लॉर्ड मैकाले ( जन्म 25 अक्टूबर, 1800 ई.)

October 25, 2017

लॉर्ड मैकाले,  प्रसिद्ध अंग्रेज़ी कवि, निबन्धकार, इतिहासकार तथा राजनीतिज्ञ था। मैकाले का जन्म 25 अक्टूबर, 1800 ई. में हुआ था और मृत्यु 28 दिसम्बर, 1859 ई. में हुई थी। एक निबन्धकार और समीक्षक के रूप मे उसने ब्रिटिश इतिहास पर जमकर लिखा था। सन् 1834 ई. से 1838 ई. तक वह भारत की सुप्रीम काउंसिल में लॉ मेंबर तथा लॉ कमिशन का प्रधान रहा। भारतीय दंड विधान से सम्बन्धित प्रसिद्ध ग्रंथ 'दी इंडियन पीनल कोड' की लगभग सभी पांडुलिपि इसी ने तैयार की थी। अंग्रेज़ी भाषा को भारत की सरकारी भाषा तथा शिक्षा का माध्यम और यूरोपीय साहित्य, दर्शन तथा विज्ञान को भारतीय शिक्षा का लक्ष्य बनाने में इसका बड़ा हाथ था।

भारत आगमन
1823 ई. में मैकाले बैरिस्टर बना, परन्तु उसने बैरिस्टरी करने की अपेक्षा सार्वजनिक जीवन पसन्द किया। वह 1830 ई. में ब्रिटिश पार्लियामेन्ट का सदस्य चुना गया, और 1834 ई. में गवर्नर-जनरल की एक्जीक्यूटिव कौंसिल का पहला क़ानून सदस्य नियुक्त होकर भारत आया। भारत का प्रशासन उस समय तक जातीय द्वेष तथा भेदभाव पर आधारित तथा दमनकारी था। उसने ठोस उदार सिद्धान्तों पर प्रशासन चलाने की कोशिश की। उसने भारत में समाचार पत्रों की स्वाधीनता का आन्दोलन किया, क़ानून के समक्ष यूरोपियों और भारतीयों की समानता का समर्थन किया। अंग्रेज़ी के माध्यम से पश्चिमी ढंग की उदार शिक्षा-पद्धति आरम्भ की और दंड विधान का मसविदा तैयार किया, जो कि बाद में 'भारतीय दंड संहिता' का आधार बना।

मैकाले आजीवन साहित्य सेवा करता रहा और 1857 ई. में उसे ‘पिअर’ की पदवी प्रदान की गई। दो साल बाद 1859 ई. में उसकी मृत्यु हो गई।

लॉर्ड मैकाले ने अंग्रेज़ी भाषा में अनेक पुस्तकें लिखी हैं, जिनमें ‘अर्भाडा’ (1833 ई.), ‘प्राचीन रोम के गीतिकाव्य’ (1842 ई.), ‘निबन्ध’ (1825-1843 ई.), तथा चार खण्डों में ‘इंग्लैण्ड का इतिहास’ (1848-1858 ई.) सबसे महत्त्वपूर्ण हैं। अन्तिम पुस्तक बहुत अधिक बिकी और उससे 20 हज़ार पौण्ड की आय हुई। इसका यूरोप की विविध भाषाओं में अनुवाद हुआ है।

Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, FRS FRSE PC (25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was a British historian and Whig politician. He wrote extensively as an essayist and reviewer; his books on British history have been hailed as literary masterpieces. Macaulay held political office as the Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841, and the Paymaster-General between 1846 and 1848. He played a major role in introducing English and western concepts to education in India, publishing his argument on the subject in the "Macaulay Minute" published in 1835. He supported the replacement of Persian by English as the official language, the use of English as the medium of instruction in all schools, and the training of English-speaking Indians as teachers. This led to Macaulayism in India.

In his view, Macaulay divided the world into civilised nations and barbarism, with Britain representing the high point of civilisation. In his Minute on Indian Education of February 1835, he asserted, "It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgement used at preparatory schools in England". He was wedded to the Idea of Progress, especially in terms of the liberal freedoms. He opposed radicalism while idealising historic British culture and traditions.

Macaulay was born at Rothley Temple in Leicestershire on 25 October 1800, the son of Zachary Macaulay, a Scottish Highlander, who became a colonial governor and abolitionist, and Selina Mills of Bristol, a former pupil of Hannah More. They named their first child after his uncle Thomas Babington, a Leicestershire landowner and politician, who had married Zachary's sister Jean. The young Macaulay was noted as a child prodigy; as a toddler, gazing out of the window from his cot at the chimneys of a local factory, he is reputed to have asked his father whether the smoke came from the fires of hell.

He was educated at a private school in Hertfordshire and at Trinity College, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge he wrote much poetry and won several prizes, including the Chancellor's Gold Medal in June 1821. In 1825 he published a prominent essay on Milton in the Edinburgh Review. He studied law and in 1826 he was called to the bar but showed more interest in a political than a legal career.

Macaulay, who never married and had no children, was once rumoured to have fallen in love with Maria Kinnaird, the wealthy ward of "Conversation" Sharp (who was a hat-maker, banker, merchant, poet, critic and British politician). But in fact, Macaulay's strongest emotional ties were to his youngest sisters, Margaret who died while he was in India, and Hannah. As Hannah grew older, he formed the same close attachment to Hannah's daughter Margaret, whom he called "Baba".

Macaulay retained a passionate interest in classical literature throughout his life, and prided himself on his knowledge of Ancient Greek literature. He likely had an eidetic memory. While in India, he read every ancient Greek and Roman work that was available to him. In his letters, he describes reading the Aeneid whilst on vacation in Malvern in 1851, and being moved to tears by the beauty of Virgil's poetry. He also taught himself German, Dutch, and Spanish, and remained fluent in French.

In 1830 the Marquess of Lansdowne invited Macaulay to become Member of Parliament for the pocket borough of Calne. His maiden speech was in favour of abolishing the civil disabilities of the Jews in the UK.

Macaulay made his name with a series of speeches in favour of parliamentary reform. After the Great Reform Act of 1832 was passed, he became MP for Leeds.In the Reform, Calne's representation was reduced from two to one; Leeds had never been represented before, but now had two members. Though proud to have helped pass the Reform Bill, Macaulay never ceased to be grateful to his former patron, Lansdowne, who remained a great friend and political ally.