My study today has been on “English Education in India“.
With all that is going on today about the English schools in Karnataka (they obtained licence as kannada schools but quietly taught english and now the matter is in the courts), it is interesting to know how English Education started in India.
There was debate among those who wanted regional languages, those who wanted classical languages and those who wanted English as the medium of instruction.
In 1834, Macaulay provided the following winning arguments to the East India Company.
- Educated (even if) Free India is a better market and will contribute to the company’s profitabilty than a poor, uneducated country of slaves.
- A shelf of European books has more worth than the entire knowledge base in Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic.
- A Higher Class India, English in its tastes and philosophy, though Indian in blood and colour, will guarantee the co-operation of the higher classes and a longer rule of the British in India.
I have provided the original quotes etc in the article. (By the way, I have heard that the thus educated, ”Higher class English-Indians” also called “Tanned Videsis” are also called Macaulay’s children! )
Taking off from there:
- I do marvel at the brilliance of Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi (our darling Gandhiji!) who hit the “markets” with the Swadeshi Movement and rejected all his western tastes and styles and went the Non Co-Operation way in the struggle for independence…
- Also while the British focussed on “higher education for the higher classes” as a cheaper alternative to education of the masses, Swami Vivekananda went to the Masses. The wikipedia article on Swami Vivekananda is simply awesome! After reading so much about Macaulay., it was a joy to read and relief about Vivekananda!
I quote from that article “
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