one, but then don’t we know how history and its explanations are never in short. Still remember filling pages after pages when it came to History exam in school.

Check this LINK to know about the man Raja Ram Mohan Roy so that you realise how great a reformer he was!

Raja Ram Mohan Roy has been charged by few as “Stooge” of British govt. Sole reason being his support to Macaulay’s education reforms for India. According to them, Raja Ram Mohan Roy had written to the British govt asking for scrapping of a Sanskrit college and in turn also supported Macaulay’s plans to reform the education system of India by introducing English.  I’ll show how Raja Ram Mohan Roy was so correct in supporting him by proving what exactly Macaulay’s plan was and that he had no malicious intentions against Indians, by touching upon both his Minutes and also his speech in British parliament before coming to India. These reforms were necessary then considering the socio economic conditions and to uplift Indian education.

Recently in the social media we have seen Macaulay has been projected as a villain and all because of one of his quotes.

“I have traveled 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.”

It is said this was during his address to British Parliament in Feb, 1835. That this quote is a hoax is evident from the fact that Macaulay was in India during that period. He stayed in India from 1834 to 1838. His address to Parliament was in 1833 and again he cannot have said about travelling across India as 1834 was the first time he visited this country. This quote first appeared in a Hindutva magazine, The Awakening Ray. And the quote was written like this in the magazine “His words were to this effect: I have traveled….” So you see, Macaulay never said this. It’s simply a paraphrase which was copy pasted and distributed. Every other Hindu nationalist sites/magazines, including even BJP’s website, carry this quote. This proves how fraudulent text can get around in this age of internet and create a wrong impression!

Let me now come to what is popularly known as Minutes on Education, the reform points as made by Macaulay. Check this LINK to read through the minutes. I’ll discuss few of these points to make my point as to what exactly he meant to do and why Raja Ram Mohan Roy decided to support him.

At the very starting of the Minutes, he explains beautifully why educations’ haul up and modernization is needed in India.

“Suppose that the Pacha of Egypt, a country once superior in knowledge to the nations of Europe, but now sunk far below them, were to appropriate a sum for the purpose “of reviving and promoting literature, and encouraging learned natives of Egypt,” would any body infer that he meant the youth of his Pachalik to give years to the study of hieroglyphics, to search into all the doctrines disguised under the fable of Osiris, and to ascertain with all possible accuracy the ritual with which cats and onions were anciently adored? Would he be justly charged with inconsistency if, instead of employing his young subjects in deciphering obelisks, he were to order them to be instructed in the English and French languages, and in all the sciences to which those languages are the chief keys?”

He explained it very logically and I fully agree, the modernization was needed and not with Sanskrit. It had to be with the use of English. Raja Ram Mohan Roy realized how sound his logic was hence agreed for this change. Sanskrit education going on in our country was the age old one and new modern science and philosophy was the need. Hence Ram Mohan supported Macaulay in giving more importance to English and sideline Sanskrit. No malicious design can be deduced looking at his intentions.

Another quote from his minutes is referred by many to prove he did carry malicious designs against Indians.

In one point I fully agree with the gentlemen to whose general views I am opposed. I feel with them, that it is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. 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.

In a most mischievous manner these elements, hindutva-historians as I call them, take a partial portion of the quote and try showing the bad side of Macaulay. The quote does not end here. To continue with it beyond the word 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.”

Lord Macaulay

Lord Macaulay

These mischievous elements always give the incomplete version but when read in whole; you realize his intentions were not bad.  When you read this part and his Minutes, you get to know that he is actually asking to introduce English but at the same time modernize the native languages and make them fit as English. Unnecessarily he is projected as a villain by quoting something taken out of context. It’s clear he was not imperialistic even with native language and wanted it to modernize and get a new lease of life. If Raja Ram Mohan Roy, considering the socio economic condition of that era, decided to support him by choosing English to be the main subject, he did the correct thing. Sanskrit was no way an easy language for general public to learn, to modernize and be at par with international standards, English was the need of time. Macaulay had no malicious designs and was infact talking sense. To agree to a sensible and logical idea does not amount to be called as British stooge!

Let go through the points [10] [11] and [12] of the Minutes. Yes these do sound arrogant on part of Macaulay. Every Sanskrit lover or as matter of fact nationalist would say he is showing disrespect to our language. How can he say English was better than Sanskrit? I would in turn question these people, what about you all who make it a point to say our Sanskrit collections are far richer than any other language! Macaulay did carry a colonial mindset, no second question but like us he too has love for his own language. English literature no doubt is also rich yet we do put it down while comparing it with Sanskrit. So why look at Macaulay and Ram Mohan’s view with disdain when they said English was the richest language!

