India That is Bharat
What Macaulay did not teach
Dear Mr Proud Macaulay-putra,
Satiricus does not have enough words in praise of your ?In Praise of Thomas Macaulay?, the precious piece that was prominently printed the other day by, fittingly enough, India'sbiggest English-language paper, the Indian Express.
Not that this is your first foray in ?journalism of (Dutch) courage? typified by the Express. Rather, you seem to have become an admirable addition to the stable of secular scribes put together by that paper. This is, of course, as it should be. For the more the secular scurrility we have, the more is the condemnation of the communal cusses and RSS wretches (especially in view of the fact that it was the RSS Sarsanghachalak who first coined the phrase ?Macaulay-putras?). Still Satiricus wonders how you can spare time from your onerous responsibilities as Chairman and CEO of an enterprise for the trumpery calling of column-writing. Is it that?God forbid?your enterprise is so down in the dumps that, just like Macaulay, you are frankly looking for money? Or is it that such mercenary motives are beneath you, as you fancy yourself as an English angel out to save India from desi devils speaking tribal dialects, ranging from Hindi in the north to Tamil in the south?or some even speaking Sanskrit, which Will Durant calls, a Hindu language? Oh well, the real reason, Satiricus suspects, is the instant fame a byline brings. For, to quote the English poet Milton (by your leave), is not fame the last infirmity of noble minds?such as yours?
Talking of infirmity, the dictionary says it means the same thing as senility. But, of course, Satiricus cannot dream of accusing you of suffering from senility?although, let'sface it?there are dim-witted dunces, who might do just that, as it would pass their retarded understanding how, in one breath, you call Macaulay a ?historian?, while in another, you write, ?Macaulay ridiculed traditional Indian knowledge as useless, deluded and shallow?, ?he dismissed our traditional school of medicine as nothing but quackery?, and so on and so forth, in the same vein. Satiricus would have thought anyone who wrote like this was not a historian but a joker, and deserved to be dismissed as such. But then, what does this ignoramus know? A magnificent Macaulay-putra that you are, you know everything. So in your knowledge and wisdom you virtually approve of the ridicule Macaulay heaps on everything Indian and end with an endearing euphemism?-?there may have been some justification? in it. Ah me! Why ?may have been?, Mr Macaulay-putra? Why not ?there certainly was?? And why ?some?, sir? Why not ?a great lot?? Does not such hesitation look horridly Hindu? And, does it not badly reflect on the revealed knowledge of Indian history that you share with Macaulay? Why, it makes you look as ignorant of the history of Hindusthan as the Hindus?and even, alas, some Englishmen.
Take the history of medicine. Satiricus is sure that being a proud and precious progeny of Macaulay, you must know it in all detail, and hence you must be fully justified in your justification of Macaulay'sdescription of Indian medicine as ?nothing but quackery?. But in that case, what would you say about those two English doctors by names Thomas Cruso and James Trindlay who, in the year of Our Lord, 1793, admiringly watched a potter of Pune perform plastic surgery as per procedure laid down by Sushruta thousands of years ago? Then again, it is given that a Macaulay-putra would have profound knowledge of English. So, do you know the etymological root of the English word ?allopathy?? Do you know it is a combination of two Greek words, in which allos means ?other?? And if allopathy was the ?other? medical treatment, did you wonder, as Satiricus would have, if he had at least been a sautela-putra of Mai Baap Macaulay, what the first medical treatment was? Perhaps?and luckily?you did not, because you would have been horrified to find that the original medical treatment?as practised practically all over the civilised world?was Ayurveda.
Civilised Englishmen of a few centuries ago thought the English language so uncivilised that they wrote in Latin and spoke in French. Did historian Macaulay teach this history to his putras? Oh well, all that is history, as you would say in your impeccable English.
And here, Mr Proud Macaulay-putra, may I have your permission to mention an incidental but interesting detail that might make you a little less proud. Did you know that as late as about two thousand years ago, living Englishmen ate dead Englishmen? A couple of short years ago, an English archaeologist declared that he had conclusive evidence showing that his fellow-Englishmen were cannibals not very long ago. If this was the state of the civilised English, how civilised is their English?
And here'sanother damnable detail. Civilised Englishmen of a few centuries ago thought the English language so uncivilised that they wrote in Latin and spoke in French. Did historian Macaulay teach this history to his putras? Oh well, all that is history, as you would say in your impeccable English, which, you say, is a part of your ?very consciousness?. Incidentally, Satiricus wonders if, in that case, you dream in English, as Maulana Azad said, Nehru did. At the same time, Satiricus would request you to forgive him for being puzzled on how you say this ?very consciousness? made people from Vivekananda to Khushwant Singh write in English. If they wrote/write in this language, what does it show except that it can be effectively and nobly used to express the noblest philosophy of a Vivekananda and equally effectively prostituted to express the lewd, libidinous lechery of a Khushwant Singh?
Finally, you say, ?I am grateful to Macaulay. Without his gifts to us, so many of us would be lesser individuals?. That'sstrange! If ?so many? have become the lucky recipients of Macaulay'sgifts, where was Satiricus at the time of their distribution? He must have been busy reading your praise of Praja-Pita Macaulay. Anyway, thank you for this entertaining exercise in English idiocy.
?Your lousy lesser individual, Satiricus