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During the time of the East India Company, Thomas Babington Macaulay had made schooling a priority for

the Raj in his famous minute of February 1835 and succeeded in implementing ideas previously put
forward by Lord William Bentinck (the governor general between 1828 and 1835). Bentinck favoured the
replacement of Persian by English as the official language, the use of English as the medium of
instruction, and the training of English-speaking Indians as teachers. He was inspired by utilitarian ideas
and called for "useful learning." However, Bentinck's proposals were rejected by London officials.[49][50]
Under Macaulay, thousands of elementary and secondary schools were opened though they usually had
an all-male student body. Universities in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras were established in 1857, just
before the Rebellion. By 1890 some 60,000 Indians had matriculated, chiefly in the liberal arts or law.
About a third entered public administration, and another third became lawyers. The result was a very
well educated professional state bureaucracy. By 1887 of 21,000 mid-level civil service appointments,
45% were held by Hindus, 7% by Muslims, 19% by Eurasians (European father and Indian mother), and 29%
by Europeans. Of the 1000 top -level positions, almost all were held by Britons, typically with an
Oxbridge degree.[51] The government, often working with local philanthropists, opened 186 universities
and colleges of higher education by 1911; they enrolled 36,000 students (over 90% men). By 1939 the
number of institutions had doubled and enrolment reached 145,000. The curriculum followed classical
British standards of the sort set by Oxford and Cambridge and stressed English literature and European
history. Nevertheless by the 1920s the student bodies had become hotbeds of Indian nationalism.

Sir Charles wood
The Marquess of

8 June 1880 13
December 1884
End of Second Anglo-Afghan War.
Repeal of Vernacular Press Act of 1878. Compromise on
the Ilbert Bill.
Local Government Acts extend self-government from towns to
University of Punjab established in Lahore in 1882
Famine Code promulgated in 1883 by the Government of
Creation of the Education Commission. Creation of indigenous
schools, especially for Muslims.
Repeal of import duties on cotton and of most tariffs. Railway

The Earl of

18 November 1905 23
November 1910
Creation of the Railway Board
Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907
Indian Councils Act 1909 (also Minto-Morley Reforms)
Appointment of Indian Factories Commission in 1909.
Establishment of Department of Education in 1910 (now
Ministry of Education)

By 1880, a new middle class had arisen in India and spread thinly across the country.
Moreover, there
was a growing solidarity among its members, created by the "joint stimuli of encouragement and
The encouragement felt by this class came from its success in education and its ability to
avail itself of the benefits of that education such as employment in the Indian Civil Service.
It came
too from Queen Victoria's proclamation of 1858 in which she had declared, "We hold ourselves bound to
the natives of our Indian territories by the same obligation of duty which bind us to all our other
Indians were especially encouraged when Canada was granted dominion status in 1867 and
established an autonomous democratic constitution.
Lastly, the encouragement came from the work
of contemporaneous Oriental scholars like Monier Monier-Williams and Max Mller, who in their works
had been presenting ancient India as a great civilisation.
Irritation, on the other hand, came not just
from incidents of racial discrimination at the hands of the British in India, but also from governmental
actions like the use of Indian troops in imperial campaigns (e.g. in the Second Anglo-Afghan War) and the
attempts to control the vernacular press (e.g. in the Vernacular Press Act of 1878).