Now read what he had to say about England.

“The first instance to which I refer, is the great revival of letters among the Western nations at the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. At that time almost everything that was worth reading was contained in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Had our ancestors acted as the Committee of Public Instruction has hitherto acted; had they neglected the language of Cicero and Tacitus; had they confined their attention to the old dialects of our own island; had they printed nothing and taught nothing at the universities but Chronicles in Anglo-Saxon, and Romances in Norman-French, would England have been what she now is? What the Greek and Latin were to the contemporaries of More and Ascham, our tongue is to the people of India.”

So you see he had the same views for both India and England. He is not being arrogant exactly in true sense but trying to bring in a change by making the language modern and this thought process is not limited to just India. Even for England he has the same feelings. Here Macaulay provides a proof of how England changed itself by embracing other foreign languages and grew better. With such proof provided, it was natural anyone with intelligence would realize how prudent this step would be. And Raja Ram Mohan Roy was no fool. He grasped the chance and decided to modernize the education system with English. This was the era when we had all major discoveries being made and new theories in science formed. Neil Bohr, Louis Pasteur, Einstein and so many others were all from West. All their work were in English and so to fill this gap so as to be at par with this international education system and science, Ram Mohan Roy decided Macaulay’s minutes to be perfect. I would say the same as Macaulay; would India have been what she is now if Ram Mohan Roy and his likes had not made it possible to embrace English? Definitely not, this helped in filling the gap between West and Indian education system at a fast rate.

There is another charge that falls upon Macaulay and this possibly is the main reason behind the hatred for this Englishman. And in turn possibly the reason for the antagonism against Raja Ram Mohan Roy too. These hindutva-historians paint him to be evangelizer. They connect his mission for this English education system as a means to conversion. Is there any proof for the same? No, infact the proof shows just the different. Here’s another quote from the Minutes:

“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. And while we act thus, can we reasonably or decently bribe men, out of the revenues of the State, to waste their youth in learning how they are to purify themselves after touching an ass or what texts of the Vedas they are to repeat to expiate the crime of killing a goat? ”

Yes he might not have liked Indian language, some Indian cultures being followed and was ready to throw it out of the window as he considered that more as obscurant to modern education. But above quote shows he was in no way an evangelist. Also the second part of the quote is a blatant truth, superstitious behavior had to be stopped which we Indians followed then (still do so). Yes Britishers did carry this mission of converting people to Christianity. But Macaulay was definitely not among them. To ballast Ram Mohan Roy for supporting Macaulay by indicating he as indirectly supporting evangelism, is utterly wrong. Infact Ram Mohan Roy was the one who founded the Brahmo Samaj. Too many well educated people were turning to Christianity during that time as they found that monotheism better than what was being then followed in Hinduism. In order to stop that Brahmo Samaj was constituted. So to say Raja Ram Mohan Roy was supporting Macaulay and in turn supporting evangelism is ridiculous. Facts show Macaulay had no such intentions. And logic says Ram Mohan was himself worried with the conversions hence formed the Brahmo Samaj.

All the logics behind the mudslinging of Raja Ram Mohan Roy for supporting English education over Sankrit language, sounds so farce when we read about a petition British govt received. This petition was from the ex-students of Sanskrit college and Macaulay has quoted the same in point [22] and is as follows:

“The petitioners stated that they had studied in the college ten or twelve years, that they had made themselves acquainted with Hindoo literature and science, that they had received certificates of proficiency. And what is the fruit of all this? “Notwithstanding such testimonials,” they say, “we have but little prospect of bettering our condition without the kind assistance of your honourable committee, the indifference with which we are generally looked upon by our countrymen leaving no hope of encouragement and assistance from them.” They therefore beg that they may be recommended to the Governor-General for places under the Government– not places of high dignity or emolument, but such as may just enable them to exist. “We want means,” they say, “for a decent living, and for our progressive improvement, which, however, we cannot obtain without the assistance of Government, by whom we have been educated and maintained from childhood.” They conclude by representing very pathetically that they are sure that it was never the intention of Government, after behaving so liberally to them during their education, to abandon them to destitution and neglect.”

