The Making of Scientific, Industrial and
Arrogant Europe
Rajesh Kochhar
President IAU Commission 41: History of Astronomy
...
Summary
Throughout the 19th
century in its
encounters with the East Europe was
in a learning mode. Cultural
superiority an...
It is no more than a coincidence that
the first British ship reached the
Indian coast the same year (1608)
the telescope w...
and technology grew hand in hand
with maritime trade, colonial
expansion and dominance over
nature and fellow human beings...
(1) For combined reasons of
healthcare, human curiosity and
commerce, medical botany and
natural history of distant lands ...
(2)For the safety of navigation,
scientific instrumentation and exact
sciences were developed as a self-
contained Europea...
also a self-contained, British,
exercise.
(4)Europe at large took to
development of dyeing and printing
processes.
In 1676, a 14-year patent was
granted to one William Sherwin
“for the invention of a new and
speedy way for printing broad...
kinds of goods”. In 1696, he
however conceded before the House
of Lords that his printed cloth
“would not bear washing”.
I...
i) In 1742, on instructions from his
superiors, the South India based
Jesuit Gaston Laurent Coeurdoux
(1691-1779) collecte...
where it was widely read and where
it remained relevant for a long time.
It is a measure of the priorities of the
time tha...
ii)The special process of Turkish red
used the Indian Chaya root and
Kasha leaves. Introduced into France
by an Armenian, ...
Leyden, Felix Dreissen, who got the
secret from a native dyer in Madurai
(south India).’2
In their 18th century encounters...
genuine interest in, respect for, and
desire to benefit and profit from
traditional empirical technologies. In
the industr...
disdain. This is understandable. You
cannot lord over people you respect.
There is a persistent pattern in
Britain’s scien...
Western science, details of the steps
leading to it were obliterated, and
modern science and technology was
presented as a...
I would like to illustrate this with the
help of 3 examples: zinc, steel, and
vaccination.
India devised zinc metallurgy, ...
As late as 1735, the Swedish chemist
Georg Brandt (1694-1768), who
identified cobalt as an element,
believed that ‘zinc co...
But, the commercial interests knew
better. In 1738, William Champion
(1709-1789) obtained a patent for
the extraction of p...
The Swedish professor Torbern
Bergman wrote in 1779 that several
years previously ‘A certain
Englishman’ went to China ‘fo...
have been sufficiently instructed in
the secret, but he carefully concealed
it’. A little later, in 1797, the German
profe...
Seen from Europe it did not quite
matter whether the original home of
metallic zinc was India or China.
Not surprisingly, ...
A 100 years previously, in 1608, the
Dutch optician Hans Lipperhey was
denied a patent on the telescope, ‘on
the ground th...
Metallic zinc may have been
common knowledge in far off places,
but in a Euro-centric world if a thing
was new for Europe ...
Indian steel
Since pre-Alexandrian times, India
had been producing high quality
steel by melting pure iron in the
presence...
cutting-edge properties because the
Damascus swords made out of it
were used against the Christian
Crusaders. Specimens an...
trade began. In 1675 Robert Hooke
noted in his diary: ‘bringing soe as to
melt made the best steel after it had
been wroug...
of steel not with the process but with
the quality of the ore.
Benjamin Huntsman (1704-1776)
has been invariably described...
Was he inspired by the Indian
method? No contemporaneous
account would even admit the
question, leave aside discuss it.
Ja...
History of the Manufacture of Iron
in All Ages that the details of
manufacture of Indian steel ‘in our
day’ ‘plainly sugge...
USA and that too when the 19th
century
was coming to an end.
While discussing its own inventions
and discoveries, Europe d...
But when it came to the Indian
scientific tradition, the roots, real or
imagined, were considered more
important than the ...
Astronomy
Indian mathematical astronomical
tradition built over a millennium 6th
century CE onwards was dismissed
out of h...
was of course no mention of the
post- Alexandrian Egypt and Iraq
inputs that had gone into making of
the Greek science.
