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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Minute on Indian Education

Minute on Indian Education (1835)

Thomas B Macaulay

Why English and only English

  • Need to educate people cannot be done by mother tongue.
  • A foreign language
  • English is the best: It’s preeminent, abounds with works of imagination equal to Greek
  • Best vehicles of ethical and political instruction
  • Just and lively representations of human life and nature
  • Has profound speculations on metaphysics, morals, government, jurisprudence, trade,
  • Correct and full info on every experimental science to preserve health, increase comfort or expand the intellect.
  • Ready access to intellectual wealth.
  • Great literature
  • In India English- language of the ruling class, spoken by higher mass of natives at seat of power
  • Likely to become language of commerce throughout the seas of the East
  • Language of two rising European communities – Australia and S Africa – becoming more imp and closer to Indian Empire
  • Intrinsic value of literature + context make English the best choice

What to teach?

  • In a language that does not have contemporary knowledge?
  • Science, Philosophy, History as against problematic astronomy, history, geography

Justification – Two examples

  1. Revival of learning in the West. Because they opened to sth external they grew to be equal. (Doubts about Sanskrit)
  2. Russia- change in 120 years from barbarism.

The Solution

· Impossible to educate all with limited means

· Therefore, create interpreters between us and the masses “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect (emphasis mine).

· That class will refine and enrich vernaculars with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature and make vernaculars fit to convey knowledge to masses

PS: Please go through the following link on Macaulay. Extremely fascinating. I strongly recommend that you go though it to understand Macaulay. If you manage to go through the link, please post your comments in the posting.


Armina said...

Well written article.

Anil Pinto said...

thank you, Armina

workhard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

thank u, very useful brief of "Minute on Indian Education" by Thomas B. Macaulay. now i can memorize this for my exam, BA VI semester, It is a part of text book for literature paper, :)

Anil Pinto said...

My pleasure. All the best for the exam.

Joy D. Bhamre said...

I appreciate your effort; I have started a blog for MA English Literature Hons Students : and would really like your comment