This particular point is clearly showing how pathetic our education system had turned. Knowing how much Raja Ram Mohan Roy was involved with the education part of the nation, he must have been also aware of this state of affairs. Maybe thousands of Indians were getting education. Maybe British data then showed how we had hundreds of schools even in villages. But what really was happening to the students after they passed out? The petition is a proof how that education was in reality not helping the natives to even lead a respectable life.

Now let me show you how this man actually helped Indians indirectly and that he had no malicious intentions as far as Indians were concerned. I’ll quote some passages from his speech in British Parliament before coming to India.

What exactly did Macaulay say about equality of Law?

“The power of arbitrary deportation is withdrawn. 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 Hindu. 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. In the West Indies I have not the least doubt that the existence of the Trial by Jury and of Legislative Assemblies has tended to make the condition of the slaves worse than it would otherwise have been”.

His disdain on the caste system with regards to Equality:

“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”

And now the final quote:

“It would be, on the most selfish view of the case, far better for us that the people of India were well governed and independent of us, than ill governed and subject to us; that they were ruled by their own kings, but wearing our broadcloth, and working with our cutlery, than that they were performing their salams to English collectors and English magistrates, but were too ignorant to value, or too poor to buy, English manufactures. To trade with civilized men is infinitely more profitable than to govern savages. That would, indeed, be a doting wisdom, which, in order that India might remain a dependency, would make it an useless and costly dependency, which would keep a hundred millions of men from being our customers in order that they might continue to be our slaves”

Read the above quote carefully and you’ll realize this was probably the first brick laid towards our Independence Movement. This Englishman gave Indians an instrument which they used effectively to learn and then turn back on the rulers themselves!

After going through all the quotes I had concluded one thing, he definitely was colonial, he had a high level of dislike for Indian languages but he genuinely wanted to uplift the natives of this country. His intentions were not malicious as projected by hindutva-Historians. Yes he was working for British monarchy and had their benefit in mind. But for Indians he definitely had good intentions. He wanted to give the best Indian mind the best modern education.

I too agree that this western modern education was the need for the youth in that era especially keeping in view the socio-economic structure then and also the pitiable condition our education system had come down to. It was needed to bridge the gap that got created with Indian and Western education system. And when I see how Macaulay tried to bring the change, I realize how correct Raja Ram Mohan Roy was to have supported this idea and agreeing to keep aside Sanskrit while embrace English. If he had supported the idea of making Sanskrit the first language, I personally feel we might have been left behind today. When it comes to language and culture, I believe in one permanent truth – only those languages and cultures survive who keep on constantly changing, adapting, and interacting with other languages and cultures. Any static language/culture is like a static pond. So what was wrong in accepting Macaulay’s views and make sure to add English to our culture and modernize it! Macaulay and Raja Ram Mohan Roy and many other reformers, were trying to change people’s outlook and modernize it. Isn’t it true that most of us believe strongly that Madrasa education needs change and that it needs to turn more scientific? Scientific outlook need to be incorporated in their education system and not limited to the Quranic version. That is just what these reformers were trying to do in our language and education system. They made sure our education system change with the changing times and the result is in front of us today; we have bridged the gap and are now at par with the International education system.

I feel instead of blaming Raja Ram Mohan Roy or Macaulay, it’s the govt that came into being just after independence which should be blamed. They could have easily made an education policy where English was the main language while Sanskrit being immediate second. Why did they have to give importance to Hindi above Sanskrit. It’s Nehurian policy that needs to be slammed and not the reformers of that era.

Interestingly, most of these so called History experts masquerading as hyper-nationalists themselves have taken advantage of Macaulay’s policy to empower themselves today!!! Yet they have the audacity to call likes of Raja Ram Mohan Roy as British Stooge just because he supported Macaulay’s education policy! Even going to the level of comparing them to the likes of Kejriwal, well nothing could be more ridiculous!!! More so when you realise even Swami Vivekananda admired Raja Ram Mohan Roy. (Notes of some wanderings with the Swami Vivekananda by Sister Nivedita). Or is it now fingers would be pointed at even Swamiji by these Hindutva-Historians!





16 thoughts on “Shameful to call Raja Ram Mohan Roy a British stooge!

  1. That was quite an interesting article. To point finger @ Ram Mohan, thought itself sounds stupid. This detailed explanation was needed if such happened. And you did a gr8 job. Keep it up.

