August 30, 2015
Some time ago, I had been referred to Prodosh Aich’s book by a commentator.
Now another commentator has cited yet another book (“Truths.: 500 Years European Christians in History “).
Given this man figures twice on my blog, I took the plunge and bought the book from Kindle a few minutes ago. I was curious to know how Macaulay had been presented in that book, given I have at least some knowledge of Macaulay’s work.
Here are extracts and my comments
On the 15th October, 1800 another “William Jones” is born: Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800 – 1859). As the offspring of a renowned evangelical family he gets a better start, but he is otherwise endowed with the same character traits as William Jones.
This is apparently how a “professor” introduces a new character in his book Given Aich’s dim view about Jones, the idea that someone is BORN with a Jonesian personality is a reflection of that professor (Aich’s) limited intellect, than a reflection on the child that was born.
Thus the intrigues in Parliament by which Thomas Babington Macaulay gets his income increased from £ 1500 to £ 10000 remain undiscovered. This is how biographers write “history”. We generalise in full intentions.
Here, again, is a lot of allusion and throwing of suspicion. He forgets to mention that Macaulay was a PIVOTAL PLAYER in the 1832 Reform Act, and that his extensive knowledge of British history and political theory (he was a superlative classical liberal, who promoted liberty and scientific attitude wherever he went) marked him out as one of the he most talented thinkers of his time.
Then follows the usual litany of his ‘comments’ (these are factual ones, not cooked up, which is a relief) suggesting his belief in science education. He was a committed Christian and had a personal hope that Indians would reduce their “idolatory”. A big fuss is made about this – something he wrote this in a private letter to his father. Sure, he was a Christian. But he was a Christian who ADVANCED LIBERTY and SCIENCE at a very significant level. Both in England and India.
The follows innuendo re: his not reducing funding for Sanskrit:
Thomas Babington Macaulay did not cut all those expenditures on Asiatick Society, Asiatick Researches, Sanskrit “Pandits” and the likes. He knew that he had all powers to cut those expenditures. Why did Thomas Babington Macaulay not cut all those expenditures? He was not a fool. Within the limits of his missionary blinkers and strong prejudices he knew how to exercise power.
In fact, there is abundant evidence (in peer reviewed, as opposed to JUNK work like this “professor”‘s) that it was the Indians who had persistently wanted to learn English, had no interest in learning Sanskrit, and that or decades before Macaulay came on the scene, a significant amount of work had been done by the British to try to promote Sanskrit, to no avail. Remember, the British were the RULERS of Bengal, but they did not impose English. Decades passed. The Indians wanted to learn the language. So finally they started funding the teaching of English. I’ve covered this in great detail in a separate blog. But this “professor” has no clue about any of this.
And then this nitwit makes the most wild statements possible. And he is (or was) allegedly a “professor”.
The Indian National Congress has just been ousted as a ruling power of the “Republic of India”. It has reigned over the Republic with one break in 1977. It was founded in 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume (1829 – 1912), a Briton. Those “Indian” founding members were “children” of Thomas Babington Macaulay. Collaborators like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dawarkanath Thakur. Do we remember today that Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964), the first Prime Minister of Republic of India, was educated at home by a series of English governesses and tutors until the age of 16?
Then in 1905 he was sent to Harrow like William Jones. His academic career was in no way outstanding. From Harrow he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, like Thomas Babington Macaulay, where he spent three years earning an honours degree in natural science. On leaving Cambridge he qualified as a barrister after two years at the Inner Temple, London, where in his own words he passed his examinations ‘with neither glory nor ignominy’. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948), son of a “Dewan” in a princely state in British India, studied in England, also a barrister from Inner Temple like William Jones.
The British Parliament passed “The Indian Independence Act 1947” that divided British India into two new independent dominions, India and Pakistan, and many “Princely Indian States”. The ruling power was handed over to products of Thomas Babington Macaulay’s 30-year plan: “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern; a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”
The Britons quitted from British India to remain as intermediate rulers. The same process was repeated in other areas occupied by European Christians. This is the story of “decolonization”, of “independence” of occupied foreign lands in a nutshell. “The Era of Vasco da Gama” is still going strong under many camouflaged terms created by “modern scholars”.
I rest my case. This man (and his co-author) neither knows history, nor the vast differences in time period between Raja Ram Mohun Roy and Nehru, nor the radically different politics involved. He also has no clue about the extremely sincere efforts of AO Hume (about whom I’ve written extensively on this blog).
I think you’ll agree by now that I don’t need to spend more time on this PURE JUNK. I gave it a go. I spent a small chunk of money. I even spent 30 minutes of my life on it. (To be precise, it is now nearly one hour of my life on this junk).
No more is it worth. It is worth NOTHING, to be precise.
DON’T BUY THIS BOOK. WASTE OF TIME. TOTALLY CLOSED MINDED, PREJUDICED, ILL-REFERENCED, BADLY WRITTEN, BADLY ARGUED, AND IN ALL RESPECTS WORTHY OF THE TRASH BIN.
I might (having bought this book) spend some time reading it in the future, just out of curiosity at the HOW BAD Indian “professors” can get. But for now, this is it.
Macaulay had his shortcomings (who doesn’t – particularly from a perspective that applies modern standards to people who lived long before us). But he was one of the most superlative thinkers and authors of his generation. His clear thinking about the evolution of British political history and economy inspired Hayek.
Those who have not read him and judge him by one or two sentences from his ENTIRE work, are nincompoops who will fall by the wayside of history.
It is time Indians actually started reading Macaulay and the classicals like JS Mill. They will learn something that would help India become a great power. And achieve the goal that Macaulay had for India: to make it a great country.