Macaulay’s Infamous - Fake or Real


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Macaulay’s speech is doing rounds of social media these days. But the problem is we can’t get any strong evidence whether these words were told by Thomas Babington Macaulay. Thomas Babington Macaulay was responsible for making the school system that we follow. 

Many of the educationists argue that the system was created to produce English speaking clerks. Macaulay was believed to be an ardent hater of India and a racist person. 

But if we see that in words written in the news piece he is arguing to destroy the backbone of the nation by destroying the cultural identity of the people through the inculcation of English values.

Fake news is making rounds these days and people are getting annoyed by getting fake facts and data that makes it difficult to find the actual one. Many historians suggest that the English written in the text that describes India as a land of zero poverty and much joy can’t be stated like that. 

Macaulay was not very new to this country and the text was written on 2 Feb 1835, when Macaulay was addressing the British parliament. Though incidentally, if we see, we will find that there was no historical evidence of Macaulay delivering such kind of speech at the British parliament.

In 1834 Macaulay was posted as an advisor to the British governor-general of India. He immediately took the voyage and came to Calcutta. He was in Calcutta till 1838 so any kind of evidence can’t be found to make the quotation justified. 

And at that time when sea voyage was the only mean of transport from one country to another, it took months to reach London from Calcutta. Another detail that they pointed out was the language was much modern and at that point in time, such kind of English was not present.

Though we can say that Macaulay was racist but he was not a Nazist creature. His idea was to make Indian people learn a foreign language. He also wished to make an order that creates more value to people knowing the English language even if they are less intelligent or skilled.

Unlike David Hare and Lord Bentinck, he was of the view of subjugating the Indian subjects through the means of English education, there was hardly any interest in spreading free thoughts and social reform. Some people also argue that was he not aware of the Thuggee of northern India who was famous for their thefts.

Similarly, another question that arises at that point of time, the drain of wealth from India has started so how Macaulay can point out there is no begging at streets. 

The statement may seem to be partially correct with Macaulay always favouring British racial superiority but such kind of direct statement clarifying any action to destroy Indian cultural heritage may seem confusing.

Even it was known, the signature of Macaulay was also not there and it was kind of a fake thing. We can also see that in the historical contexts there is no such evidence of this kind of speech. 

In 1830s Macaulay is eyeing for the conquest of India and that seems to be self-contradictory in its true sense because we study colonial history we will find that most of India had been turned into a British colony. The only Sikh kingdom was left to conquer and it would be much wrong if we think that Macaulay was unknown from the British occupation.

Every facet of the speech may be doctored or partially changed. We are unable to suggest any evidence that verifies the existence of the speech. The whole speech can be said as a hoax that is trying to portray Macaulay in a poor light. 

Though we can say that Macaulay’s understanding of India was pathetic but it can be believed such words can’t be uttered by him.

Macaulay wanted to create racist supremacy among the natives but he was not a culture nazi so maybe he has prescribed something wrong but the whole speech can be found to be fake. That can be found from the above shreds of evidence and the spread of such things can be said as mishandling of Google. 

Written by - Bodhiswatta Mukherjee
Edited by - Ivanova

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