As Macaulay put it, the central question was ‘simply whether…we shall teach languages in which, by universal confession, there are no books on any subject to be compared with our own; whether, when we can each European science, we shall teach systems which, by universal confession, whenever they differ from from those of Europe, differ for the worse; and whether, when we can patronise sound Philosophy and true History, we shall countenance, at the public expense, medical doctrines which would disgrace an English Farrier - Astronomy, which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school - History, abounding with kings thirty feet high, and reigns thirty thousand years long, - and Geography, made up of seas of treacle and seas of butter.’ Traditional Indian learning which he condemned by the standards of the culture of which he was so confident a master, was, Macaulay argued, totally unfitted to achieve what should be achieved by public educational expenditure in India, the formation of ‘a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect’.
Trevelyan, G.O. 1876. Life and Letters of Macaulay. London. Cited by Roberts, J.M. 1985. The Triumph Of The West. p. 353. London: British Broadcasting Corporation.