Feb 13, 2014

Khaliqur Rahman

A typed text of what Macaulay said in his address to the British Parliament on 2 Feb 1835:“ I have travelled 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 high caliber (sic), 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.”
When Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of Great Britain then, introduced the Indian Independence Bill in 1947 and when they debated the Bill in the British Parliament, Sir Winston Churchill, who was the Prime Minister during the War time, had angrily remarked, “Power will go into the hands of rascals, rogues and free-booters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. Not a bottle of water or loaf of bread shall escape taxation; only the air will be free and the blood of these hungry millions will be on the head of Attlee.”
I’ve often written that whatever had started happening in college classes in the form of indiscipline like General Gol (walk out) or bunking the classes en mass or cat calls, thus not letting the teacher teach or even going on Strikes and picketing those who intended attending classes and above all these the Students’ Union Elections  – all these becoming an accepted routine – and nobody bothering to rectify and reform has resulted in all these happening in Parliament.

Perhaps we’ve touched the lowest level of political values in practice and whatever has happened in the Parliament has disgraced democracy beyond anyone’s imagination and above all has proved the two foresights in the words of Macaulay and Churchill come true.