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Monday, March 17, 2008

India, Long after the British Raj

"I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation"

I came across this quote recently which was a part of the speech delivered by an Englishman by the name Lord Macaulay way back in 1835 to the British Parliament. This was the time when India was yet to become the British colony that it would be for more than a century.

The credibility of the quote is doubtful but one cannot ignore the possibility that this was one of the reasons why the Britishers could rule over a nation so beautiful and powerful.

One of the early steps in this respect looks like the presence of an Englishman during the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji, a Maratha Emperor. The Britishers entered the minds of the people first - and then attacked the political arena. And how!

There was fiddling with the historical facts (Referring to the claim that Taj Mahal is actually Tejo Mahalaya, a Shiva Temple.), introduction of anarchic laws and - the Divide and rule policy.

Enough has been said about the 'Divide and rule' policy they employed - they took advantage of the differences and the conflicts that the rulers (the sons of the soil!), the conflicts between the freedom fighters (The Congress leaders v/s Subhashchandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and Veer Sawarkar) or the grudges communities had against each other.

Today, we have parents shying away from sending their children to vernacular medium schools. I know some kids who do not speak their mother-tongue - their mothers strictly advise them not to use the tongue!

There are innumerable archaic laws waiting to be revised even today. These laws are being used- abused by the ones in power.

Lord Macaulay and his contemporaries surely succeeded in breaking the backbone of my country India. And we are still struggling, more than a century later.

1 comment:

  1. i agree main reasons of india still not being developed under grassroot level would be shoddy infrastructure, politics and black money!!!