Fa...
Chemistry
When a 14th century chemistry text
(Rasaratnasamuchchaya) named 41
previous authors, it was declared
with a stra...
Similarly, when the author of
another Sanskrit text Rasasara
explicitly acknowledged his debt to
‘the traditions and opini...
it was said that ‘ by Baudhas, the
author probably meant the
Muhammadans’.11
Surely Arabs would have liked to
hear that. B...
their place were told that their role in
the world history of science had
been no more than as librarians and
archivists f...
Wootz
In the closing years of the 18th
century, samples of Indian steel
wootz were received in Britain , first
by chance a...
under the auspices of the Royal
Society. How significant the
introduction of wootz was can be
seen from the following:
Abo...
•Sir Thomas Frankland sealed his letters
to Mushet ‘with the Sanscrit characters
denoting wootz, in full and prominent
dis...
J. Stodart, at 401, Strand, London,
Surgeon’s Instruments, Razors and
other Cutlery made from Wootz, a
steel from India, p...
• Examination of wootz samples (in UK)
yielded two patents ( Mushet 1800,
Mackintosh 1825) while another ( Heath
1839) res...
• Heath wrote, referring to the patents of
Mushet and Mackintosh that ‘the Indian
process combines the principles of both
...
Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) wrote
in his autobiography that Heath
conceived the idea of his ‘invention’
from ‘noticing in t...
•In 1819, Stodart entrusted Michael
Faraday with the task of analysis of
wootz samples. As Faraday wrote in his
diary, he ...
paper presented to the Royal Institution
in 1820 was the preparation of a
specimen which had ‘all the appreciable
characte...
‘fruitful error’ because it gave birth to
the new discipline of alloy steels. .
•Faraday (1819) erroneously believed
that the strength of wootz came not from
the process but from the presence of
other m...
The influential British metallurgist
John Percy in 1864 called wootz
making the Hindoo process of
steelmaking and its furn...
If it was a Hindu process, it called
for suitable Europeanization without
acknowledgement. ( Note that in
India itself his...
Smallpox
Variolation (inoculation with human
pox) was introduced in England in
1721, and vaccination (using
cowpox) in 179...
Variolation continued to be practised
at the smallpox hospital in London
until 1822. It was altogether stopped
by an Act o...
A smallpox hospital was opened in
London in 1746. ‘For a long time,
however, the prejudices against the
hospital were so g...
wherefore they were not suffered to
depart until the darkness of the night
enabled them to do it unobserved by
the populac...
In the 1810s, Norwich city embarked
on a plan of persuading the poor to
get themselves vaccinated by paying
them a cash in...
extinguished.
Report of the Pauper Vaccination in
Norwich city for 1812–1813 pointed
out that the disease was ‘kept in
exi...
who travelled to different places to
inoculate people with smallpox.
The only remedy lay, the Report
asserted, ‘in passing...
variolous inoculation’.
---
Variolation had been practised in the
eastern parts of India since great
antiquity. Vaccinatio...
Forgetting the resistance first the
introduction of variolation and then
of vaccination had met with in
Britain, the colon...
‘spirit of benevolence’ and express
gratitude for being conveyed ‘the
fruits of the happy discovery
[vaccination]’.23
In Calcutta, there were traditional
inoculators who variolated a small
fraction of the population creating an
epidemic. Th...
from the Norwich Report were
plagiarized in the1831 Calcutta
Report written by Dr William
Cameron, Superintendent-General ...
by the Smallpox Commissioners,
who added some remarks of their
own:
‘in a country where practices such as
Suttee and Infanticide were, until
lately, deemed justifiable on the
score of Religi...
prejudice their credulous and simple
minds, against whatever may be
falsely represented to them as an
innovation, or an in...
Note that when variolation is
practised in London even after
vaccination has been introduced,
smallpox inoculators are mer...
law. But when the same
phenomenon is observed in Calcutta,
memories of suttee and infanticide
are revived and the blame pl...
