In the world of computer science, a concept called metadata is used. Metadata is nothing but data about data. It provides data about data but not the actual data. Perhaps there is something similar required to understand history. We probably need art, commerce, geography and science (ACGS) of history! The reason I say this is it would help us understand history around why certain historical events don’t get talked about at all… 

Earlier today I was listening(it rained in evening, so my commute home took more than 45 minutes. Thank you traffic jam!) to podcast from Brown Pundits about history of British East India Company. After hearing some of things in this podcast, my curiosity level went through the roof and I did some digging. Some of the things I found out were really astonishing. Let me share couple of examples. 

British American gentleman named Elihu Yale. He is well known for his generous donations which got Yale University running. Mr. Yale started his career as clerk in British East India Company and eventually became Governor of Madras Presidency. Most of his fortune (estimated to be around £200K in 1699) was made from corrupt practices and illegal trades. In fact corruption was so rampant in those days, British East India Company was on verge of collapse. 

Another story is about Thomas Babington Macaulay. He is known famously for changing Indian education system to serve British interests. He is also credited with writing Indian Penal Code in aftermath of 1857 mutiny. In 1834, Lord Macaulay got in trouble with angry mob in Ooty as his palanquin bearer was caught womanising with local lady. To calm down the mob the Lord paid bribe. Apparently bribe was ₹100 (in those days you could buy 100 acres land in Ooty with that sort of money). 

What astonished me most was either incident finds very little mention in popular Indian history. Had I not listened to podcast, I wouldn’t have found about Mr. Yale’s antics in India and how Indians indirectly funded Yale University! What’s concerning is these are not isolated events. If one does enough research lot more such stories would surface for sure. 

Apologist for British Raj who credit Britishers for bringing Railways and Democracy to India don’t give any credit to Britishers for sowing seeds of corruption and bribery that continues to affect India…

1 Comment

Onkar · April 26, 2023 at 6:02 am

Thanks for the findings and highlighting the other aspects of the historical events!!

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