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