Incidentally, if the British in India
had followed the Norwich model and
offered cash incentive to those
opting for vaccin...
diminished.
England came a long way in the
period from the start of variolation in
1721 to its abolition in 1840. An
indus...
England had been. The period
around the 1830s was important for
a number of convergent reasons.
In history of technology, ...
Cartwright’s patent on power-driven
loom expired in 1801 opening the
field wide open. By this time
navigation had become s...
Merchants- turned -rulers in India
could now forcibly extinguish the
age - old manufacture of fine
textiles. Britain’s ind...
In 1764 the import was 3.8 million
lb. In 1785 it shot up to 18 million
lb. In 1830 the figure was 265
million lb, and cli...
fell from 1.3 million pound sterling
to a mere 1,00,000. In the same
period, the value of English cotton
goods imported in...
In 1835, the colonial government
brought its transition from the
Mughal administration to an end by
introducing a new educ...
Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian
learning was discontinued.
iii)English was made the official
language ( Bentinck-Macaulay).
S...
successful change in the missionary
position that had just taken place. The
missionaries moved to Calcutta from the
mofuss...
To sum up, racial arrogance set in
when Britain’s transition from a
trading nation to an industrial power
was completed, t...
In 1837, a Bengal cavalry officer,
after an exploratory tour of Egypt
and Arabia in connection with steam
navigation, decl...
possess the countries in a state of
barbarianism and by such means,
however unjustifiable it may appear
at first, extend t...
most gloomy depths of superstitious
ignorance. ’26
Interestingly, the 1977 Cambridge
History of Africa, Vol. 5 (p. 495)
qu...
‘It seems to be’, making the
observation personal rather than
universal.
The 1837 use of the phrase ‘law of
nature’ in the...
It is as if the authorship of the
powerful knowledge system of
modern science bestowed such
cultural and racial superiorit...
THANK YOU
1 Thomas 1924, p. 207.
2 Thomas 1924, p. 211.
3 Hegde 1991, p. 58.
4 Beckmann 1797, p. 75.
5 Beckmann 1814, pp.72-73.
6 Me...
13 Mushet 1840, p.670.
14 Hadfield 1932, pp.225-226.
15 ‘Give me the fruitful error any time, full of seeds,
bursting with...
19 Percy 1864, p. 774.
20 Shoolbred 1805, p. 1.
21 Woodville 1796, p. 238.
22 Shoolbred 1805, p. 9).
23 Brimnes 2004, p. 2...
References
Bergman, Torbern (1784) Physical and Chemical Essays,
Vol. 2, p. 314 (London: J. Murray).
Brimnes, N. ( 2004) V...
Hegde, K.T.M.(1991) An Introduction to Ancient Indian
Metallurgy (Bangalore: Geological Society of India).
Beckmann, Johan...
Mackenzie, James (1837) ‘Egypt and Arabia’, The Literary
Gazette; and Journal of Belle Lettre, Arts, Sciences & co.,
No.10...
Shoolbred, J. ( 1805) Report on the Progress of Vaccine
Inoculation in Bengal (London: Blacks and Perry).
Woodville W 1796...
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Making of scientific, industrial and arrogant Europe (Paper presented at the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Manchester 2013 July 21-28)

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Throughout the 19th century in its encounters with the East Europe was in a learning mode. Cultural superiority and racial arrogance set in in England in the 1830s.

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  • , which being the old true way of East India printing and stayning such kinds of goods”. In 1796, Sherwin however conceded before the House of Lords that his printed cloth “would not bear washing”. Thomas 1924,p.209. Thomas 1924,p.209.
  • In 1676, a fourteen-year patent was granted to one William Sherwin (1607-1687) “for the invention of a new and speedy way for printing broadcloth, which being the old true way of East India printing and stayning such kinds of goods”. In 1796, Sherwin however conceded before the House of Lords that his printed cloth “would not bear washing”. Thomas 1924,p.209. Thomas 1924,p.209.
