Heard the name #JamesMill? James Mill’s highly influential History of British India(1817), most particularly the long essay ‘Of the Hindus’ comprising ten chapters – is the single most important source of British Indophobia and hostility to Orientalism.
Dear Readers, this thread with brief history and quotes will leave you distraught for sure and in the end, all you can do is weep, blame the destiny and will be searching for words in the end. #JamesMill (6 April 1773 – 23 June 1836) was from Scotland, was ordained as a minister by church. By 1802,unable to find a parish and disillusioned with a religious career, he “emigrated” to England. There he quickly obtained a position as editor and writer, married, and began to raise a family. To secure his position & to defend the reason behind British intervention in Indian affairs, he began to write “The History of British India”, in 1806 & when he finally finished it in 1918, he had secured the post of an examiner at the imperial East India Company, rising to the top in a few years. Let us start with some interesting, also equally shocking points.
1) In the preface. He boldly admits that, Mill neither visited India nor does he knows its languages, and he boldly claims, “A duly qualified man can obtain more knowledge of India in one year in his closet in England than he could obtain during the course of the longest life,by the use of his eyes and ears in India”. 2) Mill never visited India, he relied solely on documentary material and archival records in compiling his work. 3) He was the first writer to divide Indian history into three parts: Hindu, Muslim and British. 4) The work itself, and the author’s official connection with India for the last seventeen years of his life, effected a complete change in the whole system of governance in the country. 5) The 1st edition of this book happened in 1817 and it saw successive publication till 1997. For 180 years the lies was spread uninterrupted. In the course of preparing his History Mill wrote a number of articles on the East India Company which make his position with respect to British rule quite clear, he believed there to be a prima facie case against all monopolies; they belonged to ‘an unenlightened and semi-barbarous age’, whereas ‘freedom is the offspring of civilization and philosophy’. Mill defended the East India Company with these words..
After all, ‘even the utmost abuse of European power is better, we are persuaded, than the most temperate exercise of Oriental despotism… The wider the circumference of British dominion, the more extensive the reign of peace.’ Soon after its publication it was being presented by the Directors of the East India Company as a premium to all civil servants leaving the college and subsequently it became the standard textbook at the college. In the chapter titled “General Reflections in ‘Of the Hindus'”, Mill wrote “under the glosing exterior of the Hindu, lies a general disposition to deceit and perfidy.”
He further adds, “the same insincerity, mendacity, and perfidy; the same indifference to the feelings of others; the same prostitution and venality” were the conspicuous characteristics of both the Hindus and the Muslims. The Muslims, however, were perfuse, when possessed of wealth, and devoted to pleasure; the Hindus almost always penurious and ascetic; and “in truth, the Hindoo like the eunuch, excels in the qualities of a slave.” Furthermore, similar to the Chinese, the Hindus were “dissembling, treacherous, mendacious, to an excess which surpasses even the usual measure of uncultivated society.” Both the Chinese and the Hindus were “disposed to excessive exaggeration with regard to everything relating to themselves”. Both were “cowardly and unfeeling.” Both were “in the highest degree conceited of themselves, and full of affected contempt for others.” And, above all, both were “in physical sense, disgustingly unclean in their persons and houses.”.
The History of British India purports to be a study of India in which James set out to attack the history, character, religion, literature, arts, and laws of India, also making claims about the influence of the Indian climate. He also aimed to locate the attacks on India within a wider theoretical framework to please his British Masters & to defend Britain’s conquest. Mill in his preface wrote that his work is a “critical history,” encompassing singularly harsh attacks on Hindu customs and a “backward” culture which he claimed to be notable only for superstition, ignorance, and the mistreatment of women.
It was this prejudiced and biased distorian who created the story of SATI & also banning it. Readers, whether its West or Left, the so called historians depended on 1 opportunist who wrote a magnum opus on India without visiting India or knowing its languages, culture. If you compare James Mill with today’s Agenda Driven Left Intelligentsia, you won’t find any difference as the last tweet of this thread will give you an example.
Lastly, do you know who were enraged about this distortion and tried to make it right? It was Veer Savarkar, Swami Vivekananda and Ranade. Amalendu Misra’s Book “Identity and Religion” (Available in Google Books, couldn’t copy it here) says both Savarkar and Vivekananda were enraged by James Mills’s portrayal of Hindus and telling Muslims were of superior race than Hindus.
This book also carries how Romila Thapar defends James Mills and says Nationalists got the foundation for communal interpretation and 2 nation theory and furthermore, she adds Hindu nationalists defended their civilization OVER GLORIFYING their ancient past. #VANDEMATARAM