THE FAKE QUOTE
- The views expressed in the quote do not correspond with Macaulay’s stated opinions about India and Indian culture. Like most of his contemporaries Macaulay believed India to be a land full of ignorant and dishonest people. The root causes of their degraded condition were despotic rulers and heathen religion. He wanted English language education specifically to ennoble and enlighten Indians, not to break, crush or destroy them. He also believed, from personal observation, that India was a poor country, and said so in a Minute proposing reform of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in Calcutta.
- The alleged quote also contradicts Macaulay’s stated position about India in general. He emphasised, in 1833, in a (real) speech in Parliament how chaotic India was before the British came. That too was a standard attitude. If he had seen any orderliness in India, then he would not have considered it a natural condition of the natives, but a result of the arrival of British rule.
HIS ACTUAL OPINION
Macaulay’s gross ignorance on Hindu knowledge is clear by this quote
” It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanscrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgments used at preparatory schools in England. In every branch of physical or moral philosophy, the relative position of the two nations is nearly the same.”
To read more about Macaulay’s Views on India, one must read the following