    And yeh gr8 to see you back, hope to see you more!


  2. Took me half n hr to read and understand haha. Took me back to those Mr Bentley’s history class.

    Did I miss something somewhere. Anyways! Raja Ram Mohan was a reformer and nationalist leader. It’s shameful to doubt his intentions. As for Macaulay, each time I read about him and his letters, quotes, I realized he is a confused character to understand really. 😀 And the manner you explained whole Minutes, one issue is sure. He did think of india’s modernization and betterment. For bringing in English you cannot reach to conclusion Raja Ram Mohan was British agent. Employment with our own education was limited and this modernization was needed to better the social and employment conditions.


    • You did miss, on both the places. Hahaha. One was discrediting Ram Mohan Roy while other was discussing Macaulay’s Minutes and ended with again discrediting Ram Mohan Roy.


  3. Why brand him British sympathiser just for supporting a Britisher. Not every Britisher was malicious. And reading the comprehensive article, the man sounds among the better ones. Sanskrit as main Indian language would have left us more with the age old system of education. Incorporating English was without doubt a good step towards modernising education system. To label such a great man negatively is in bad taste when facts show he was way ahead in vision for a better modern India.

    Sharing on my other WhatsApp groups, this needs circulation.


    • Many British officers during the Renaissance period were indeed good. They did carry colonial mindset, and why not, they were working for the Queen. But they did not have malicious intentions for the Indians.


  4. Beautifully researched. I like the way you have presented your facts, with concrete references.

    Many in those times worked with what best they had. We have to remember that India was not a united country at that time, the concept of India per se was quite loose. Sanskrit was not a common language amongst the masses even back then, with every region investing in developing their own dialect which, while being an offshoot of Sanskrit, was now a developed language of its own with little resemblance to its root.

    Take Bangla for example. Writers and poets from 7th century onwards had been taking Sanskrit texts and translating it into Bangla for the common folks (Bangla by the way comes from Prakrit, not Sanskrit). People like Ram Mohan Roy possibly saw the inequality of languages across the places he visited pretty early on. He might have seen English as a language more evolved than what was being used across the country at that time, and perhaps, more easily learned.

    Hind sight is always 20/20. While history has been distorted to some level, to pretend everything has been made is as ridiculous as saying everything British was perfect.

    Great post!


    • Well said. As Vignina Woolf said — “The eyes of others are our prisons; their thoughts our cages” . History can be wrong and probably is at many places. But to take just one point and discredit people is again wrong. That would amount to falling into the same trap as the false historians’ work.


  5. Why the hostility to English? They left more than 60 years ago! Warren Hastings tried establishing institutes with Sanskrit and Urdu as medium of instruction. It was discarded as it was not practical — as most of the time was lost in translation. By acknowledging English language, one from another country, one does not become a beggar.

    One letter of Ram Mohan cannot decide what he was, a nationalist or stooge. I loved the way you made sure to take references, this makes his stand more clear.

    Only a fool would deal in absolutes. Not everything about Britain is wrong and not everything about India is right. We need to get that first!! Similarly to say Sanskrit is the best and English not at par is again wrong. From the petition above its clear students studying Sanskrit were doing badly after their completion of education. Sick units are always discarded or sidelined and replaced by modern ones.

    To come to the issue of language, was Sanskrit the main language of India in 1800s? It did not even had a common language, each region had their own. Tamil, Bengali and many others were the spoken language of their respective regions. And to expect modernizing this multilingual language to bridge the gap with advanced western education system would have been next to impossible.

    Internet being the low signal to noise medium that it amplifies it a hundred times, hence such mudslinging need to be rebutted. Thanks for such research and making sure to rebut the false propaganda!


  6. But why criticize him for simply supporting English education? From all the ref you provided, one thing is for sure. The Englishman had good intentions. Reform in education by this act resulted in the change we see today.

    A simple ques to those who are criticizing. Did you even try to do something for Sanskrit? Why did you then opt for English education, not that there’s any dearth of Sanskrit education institution in our country.

    Height of stupidity I would say!


  7. I was never that good in history… when 1st i saw the debate, was bit confused. I was not sure if really Macaulay was wrong & Raja Ram mohan supported the wrong person. But things do get lot clear after reading this article….. a common language was needed to educate the mass and modernise the system.. something that was easy to grasp and i too feel the step taken of keeping aside sanskrit was possibly in best interest.

