Extra Questions-Civilizing the “Native”, Educating the Nation

EXTRA QUESTIONS- CIVILIZING THE “NATIVE”, EDUCATING THE NATION

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Very Short Answer Type

1. Who was William Jones and when did he arrived in India?

William Jones was a law expert, a linguist and arrived in India in 1783.

2. Who established the Asiatic society of Bengal?

William Jones along with Henry Thomas Colebrooke and Nathaniel Halhed established Asiaatic society of Bengal.

3. Where and When did the Madarsas got established?

Madarsas was established in Calcutta in 1781.

4. Who made a report on education in India?

William Adams in 1830s

5. Who established Shantiniketan?

Rabindranath Tagore

Short Answer Type

1. What is the difference between the term Orientalist and the Vernacular?

Orientalists – Those with a scholarly knowledge of the language and culture of Asia

Vernacular – A term generally used to refer to a local language or dialect as distinct from what is seen as the
standard language. In colonial countries like India, the British used the term to mark the difference between the
local languages of everyday use and English – the language of the imperial masters

2. Why was the madarsas and Hindu college estblished?

The orientalist officers thought that Hindus and Muslims ought to be taught what they were already familiar with,
and what they valued and treasured, not subjects that were alien to them. Only then, they believed, could the
British hope to win a place in the hearts of the “natives”; only then could the alien rulers expect to be respected by
their subjects. With this object in view a madrasa was set up in Calcutta in 1781 to promote the study of Arabic, Persian and Islamic law; and the Hindu College was established in Benaras in 1791 to encourage the study of ancient Sanskrit texts that would be useful for the administration of the country.

3. What was the reason behind the Macaulay’s minute in 1835?

The English EducationAct of 1835 was introduced. The decision was to make English the medium of instruction for higher education, and to stop the promotion of Oriental institutions like the Calcutta Madrasa and Benaras Sanskrit College. These institutions were seen as “temples of darkness that were falling of themselves into decay”. English textbooks now began to be produced for schools.

4. What does the Wood’s Despatch pointed out and how it will benefit British?

One of the practical uses the Despatch pointed to was economic. European learning, it said, would enable Indians to recognise the advantages that flow from the expansion of trade and commerce, and make them see the importance of developing the resources of the country.

Introducing them to European ways of life, would change their tastes and desires, and create a demand for British goods, for Indians would begin to appreciate and buy things that were produced in Europe wich will benefit the British.

5. How did the new system in pathshala affected the people and students?

The new rules and routines had another consequence. In the earlier system children from poor peasant families had been able to go to pathshalas, since the timetable was flexible. The discipline of the new system demanded
regular attendance, even during harvest time when children of poor families had to work in the fields. Inability to attend school came to be seen as indiscipline, as evidence of the lack of desire to learn.

Long Answer Type

1. What were the views of Mahatma Gandhi in regard of Western Education?

Mahatma Gandhi argued that colonial education created a sense of inferiority in the minds of Indians. It made
them see Western civilisation as superior, and destroyed the pride they had in their own culture. There was
poison in this education, said Mahatma Gandhi, it was sinful, it enslaved Indians, it cast an evil spell on them.
Charmed by the West, appreciating everything that came from the West, Indians educated in these institutions began admiring British rule. Mahatma Gandhi wanted an education that could help Indians recover their sense of dignity and self-respect. During the national movement he urged students to leave educational institutions in order to show to the British that Indians were no longer willing to be enslaved.

Mahatma Gandhi strongly felt that Indian languages ought to be the medium of teaching. Education in English crippled Indians, distanced them from their own social surroundings, and made them “strangers in their own lands”. Speaking a foreign tongue, despising local culture, the English educated did not know how
to relate to the masses.

Western education, Mahatma Gandhi said, focused on reading and writing rather than oral knowledge; it valued textbooks rather than lived experience and practical knowledge. He argued that education ought to develop a person’s mind and soul. Literacy – or simply learning to read and write – by itself did not count as education.
People had to work with their hands, learn a craft, and know how different things operated. This would develop their mind and their capacity to understand.

2. What was the views of Rabindranath Tagore for the education?

Rabindranath Tagore started the institution in 1901. As a child, Tagore hated going to school. He found it suffocating and oppressive. The school appeared like a prison, for he could never do what he felt like doing. So while other children listened to the teacher, Tagore’s mind would wander away.

The experience of his schooldays in Calcutta shaped Tagore’s ideas of education. On growing up, he wanted to set up a school where the child was happy, where she could be free and creative, where she was able to explore her own thoughts and desires. Tagore felt that childhood ought to be a time of self-learning, outside the rigid and restricting discipline of the schooling system set up by the British. Teachers had to be imaginative, understand
the child, and help the child develop her curiosity.

According to Tagore, the existing schools killed the natural desire of the child to be creative, her sense of wonder.
Tagore was of the view that creative learning could be encouraged only within a natural environment. So he chose
to set up his school 100 kilometres away from Calcutta, in a rural setting. He saw it as an abode of peace (santiniketan), where living in harmony with nature, children could cultivate their natural creativity.

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