  • .
  • Between 1815 and 1832 the value of exported Indian cotton goods fell from 1.3 million pound sterling to a mere 1,00,000. In the same period, the value of English cotton goods imported into India rose from a paltry 26,000 pound sterling to 4,00,000 pound sterling. Ashworth 1858, p. 256. Dutt 1949, Vol. 2, p. 101.
  • In the same period, the value of English cotton goods imported into India rose from a paltry 26,000 pound sterling to 4,00,000 pound sterling. Ashworth 1858, p. 256. Dutt 1949, Vol. 2, p. 101.
  • Making of scientific, industrial and arrogant Europe (Paper presented at the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Manchester 2013 July 21-28)

    1. 1. The Making of Scientific, Industrial and Arrogant Europe Rajesh Kochhar President IAU Commission 41: History of Astronomy Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, Punjab rkochhar2000@yahoo.com 27 July 2013
    2. 2. Summary Throughout the 19th century in its encounters with the East Europe was in a learning mode. Cultural superiority and racial arrogance set in in England in the 1830s.
    3. 3. It is no more than a coincidence that the first British ship reached the Indian coast the same year (1608) the telescope was invented in The Netherlands. This numerology brings home the fact that modern science
    4. 4. and technology grew hand in hand with maritime trade, colonial expansion and dominance over nature and fellow human beings. The key developments are these:
    5. 5. (1) For combined reasons of healthcare, human curiosity and commerce, medical botany and natural history of distant lands were studied through interaction with the native population.
    6. 6. (2)For the safety of navigation, scientific instrumentation and exact sciences were developed as a self- contained European exercise. (3) Machinery was developed to replace the Indian weaver. This was
    7. 7. also a self-contained, British, exercise. (4)Europe at large took to development of dyeing and printing processes.
    8. 8. In 1676, a 14-year patent was granted to one William Sherwin “for the invention of a new and speedy way for printing broadcloth which being the old true way of East India printing and stayning such
    9. 9. kinds of goods”. In 1696, he however conceded before the House of Lords that his printed cloth “would not bear washing”. Intelligence on natural materials and their use was indeed required from India.
    10. 10. i) In 1742, on instructions from his superiors, the South India based Jesuit Gaston Laurent Coeurdoux (1691-1779) collected information from dyers whom he had converted and sent the account to Europe,
    11. 11. where it was widely read and where it remained relevant for a long time. It is a measure of the priorities of the time that Coeurdoux’s fundamental work as a pioneering researcher in philology went unnoticed.
    12. 12. ii)The special process of Turkish red used the Indian Chaya root and Kasha leaves. Introduced into France by an Armenian, it baffled chemists for a long time until it was cleared up, in 1902, by a calico-printer at
    13. 13. Leyden, Felix Dreissen, who got the secret from a native dyer in Madurai (south India).’2 In their 18th century encounters with India and the East in general, the trading nation of British displayed
    14. 14. genuine interest in, respect for, and desire to benefit and profit from traditional empirical technologies. In the industrial Britain of the early 19th century, this admiration was replaced by openly expressed
    15. 15. disdain. This is understandable. You cannot lord over people you respect. There is a persistent pattern in Britain’s scientific and industrial discoveries of the early 19th century. Once a milestone was reached in
    16. 16. Western science, details of the steps leading to it were obliterated, and modern science and technology was presented as a stand-alone, without any pre-history.
    17. 17. I would like to illustrate this with the help of 3 examples: zinc, steel, and vaccination. India devised zinc metallurgy, before Alexander’s time, to be able to prepare high-zinc content gold-like brass for making Buddha idols.
