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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.

http://www.languageinindia.com/april2003/macaulay.html


6 comments:

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 : www.easyliteraturenotes.blogspot.in and would really like your comment