Introduction Foundation of modern education in India
In 1835, Lord Macauley laid successfully the foundation of modern education in India. The sole
purpose was to educate Indians in such a way that they should through western education get
Anglicised in terms of both cultural and intellectual attainments.
Served Double purpose - Introduction of modern education had served a double purpose for the
British rulers- they got thecredit for the amelioration of the Indian society. Also at the same time,
through it, they devised a unique method of distribution of power, kept balance of power and
prolonged their rule in India by keeping the natives busy in their in-fights.
After the introduction of new modern education system, the traditional Indian system of
education gradually withered away for the lack of official- support. And with it, Indian people
got dis-associated from traditional way of learning.
Purpose of introducing Modern education
Lord Macauley clearly said that, we must at present do our best to form 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.
The reason of introducing the modern education was that it was too costly and practically
impossible to import a large number of Englishmen to fill up the large and increasing number of
subordinate or lower posts in administration.
Emphasis on English medium
The emphasis of British rulers was on English medium education system. In 1844 through a
Declaration knowledge of English was made compulsory for Government employment. It made
English medium schools very popular.
Introduced new system of higher education
The universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were started in 1837 and higher education spread
rapidly thereafter. Since the British were not much interested in scientific and technical education,
only three Medical Colleges one each at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras was established by 1857.
There was only one good engineering college at Roorkee.
Modern education produced many national leaders, intellectuals and reformers
Modern education not only provided personnel to fill the lower levels in administration, as desired
by the rulers, but alsoproduced national leaders, intellectuals and reformers like Raja Ram Mohan
Roy, Dadabhai Naoroji, Ferozeshah Mehta, Gokhale, Gandhi, Jinnah, Ambedkar, Tilak, Lala Lajpat
Rai, Moti Lal Nehru, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Neta Subhash Chandra Bose, Patel and many more. They
took upon themselves the responsibility to build a modern, open, plural, culturally rich,
prosperous and powerful India out of a fragmented, poverty stricken, superstitious, weak,
indifferent, backward and inward looking society.
Impact of Modern education
Access to liberal thoughts of Western philosophers As was thought, modern
education offered to Indian people access to the thoughts of many liberal thinkers, like Locke,
Mill Roussseau Voltaire, Spencer and Burke. Also it familiarised Indians with the knowledge about
English, French, American revolutions. Western literature and philosophy widened the mental
horizons and knowledge of Indian people.
Atmosphere, completely ready
At the time when modern education was introduced, the atmosphere was completely ready.
Different sections of society had welcomed it wholeheartedly for different reasons. They not only
welcomed, but exerted pressure on the company to encourage and promote western education in
British rulers in India As hoped, British rulers found modern education very economical and
convenient y the rulers. It provided personnel to fill the lower levels in administration and made it
possible to keep contact with local people.
Missionaries welcomed modern education Missionaries and their supporters found that modern
education would encouragelocal people to adopt Christianity in large numbers. Christian
missionaries brainwashed many people especially the poor by preaching and educating them and
developed in their minds a complex about the primitiveness of Indian society, influenced them
towards the alien culture and then converted them into Christianity. With the help of British rulers,
Christian missionaries and religious minded Westerners like William Webberforce or Charles Grant,
they succeeded in converting many persons into Christianity.
Indian intelligentsia, key to enter Modern World- For Indian intelligentsia, Humanitarians and
intellectuals considered modern education the best remedy for social, political and economic
ills of the country. The intellectual ferment was strongest in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil
Nadu. Intellectuals and their organizations had purely an economic and social thrust. They were
aware of the real issues hampering the progress of Indian society. They also got alarmed at the
erosion of Indian Culture and divisible policies of the rulers.
National leaders The understanding of liberal, and humanitarian ideas thought of Western World
gave birth to Indian national leaders. Educated national leaders welcomed rationality and other
good features of Modern English education. Modern educationequipped them with the intellectual
tools, with which they could fight the oppressive British Raj. They realized the impact of British
racial discrimination and their repressive policies on the Indian people.
National movement gained momentum The destructive character of British imperialism lit the
fire and gave birth to national movement. Economic loot, political subjugation, assertion of lordly
superiority over the subject on the ground of race, assumption of a haughty exclusiveness,
persistent insulting and supercilious behavior towards all Indians, exclusion of Indians from all
places of authority and responsibility and denial of their capacity for self-governance united Indians