    Nice article! 🙂


  8. According to this logic — Native culture and language arrest growth unless it is English. If there was a relationship between English and Growth — then Germany, France and such countries who have saved their culture and language would be 3rd world countries. China wouldn’t be developing so fast. Who was this Macaulay being touted so much? He cheated people with his misinformation of Indian scriptures.

    Yes, it is not required to go back 5,000 years in time. And do things exactly that used to happen then. But by learning from our culture, history and epics we can create a much better system then current system. Let Sanskrit be put back into the system in full force.


    • China is adopting English as never before and soon they will overtake India in English. English is rapidly becoming the language of World. English is a great language because they ruled the world and the knowledge they gained from it. This language changed and upgraded with all that they gained. Today open Oxford Dictionary and you’ll find words from every language, including Hindi.

      I am a proud Indian and am proud of Sanskrit language and its richness. But cannot deny the fact that the language never modernized. It remained the same as it was. How many new words got added in the last say 50yrs. Or even 100yrs. There is no limit to Sanskrit institutions and lot of research do carry on. But when it comes to growth of the language itself, nothing concrete happened.

      Pointing at China, France and Germany makes no sense. These countries has one language not innumerable ones as was prevalent in India. And that one particular language was the main language and people getting adapted to the same was easy. Not so in India’s case. Why would Tamil language speaker agree to take up Sanskrit. (Tamil being taken as older than even Sanskrit). Why would a Bengali or Marathi or Oriya agree for Sanskrit when they had a language with a script of their own. These problems had to be taken into account while taking the decision to select the language for mass education modernization. And best was to go for English.

      Turning fanatic while supporting any idea is wrong. If Macaulay was wrong in insulting our language, so are we in understanding his minutes wrong and in turn slamming Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Time we accept the fact that Sanskrit was almost dead when the issue cropped up and India never had a single major language. Introducing English was the best option keeping in view all other factors!

      Thanks Buddy for posting this after full research. Posting it in the other forum too for further discussion.


  9. There is one thing which we need to accept. Macaulay did not hate Indians and Indian culture like what churchill or others did. There are quite a few positives too. The one cultural thread that connected India (sanatana dharma or a dharmic way of life) was weakened due to continuous attack by the islamic rulers. The Brits administration and the english education countered that a great deal and delivered a single India (though we lost pak and blangladesh). In a single sentence, british occupation of India in some ways helped us to get united after being ravaged for centuries by mughals and islamic invaders.


  10. We had already united before the Brits entered. Check the map of India where the Mughal holdings were decreasing and Marathas increasing. The British arrived and used this freedom war to play the game of divide and rule.

    I would have preferred to type in an Indian language right now but for the British, I am forced to use a foreign one. sanskrit is highly evolved an we would have far greater knowledge of Indian science with it. BTW, we invented surgery, ayurveda, maths & astronomy while Europe was in the dark ages.


    • Not only in surgery, ayurveda, maths, astronomy, but we were much ahead in literature, philosophy, agriculture, metallurgy, navy and so on when there was no English or other top European language. That was past when Macaulay Minutes came up and at that time we were really down. With Moghul invasion all our education and cultural system was in doldrums and it needed change.

      That is not the point, the point is there is nothing as pure evil in this world. There are certain good/bad things in every event (only the quantity differs), when the English occupied India completely our country had the highest GDP in the world (some say second). But when they left India we became one of the poorest countries.

      However if we fail to acknowledge the few good things that they have done, then we are hypocrites.

      The fault was never with the British. Because they controlled a land with more than 30 cr people with an army of 100,000. Like the famous saying goes, even if all the people used stones as weapons against them they would have ran away. What prevented us from doing it? YES, A common thread connecting us!! Invariably they provided a common thread, in the form of English and in the form of being a common enemy for the whole of India.

      Since the Mahabarata days our land was never a single entity based on politics or language or culture. Our land was considered as a single entity because of Sanatana Dharma, despite numerous kingdoms ruling the land.. That Sanatana dharma was not weakened by the British but by the Islamic invaders. Even after the rise of the Marathas, Peshwas, the vast majority of the land was controlled by the Mughals.

      I too would have preferred to type in Tamil, but many might not understand. I might also not understand what a Oriya person is typing. Our mother tongue is like a door, and English is like a window. I know Hindi and Sanskrit, the two native languages in India which shaped our culture. But I cannot use either to communicate with the vast majority of this country. This was the same during 1800 and so a common language was needed. And English suited best as that would connect us with the international education system and help in growth.


