Macaulayism · slavery · Sociology · The Lighter Side

On Slavery, Mentality and Macaulayism…

If you walk across a person of Indian sub-continent descent, there are two possibilities, either they are not going to make eye contact, or they are going to make eye contact. If you are a person of similar ethnicity, odds are heavily tilted towards getting a stare, which is defined as a severe eye contact. If you are from any other race, odds are heavily tilted towards no eye contact at all.There are two possible explanations, either people from the Indian sub-continent are full of humility or they suffer with low self-esteem. Again, this generalization is based on odds, and there will be exceptions, if you are one of Indian descent and like to stare everyone walking by you, then you are, obviously, an exception.

Slavery is defined as the state of “one” bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household. One referring to a human being of course. Conversely, the use of livestock for production purposes would surmount to slavery as well.While slavery has been used as a means of production by cultures around the world, its safe to say that legal racial segregation has pretty much been eradicated from the face of the earth.

The term Macaulay’s Children is used to refer to people born of Indian ancestry who adopt Western culture as a lifestyle. The term is usually used in a derogatory fashion, and the connotation is one of disloyalty to one’s country and one’s heritage. It derives from Thomas Macaulay, the 19th century British historian and colonial administrator who regarded British culture as inherently superior to the Indian one, and who was the prime mover in replacing Sanskrit and Persian with English as the medium of instruction. This attitude is often referred to as Macaulayism. Macaulayism in the Indian subcontinent is distant akin to perhaps the paper bag test or the blue vein society in the United States. The paper bag test was common way to judge entry into a social place or educational institution if the skin tone was equal or lighter than a paper bag. The blue vein society on the other hand was eligibility to join a club if the arms showed blue veins. Derogatory as these may sound, such practices have been eradicated since the black is beautiful movement. Macaulayism on the other hand, is very much alive and kicking in the sub-continent. English is very much the medium of higher education, the ability to speak English is considered an accolade, able to speak without an Asian dialect a sign of nobility.

So here is the lighter side, the African Americans were transported across an ocean, and screwed in every possible manner for almost five centuries. For the last half a century however, the tables have been turned. The black people have a man in the white house, they get paid disability allowance for being morbidly obese, they live with an attitude that says you screwed us for five centuries, and now you have to pay back.

Macaulay’s children on the other hand, even though over half a century has passed since the English left their lands, still admire and yearn for acceptance. The sub-continent was officially occupied in 1857, and freed in 1947. The effect of these ninety years is still strong after 63 years of freedom. The thing is there never was a Sub-continent is Superior movement. The English screwed the Indians, and then left without even putting any money on the table. Indians woke up the next morning all sore, in every hole imaginable and are still living with the scars. Sure some locals followed the English back, and are doing pretty much the same that black people are doing in America, but that doesn’t add or relinquish the misery of the inhabitants in the sub-continent. The basis of Macaulayism was the inability of the local inhabitants to govern successfully and hence their yearning to adopt a superior culture. So long as that holds true, whenever you walk by someone from the Sub-continent, and they don’t make eye contact, now you know why!


7 thoughts on “On Slavery, Mentality and Macaulayism…

  1. I have also tried to find out the reasons as to why many people of the Indian subcontinent descent consider, sometimes unknowingly, their culture to be inferior to that of the west. To my mind, it all lies in what you are taught in your schools and what you see for yourself happening around you. In most Urdu medium schools in Pakistan (the second biggest country in the Indian subcontinent) students are taught that their culture, which has its roots in the religion, is far superior than that of any other culture that exists anywhere else in the World. While the children in the English medium schools are not taught about their local culture at all (exceptions exist!). Whatever they learn of their culture is through their parents or grandparents only if they, the parents, care.
    So, the people with their early education in the Urdu medium schools keep on thinking that their culture and values are much superior than that of the west unless they themselves get a chance to see the latter. Those who get a chance to see the western culture with their own eyes either soften their stance or reaffirm it. The degree of change depends on how unbiased their observations have been.
    However, the ones who see the western culture with prejudice, and think of themselves as being “self righteous”, they keep on hating it. In their opinion each and every aspect of the western culture is bad no matter what. I sometimes jokingly refer to them as Nazis..:)
    As far as making eye-contact is concerned, I think, they do that because of their innate nature of knowing more about others, especially about the people with the same appearance like theirs.
    and yes, if you think that they make severe eye contact with the people of the same sex, try asking the opinion of white women about such stares from men of Indian subcontinent descent. You will be amazed/ashamed at their answers!

  2. My friend, I dont know where to begin to respond to your comment. But lets start from the facts. Is the second biggest country in the Indian subcontinent a successful country by any means? On the contrary its a failed state by all means, and lets just focus on the economic and social indicators to define success/failure and you will see that this country is a failed state. A mark of a great culture, (Phonecians, Romans, Persians, Central Asian Middle Ages, Post Renaissance Europeans etc.) is their contribution to the realms of knowledge. Please ask yourself the contribution of this great culture that the urdu medium speaking nation has provided to the world.
    On staring the ladies, I guess its the frustration that their culture breeds that forces them to do that! Trust me, its not a nice thing, and I cover the stare in the first paragraph…

  3. If you read my comment again without any preconceived notions or prejudice, you will probably realize that I neither tried to defend our culture nor did I criticize the western culture. On the contrary, I am criticizing those who always see problems in the western culture and think that they and their culture is superior. In my humble opinion, there are good things in each culture which could be adopted without any fear of putting your own culture in danger of becoming extinct or something.
    As far as the second biggest country in the Indian subcontinent is concerned, I believe it didn’t get its fair share of good leaders who could lead its people to success. I, by no means, am of the view that this country could serve as a role model for all developing countries of the world. In my opinion, its leaders are taking it on the wrong path which would eventually make it into a complete failed state. However, I am still hopeful that somehow something positive will happen and this unfortunate nation will again get the leaders of the caliber of Jinnah who would put it on the right course that leads to success.

      1. I guess I should use Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru rather than Jinnah as leadership role models while talking about issues related to Indian subcontinent.

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