against British rule. They tried to bring social awakening and awareness amongst masses about their
Modern education for reformers Modern education highlighted the weaknesses, rigidity and
harshness of society towards the weaker sections of the society. It had attracted the attention of
the intelligentsia and reformers towards social evils, which had developed in the system.
Spread awareness amongst people Social reformers fought against many social evils caused by
ignorance, superstitions or irrationality like Sati, Polygamy, child marriage, and inhumane
treatment to women, untouchablity and many superstitions prevalent at that time. They criticized
the mumbo-jumbo of rituals and superstitions created by some selfish people to entangle the
ignorant and poor masses. Emphasis was laid on education and science.
Organized people with emphasis on education and science - Reformers organized people and made
them aware of social evils like Brahma Samaj, founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1928, inspired the
people of Bengal, UP, Punjab, Madras and other provinces, to form similar organizations and
interpret religion rationally.
Advised people to remain firmly rooted to the Indian Culture - Social Reformers advised people
to remain firmly rooted to the Indian Culture. They tried to revive their own rich
ancient culture and prevent the masses from being swayed away by the glamour and materialism of
alien culture. They talked about the greatness of Hindu Vedic culture and about Vedas as the source
of all knowledge and truth. Swami Vivekanand founded the Rama Krishna Mission tried to reveal to
the world Indian Philosophy and culture.
Organisations like Brahma Samaj (1928) in Bengal, Prarthana Samaj in Maharashtra (1867), Arya
Samaj in Northern India, Rama Krishna Mission, Theosophical Society of India (1879), Dev Samaj in
Lahore and Servants of India Society took up the job to awaken the masses.
Some reform institutes like Vivekanands or Rama Krishna Mission or Theosophical Society of India
tried to familiarize the Western World, too, to the charm and graciousness of Indian Culture.
Opened the doors of education for all sections
The new education system opened the doors of education for all sections of Indian society to get
educated irrespective of caste or creed. Earlier Muslims were more dependent on the use of sword.
Only few could get the opportunity to study in Madarsas (Muslims educational institutions).
Brahmins, quicker to gain from modern education
Brahmins, having learning background earlier, were quick to opt for modern education with a
purpose to earn something respectfully for their livelihood. With the result, they were able to take
advantage of the opportunities offered by Modern education in the job-market. Non- Brahmin
communities lagged behind in matter of modern education and the opportunities offered by it.
Some adverse effects of modern education on Indian society
Disassociated people from traditional way of learning While welcomed by different sections of
society, the new system of education had some adverse effects also. It had disassociated Indian
people from their traditional way of learning and living, their classical roots and indigenous
knowledge. Along with it faded Indian values, philosophies and traditions.
Divided Indian people Census operations started by British Government in India for administrative
purposes and the purpose prolonging its rule in India along with the disparities created by modern
education had divided Indian people into water-tight compartments (SCs, STs, OBCs, Upper castes
and minorities etc).
Loosened the bonds of caste system and led to casteism - Modern education had loosened the bonds
of caste system, which kept discipline in various sections of society and believed in inter-
dependence. It also made Indians to lose their faith in social values and systems. So much and so
that some groups of Indian society considered the social practices and customs prevalent in
India as indefensible.
Costly nature of modern education Though British rulers opened the doors of education to all,
they were not concerned much about mass education. The costly nature of education tended to
make it a monopoly of the richer classes and city dwellers. Initially, it was an impoverished group
of Brahmin and caste Hindus in search of livelihood, who in desire to live with dignity and honour
opted for modern education. Except for a few, masses could not avail its advantages despite the
relentless efforts of missionaries with an aim to convert poor people into Christianity.
Reasons for masses being deprived of the benefits of modern education Only a small number of
persons could be benefitted from Modern education. Reasons being:
Modern education was very costly and, therefore, unaffordable by the masses.
Masses did not see any immediate use of education. It was more important for them to work and
arrange two square meals day.
The relentless effort of missionaries and the reformers could educate a very small number of
people from amongst them.
The medium of instruction was a foreign language English.
English gaining importance as the language of elite section of society alienated the masses from
Modern education did produce manpower, as desired by the rulers. But it also generated groups of
visionary national leaders and reformers. The second half of the nineteenth century saw the impact
of modern education on Indians.
Swami Vivekanand and many others gave a call to Return to Vedas. He said, Each nation like
each individual has a theme in this life, which is its center, the principle note, around which every
other note comes to form the harmony. If any nation attempts to throw off its national vitality, the
direction, which has become its own through the transmission of centuries, the nation dies.