  11. My Reply to comment of Sahana Singh.

    ***You have cherry-picked stuff from this wall and given a wrong representation. Why is there no mention of Germany, Japan, China and others who have managed to become powerful countries despite NOT using the crutches of English? All these countries developed technical terminologies in their own languages. Those who were inclined went on to learn English too (in the case of Germany, almost everyone). ***

    This is not called cherry pick. I used my blog to counter points made by you and others in another thread. It’s not just your wall that has been taken care of. Another discussion issue has also been taken care of. Now to come to the languages you mentioned. I already discussed about it in another comment above. Those countries had just one main language not like us. Where too many regional languages were major ones, infact more popularly used one than Sanskrit. Task was to unite India in a single language and I feel they all did a perfect job by selecting English than Sanskrit.

    ***Why do you not mention my observation that the Industrial Revolution had still not happened during RRR’s time and India still had a fighting chance to redeem the education system by giving equal importance to Sanskrit and English? All the thousands of books on science and technology had still not been written in the 1800s, so there was less catching up to do with scientific literature from Europe as compared to a century later when India got independence. Very conveniently you have glossed over facts that weakened your argument.***

    Have very much mentioned this part if you read the article carefully. So what happened to Newton, Louis Pasteur, Bohr and many others! Whole detailed atomic theory got discovered during early 1800. Do check this timeline of discovery to know how science had gained momentum by 1800.

    ***Secondly, please stop treating humans like gods. The power of intellect given to humans is not just like that; it is meant to analyze. Even gods like Rama have been critiqued in Hindu culture; we are not a Prophet or Holy Book-led religion, so stop behaving like an Abrahamic religionist. Hindus have a rich debating tradition, please do not downgrade that. Be happy that we all examine and re-examine our history, our literature, take new facts (coming from archives) into consideration. That is why Gandhi and Nehru have been dissected from the past so many decades. Despite Gandhi being called the Father of the Nation, he has been heavily criticized, which is how it should be. Plenty of books were written to show the negative impacts of many of Nehru’s decisions. In this manner, we got to know different sides In the west, also, everyone from Lincoln to Churchill has been strongly critiqued. Even today, new documents are being declassified, so history-writing is work in progress.***

    Please stop jumping to conclusion and making personal attacks just when someone criticize or don’t agree to your views. If you have a right to criticize, similarly others have all the right to defend. To defend does not mean to treat that human being as God. You yourself defended Modi when I criticised. So what do I make out of that Sahan? Or is it that everyone is supposed to say Yes Mam to whatever you post. Sorry but if I feel a criticism is wrong, I am going to speak out. You or others like it or not, that’s how its going to be.

    ***Where did I say that Macaulay went about evangelizing people himself? Do you even read what I write? Here is the evidence I presented to show that starting from Governor General John Shore who joined the Clapham sect, the pressure from evangelizing forces became irresistible. William Bentinck, who was the Governor General at the time of RRR was an Evangelical sympathizer. Over-playing the social evils in Indian society while under-playing the evils such as slave-trade in western society was an orchestrated strategy by missionaries. ***

    You didn’t say it. It was said in the Macaulay discussion thread at another group. He was criticized for being an evangelist. Infact abused in derogatory words! Yes Britishers maximum were evangelist but surely not Macaulay. Hence, nothing wrong done by Ram Mohan in supporting him!

    ***My main contention was that Raja Rammohan Roy denigrated Sanskrit by writing to the Governor General that it’s grammatical subtleties were worthless, and clearly indicated that it was an inferior knowledge. This was uncalled for. How come he did not notice the advantage of a language that had the power to convey such dense meaning in just a few words? Why did he not ask for English to be introduced in Sanskrit colleges so that they could be modernized but also insist that the Sanskrit essence should not be diluted? Today, so many people in the west who are researching Sanskrit are awed with the language and wondering why it was rendered redundant in its native land.***

    Sanskrit was almost a dead language then and was losing to even the regional ones. It had to be a language which would also help in bridging the gap with the western education system. And English was the best choice.