    18. 18. As late as 1735, the Swedish chemist Georg Brandt (1694-1768), who identified cobalt as an element, believed that ‘zinc could not be reduced to metal except in the presence of copper’.6
    19. 19. But, the commercial interests knew better. In 1738, William Champion (1709-1789) obtained a patent for the extraction of pure zinc through inverse distillation, and set up his works in 1743.7
    20. 20. The Swedish professor Torbern Bergman wrote in 1779 that several years previously ‘A certain Englishman’ went to China ‘for the purpose of learning the art, returned safely home, indeed, and appears to
    21. 21. have been sufficiently instructed in the secret, but he carefully concealed it’. A little later, in 1797, the German professor Johann Bergman asserted that the Englishman went not to China but India for the purpose. 9
    22. 22. Seen from Europe it did not quite matter whether the original home of metallic zinc was India or China. Not surprisingly, there is no English account of any sort.
    23. 23. A 100 years previously, in 1608, the Dutch optician Hans Lipperhey was denied a patent on the telescope, ‘on the ground that it is evident that several others have knowledge of the invention’.
    24. 24. Metallic zinc may have been common knowledge in far off places, but in a Euro-centric world if a thing was new for Europe it did not exist before.
    25. 25. Indian steel Since pre-Alexandrian times, India had been producing high quality steel by melting pure iron in the presence of carbonaceous material. Europe already knew about its
    26. 26. cutting-edge properties because the Damascus swords made out of it were used against the Christian Crusaders. Specimens and some details about the making of Indian steel reached Europe when the direct
    27. 27. trade began. In 1675 Robert Hooke noted in his diary: ‘bringing soe as to melt made the best steel after it had been wrought over again’. This was significant because Europe had earlier associated the properties
    28. 28. of steel not with the process but with the quality of the ore. Benjamin Huntsman (1704-1776) has been invariably described as ‘English inventor of crucible steelmaking’.
    29. 29. Was he inspired by the Indian method? No contemporaneous account would even admit the question, leave aside discuss it. James Moore Swank, US expert on iron and steel, wrote in his 1892
    30. 30. History of the Manufacture of Iron in All Ages that the details of manufacture of Indian steel ‘in our day’ ‘plainly suggest the crucible process perfected by Huntsman’. This came not from Britain but from
    31. 31. USA and that too when the 19th century was coming to an end. While discussing its own inventions and discoveries, Europe did not consider the Eastern antecedents to be relevant. But when it came to the
    32. 32. But when it came to the Indian scientific tradition, the roots, real or imagined, were considered more important than the fruits. Some examples>>
    33. 33. Astronomy Indian mathematical astronomical tradition built over a millennium 6th century CE onwards was dismissed out of hand as imitative and its Greek origins emphasized. There
    34. 34. was of course no mention of the post- Alexandrian Egypt and Iraq inputs that had gone into making of the Greek science. Far greater ingenuity was exercised in the case of chemistry.
    35. 35. Chemistry When a 14th century chemistry text (Rasaratnasamuchchaya) named 41 previous authors, it was declared with a straight face that the names were mostly apocryphal .10
    36. 36. Similarly, when the author of another Sanskrit text Rasasara explicitly acknowledged his debt to ‘the traditions and opinions of the Baudhas [ the Buddhists]’,
    37. 37. it was said that ‘ by Baudhas, the author probably meant the Muhammadans’.11 Surely Arabs would have liked to hear that. But it was not considered necessary to inform them. They in
    38. 38. their place were told that their role in the world history of science had been no more than as librarians and archivists for preserving Greek science till Europe was in a position to take its heritage back.
    39. 39. Wootz In the closing years of the 18th century, samples of Indian steel wootz were received in Britain , first by chance and then on request. They were investigated thoroughly
    40. 40. under the auspices of the Royal Society. How significant the introduction of wootz was can be seen from the following: About 1796, a wootz penknife was presented to King George III.
    41. 41. •Sir Thomas Frankland sealed his letters to Mushet ‘with the Sanscrit characters denoting wootz, in full and prominent display’. • One of the trade cards of John Stodart FRS, dated about 1820, carried the inscription:
    42. 42. J. Stodart, at 401, Strand, London, Surgeon’s Instruments, Razors and other Cutlery made from Wootz, a steel from India, preferred by Mr Stodart to the best steel in Europe.
