Macaulay's Minute Revisited: Colonial Language Policy in Nineteenth-century India

Macaulay's Minute Revisited: Colonial Language Policy in Nineteenth-century India,10.1080/01434630208666469,Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural

Macaulay's Minute Revisited: Colonial Language Policy in Nineteenth-century India   (Citations: 2)
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This paper examines a crucial episode in the history of language policy in British colo- nial education: the Orientalist- Anglicist controversy of the 1830s over the content and medium of government education in India. The bitter dispute over colonial language-in-education policy during this period raised fundamental questions about the roles and status of the English language and the Indian vernacular and classical languages in the diffusion of Western knowledge and ideas on the subcontinent. At the heart of many accounts of the controversy, not least those of a polemical nature, is Thomas Babington Macaulay' s famous Minute of 1835, which advocated the creation of a class of anglicised Indians who would serve as cultural intermediaries between the British and their Indian subjects. This paper reassesses Macaulay' s influence on British language policy in 19th century India. It begins by examining the background to the Orientalist- Anglicist dispute in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and then moves on to analyse the content and purpose of the Minute. The second part examines the short-term and long-term consequences of Macaulay' s scheme in India and in other British colonial contexts.
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    • ...Though this analysis is not necessarily shared by all scholars of colonial educational policy, according to Evans (2002, 2008) and Pennycook (2002), language policies in the various colonies were decisively influenced by variables such as the ideological orientations of colonial administrators toward the natives under their rule, parsimony considerations, the local desire for learning English, and sociopolitical events that had the potential to instigate anticolonial sentiments in the local population...

    Xenia Hadjioannouet al. Language policy and language planning in Cyprus

    • ...In his famous Minute on Indian Education (1835), Macaulay argued that the ‘‘state of the market’’ should determine language policy (Evans 2002, p. 271)...
    • ...What does this correspondence over the Conference’s resolutions tell us about the British government’s position on the teaching of English and Chinese in Hong Kong? In some respects, the course and outcome of the dispute over language policy in the late 1870s are similar to the more protracted controversy over Macaulay’s Minute in the 1830s (see Evans 2002)...

    Stephen Evans. Disputes and deliberations over language policy: the case of early col...

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