    ***Very smartly, you have omitted the following part of Macaulay’s Minute which is the most ignorant and insulting part of the document. The superior and patronizing attitude of the Minute was adopted by all the elite classes towards “vernaculars” (a denigrating term by itself), and destroyed the self-esteem of the people. ****
    ***Can you imagine the impact the language of this Minute had on the self-esteem of the people? All of a sudden, people well-versed in Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali and other languages were rendered inferior, unequal to the British and western world itself. ***

    Read my article carefully. I did mention it and taken care of it. See the para “Let go through the points [10] [11] and [12] of the Minutes…..”

    ***Secondly, you are actually lauding this following para from Macaulay’s Minute and saying that his intention to reform the vernaculars was laudable??
    “To that class [a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect] 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.”
    What are you even thinking? Can’t you see how condescendingly he is talking about ‘refining’ languages such as Hindi by creating a super-class/caste of English speakers? Despite all those quotes you have collected of Macaulay’s heart bleeding for Indians, can’t you see the desire to create a class of indoctrinated Indians who can be pliant and grateful to the British for civilizing them?***

    So what is wrong in that? I can see he clearly leaves it upon the natives to take the final decision. He himself is doing nothing. Why shouldn’t I applaud? He could have easily made a point that lets make all the regional languages also redundant. Instead he leave it on native educationalists to take the final call.

    ***You quoted Macaulay as saying that the English benefited from learning from the Greeks, and that is why he was applying the same principles of making India benefit from English. Have you educated the audience in your blog that as historians are connecting the dots in the ancient world, there is evidence of a far greater diffusion of ideas from India to the western world, than was originally thought?***

    Let them first connect the dots. As of now when I write this article, no such proof is available showing such happened in large scale. Maybe some diffusion did happen. But to say “far greater” I don’t agree to.

    ***You have argued that despite British data showing that every village had a school, it was of no use because those were not getting jobs. What kind of argument is that? When the British destroyed the very supply chain by which those kids were growing up to become teachers or artisans or artists, how can the schooling be blamed? Are you even aware that the British praised the education in those schools in those very surveys and asked for officers to find out how certain techniques could be adopted in schools in England?***

    Sahana do read and see the quote I mentioned. I have referred a letter, sent by Sanskrit pass outs, who are petitioning about their conditions. How in a pity state they have been. Why was no such petition sent by Bengali or Tamil students? Why only Sanskrit students? And how many were Sanskrit schools that the British praised. Do check the data and see. Bengal had more Bengali schools and similarly TN and surrounding had Tamil. Regional language schools were more in number than Sanskrit.

    ***As for your cheap accusation that “most of these so called History experts masquerading as hyper-nationalists themselves have taken advantage of Macaulay’s policy to empower themselves today”, I am in shock that you could say something like this. I have not called myself a history expert anywhere; have always been a student. You are actually saying I am “masquerading” and are attributing malafide motives to me by calling me “mischievous”? Even if you had used a term like “deluded” or “misguided” I could have forgiven you, but you’re saying ‘masquerading’ as in I’m pretending to be what I am not? What do you even mean by “taking advantage of Macaulay’s policy to empower themselves”? Yes, I learned English and use it in speech and writing but I also have a great sense of loss in not knowing Sanskrit or any Indian language in-depth as a native language. When a language is lost, a lot of knowledge is lost with it – the knowledge of flora and fauna, history, geography, food recipes, medical remedies, environmental preservation, actual meaning of traditions and this is just a partial list. Everyday I discover something new that has been lost by supplanting an Indian language (derived from Sanskrit) with English.***

    Why do you think this was directed only at you? Or is it that you have a feeling this particular information was told to the world first by you! Let me tell you Sahana, Macaulay’s Minutes and also Sanskrit as first language, both were debated at great length at IF debate section. I was the GM there and had read through and even taken part. There’s another group where few weeks back Macaulay was discussed, abused and the thread ended up discussing (abusing) Raja Ram Mohan Roy and finally abusing Brahmo Samaj. Stop taking things personally, you’ll end up losing your peace of mind.

    ***Not sure if you have the intellectual capacity to appreciate this loss.***

    Again you make a personal attack. Sahana this is becoming like a habit of yours. Questioned my history knowledge, called me Macaulay Agent (other group called us Macaulayputra), raised question on my religious following. High time you stop this behavior of making personal attack moment someone disagree with your Point of view.

    PS: I stick to my point. Raja Ram Mohan Roy did absolutely the right thing as per the socio economic conditions prevailing then. I salute this man for reforming the education system of our country. Because of likes of him today we are at par with the International education system! You stick to your point, let me do so my way. As I said, “Lets Agree to Disagree”.


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