    43. 43. • Examination of wootz samples (in UK) yielded two patents ( Mushet 1800, Mackintosh 1825) while another ( Heath 1839) resulted from an observation of steelmaking in South India. •Heath in turn was at the receiving end half a century later.
    44. 44. • Heath wrote, referring to the patents of Mushet and Mackintosh that ‘the Indian process combines the principles of both the above described methods’. •Half a century later, Heath himself was at the receiving end :
    45. 45. Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) wrote in his autobiography that Heath conceived the idea of his ‘invention’ from ‘noticing in the native Wootz steel-making of India the marvellous effect of manganese’
    46. 46. •In 1819, Stodart entrusted Michael Faraday with the task of analysis of wootz samples. As Faraday wrote in his diary, he ‘was desirous , among other researches, to make an experiment, with a view to imitating Wootz’. Indeed one of the earliest successes reported in the
    47. 47. paper presented to the Royal Institution in 1820 was the preparation of a specimen which had ‘all the appreciable characteristics of the best Bombay Wootz’. Faraday wrongly concluded that the strength of the wootz came from aluminum. It however was a
    48. 48. ‘fruitful error’ because it gave birth to the new discipline of alloy steels. .
    49. 49. •Faraday (1819) erroneously believed that the strength of wootz came not from the process but from the presence of other materials. This was a fruitful error, because it opened the new field of alloy steels.
    50. 50. The influential British metallurgist John Percy in 1864 called wootz making the Hindoo process of steelmaking and its furnace the Hindoo furnace. The nomenclature is significant. .
    51. 51. If it was a Hindu process, it called for suitable Europeanization without acknowledgement. ( Note that in India itself historians used terms like Hindu chemistry, Hindu mathematics, Hindu sine.)
    52. 52. Smallpox Variolation (inoculation with human pox) was introduced in England in 1721, and vaccination (using cowpox) in 1799. 20
    53. 53. Variolation continued to be practised at the smallpox hospital in London until 1822. It was altogether stopped by an Act of Parliament in 1840. In their time both variolation and vaccination met with great hostility.
    54. 54. A smallpox hospital was opened in London in 1746. ‘For a long time, however, the prejudices against the hospital were so great, that the patients on leaving it were abused and insulted in the street;
    55. 55. wherefore they were not suffered to depart until the darkness of the night enabled them to do it unobserved by the populace’ .21
    56. 56. In the 1810s, Norwich city embarked on a plan of persuading the poor to get themselves vaccinated by paying them a cash incentive of half a crown. The plan in itself was quite a success, but smallpox was not
    57. 57. extinguished. Report of the Pauper Vaccination in Norwich city for 1812–1813 pointed out that the disease was ‘kept in existence by unscrupulous practitioners from London
    58. 58. who travelled to different places to inoculate people with smallpox. The only remedy lay, the Report asserted, ‘in passing a law, imposing a severe penalty on any one, directly or indirectly concerned in the act of
    59. 59. variolous inoculation’. --- Variolation had been practised in the eastern parts of India since great antiquity. Vaccination was officially introduced in India in 1803.
    60. 60. Forgetting the resistance first the introduction of variolation and then of vaccination had met with in Britain, the colonial government wanted the Indians to overnight become appreciative of the English
    61. 61. ‘spirit of benevolence’ and express gratitude for being conveyed ‘the fruits of the happy discovery [vaccination]’.23
    62. 62. In Calcutta, there were traditional inoculators who variolated a small fraction of the population creating an epidemic. The situation was so similar to the one that Norwich had previously faced that paragraphs
    63. 63. from the Norwich Report were plagiarized in the1831 Calcutta Report written by Dr William Cameron, Superintendent-General of Vaccination, . This Report in turn was enthusiastically cited in 1850
    64. 64. by the Smallpox Commissioners, who added some remarks of their own:
    65. 65. ‘in a country where practices such as Suttee and Infanticide were, until lately, deemed justifiable on the score of Religious usage, neither will there be wanting bigots to mislead the ignorant Hindoos, and to
    66. 66. prejudice their credulous and simple minds, against whatever may be falsely represented to them as an innovation, or an interference with their religious privileges’ .24
    67. 67. Note that when variolation is practised in London even after vaccination has been introduced, smallpox inoculators are merely called immoral and mischievous, and sought to be dealt with by a strict
    68. 68. law. But when the same phenomenon is observed in Calcutta, memories of suttee and infanticide are revived and the blame placed at the door of Hindu bigotry, prejudice and superstition.
    69. 69. Incidentally, if the British in India had followed the Norwich model and offered cash incentive to those opting for vaccination, it is very likely that prejudices against it would have disappeared or at least
    70. 70. diminished. England came a long way in the period from the start of variolation in 1721 to its abolition in 1840. An industrialized England was far more confidant and arrogant than a trading
    71. 71. England had been. The period around the 1830s was important for a number of convergent reasons. In history of technology, grant of a patent constitutes a landmark; for growth of industry its expiry.
    72. 72. Cartwright’s patent on power-driven loom expired in 1801 opening the field wide open. By this time navigation had become scientific and safe, and the deadly scurvy been controlled.
    73. 73. Merchants- turned -rulers in India could now forcibly extinguish the age - old manufacture of fine textiles. Britain’s industrial progress can be gauged from the figures of consumption of cotton.
    74. 74. In 1764 the import was 3.8 million lb. In 1785 it shot up to 18 million lb. In 1830 the figure was 265 million lb, and climbing up and up . Between 1815 and 1832 the value of cotton goods exported from India
    75. 75. fell from 1.3 million pound sterling to a mere 1,00,000. In the same period, the value of English cotton goods imported into India rose from a paltry 26,000 pound sterling to 4,00,000.
    76. 76. In 1835, the colonial government brought its transition from the Mughal administration to an end by introducing a new education policy: i)Persian was banished from office. ii)Generous and uncritical support to
    77. 77. Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian learning was discontinued. iii)English was made the official language ( Bentinck-Macaulay). Significantly, the new Government policy was facilitated by the
    78. 78. successful change in the missionary position that had just taken place. The missionaries moved to Calcutta from the mofussil; targeted elitist sections of the society rather the marginal; and focused on English rather than the vernacular.
    79. 79. To sum up, racial arrogance set in when Britain’s transition from a trading nation to an industrial power was completed, that is when British machines finally made the fine Indian weaver entirely redundant.
    80. 80. In 1837, a Bengal cavalry officer, after an exploratory tour of Egypt and Arabia in connection with steam navigation, declared in his report: ‘It seems to be a law of nature that the civilized nations should conquer and
    81. 81. possess the countries in a state of barbarianism and by such means, however unjustifiable it may appear at first, extend the blessings of knowledge, industry and commerce among people hitherto sunk in the
    82. 82. most gloomy depths of superstitious ignorance. ’26 Interestingly, the 1977 Cambridge History of Africa, Vol. 5 (p. 495) quotes this passage, but wrongly says ‘ It seems to me’ rather than
    83. 83. ‘It seems to be’, making the observation personal rather than universal. The 1837 use of the phrase ‘law of nature’ in the context of human affairs is significant.
    84. 84. It is as if the authorship of the powerful knowledge system of modern science bestowed such cultural and racial superiority on the Europeans as to give them a divine right to rule over others.
    85. 85. THANK YOU
    86. 86. 1 Thomas 1924, p. 207. 2 Thomas 1924, p. 211. 3 Hegde 1991, p. 58. 4 Beckmann 1797, p. 75. 5 Beckmann 1814, pp.72-73. 6 Mellor 1957, p.403. 7 Kochhar 1994. 8 Bergman 1788, p.317. 9 Beckmann 1814, p.91. 10 Ray 1918, p. 101. 11 Ray 1918, p. 91. 12 Mushet 1840, pp. 662-663
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